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SECTION G.---MECHANICAL SCIENCE. President.-Professor Fleeming Jenkin, C.E., F.R.S. Vice-Presidents.-J. F. Bateman, F.R.S.; Admiral Sir E. Belcher, K.C.B.; F. J.
Bramwell, C.E.; Peter Le Neve Foster, M.A. ; Professor W. J. Rankine, LL.D., F.R.S.; C. W. Siemens, D.C.L., F.R.S.; Thomos Stevenson, F.R.S.E. ;
Professor James Thomson, LL.D. Secretaries.-H. Bauerman, F.G.S.; Alexander Leslie, C.E.; J. P. Smith, C.E. Report of the Council for the Year 1870–71, presented to the General
Committee at Edinburgh, on Wednesday, August 2nd, 1871. At each of their meetings during the past year the Council hare as usual received a report from the General Treasurer, as well as one from the Kew Committee. A résumé of these Reports will be laid before the General Committee this day.
The Council have had under their consideration the several resolutions, five in number, referred to them by the General Committee at Liverpool. They beg to report as follows upon the action they have taken in each case :
First Resolution-" That the discontinuance of the maintenance of Kew Observatory by the British Association having been determined on, the President and Council be authorized to communicate with the President and Council of the Royal Society, and with the Government, so that the future use of the buildings may in 1872 be placed at the disposal of the Royal Society, in case the Royal Society should desire it, under the same conditions as those buildings are at present held by the British Association,”
A copy of this resolution was forwarded by direction of your Council to the President and Council of the Royal Society. The following is the reply which one of your General Secretaries has received from Dr. Sharpey, Secretary of the Royal Society :
“The Royal Society, Burlington House,
July 8, 1871. “ DEAR DR. HIRST, --In reply to your letter of the 10th December, 1870, enclosing a copy of a resolution of the General Committee of the British Association relative to the future occupation of the buildings at Kew now held by the British Association, I am directed to acquaint you that the President and Council of the Royal Society are ready to take possession of the Observatory at Kew on the terms it is at present held from Her Majesty's Government, as stated in a letter dated 26th March 1842, addressed to the President of the British Association from the Office of Woods, &c., viz.:« during the pleasure and upon the conditions usual on such occasions, that no walls shall be broken through, and no alterations made that can affect the stability of the building, and alter its external appearance, without the previous sanction of the Board of Works.' I have further to acquaint you that the President and Council have appointed a Standing Committee of Fellows of the Royal Society for the management of the Kew Observatory in accordance with the terms of the Gassiot Trust, consisting of the following gentlemen :Mr. Warren De La Rue.
Sir Edward Sabine.
Sir Charles Wheatstone, and that £600 from the income of the Gassiot Fund has been placed at the disposal of that Committee to meet the expenses of the establishment for the ensuing year.
“I remain, yours very truly, (Signed) “W. SHARPEY, M.D., Secretary R. S.”
Through the munificence of Mr. Gassiot, therefore, the Association can, without detriment to science, give up possession of the Kew Observatory at once instead of in 1872, as was originally contemplated. Your Council accordingly recommend that Government should be informed without further delay of the desire of the Association to see the direction and maintenance of the Kew Observatory transferred to the Royal Society.
Second Resolution.—" That the Council be empowered to cooperate with the Royal and Royal Astronomical Societies, in the event of a new application being made to Government to aid in the observation of the Solar Eclipse of December 1870."
On the 4th November a Joint Committee of the Royal and Royal Astronomical Societies decided to make a second application ; on the 5th of November your Council selected a few of their body to accompany the new deputation to Government which the above two Societies had resolved to send. The necessity for any such deputation was subsequently obviated through the intervention of private individuals, and, as is well known, aid was promptly and liberally granted by Government to the Eclipse Expedition.
Third Resolution." That the Council be requested to take such steps as they deem wisest, in order to urge upon Government the importance of introducing scientific instruction into the elementary schools throughout the country.”
A Committee of your Council having considered the subject, recommended the appointment of a deputation to wait upon the Lord President of the Council in order to urge upon him the desirability of including elementary natural science amongst the subjects for which payments are made by the authority of the Revised Code. The Council accordingly formed themselves into a deputation, and on the 13th of December 1870 had an interview with the Right Hon. W. E. Forster, M.P., Vice-President of the Committee of Council on Education, who was pleased to express his concurrence with the objects of the deputation and his willingness to carry out those objects so far as circumstances would permit.
