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fittings and fixtures, should be constructed to an uniform scale of one in ten.
The packages should be in London by the end of May.
The Council cannot but believe that a design so important would commend itself to the judgment and feelings of the Ministers of Public Instruction in the before-named countries [of the Governor of Canada]; and that your Lordship, [Grace,) seeing how great a service might thus be rendered to the cause of public Education in this country, would be pleased to make known these objects [this object] to Her Majesty's Ministers at Paris, Berlin, the Hague, Copenhagen, Stockholm, Berne, and Washington, [to His Excellency,) in the hope that they [he] may be pleased to promote their accomplishment [it].
I am to add that, if your Lordship [Grace] would be so kind as to procure, for this Society, through Her Majesty's Minister or Consul, in each of those countries where a Code of Public Instruction exists, a copy of that Code [for this Society, a copy of the Codes of Public Instruction in force in each of the Colonies], together with as many as possible of the detailed regulations, including the “Time Tables,” of the several Schools, the Society would be glad to publish, at the time of the Exhibition, an English synopsis of the whole; and it could not fail to have a very valuable influence among the more enlightened members of the numerous public bodies that promote public Education in this country.
I have the honour to be, My Lord, [Duke, Your Lordship's [Grace's] most obedient humble servant, (Signed) P. LE NEve Foster, Secretary.
EDINBURGH CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AND MANUFACTURES.
The annual report of the proceedings of this Chamber during the past twelve months, shows that its attention has been particularly directed to twenty-three topics of public interest, besides many other matters of minor or lesser importance. As might be anticipated, proposed improvements in the law, especially of the law of bankruptcy, of Lord Brougham's bankruptcy bill, and of the means of improving and assimilating the mercantile laws of the United Kingdom, have occupied a large share of the time of the Chamber. In regard to the latter object it would appear that the Chamber has made representations to the Lord Chancellor, as to the composition of the Royal Commission, which was appointed to inquire into the subject last year, and has expressesd its belies that any report issuing from the Commission as at present constituted, would not be received by the mercantile interests of Scotland, as unprejudiced or satisfactory. So far as was known the only step of importance yet taken by the Commission, had been to issue a set of queries upon the law of partnership, particularly with a yiew to the limited responsibility of partners, even in o trading companies. As to the question of Colonial 9tage, the report alludes to the deputation to the Earl of Aberdeen last session, and to his refusal to comply with the wishes of the requisitionists; and that the subject has now, it is said, been placed in the hands of a Treasury Commission for examination. In regard to the Patent Laws the report says “In the improvement of the laws regulating the granting of patents for the United Kingdom, the Chamber taken a deep interest. During the passing of the Bill for that purpose, it appeared to the Chamber that the interests of Scotland were overlooked, and a petition was *ordingly presented to Parliament, pointing out those particulars which they wished amended in the Bill, and hey had the satisfaction of obtaining what they sought. But the provisions thus obtained in regard to sending true #. of all Patents and Specifications to the office in inburgh, there to form ‘Records for inspection and "idence for the convenience of the people in Scotland,
never were complied with. This was regarded as too troublesome and expensive, and a Bill was actually introduced into Parliament to repeal them, and to furnish imperfect documents and information instead thereof. The Chamber immediately took steps to prevent the infliction of what they regarded as a wanton outrage on the country, the violation of a settled compact. A Petition was presented against the Bill, and communications made to various public bodies, calling their attention to the subjects, and in a subsequent Petition a proposal was suggested by which the object might be accomplished with but very little trouble or expense. It was proposed that each Patentee should, on filing his claim, give in Three copies of all the specifications and drawings he required to lodge ; thus two copics would be to spare, one of which might be sent to Edinburgh and the other to Dublin, so that both countries might have been supplied at no other expense than the carriage of the documents. This simple expedient commended itself so much, that at first it was ageeed to; but it was soon regarded as too great a boon and rejected, and various schemes fallen upon to defeat the object. But at length, in consequence of the Representations not only of the Chamber, but of the Town-Council, Merchant Company, and other public bodies, particularly the convention of Royal Burghs (to whose able and intelligent agent, Mr. J. W. Mackenzie, the country owes a deep debt of gratitude on this occasion), supported as they were by the Duke of Buccleuch, the Earl of Eglinton, and other patriotic noblemen, the members for the city, and other influential members of the Lower House, and also by the Irish members, these schemes were defeated; and although the simple, inexo plan of the Chamber, whereby originals would have been lodged both at Edinburgh and Dublin, was refused, another was adopted by which copies are transmitted within about three weeks of their being filed, and these copies are accompanied by copics of all the drawings, &c., originally given in. A large hiatus yet remains, several hundreds being still awanting for that period of about