of the rooms whose contents we have already endeavoured to describe is more popular with the general public than this one. The recent discoveries in Electricity have been so valuable, and have brought the practical application of the science so much into direct contact, so to say, with every man's private life, that it is no wonder that this should be the case. It is only necessary to point to the development of electro-metallurgy, and of the electric telegraph, to prove the truth of the remark.

Machines for exciting electricity by friction are represented in all their various forms; we have the old arrangement of the cylinder and globe, Winter's improved plate machine, Armstrong's hydro-electric machine, and the induction machines of Holtz, Bertsch, Töpler, &c. The Leyden Jar, sent by the Teyler Foundation of Haarlem, should be noticed; it has five and a half square feet of coated surface, and is one of a battery of 100 similar jars used by Van Marum.

Galvanic batteries are, as might be expected, numerously shown. A set of elements, each one on a separate system, is contributed by the Conservatoire des Arts et Métiers. Mr. Warren De la Rue has sent 40 cells of his great chloride of silver battery which consists of 8,040 cells. Sir W. Grove's gas battery is shown by the London Institution. There are also several thermo-electric batteries, which are now being used for industrial purposes as electro-plating.

Of induction coils, one of the most remarkable is that of M. Ruhmkorff, which will give a spark of 18 inches, capable of piercing a 2-inch cube of glass. An immense coil, made by Mr. Adie for the Polytechnic Institution, has lately been added to the collection. This mammoth instrument is 9 ft. 10 in. in length, has a primary wire 3,770 yards long, and 150 miles of secondary wire.

The magneto-electric machine is represented by several fine examples, especially those shown by the Société de l'Alliance of Paris. New and powerful machines of this class, inveuted by M. Gramme, are exhibited by M. Bréguet and M. Fontaine of Paris. A regulating electric lamp, on Foucault's principle, and constructed by Duboscq, is kept burning by one of these machines, driven by steam power.

The great discovery made by Faraday of an electric current induced by the action of the magnet, the principle on which the action of the magneto-electric machine depends, is completely illustrated by the original apparatus used by the celebrated philosopher. These are contributed by the Royal Institution and King's College, and also by Mrs. Faraday.

Instruments for measuring the potential of electricity are numerously exhibited; Sir William Thomson contributes a series of electro-meters, illustrating the improvements which he has successively introduced into this class of instrument.

Galvanometers also, of different designs and for various purposes, are sent to the exhibition by manufacturers from all parts of Europe. In connection with these instruments we should not

omit to notice a relic of great historical interest; this is the original work table of Ampère, the discoverer of the laws of the mutual action of voltaic currents, and the apparatus actually used by him in experimenting, lent to the exhibition by the Collége de France.

So great and rapid has been, during the last few years, the progress of electric telegraphy, that no surprise will be felt at its applications being very largely represented in the exhibition. Foremost, the authorities of our own Post Office have sent a complete series of instruments illustrating the entire history of the electric telegraph in this country, from the earliest needle instruments of Wheatstone and Cooke in 1837, to the modern printing and writing instruments on the Morse system now in general use. The Imperial Telegraphic Department of Germany also show the apparatus employed in that country. The French Telegraphs Department, in addition to some electrical apparatus, has sent models of the old aerial telegraph, on the systems of Chappé and Monge, in use before the invention of the electric telegraph. Mr. Culley exhibits a portion of the first telegraphic line laid by Cooke and Wheatstone in 1837, between Euston and Camden Stations, and Mr. T. R. Crampton a piece of the first submarine cable laid by him in 1851 between Dover and Calais. Earlier attempts at communication by electricity before the practicable invention of Wheatstone and Cooke, are illustrated by a portion of the telegraph laid by Sir F. Ronalds in his own garden in 1816, which is sent by Mr. Latimer Clark; also by photographs of the original telegraph apparatus used by Gauss and Weber, lent by the University of Göttingen.

