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In our African Possessions at present the same investi- | chemistry the examination of a new mineral furaishe: gations and inquiries have to be conducted independently, similar experience. and often without the knowledge that the problem in ques- In carrying out research of the kind I am advocating, tion has been already solved.
the chemical investigator will have the additional advantage Another increasingly urgent duty of the Central Depart- of knowing that the scientific results he obtains will conment is to inform the Colonial establishments of the results tribute to the knowledge of the resources of the British of the work which is being conducted in foreign countries, Empire, and possibly be the means of laying the foundation and of the progress which is being made in the utilisation of new industries. of raw materials all over the world, and to bring to their I need hardly remind chemists that some of the most notice the constantly changing requirements of the manu- important discoveries in our science, and many of those facturers and users of raw materials.
which have had the most profound influence on the de So far as botany is concerned, this coordination has velopment of chemical theory, have arisen from the examinbeen to a large extent effected through the agency of the ation of the constituents of raw materials. The discovery Royal Gardens, Kew, which is in touch, through the of morphia in opium led to the recognition of the new clas Colonial Office, with all the botanical gardens in the Crown of alkaloids; the discovery of amygdalin in the buttes Colonies and Protectorates. In chemistry, as well as in almond of the new group of glucosides; the investigation certain other subjects, these duties have been performed by Liebig and Wöhler of the chemical properties and com in recent years by the Scientific and Technical Department position of the essential oil of the bitter almond File of the Imperial Institute, which is now working in co- largely instrumental in laying the foundations of modern operation, not only with the Governments of the Crown organic chemistry; whilst'it was during the examination Colonies and Protectorates, but also with those of several of the constituents of bran that Fownes was led to the of the self-governing Colonies, and also with the Scientific discovery of furfurol and the subsequent recognition of u Departments which have been brought into existence in
new type of organic compound. In more recent times the India, where at last the importance of scientific agri- examination of the constituents of oil of turpentine and culture is receiving due recognition from the Government. various essential oils yielded by different plants has been
So little has hitherto been done in this direction that the means of elucidating the chemical theory of the great the number of problems requiring attention is exceedingly group of terpenes, and latterly Harries's investigation of large; and even with a specially trained staff of workers caoutchouc has led to the discovery of the ozonides which and extensive laboratories, such as now exist at the
seem likely to be of much importance as a new means of Imperial Institute, it becomes necessary to select as the determining the constitution of certain classes of organic principal subjects for investigation those which are
compounds. Lastly, I may remind you that the discovery garded by the Governments of the countries concerned of helium might have been long delayed had not Prof. as of the most practical importance, and in which the Miers drawn Sir William Ramsay's attention to the soBritish manufacturer is at the moment most concerned.
called nitrogen furnished by the mineral cleveite. There must therefore remain a large number of materials I have thought that it would be of interest on the of unknown composition and of problems of purely scien- present occasion if some account were given in the Section tific interest which offer an attractive field for the chemical of the chemistry of certain of the raw materials employed investigator. Already steps have been taken to provide in the principal manufacturing industries of the city of for the investigation of these subjects by scientific men York. These industries are vitally concerned with an who are willing to undertake them in communication with adequate supply of certain raw products of tropical origin the Institute. For example, Mr. A. G: Perkin, F.R.S., especially cocoa and gums. In connection with the first has been furnished with material which has led to the of these, which has hitherto been obtained chiefly from identification and determination of the constitution of the the West Indies, a new industry of cocoa production has colouring matters of a number of plants which
sprung up in West Africa, notably in the Gold Coast and employed as dyes in India and the Colonies. Prof. A. H. in Lagos. This West African cocoa presents some peruli. Church, F.R.S., has determined the composition of many arities which have rendered it desirable to examine the