nine months, during which the provisions of the first Act were not complied with. These yet remain to be supplied, although the Act required them to be sent “forth with '; and in consequence, the Record cannot be made at once so useful aud beneficial to the public as it ought to be. This may, perhaps, demand the further attention of the Chamber.” The present state of the Trigonometrical Survey in Scotland is considered highly satisfactory. The general scale adopted is that of six inches to the mile. Towns which exceed 4000 inhabitants are laid down to a scale of five feet to an inch; those under that amount to two feet to a mile. An investigation into the geological structure and mineral wealth of Scotland is, it is said, about to be commenced, under the direction of Sir Henry De la Beche and Professor Ramsay : and this, it is hoped, would lead to the establishment of a Museum of Economic Geology in Edinburgh. . The Admiralty Surveys of the principal ports are likewise in an advanced state. The subject of meteorological observations at sea has also received attention, and “a committee was appointed by the Chamber to consider and report on a plan proposed by the American government for the registering and collating, by a general plan of observations, among the principal commercial nations, the direction of the winds and currents of the ocean.” The Committee postponed meeting, in consequence of the Brussels Conference. “The importance of having correct wind and current charts is fully appreciated by the mercantile world, and is too obvious to require comment. A second conference, it is understood, is now about to be held by representatives from the principal governments in Europe and America, for the purpose of combining the observations taken on land with those taken at sea, with the view of rendering those charts more perfect, as also for more fully elucidating the laws which govern atmospheric phenomena, and their influence upon the seasons and the products of the earth.” The subject of Decimal Coinage, “which was remitted to a committee of the Chamber for consideration, was reported upon by that committee; and that report, which proceeded from the pen of Charles Lawson, Esq., of Borthwick, its convener, having been considered by the Chamber, was, on 18th April last, unanimously approved, adopted, and ordered to be transmitted to her Majesty's government, recommends—1st. That the existing sovereign or pound shall be the unit or integer of account. 2nd. That the florin (already existing) represent the tenth part of the unit or pound; and 3rd. That a coin representing the 1000th part of a pound, or the 100th part of a florin, to be called a millet, be also issued. These three coins to form the money of account, in which all numerical computation will be simple and easy, and capable of being worked out by the common rules of arithmetic. Besides these, the report recommends, for the convenience of the public, that half-sovereigns, half florins, a 20 millet piece, a 10, a 5, and a half-millet piece, should also be issued.”
ANALYSES OF RAW MATERIALS USED IN CALICO PRINTING IN INDIA.
In a recent number of this Journal, No. 55, page 56, a description was given of the cotton printing process of Tattah, by Lieutenant C. J. Steuart, and it was stated hat a number of rudely cut blocks, the tools with which they were cut, and the calicoes as printed from these blocks, in different styles of the process, as well as the various dying materials alluded to, had been forwarded by the court of directors of the East India Company to the Manchester Commercial Association. The dying materials were four in number, and consisted of a reddish earth called “meth,” and three tanning substances bearing the names of sakoon, huleleh, and hoongootarah, used in printing madder goods, as Aleppo galls are used in this country by Turkey red dyers. These substances are all vegetable, viz. the gall of the Tamarisk Indica, the flower of the Tamarisk, and the kernel and pericarp of the fruit of the Terminalia Belerica. They were placed in the hands of Professor Crace Calvert, for careful analysis, having reterence to their utility in this country, in calico printing, and he has made a report to the Manchester Commercial Association, from which the following is extraeted:—
“The red meth, which, according to Mr. C. J. Steuart's most interesting report, is used in Sindh by the calico printers for thickening their colours, and also for mixing with alum, is a substance admirably suited for these pur poses, as it |. the curious property, when moistened with small quantity of water, of crumbling into powder in a similar manner to quicklime, and thus enabling it, to form, with water an homogeneous paste. The alumina which this clay contains enables it, when mixed with alum, to remove a part of its sulphuric acid,thus producing a basic alum, which replaces in the hand of the Sindh calico printer the red mordant or aceto-sulphate of alumina used in England. The analysis of the meth gives an insight into the modification which the earth called ‘mooltailee muttee" (which exists so abundantly in Sindh) proabably undergoes to give rise to its formation; for, if the clay be treated with weak hydro-chloric acid, the peroxide of iron, the alumina and combined silica are removed, leaving as a residuum some white anhydrous silica. These facts induce me to believe that the ‘mooltanee muttee' earth is a double silicate of alumina and protoxide of iron, which latter substance, under the influence of the atmosphere, becomes peroxidised, liberating the silica which is found free in the meth. As to the excess of silica still remaining, I cannot well form a correct opinion as to its source of production, not having at my disposal any of the earth called ‘mooltanee muttee.' The t proportion of chloride of sodium which exists in meth deserves serious consideration, as it is probable that
near the locality from whence the sample of clay was obtained beds of common salt exist.