Magnetism.-Of natural magnets we have the largest ever known, contributed by the Teyler Foundation at Haarlem; its weight, including the armature, is 335 lbs., and it will sustain a mass of iron weighing 250 lbs. The same institution also sends a large artificial permanent magnet weighing 62 lbs., which will keep in suspension a weight of 440 lbs. M. Jamin and M. Bréguet, of Paris, exhibit some large and powerful magnets constructed by the former of thin steel plates. Horse-shoe magnets of the metal nickel are shown by Mr. Gore, F.R.S., and the Edinburgh Science and Art Museum. Electro-magnets for

experiments on diamagnetism come from Messrs. Elliott and Dr. Stone. Dr. Joule contributes a powerful electro-magnet, which when fully excited will retain its armature with a force of upwards of a ton. Tubular electro-magnets are exhibited by Mr. Faulkner, of Manchester.

The glass tubes prepared by Faraday for testing the magnetic and diamagnetic character of gases, are lent by the Royal Institution; also a box containing spheres, cubes, and bars of diamagnetic metals, tubes of various liquids, crystals, &c., used by Faraday in his researches on diamagnetism, is contributed by Professor Tyndall.

An instructive series of dip and intensity instruments is lent for exhibition by the Hydrographic Department of the Admiralty.

Instruments of various kinds for observing the diurnal and horal variations of the magnet, on the plan suggested by Gauss and Weber, are shown by several German exhibitors. Photographs of the apparatus now in use at the Magnetic Observatory of the University of Göttingen, where Gauss worked and made his great discoveries of the laws of terrestrial magnetism, are also shown.

Exhibited in this room, though not belonging to either of these sections, is the "Times" type-composing machine, of which some notice is necessary. Machines for composing and distributing type are no novelty; specimens of both are shown in the section of Applied Mechanics. The peculiarity of the machine now before us is that the distributing machine is replaced by an apparatus for melting and casting; by this arrangement are saved the labour and time of distributing the type which, even with the aid of machinery, is considerable.

Having now taken a rapid view of the Exhibition, there is but a very small space left to describe the means adopted to extend the advantages of the collection beyond the scientific man, to whom naturally it would be a centre of interest, to the general public, whose scientific knowledge would be more or less limited. The arrangements for this purpose were very complete and successful. For men of science, and those whose acquaintance with the instruments is familiar, a series of conferences were constituted somewhat on the principle of the meetings of the British Association, in which any one introducing some new experimental apparatus could explain its construction and object, and where, also, men of position in science should describe the latest developments of scientific research as illustrated by the instruments sent for exhibition in the collection. For the purposes of these conferences the sciences represented in the Exhibition were grouped under Physics and Astronomy, over which Mr. W. Spottiswoode, F.R.S., presided; Mechanics and Mathematics, President, Dr. Siemens; Chemistry under Professor Frankland; Biology, President, Dr. Burdon-Sanderson; Geography, Geology, and Meteorology, presided over by Mr. John Evans, F.R.S. The conferences were held during the latter part of May; unfortunately, at this time of the year, most of the scientific men on the Continent are entirely occupied with their duties as professors and teachers, and in consequence the number of those able to attend was not as large as could have been wished.

During the summer months series of lectures on the instruments in the Exhibition were delivered by some of the most eminent scientific men in the country. These were especially intended for science teachers, but were also open to the public on payment. For the general public gratuitous evening lectures on different branches of science were given throughout the summer, and were numerously attended.