or little-known food grains. Dr. Crossley, Mr. nature of its constituents. Gums of the nature of gum Le Sueur, and Dr. Lewkowitsch have examined the con- arabic are at present chiefly derived from the French stituents of a large number of fats and oils furnished by Colony of Senegal. It is, however, clear from the examinseeds of Indian and African origin. Dr. W. J. Russell, ation of gum collected in West Africa that that country, F.R.S., has been furnished with selected materials for and especially Northern Nigeria, will be able in the futur examination in connection with his interesting investi- to contribute to the needs of the British manufacturer, in gations of those substances which affect the photographic addition to the Sudan, India, and Australia, which will plate in the dark, whilst the Hon. R. J. Strutt, F.R.S., also be able to make important contributions. In connre. has investigated the radio-activity of a number of new tion with the investigation of these gums derived from or little-known minerals containing rare earths. Last year new sources at the Imperial Institute, the very remarkmore than 500 different materials and problems were sub-able observation has been made that certain gums from mitted from the Colonies and India for investigation to India and the Colonies possess the property of evolving the Scientific Department of the Imperial Institute, and acetic acid when exposed to the air. The chemical con. each year there must remain an increasing number of stitution of one of these gums has been fully investigater! interesting subjects which cannot be included in the De- at the Imperial Institute by Mr. H. H. Robinson, who will partment's annual programme of work. Many of these contribute a paper on the subject to the Section, in which would furnish excellent subjects for chemical research by he will show that the production of acetic acid is due to advanced students in connection with the universities and the elimination of an acetyl group by hydrolysis through technical colleges throughout the country.
It is nearly the moisture of the air. He has also sucreeded in always possible to arrange to furnish the necessary material elucidating to a large extent the chemical nature of the for any competent worker to deal with. Next year a list gum. Mr. Robinson will also make a report on the of such subjects awaiting investigation will be available present position of the chemistry of gums, a class of subat the Imperial Institute for those in search of subjects stances the constitution of which is exceptionally difficult for chemical research.
to unravel. Little, if any, advance has been made in Whilst the investigation of some of these subjects may recent vears on the well-known researches of O'Sullivan. at once produce results of scientific value, many of them There is no more important group of questions demandpresent difficulties in their investigation which are far ing attention from the chemist at the present time that more serious than those which attend the usual synthetical those connected with the production of india-subter work in organic chemistry. I do not know of any more caoutchouc. An enormous 'increase in the demand ier profitable experience for the advanced student who is india-rubber has taken place in the last few years, and last already familiar with the principles of organic chemistry year the production was not less than 60.000 tons. L'otit and of laboratory practice than the separation in the pure recently the supply of rubber came chiefly from two source: state of the chemical constituents of a plant and the deter- -the forests of Brazil, which contain the tree known mination of their chemical constitution. In inorganic | Hevea hrasiliensis, furnishing the Para rubber of com
merce which commands the highest price, and the forests pyrogenic decomposition of caoutchouc, had pointed to of Africa, where climbing plants, generally of the Lan- the fact that caoutchouc was essentially a terpenoid dolphia class, also furnish rubber. The increased demand polymer of the formula C,H, Harries finds, however, for caoutchouc has led to the extensive planting of the that the ozonide of caoutchouc, when distilled with steam, Para rubber tree, especially in Ceylon and in the Federated breaks up into lævulinic aldehyde, lævulinic acid, and Malay States. Systematic cultivation and improved hydrogen peroxide, and he concludes from this that caoutmethods of preparation are responsible for the fact that chouc is a polymer of a 1:5 dimethyl cyclo octadien. the product of the cultivated tree, which begins to furnish Whilst Harries's work has brought us much nearer the satisfactory rubber when six or seven years old, is now goal, and has led to the discovery of a new method of cominanding a higher price than the product of the wild investigation through the ozonides, which is obviously of Tree in Brazil. It is estimated that within the next seven wide application, it cannot yet be said that the constituyears the exports of cultivated india-rubber from Ceylon tion of caoutchouc has been settled or its relation to the and the Federated Malay States will reach between ten parent substance of the latex definitely established. It and fifteen million pounds annually, and that after fifteen has still to be shown how a closed-chain hydrocarbon such years they may exceed the exports of the so-called wild as Harries's octadien can undergo polymerisation forming rubber from Brazil.