“ANALYSIS OF METH.
Silica . - - - - , 69.30 Alumina - - - - - . 6:34 Peroxide of iron . - - - , 7-28 Protoxide of iron . - - - ... •24 Chlorides of sodium and potassium ... 3-40 Organic matter . - - - ... 3-20 Water . - - - - - ... 10.00 Loss . - - - - - ... •24
Total . - - ... 100.00
. I shall now draw attention to the three varieties of tan: ning substances which you have placed in my hands, and which, according to Mr. Steuart's report, are employed in Sindh for printing madder goods, for the same !. that Aleppo galls are used in this country by Turkey red dyers. As some of these substances may prove of value to the manufacturing districts, I thought it would be desirable to determine the amount of tanning matters which they contained:—
Pericarp of the Kernels of Flower Huleleh, fruit the fruit of of the of the Termina- the Termina. . Tamarisk. lia Belerica. lia Belerica.
30°25... 52'00 ......... 6-0
sakoon and huleleh, containing as they do nearly as great a proportion of tanning matter as Aleppo galls, could, if imported in larger quantities and at a low rate, be employed with advantage by the tanners of this country. With respect to the application of these three tanning matters in dyeing, I wish to draw especial attention to two of them ; firstly,–sakoon, which substance has lately been imported by Mr. Patiente of this city, under the name of Bockhara galls; and although it contains so great a proportion of tannic acid, still it is free or nearly so from gallic acid, consequently it gives a beautiful jet black, superior to that produced by Aleppo galls, with iron mordant of an identical strength. It also produces with alumina superior olives and yellows. Secondly,–Koongootarah, or Tamarisk flowers. These flowers are highly interesting, as they give, with iron and alumina mordants, or a mixture of the two, several useful and distinct colours. For example—I have, with an iron mordant, obtained a black superior to any that could be produced from other substances; with alumina a fine yellow, and with a mixture of the two mordants, very superior shades of olive. As to huleleh, it does not appear that it can be advantageously applied in dyeing, on account of its containing, besides tannin, a brownish yellow colouring principle, which not only gives to the blacks a brown greenish hue, but also spoils the alumina colours and dirties the white. I forward with this report some samples of calico dyed at the same temperature and with the same weight of each tanning substance as compared with the best Aleppo galls.”
CONSUMPTION OF SMORE.
The principle adopted by Messrs. James Hume and Co., at the Haymarket Flour-mills, Edinburgh, is that of obtaining more perfect combustion of the smoke, by exposing it to an extensive heated surface, and by the admission behind this heated surface of fresh unconsumed air which causes its ignition. It is applied to a double-furnace Cornish boiler of an engine of 90 horse power, and the coals used are all Scotch, and consist of one-third dross and two-thirds mixed coal. At the further end of each furnace the space between the level of the bars and the roof of the flue is divided into eight spaces by seven bricks, each 3 feet 6 inches long, 4 inches thick at the bottom
and ; of an inch thick at the top; and o; to the under side of the boiler, so that they vary in depth or height, with the radius of the boiler flue, from 14 inches in the centre to 6 inches at the sides. From their position at the end of the furnace these bricks soon attain, and preserve, a white and red heat, and separate the smoke which must pass through them to the flue. The fresh air is admitted at the further end of the ash pit, immediately under the furnace, by an air valve, 15 inches by 5 inches, which is very simply and readily worked by a rod under the bars, terminating with a handle just under the furnace door. Should the draft admit of it, the air valve can remain open, or it may be opened only when coaling. The apparatus has been in constant use for the last six months, and continues to give entire satisfaction.