Fourth Resolution.-" That the Council of the British Association be authorized, if it should appear to be desirable, to urge upon Her Majesty's Government the expediency of proposing to the legislature a measure to insure the introduction of the metric system of woights and measures for international purposes."
The Council deemed it expedient to postpone the consideration of this resolution.
Fifth Resolution.-" That it is inexpedient that new institutions, such as the proposed Engineering College for India, should be established by Government, until the Royal Commission now holding an inquiry into the relation of the State to scientific instruction shall have issued their report. That the Council of the British Association be requested to consider this opinion, and, should they see fit, to urge it upon the attention of Her Majesty's Government.”
The Committee appointed without loss of time to consider and report on this resolution were informed at their first meeting that the arrangements for the establishment of the College had been virtually completed. Your President, however, in accordance with the wishes of this Committee, entered into unofficial communication with the authorities at the India Office, relative to the proposed examination for entrance into the new Engincering College, and succeeded therehy in gaining for natural science, as compared with
classics, a recognition, in the form of allotted marks, which it previously did not possess.
Your Council has given considerable attention to the important question (raised at the last meeting) of a revision of the regulations relating to the proceedings of the several Sections at the annual meetings of the Association. Hitherto, it has been justly urged, these proceedings, from not having been sufficiently pre-arranged, have frequently been of too desultory and mixed a character. It is hoped that by a proper observance of the Revised Regulations which are this day to be submitted to the General Committee for approval, and by increased vigilance on the part of the Sectional Committees, much of this may be obviated, and that greater prominence may be given to, and a fuller discussion secured for, the really important communications which are annually made to the several Sections.
The Council has pleasure in informing the General Committee that the Association at length possesses a central office in London. The Asiatic Society has, in consideration of a yearly rent of £100, granted to the Association entire possession of four of their rooms at 22 Albemarle Street, and the use of another room for meetings of the Council and Committees. Your Council, moreover, acting under the power given to them by the General Committee at Liverpool, have engaged Mr. Askham as clerk at a salary of £120 a year. He is in attendance daily, and there transacts much of the business which was formerly done at the office of Messrs. Taylor and Francis, the printers to the Association. With the exception of certain works of reference, the whole of the books and MSS. formerly deposited at Kew havo been transferred to 22 Albemarle Street, and are being catalogued and rendered available for reference by Members of the Association. One of the four rooms not at present in use has been sub-let to the London Mathematical Society.
The Council having been informed by Dr. Hirst of his desire at the close of the present Meeting to resign his office as Joint General Secretary of the Association, appointed a Committee, consisting of the General Officers and former General Secretaries, to select a successor. This Committee unanimously recommended the appointment of Captain Douglas Galton, C.B., F.R.S. The Council, entirely agreeing with the Committee as to the high qualifications of Captain Galton for the office, cordially recommend his election by the General Committee at their meeting on Monday next.
The Council cannot allow this occasion to pass without expressing their sense of the great services rendered to the Association by Dr. Hirst; but they abstain from saying more, as they are unwilling to anticipate a more mature expression on the part of the General Committee.
The Council have added the following names of gentlemen present at the last Meeting of the Association to the list of Corresponding Members :Professor Van Beneden.
H. H. the Rajah of Kolapore.
Professor Tchebichef. Governor Gilpin, Colorado. The General Committee will remember that Brighton has already been selected as the place of meeting next year. Invitations for subsequent meetings have been received by your Council from Bradford, Belfast, and Glasgow.
The Council, lastly, recommend that the name of Professor Balfour be added to the list of Vice-Presidents of the present Meeting.
Report of the Kew Committee of the British Association for the
Advancement of Science for 1870–71.
(A) WORK DONE BY KEW OBSERVATORY UNDER THE DIRECTION OF THE
BRITISH ASSOCIATION. 1. Magnetic work. In their last Report the Committee stated the plan on which they proposed to reduce their Magnetic observations; they now report that with reference to the reduction of the Magnetic Disturbances from January 1865 to December 1869, the period following that which has already been published, the discussion of Declination and Horizontal Force Disturbances is nearly ready for presentation to the Royal Society, and that of the Vertical Force is in progress; when that is completed, the whole period, 1865 to 1869 inclusive, will have been discussed at Kew. The tabular statement, which is herewith presented (see Appendix I.), exhibits the exact state of the reduction.
Two Dipping-needles by Dover and one by Adie have been tested for Mr. Chambers, Superintendent of the Colaba Observatory; and one needle has been procured from Dover and tested for Prof. Jelinek, of Vienna
A Dip-circle by Dover has been verified and forwarded to Prof. Jelinek, who ordered it on behalf of the K. K. militär-geographisches Institut.