the colloid caoutchouc. The services which chemistry can render to the elucida- There are strong arguments for the view that the contion of the problems of rubber production and utilisation stitution of the parent substance present in the latex is are very numerous. Methods of treatment depending on nearly related to that of isoprene. This remarkable hydroa knowledge of the other constituents of the latex have carbon of the formula C,Hg, first obtained by Greville led to the production of rubber in a purer condition. Much Williams from the dry distillation of rubber, is an unstill remains to be elucidated by chemical means as to the saturated olefinic hydrocarbon which is found among the nature of the remarkable coagulation of the latex. As is products, resulting from heating caoutchouc. It readily well known, the latex is a watery Auid resembling milk polymerises, forming di-pentene. Bouchardat noticed that in appearance which contains the rubber, or, as I think this hydrocarbon obtained from the pyrogenic decomposition more probable, the immediate precursor of rubber, together of caoutchouc furnished a substance identical with rubber with proteids and other minor constituents. The con- when acted on by hydrochloric acid and under other constituent furnishing rubber is in suspension, and rises like ditions. To Wallach and also to Tilden is due the further cream when the latex is at rest. On the addition of an important observation that when isoprene prepared from acid, or sometimes of alkali, or even on mere exposure, oil of turpentine is kept for some time, it gradually passes coagulation takes place and the rubber separates as into a substance having all the characteristic properties of solid, the other constituents for the most part remaining caoutchouc. dissolved in the aqueous liquid or serum." The first I have very briefly drawn attention to the present posiview taken of the nature of the coagulation process was tion of our knowledge of the chemistry of caoutchouc in that, like the coagulation of milk by acids, it is dependent illustration of the interest which attaches to the examinupon a process of proteid coagulation, the separated proteids ation of vegetable products, and also because of the carrving down the rubber during precipitation.
immense importance of the problem from the practical This explanation cannot, however, be considered com- and commercial standpoint. Chemistry in this case holds plete by the chemist, and there are peculiarities connected the premier position in reference to this subject, and to with the coagulation of the latex which are opposed to the a large extent may be said to hold the key to the future view that it is wholly explained by the coagulation of the of the rubber industry in all its phases. The discovery of associated proteids. The experimental investigation of the better methods of coagulation, preparation, and purificaqurstion on the chemical side is beset with many difficul- tion will be effected through chemical investigation, as ties, which are increased if access cannot be had to fresh will also the determination of the manner of utilising the lalex. A number of experiments were made at the Imperial various other plants which furnish rubber-like latices. Institute with latex forwarded from India. The difficulties That the physical properties of raw rubber, on which its contended with in preventing coagulation during transit technical value depends, are to be correlated with the were great, but in the case of the latex derived from chemical composition of the material there can be no rertain plants these were to some extent surmounted, and doubt. The chemical analysis of raw rubber, as at present the results obtained, especially with reference to the conducted, is, however, not always to be taken by itself behaviour of certain solvents towards the latex, led to the as a trustworthy criterion of quality, and more refined conclusion that “ coagulation can take place after re- processes of analysis are now needed. Although the finest moval of the proteids, and that in all probability it is the caoutchouc for technical purposes is only yielded by some mrsult of the polymerisation of a liquid which is held in half-dozen plants, under the names of which these varieties suspension in the latex and on polymerisation changes into of caoutchouc pass, there can scarcely be a doubt that the the solid colloid which we know as caoutchouc. Weber, elastic substance in each case possesses a very similar, if by experiments conducted in South America with fresh not identical, chemical structure. Nearly all the latices latex, arrived at a similar conclusion, which later workers and similar fluids furnished by plants contain more have confirmed. Although the nature of the process is less caoutchouc. Even opium, which is the dried juice of not yet completely elucidated, there is little room for doubt the capsule of the poppy, contains caoutchouc, whilst the that the coagulation is due to the polymerisation of a opium yielded by certain Indian species contains a notable liquid and possibly of a liquid hydrocarbon contained in proportion. Chemistry
by the lates. For the chemist the important question re- which caoutchouc best be separated from these mains as to the nature of this liquid from which caoutchouc relatively poor latices. In view of the increasing producis formed.