****** * *to
PERLEY's PATENT CAPSTAN.
The improved capstan, of which the above cut repre** general view, has been for some time in very ex** use in the United States of America, but has only *ently been introduced into this country.
The action is extremely simple, and is rendered sufficiently clear by the above cut, without a detailed des. option of its construction. The various parts are so *nged as to cause a small amount of friction, not to Pont any difficulties whatever in practice, and to preYo any injury which might arise from water gathering to the working parts.
The inconveniences of the old form of capstans are too * known to require enumeration. Perley's patent *P*; instead of requiring a large space for the men to “walk.” round it, may be placed in any convenient corner. It takes little more room than a ship's-pump. It is, in fact, *Powerfuland very convenient vertical windlass, worked by Pump handle levers, a more effective mode, as any meo:knows, than the horizontal working of the common aps
The capstan may be worked in either direction, by *ly oversing the rachets, and, if required, by the old mode of horizontal levers.
It is said, that during the last three years, 475 of these ...; boing about one for every two days, have been
"in the United States, and almost all the vessels sail
ing from New York to London have one or more of them on board. . Certificates signed by the United States navy constructor at Brooklyn, by several eminent ship-builders of New York, Boston, and Portsmouth (U.S.), and by the captains of several well-known vessels, speak in high terms of this capstan, as enabling the men to exert their power to better advantage than any other with which they ar acquainted.
DIPPING AND APPARENT LIGHTS.
At the meeting of the Royal Scottish Society of Arts
on Monday January 23, a Paper on " Dipping and Appa, rent Lights for sunk reefs and pier-heads of harbours, with descriptions of an Apparent Light erected in 1851 by the Commissioners of Northern Lighthouses, on a sunk rock in the Bay of Stornoway “ was read by Mr. Thomas Stevenson. The author described the plan of dipping lights as being applicable to cases where the rocks or shoals whose position required to be indicated were surrounded with sufficient sea-room to enable vessels to pass to and fro without approaching near to the rocks themselves. The dipping %. instead of throwing its beam of parallel rays to the horizon, in the same manner as ordinary lights, throws it downward at some given angle of depression to suit the distance of the rocks from the shore, so that, whenever a vessel crosses the margin of safety, the dipping light is seen, and she has ample time to change her course. The apparent light is useful for sunk rocks in narrow sounds, where the fairway is not broad, and where the dangers must be passcd very closely; also for pierheads at the mouths of artificial harbours, and such like situations. The apparent light at the entrance to Stornoway Bay, in the Hebrides, is erected on a sunk rock distant about 630 feet from the lighthouse on the shore, and consits of a hermetically sealed lantern containing certain forms of optical apparatus, upon which a beam of light is thrown from the lighthouse ashore. The effect of this apparatus is to reassemble the rays in a focus, from which they again diverge, presenting to vessels entering the bay the appearance of a real light on the beacon, when, in fact, there is none. The apparatus necessory for illuminating, floating buoys on the same principal was also explained, and the paper was concluded with extracts from letters from ten dio shipmasters, who certified to the utility of the beacon light in all wea. thers. The distances to which it had been seen varied from one to one and a half miles—distances greatly beyond the wants of the locality,
METEOROLOGY OF THE PAST QUARTER,
At the last meeting of the British Meteorological Society, Mr. J. Glaisher, F.R.S., read a paper “On the Meteorology of the past Quarter, in connection with the Fall of Snow at the beginning of the Year.”