Major-General Lefroy, Governor of Bermuda, having applied for the loan of a Dip-circle, one has now been prepared for his use, and will be forwarded to Bermuda as soon as possible. A Dip-circle has been obtained from Dover, and, after verification, will be forwarded to the Survey Department, Lisbon.
At the request of Prof. Jelinek the Committee have undertaken to examine a Dip-circle by Repsold. It is of a large size and has eight needles, but Prof. Jelinek reports that the results obtained by them are very discordant.
Copies of certain specified magnetograph curves have been made and forwarded to the late Sir J. Herschel, M. Diamilla Müller, of Florence, and Senhor Capello, of Lisbon, at the request of those gentlemen.
The usual monthly absolute determinations of the magnetic elements continue to be made by Mr. Whipple, the Magnetic Assistant.
The Self-recording Magnetographs are in constant operation as heretofore, also under his charge.
2. Meteorological work. The meteorological work of the Observatory continues in the charge of Mr. Baker.
Since the Liverpool Meeting, 113 Barometers (including 17 Aneroids) have been verified, and 2 rejected; 1320 Thermometers and 215 Hydrometers have likewise been verified.
Two Standard Thermometers have been constructed for Owens College, Manchester, one for the Rugby School, one each for Profs. Harkness and Eastmann, of the Washington Observatory, four for Dr. Draper, of the New York Central Park Observatory, one for Major Norton, of the Chief Signal Office, Washington, one for Mr. G. J. Symons, and three for the Meteorological Committee.
Three Thermograph Thermometers have been examined for Mr. Chambers, of the Colaba Observatory, and three for the Meteorological Committee.
Two Standard Barometers have been purchased from Adie, and tested at Kew, one of which has been forwarded to the Chief Signal Office, Washington, and the other to Prof. Jack, of Fredricton, New Brunswick.
Tubes for the construction of a Welsh's Standard Barometer on the Kew pattern, together with the necessary metal mountings, and a Cathetometer, have been made under the superintendence of the Committee for the Chief Signal Office, Washington.
The Committee have likewise superintended the purchase of meteorological instruments for Owens College, Manchester, and for the Observatory attached to the University of Fredricton, New Brunswick.
The Kew Standard Thermometer (M. S. A.), divided arbitrarily by the late Mr. Welsh, and employed for many years past as the standard of reference * in the testing of thermometers, was accidentally broken on the 3rd of January. Since then a Kew Standard, of the ordinary construction, made in 1866, and which had been compared on several occasions with M. S. A., has been used to replace it.
Copies of some of the meteorological observations made at Kew during the years 1869 and 1870 have been supplied to the Institution of Mining Engineers at Newcastle-upon-Tyne, and the Editor of Whitaker's Almanac, the cost of the extraction being paid by the applicants in both instances.
A set of self-recording meteorological instruments, the property of the Meteorological Committee, have been erected in the Verification-house, and are now undergoing examination."
The self-recording metereological instruments now in work at Kew will be again mentioned in the second division of this Report. These are in the charge of Mr. Baker.
3. Photoheliograph.--The Kew Heliograph, in charge of Mr. Warren De La Rue, continues to be worked in a satisfactory manner. During the past year 362 pictures have been taken on 205 days. The prints from the negatives alluded to in last Report have been taken to date, and the printing of these has become part of the current work of the establishment. A paper by Messrs. Warren De La Rue, Stewart, and Loewy, embodying the position and areas of sun-groups observed at Kew during the years 1864, 1865, and 1866, as well as fortnightly values of the spotted solar area from 1832 to 1868, has been published in the Philosophical Transactions, and distributed to those interested in solar research. A Table exhibiting the number of sun-spots recorded at Kew during the year 1870, after the manner of Hofrath Schwabe, has been communicated to the Astronomical Society, and published in their · Monthly Notices.
An apparatus is being constructed under the direction and at the expense of Mr. Warren De La Rue, and it will shortly be erected on the Pagoda in Kew Gardens, in order to be employed in obtaining corrections for optical distortion in the heliographical measurements.
4. Miscellaneous work.—Experiments are being made on the heat produced by the rotation of a disk in vacuo.
A daily observation has been made with the Rigid Spectroscope, the property of Mr. J. P. Gassiot.
Observations have been made with two of Hodgkinson's Actinometers, the property of the Royal Society, in order to compare them with the Actinometers deposited at the Observatory, for reference, before forwarding them to India.
The Committee have superintended the purchase of optical apparatus, chemicals, &c. for the Observatories at Coimbra and Lisbon.