tion of the nearly pure caoutchouc which is furnished by The chemical nature of caoutchouc is a subject which Hevea brasiliensis, Funtumia elastica, Castilloa elastica, has attracied the attention of distinguished chemists from Ficus elastica, and a few other plants which occur or can the middle of the eighteenth century, among them being be cultivated in several of our tropical Possessions, the Faraday. Lirbig, and Dalton. Faraday was the first to question is not a pressing one at the moment. examine the constituents of the latex of Hevea brasiliensis. Moreover, it cannot be doubted that chemical science It is only in recent years that our knowledge of the con- will sooner or later be able to take a definite step towards stitution of organic compounds, and especially of the the production of rubber by artificial means. torporne group, has rendered it possible to make any great The production of caoutchouc by chemical means has, advance. It is interesting to record that Greville Williams, indeed, virtually been accomplished in its formation from in 1860, made most important contributions to this sub- | isoprene. The exact nature of this change has still to be jert. He identified a new hydrocarbon, isoprene, as determined. When this has been done it will only remain feromposition product of caoutchouc, and recognised its to cheapen the cost of production to make the manufacture polo neric relation to caoutchouc.
of synthetic rubber a purely practical problem. I should The results obtained from the analytical side, and be the last to discourage the great extension of rubber rosperially the formation of di-pentene and isoprene by planting which is now taking place. It is warranted by
the present demand for the material. It has also to be from Sorghum vulgare, and of phaseolunatin, which we remembered that the actual cost of producing raw rubber, have shown to be responsible for the production of prussie which is at present about one shilling per pound, will acid by Phaseolus lunalus (Lima beans), Manihot probably be reduced, and the market price of rubber may utilissima (cassava or tapioca), and by linseed (the fiax eventually be so considerably lowered that, as with quinine, plant). Phaseolunatin is remarkable in furnishing acrtone the synthetic production could not be profitably carried as one of its products of hydrolysis. The investigation,
That is a question which involves many factors at besides fulfilling the primary purpose for which it was present unknown, and only time can decide. Chemists carried out, has raised a host of problems ;-as to the may, however, confidently predict that before the British constitution of glucosides, the nature of the enzymes which Association again meets at York the synthetic production accompany them in the plants, and also in relation to the of rubber will be a fully accomplished fact.
fundamental question of plant metabolism. As I have said, our science is concerned with nearly Another subject of Imperial as well as National importevery problem connected with the great rubber industry, ance is to be the subject of a joint discussion with the and in concluding these few remarks I may allude to the Section of Physiology. I refer to the problem of diet. production of vulcanised rubber depending on the form- As chemists we are interested in this subject chiefly from ation of additive compounds of the hydrocarbon with the point of view of the composition of foods, and of the sulphur. In this connection I should mention the recent molecular structure which is associated with dictetic value. experiments of Mr. Bamber in Ceylon, which appear to The first attempt to deal with the matter from the scientific show that vulcanisation may be accomplished by acting on side was made by a great chemist, Liebig. We are now the uncoagulated latex with chloride of sulphur. If this in a position to investigate the problem more minutely, proves to be practicable, it may mean the transference to and the work of American physiologists has already led to the tropics of the subsidiary industry of vulcanisation, important results. We have still to learn how naterials which is at present carried on in Europe.