After acknowledging his obligations to those gentlemen who had contributed observations, Mr. Glaisher proceeded to discuss, separately, each element of investigation. The mean daily temperature of the air was shown to have departed, most below its average between lat. 51° and 53°. This head of country was subjected to a continuance of low temperature for the long period of two months, and was likewise remarkable for the pre valence of dense fog, which were of almost daily occur. rence during November, at times nearly envelo ing the whole country. The rigorous weather which ushered in the present year, was most severely felt over the midland counties, where the reading of the thermometer was as low as zero. In London and its vicinity, it fell to 139, 12°, 11°, and 10°, on the morning of the 3rd, and it was at the time of these low readings that the heavy fall of . snow took place. The average amount of snow upon the level about London was twelve inches, and averaged deepen between latiti e 51° and 538 than elsewhere. On
the Norfolk coast it was 18 inches deep, but at Whitehaven scarcely an inch fell, and in parts of Northumberland none at all. Parts of Cornwall were exeropt, and there was little at the Isle of Wight. At the Isle of Man it fell to the depth of eight inches, and drifted to about ten feet. The greatest drifts recorded were about 15 feet. In connection with the cold, as falling beneath his own observation, Mr. Glaisher remarked that trees in his immediate neighbourhood, Blackheath, were sheathed with ice for some days previous to January 4, when it began to break and fall to the ground in fragments bearing the curvature of the branches they had encased. On the severity of the weather mitigating, the ground was literally strewn with these fragments. Animals ordinarily exposed on the adjacent heath perished from the cold, and two were frozen to death beneath the snow; birds frozen dead from the trees were picked up in the vicinity of the author's house. Mr. Glaisher addressed the meeting at some length upon the chrystalised flakes mingled with the snow which fell during the very severe period at the beginning of the year, and produced for distribution a number of photographic copies of such as had fallen beneath his own observation. As specimens of an entirely novel application of photography to the purpose of meterology they were well received. In conclusion Mr. Glaisher detailed at some length various observations made by himself upon the beautiful encrustations seen in hoar-frost upon differently exposed and radiating surfaces,
SIR,--I have striven hard to discover some logic in Mr. Denison's reply to Mr. Webster's paper, and find only the truth of the proverb “Of nothing, nothing comes.” Mr. Denison professes to be a practical man, and eschews philosophy and metaphysics altogether in a question of patents. He rests his argument almost entirely on authority, a defective Jolio of the lawyer mind,incessantly quoting precedent. He remarked, “What was property? Property in the funds, houses, lands, &c., was acquired by getting hold of that which formerly belonged to some one else.” This is a strange proposition, but, to be effective, it becomes essential to assume that there never was a period of land withou townership, otherwise the link fails. Trace up the parchments till we come to our first parent in the male line, with his deed of gift of the whole world from the Creator, or there will be a lache! It will be a bad title. But Mr. Denison means, probably, that “getting hold" no matter how, of something that belongs to another, settles the question. If so, the argument cuts two ways . If the patentee can “get hold” of something that formerly belonged to another, he has an equal right. The present incomer in the exclusive land pays his money for possession for ever, and the patent incomer on the exclusive manufacture pays his money to the general public, and also his money's worth, for possession for fourteen years. It is most unwise in men of “real property” to set up this ar. gument, for they will be required to show what return they give to the public for their claims for rent, on land, and royalties |. runs the word), on coal, iron, and other minerals. They do nothing for the public, they scheme nothing, plan nothing, devise nothing, work at nothing, encounter no man's scoffs', heed no capitalists opposition. They simply block the passage and demand black mail, the amount of which is regulated only by the competition of the royalty holders. For patent royalties a guid pro qui is given. Mr. Denison says “the patent laws give to mankind a right, which, without them they would not have.” Does he really mean this—mankind?—If given to mankind—which is really the case, inasmuch as they benefit