The first step, then, towards the formation of a museum of physical and mechanical apparatus, as recommended by the Commission on Scientific Instruction, has now been made. That it has been a successful one is, as we venture to think, undeniable. But how and by what it is to be followed up is still a matter of uncertainty. Of course much of the apparatus sent to the Exhibition must necessarily be returned to the contributors; a large number of instruments, however, representative of discoveries and research in the whole field of science, would still be available to form the groundwork of a collection of the character indicated. A building for such a museum would not be wanting, for the Commissioners of the Exhibition of 1851 have offered the munificent sum of £100,000 in aid of erecting it, and the scheme meets with the almost unanimous assent of the scientific men of the country. In a memorial addressed to the Lord President of the Council, and signed by the President of the Royal Society, and all the members of the Committee of the Exhibition, it is urged that the objects which may be voluntarily left, or can be purchased at the close of the Loan Collection, will, with those contributed from the existing Patent Museum, and other public departments, be highly suitable to form the nucleus of a Museum of Pure and Applied Science.


In a future volume of the Companion to the British Almanac," the establishment of this Museum will, we hope, be recorded. If the success of the Special Loan Exhibition may be taken as an omen, that of the Museum, to which it should be the stepping-stone, is assured.


FOR upwards of a century the possibility of constructing some kind of mechanical apparatus, by means of which the simpler descriptions of needle-work might be performed in an easier, cheaper, and more expeditious manner than by hand, had repeatedly engaged the attention of thoughtful and enterprising mechanicians, but it was not until within the last thirty or forty years that any results of a really practical and encouraging nature were obtained. Even so late as the period of the Great Exhibition in Hyde Park, the sewing machine, then a novelty to the general public, was regarded chiefly in the light of a mechanical curiosity. Its ingenious character was readily admitted, but its many obvious defects, all of which have since been remedied, occasioned a widely-spread disbelief in its utility for industrial purposes. Moreover, the prices given for needle-work were so extremely low, in consequence of the great superabundance of labour, that it seemed impossible still further to reduce them by

encouraging the use of machinery in place of hand labour. Yet, in less than ten years afterwards, the sewing machine had found its way into hundreds of establishments, principally in the United States, in which boots, shoes, and various other articles of male and female clothing, were produced in vast quantities; having completely revolutionised several leading manufacturing industries, and assisted in creating others of no mean extent and importance. According to official statistics published by the Government of the United States there were, in that country alone, in 1862, no less than 300,000 sewing machines in actual use, of which about 75,000 were to be found in private families. These figures will assist in furnishing some idea of the extent to which a considerable portion of American manufacturing industry had become affected by the introduction of the new invention.

To an American inventor, Mr. Elias Howe, belongs the honour of being the first to produce a really efficient mechanical contrivance for making stitches with a needle and thread, or rather two threads, in the same manner as if produced by the human fingers. But it would appear that on more than one occasion the successful result of Mr. Howe's labours had very nearly been anticipated in this country, for the records of the English Patent Office contain the specifications of a patent granted, so far back as 1790, to one Thomas Saint, of the city of London, for "an entire new method of making and compleating shoes, boots, spatterdashes, clogs, and other articles by means of tools or machines," invented by him for that purpose. The sheet of drawings attached to this specification illustrates, among other things, a machine for "stitching, quilting, or sewing;" and a working model which was recently constructed by a firm of machine manufacturers from the drawings and details given in the specification, shows that Thomas Saint had actually invented a most efficient apparatus, although he does not appear to have entertained any suspicion of its real industrial value. As the title of the patent does not direct attention to Saint's invention, it remained unknown until about a couple of years ago, when it was discovered during a systematic examination, for official purposes, of the various records and papers in the Patent Office. In 1844, Messrs. Fisher and Gibbons, of Nottingham, invented a machine for embroidering, which not only satisfactorily answered the expectations of its inventors, but was also, although unknown to them, within an ace of becoming an efficient sewing machine. With the addition of a needle and shuttle arrangement the machine was subsequently used for sewing purposes, the manufacturers being Messrs. Grover and Baker. The manner in which certain descriptions of embroidering are effected by means of a kind of hooked needle, which assisted in forming a peculiarly shaped loop, appears, in fact, to have suggested the original idea of the sewing machine, the description of stitch known as the "chain-stitch" being merely the embroidery stitch modified and reversed.

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