such as rice and potatoes, which are nearly free from Owing to the importance and interest which attach to proteids, continue nevertheless to serve as the main diet the chemistry of rubber, it is to form an important feature of large numbers of people. It would seem that the best in the work of this Section at the York Meeting. Papers plan of operations will be for physiologists to settle by will be contributed by some of the best known workers in the accurate methods now available the precise value of this field, by Prof. Tilden, and by Prof. Harries, of Kiel, typical foodstuffs, and for the chemist to deal with these who will give an account of his recent work; whilst Mr. in relation to their composition, and finally with reference Pickles, of the Imperial Institute, will present a report
to the constitution of their constituents. The time has come summarising the whole of our chemical knowledge of the when an advance must be made from the chemical side in subject.
the analytical methods employed for gauging the value of The chemical investigation of raw materials often raises,
food materials. unexpectedly, problems of great scientific interest. The I feel that I have said much, but that I have left still examination at the Imperial Institute of the seeds of the more unsaid on many topics. I must leave almost unPara rubber tree (Hevea brasiliensis) has shown that they touched the entire subject of mineral chemistry, which is contain what proves to be a valuable drying oil, and in the not only important in connection with the determination course of the investigation it was ascertained that there of the resources of India and the Colonies, but is also a is also present in the seeds an enzyme closely allied to, subject somewhat neglected on its chemical side, which if not identical with, lipase, which is capable of splitting has been recently brought into prominence through the the oil by hydrolysis into glycerin and the free fatty acid. discovery of radio-activity. Subsequently, during the examination of other oil seeds The new radio-active mineral thorianite, from Ceylon, similar enzymes have been detected, and it would appear of which Mr. Blake and I have given an account to the probable that most oil seeds may prove to contain an Royal Society, brings me at once to a subject which raises enzyme capable of decomposing the fatty constituent. the most fundamental of chemical questions, the nature of
Another subject of great chemical interest and botanical the elements and of the atom. The recent discussions importance which has come into prominence in connection of this subject have become so purely speculative that, with the Indian and Colonial work of the Imperial Insti- whilst chemistry is bound to follow the lead of physics in tute is to be included in a joint discussion which has been this matter, chemists are inclined to consider that more arranged with the Section of Botany. I refer to the pro- well-ascertained facts are needed for any further discussion duction of prussic acid by plants, which, as I have else- to be profitable from the chemical side. where suggested, it is convenient to refer to as cyano
In this Address I have ventured to urge the fuller genesis. In this discussion we shall have the advantage recognition by Government of the scientific method as a of the cooperation of Prof. Van Romburgh and Dr. powerful instrument in promoting the commercial develop Greshoff, whose work with Dr. Treub of Java on this ment of the Colonies, and I have drawn attention to the subject is known to chemists and botanists alike. The important part the science of chemistry can play in the history of the origin of the several investigations in which Imperial work of developing the resources of our Dr. Henry has been associated with me is not without Possessions. interest in connection with the principal subject of this No apology is needed in this place for directing attention Address. During the first British expedition to the Sudan to a subject which involves a most important practical against the Mahdi a number of transport animals were application of our science, since one of the principal funcpoisoned through eating a small vetch which springs up
tions of the British Association is to bring srience into in the Nile Valley during the fall of the river. The plant close touch with the problems of our national life, and to (Lotus arabicus) is well known to the Arabs, by whom it interest the general public in the application of science to is cut when fully grown, and used as fodder for animals. their solution.
The results of the investigation of this matter which I have, however, also shown that many problems of the were communicated to the Royal Society proved that the highest scientific interest arise in connection with the young plant generated prussic acid when crushed with investigation of these economic problems.