all mankind—mankind do not suffer. But probably he does not mean mankind but only “the patent people, and patent men, and patent persons,” whom he superciliously scoffs at under his retaining brief in the land interest. Well, then, let us vary the venue, and read— “The real property laws give to mankind a right, which, without them, they would not have ; i.e., to landed people, mine men, and similar persons.” I do not find the phrase “patent person” in the report, but a hearer repo it to me verbally. I would, therefore, remind Mr. Denison that the “person” derived from the per sono of the old dramatic masks of actors with a tube in the mouth—whence dramatispersona—would apply better to a pleader at the bar than to a patentee. The pleader is the person, the “by-sound,” the dramatic actor, paid for his vocabulary of words. The patentee is but a worker, urged into voice of remonstrance by the class injustice that would monopolise all materials on which mind has to work, and make “free warren” of ideas. Mr. Denison is peculiarly unfortunate in his quotations of authorities, he said— o “It was admitted that patentees generally lost money, although there were some great and famous exceptions. Watt made money, but he had it on the authority of Lord Brougham, that he would have made more money without his patents, although they had been extended to him for thirty years by Act of Parliament.” If Mr. Denison had said the opinion of Lord Brougham it might have stood quantum valeat—at its value. But when he uses the term “authority,” he challenges contradiction. What makes Lord Brougham an authority? Certainly not law, for Mr. Denison must know well that lawyers scoff at his legal lore. Not his science, for men of depth call him “sciolist,” and the working men in Southampton-buildings, “turned to" and demolished his treatise on “hydrostatics.” Not his logic, for he was ever the most erratic of all public men. The value of Henry Brougham to the public is, that he was ever an impulsive advocate for progress, with generous emotion, whose heart was better than his head, and kept him straight in the main, in spite of his numerous crotchets. But for this he would be Vaux et preteria nihil. Mr. Watt could probably well afford to dispense with patents after attaining fame and capital, but how to find a Bolton to enable him to attain this fame and capital without a monopoly to tempt him, would have been a difficult problem. As an obscure maker of instruments he was only a “ schemer'—as a known capitalist he was recognized as a national benefactor. To return to Lord Brougham. Many years back a certain Reverend Mr. Hardy devised an improved method of making axles for carriages and shafts for mill-work, and procured a patent for it. A company was got up to work it, and it dragged on a precarious existence for a few years, when the whole concern fell into the hands of two or three persons, patentee and friend all disappearing from the scene. The business then became a flourishing one. But in due time the patent expired, or was about to expire, so the owners of the business sought out the unfortunate patentee, and agreed to give him £300 per annum for his aid in getting them a renewal of the tent. There was the usual statement of loss, which rd Brougham overhauled and dissected with some acumen, and finally only granted the seven years' renewal on consideration that the patentee of the improvement should receive £700 per annum instead of the £300 offered. It is clear, therefore, that Lord Brougham thought the patentee a useful and meritorious individual. And it is also clear that but for the patent there would have been no company. The patent monopoly was the basis on which people took shares. Mr. Denison says, “Sir W. Cubitt opposed the patent laws, and so did Mr. Brunel—no mean authority.” This is sheer absurdity—a special pleading. Show us
that either of them possess the mental capacity of legislators, or it amounts to nothing---worse than nothing—if it can be shown that the rise of the patentee has a tendency to lessen the prestige of the engineer—positive evi. dence in favour of the patent laws, if it could be shown that the engineer was a jealous and ungenerous man, anxious to keep down rising merit, and arrogate all originality to himself. The evidence of Mr. Ricardo, that the Electric Telegraph Company buy up patents, is a proof that the patents interfere with monopolies. But for new patents the electric telegraph would have remained a giant monopoly— the monopoly of capitalists for an unlimited period; for no individual would have worked at improvements that the company could instantly have taken, when perfected; and it is only individuals who perform the originating work. Oersted's discovery would have remained as a scientific fact, had not Cooke and Wheatstone been stimulated by the proposed patent advantage. Mr. Ricardo may well dislike patents, for his company has spent much money in trying to hedge in the patent-cuckoo unsuccessfully, and beholds other companies as successful as his own, with less outlay, upon new patents. The truth is, that all capitalists like monopolies, and wish to obtain them by many other means than patents, and they do not like patents, because they are not praetical monopolies, but only monopolies in aid of skill and originality, but liable eventually to be tripped up by newer patents, unless the originating brain be constantly on the watch. The capitalist does not like the constant fret; he wants to be easy, and acquire a funded property, with a sure and certain ten per cent. return. But for originators, existing things would be undisturbed, and existing capital in ships, buildings, and machinery, a permanent quantity But for patents there would be few originators; and therefore it is easy to comprehend that capitalists invested cannot look lovingly on disturbers. The mere capitalist is ever gravitating--the inventor is incessantly elastic. If the capitalists were canvassed, it would probably be found that those in favour of patents would be those profiting by them, and the opponents those not possessing