It was found to contain a new glucoside, lotusin, together with an enzyme capable of decomposing it into prussic acid, dextrose, and a yellow colouring matter,
The glucoside is of special chemical interest, as being A DEPARTMENTAL committee has been appointed by the the only one known which contains the cyanogen group Home Secretary to inquire and report what diseases and attached in the molecule to the sugar residue. Further injuries, other than injuries by accident, are due to ininvestigation has shown that other fodder plants which
dustrial occupations, are distinguishable as such, and can are occasionally poisonous owe this character to the existence of other cyanogenetic glucosides. In a series of papers properly be added to the diseases enumerated in the third communicated to the Royal Society, Dr. Henry and I
schedule of the Workmen's Compensation Bill, 1900, so have described the properties and constitution of dhurrin
as to entitle to compensation persons who may be affected
thereby. The chairman of the committee is Mr. Herbert A MONUMENT is to be erected at Brünn to the memory
MR. W. EAGLE CLARKE has been appointed by the SecreTHE Paris correspondent of the Times states that a tary for Scotland keeper of the natural history collecmission to investigate the subject of sleeping sickness is tions of the Museum of Science and Art, Edinburgh, in to leave Paris in October next for Brazzaville. The leader succession to Dr. R. H. Traquair, F.R.S., who is about of the mission is to be Major Martin, of the French to retire. Medical Corps, who has worked at Saigon and at Lille
MR. Henry Rew has been appointed an assistantin the Pasteur Institutes, and already had an oppor
secretary to the Board of Agriculture and Fisheries in tunity in Guinea of studying sleeping sickness. He is to be assisted by Dr. Lebeuf, M. Roubaud, and M. Weiss.
succession to Major P. G. Craigie, C.B., who has just
retired. After establishing a permanent central laboratory the mission will begin the direct study of the malady up PROF. A. Bergt has been appointed acting director of country. Special attention will be paid to the Upper the Leipzig Museum of Ethnology in place of the late L'tangi region. The mission also intends to combat the Prof. Obst. small-pox which is decimating French African possessions, but the main object is to fight the tsetse fly by every
The following telegram, dated August 2, respecting Dr. means that the resources of science can suggest.
Sven Hedin's journey, has been received at Stockholm from
the explorer at Leh (Kashmir) :-“ All well; our journey Is a letter to the Times of Tuesday last, Dr. Hamil- is most promising; our large, well-equipped caravan of ton Wright, chairman of the late Port Swettenham 120 carriers is capital and our men are trustworthy." Sanitary Commission, directs attention to the successful
According to the Museums Journal, the portrait of Dr. measures taken to stamp out malaria at Port Swetten
A. J. Evans, F.R.S., is to be painted by Sir W. B. Richham. The port was designed by the Government of the
mond, R.A., and deposited in the Ashmolean Museum, in Federated Malay States to replace that of Klang, on the
commemoration of the services rendered to archæology by upper tidal reach of the river of the same name.
Dr. Evans. A general committee, representative not only jungle-covered, Rooded daily by tides, and incident to an
of this country, but of Europe and the United States of average of about 100 inches of rainfall a year. The rail
America, has been formed to carry out the project. way station and bungalows for officials and coolies were on made ground. On the formal opening of the port, The Moxon medal of the Royal College of Physicians klang was abandoned, and the river closed to sea-going of London, which is given every third year, has been vessels. Severe malaria immediately broke out amongst awarded to Dr. Jonathan Hutchinson, F.R.S. the officials and coolies employed on the railway and shipping. A commission was at once appointed, composed
At the concluding meeting of the International Con
ference on Hybridisation and Plant Breeding on Thursday of medical men, railway and works officials, and instructed
last, Veitch gold memorial medals were presented to Mr. to devise measures for the suppression of malaria and otherwise to sanitise the port.
W. Bateson, F.R.S., the president of the conference, Pr
and Prof. Maurice de commission involved an outlay of from 10,000l, to 12,000l.
Vilmorin, and silver-gilt Banksian medals to Miss E. R. The Government, without any hesitation, accepted the recommendations made by the commission; the new port
Saunders, lecturer on botany at Newnham College, and was dyked, drained, levelled, and cleared, the result being
Mr. R. H. Biffen, for eminent services rendered to scienthat since these sanitary measures were initiated there has
tific and practical horticulture. Prof. de Vilmorin, as the
representative of the Horticultural Society and the been scarcely a case of malaria at the port, and from being
Botanical Society of France, invited the society to hold its an unhealthy, shunned swamp, the port is now sought by
next conference at Paris. officials as a desirable billet. INFORMATION has reached the British Medical Journal
THE Bradshaw lecture will be delivered at the Royal that Dr. W. J. Goodhue, medical superintendent of the
College of Physicians, London, on November 6 Dr. Molokai Leper Settlement, has, after several years of
Sharkey, who will take as his subject “ Rectal Alimentaresearch, succeeded in demonstrating the bacillus of leprosy
tion"; the Fitzpatrick lectures will be given by Dr. in the mosquito (Culex pungens) and the common bed-bug
Norman Moore on November 8 and 13, and will deal (Cimex lectularius). Dr. Goodhue expresses the opinion
with the “ History of the Study of Clinical Medicine in that the bed-bug is more of a factor in the spread of
the British Islands"; and the Horace Dobell lecture by leprosy among the natives than the gnat, for the follow
Dr. F. W. Andrews, on November 15, will treat of the
“ Evolution of the Streptococci." ing reasons, that the bed-bug's invasion is noiseless and occurs during deep sleep of the victim, and secondly, the
The following courses of lectures have been arranged beds and bedding which have belonged to a leper are after for by the Royal Sanitary Institute :--one on Hygiene his death or segregation used by his family without
in its bearing on School Life," beginning on September 17, adequate disinfection.
and a special course on
“ Food and Meat Inspection,' We regret to have to
the death of Sir commencing on November 12. Alexander Moncrieff, K.C.B., F.R.S. (the inventor of the
The International Anti-Tuberculosis Conference will be " disappearing” gun which bears his name), which took
held at the Hague from September 6-8 next, when the place on Friday last at the age of seventy-seven years.
following questions will probably be discussed :—Ways of THE Athenaeum announces the death in his sixty- infection ; specific therapeutics; compulsory notification ; Seventh year, of Prof. G. A. P. Rayet, director of the cost of sanatoria ; dispensaries; tuberculosis in children ; observatory at Floirac, Bordeaux.
The annual meeting of the American Röntgen Ray instal or make use of any apparatus for wireless lele Society will take place at Niagara Falls, New York, on graphy, or transmit or receive messages by means of any August 29, 30, and 31.
such apparatus within the Sudan except the Department AN electrical manufacturers' exhibition is to be held
of Telegraphs or a duly authorised officer or official of at Bristol November and December next. The object the Sudan Government, unless such person is in possession of the exhibition will be to afford to manufacturers an of a special licence in writing from the Governor-General. opportunity of bringing the latest improvements in their
At the meeting of the Harvard College Chapter at various specialities before the notice of electrical con
Cambridge (Mass.) on June 28, the oration was delivered tractors and the public generally, and to demonstrate by Prof. E. c. Pickering, director of the college observclearly the advantages of electricity for lighting, heating,
atory. From the Boston Evening Transcript we learn and motor power purposes.
that Prof. Pickering took as his subject " The Aims of an A DISASTROUS fire broke out in the buildings of the Milan Astronomer," and dealt with it in vigorous style, pleading Exhibition on Friday last, causing the destruction of the eloquently for the internationalisation of funds and aims. Italian and Hungarian decorative art sections and of a After describing the evolution of the individual astronomer pavilion of the Italian architecture section. The damage
from the time when his main object is to earn a living to is estimated at 160,00ol.