them, and sore displeased with their neighbours' stealing a march upon them. If Mr. Denison cites Mr. Ricardo as witness, it must not be on the subject of patents, in which he is interested. If Sir William Cubitt, it may be as an engineer, but not as a legislator; if Mr. Brunel, no man can be more at home as to the most telling mode of giving evidence for or against a railway, or how to escape an admission; but to set him especially up as an authority on patents, when he has declared his maximum price to an inventor to be 21. to 5!, perinvention, to merge into the name and reputation of the capitalist or engineer is begging the question in too barefaced a manner. We will receive Professor Airy as an authority on astronomy, De la Beche for sound doctrine on geology, and Faraday as a chemist—though certainly not as a propounder of patent law—if it be true that, he invented gaslight improvements, and allowed his brother to patent them surreptitiously. We would not object to the authority of Ikey Solomons on the subject of stolen goods, and we can receive Mr. Denison himself as an expounder of the principle of special pleading. Whether this specialpleading faculty is of any benefit to the nation at large in a moral point of view is one question, but assuredly it is not the faculty to which a nation can entrust the power of passing laws of progress. One more sentence. Mr. Denison says, “They could not have manufactures in secret; or, if they could do so, he would tell any man that it was better than a patent, because, by secrecy, they would avoid litigation, while with the patent laws they were sure of nothing but litigation.” - - - . It is quite clear that so long as the power of legislation is entrusted to lawyers, laws will be framed in the very best mode to ensure that litigation by which the lawyers live. If the lawyer's gain were made to depend on the
absence of litigation, i.e., if they gained more by the absence than by the reverse, as it is said the state physician of China only receives his salary while the Emperor is in health, a very different result would obtain. Mr. Denison lays great stress on the opinions of Lord Granville and Mr. Scott Russell, the more especially as “the latter was an inventor.” Will he be good enough to state what Mr. Russell has invented and brought into successful use 2 There is one sentence of Mr. Denison's quite conclusive, as to the advantage of patents to the public, and the absence of disadvantage : : “The opinion given by that jury of the Great Exhibition, of which Sir David Brewster was Chairman,” was, “that a greater portion of the goods exhibited in their section had been made to avoid patents.” That is, the patents stimulated further improvements, which rendered the patents valueless. What more could the public desire 2—further “The improvements in photography had been merely owing to the original patents having failed, and to Mr. Fox Talbot on being requested by a committee to give up his patents, because they were an obstacle to improvement having done so.” And if Mr. Fox Talbot had not taken the patents, the chances are that photography would have lain longer in abeyance. His liberality only lessened the interval to their improved use. Without his liberality the public would have waited a little longer, yet still not so long as if he had not invented at all. Waiting the further report of the discussion, I am, Sir, yours, &c., COSMOS. January 28, 1854.
SIR,--Allow me, through the medium of your journal, to address a few propositions to the members of literary and other institutions, in an endeavour to point out to them how desirable it would be to have a paper which shall more closely unite them than they are at present. This being an age of progress—a period which has become a new starting point in the era of literature and science— it is, I conceive, the duty of every person to contribute, much or little, to the general fund of knowledge, for the benefit of his fellow-men.
I propose that a paper be issued monthly, containing some original articles from members of the several institutions in union. This will be the means of discovering talent, for I have always observed, that unless there is some incentive, many are unwilling to place their crude ideas into a readable form, but if they find there is a probability and method of being useful, they will endeavour to write upon some subject. That each secretary furnish a report critique upon the lectures delivered during the month, the report to be an outline of the subject. This will give a great insight into various sciences. The plans of management adopted by two institutions from their foundation, and the success they have met with, should be given each month, to afford a large fund for the observations of committees, to guide them in their future regulations, and also the monthly operations of each society. Reviews of books and new inventions might also be given. Learned bodies would, I have no doubt, contribute, and thus a paper might be formed of great usefulness not only to institutions, but to private individuals. The expense of printing could be defrayed by subscription, and could be published at the office of the Journal, where the editor could reside. The price should not be more than 5d. stamped.
With a hope that these suggestions will meet with the support ofthe institutions, I am, Sir, yours very faithfully,
High-street, Croydon, 26th January, 1854.