the period when he arrives at the truer and broader aim The recently issued annual Blue-book respecting the
of increasing the world's store of knowledge, Prof. Picker
ing outlined his international plan whereby the present British Museum records a large falling off in the number of
overlapping of work and interests would be eliminated and visits paid to the Bloomsbury Museum in 1905. In recent
the science of astronomy infinitely benefited. For instance, years the numbers have been steadily increasing, and in
he suggests that rich men wishing to subsidise astronomical 1904 they reached the large total of 954,441. There has
research should exercise as much discretion as they do now been a reaction, with a loss of upwards of 140,000,
in the businesses from which they derive their riche in the number for the year being 813,659. The visits paid
order to place their gifts where the greatest need and the to the Natural History Museum show, on the other hand,
greatest facilities exist. This would entail an international a considerable improvement; thus the total number of
advisory board to administer properly the accumulated fun! visitors last year was 566,313, an increase of 95,756 over
without regard to nationality or personal interest. By such the total in 1904 and of nearly 80,000 over that of any
proceedings the young and ardent astronomer, the suitabls previous year. The number of visits recorded as having situated observatory, and the men with ideas could be been made on Sunday afternoons was 70,084, as against granted the financial help which they now so often lack, 60,909 in 1904. The average daily attendance for all open days during the year was 1560.09; for weekdays only, nomical research could be greatly promoted.
and with the assistance of which the progress of astro1600-73 ; and for Sunday afternoons, 1322.34. The total number of visits paid during the year to the department The acoustical properties of buildings form the subject of zoology by students and other persons requiring assist- of two papers, one by Mr. Wallace C. Sabine in the ance and information amounted to 11,811, as compared Proceedings of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, with 11,824 in 1904 and 11,627 in 1903.
xlii., 2 (June), and the other by M. Marage in the Comptes
rendus bearing the date April 9. Mr. Sabine states Is a result of the passage of the Bill allowing the
that the absorbing power of a room, its furniture and production and utilisation of alcohol in America for in
cushions, and of the clothing of the audience, are all dustrial purposes, without the internal revenue tax, the
capable of numerical determination, and that the time of U.S. Department of Agriculture has decided to publish a
reverberation of a given sound is also calculable bulletin, from January 1 next, when this law is to take
quantity. An important feature of the paper consisted in effect, placing before the public a collection of the best
series of experiments undertaken to determine the obtainable data on the use of alcohol in small engines. reverberation best suited to piano music. M. Marage's For this purpose Prof. Charles E. Lucke has been retained
paper deals with the corresponding conditions with regant by the department as expert to conduct a protracted series
to speech. There appears to be a unanimous consensus of investigations in the laboratories of Columbia Uni
of musical opinion that a reverberation of about 1.1 seconds versity. The bulletin, says the Scientific American, will is calculated to secure the best effect with a piano, while contain all available information of the work done on the
for speech M. Marage fixes the coefficient at from og subject both at home and abroad. It is hoped that all those second to i second for all parts of the room and all vowels interested in this question will forward to Prof. Lucke at A second part of Mr. Sabine's paper-which, by the war. Columbia University any information of which they may is a sequel to a previous one published in 1900-deals with be in possession, or inform him of the location of existing the effect of pitch on reverberation. It is to be wished data. Possessors of patents covering inventions bearing that attention were more commonly given to the study it upon the subject are invited to provide Prof. Lucke with acoustical effect; then we might get rid of the boxed-in copies of the same, and if possible to submit their piano, covered with highly absorbing draperies and jangling apparatus intended for the utilisation of alcohol, such as
ornaments, of the conventional drawing-room. The saune: vaporisers, carburetters, or complete engines. These will which this instrument is able to emit under the violent be tested in the most thorough manner, and the experi- treatment commonly applied to its keyboard are a mety ments will be conducted without any expense whatever to
travesty of music. the public, save those entailed for the transportation of the apparatus. The reports of the tests will be published in
The difficult problems in statistical mechanics aswrialet the bulletin.
with the kinetic theory of gases form the subject of:
paper of thirty-five pages in the Journal de Physique fes The Electrician states that an ordinance has been pub- June, by Prof. H. Poincaré. The paper is largely a dis lished constituting wireless telegraphy in the Sudan a cussion of points suggested by the late Prof. Willari Government monopoly by providing that no person shall , Gibbs. For simplification the author considers the con