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THE BIRKBECK TESTIMONIAL-LETTER TO LORD BROUGHAM. My Lord, — With the utmost respect I lecturer himself must go to the mecha. would address to you a few words on the nic's workshop, and pick up, how he subject of the meeting held in the Free can, that knowledge which he is to give masons' Hall, on the 25th April, to con out to his class. My Lord, no greater sider the subject of a testimonial to the mistake has ever found its way abroad memory of the late Dr. Birkbeck.
than this meddling twaddle of teaching My Lord, when one looks back at the the working classes their own trades. In many months during which the Com the course of your speech, my Lord, you mittee laboured, (and laboured earnestly, gave the working classes a noble characand with good intention, no doubt,) to ter for their unrivalled skill in their seproduce a scheme by which the memory veral trades, as well as for the gentle and of the late revered President of the Lon uncomplaining spirit with which they don Mechanics’ Institution might be pre bear the privations to which their station served to his country, one cannot but feel in society peculiarly subjects them. My vexed and angry at the worthlessness and
there did them justice. The nothingness of the result, and still more artisans of England stand at the head of so at the countenance and support which the world, as regards excellence in their it has received from your Lordship: several departments; and whether we
What is this result?—“Resolved, that view them in the various divisions of the most fitting method of testifying labour, of skill, of science, of continued the public gratitude to Dr. Birkbeck is industry, and indomitable perseverance, by founding in University College, Lon we must at least pronounce them so far don, a professorship of machinery and perfect, as not to need the poor hour of manufactures, &c. !”
the lecturer's prattle about “ machinery My Lord, the Committee of Lincoln's and manufactures." But, my Lord, Inn-fields have, in this, and as far as they suppose this lecturer of “ machinery and have gone, succeeded, most decidedly, in manufactures" had in his possession some laying the first stone in the bad work of secret which it would be worth the artiburying alive the name and fame of the san's knowing—I say, suppose this to be lamented individual in question.
the case, he being located in the London Let us take a full view of the new of University-I ask, in the name of any ficial personage thus about to be created thing sensible, how the artisan could -this professor of " machinery and ma avail himself of the good held out to nufactures." Let us look him full in the him ? The idea of artisans, working face, while we inquire into his preten from six in the morning until eight sions. Firstly, what is he to teach ? o'clock at night, going to listen to a lecsecondly, how is he to teach ? and, ture by a
professor of machinery and thirdly, whom is he to teach ? On the manufactures, at the London Univer. first point, it appears that the professor sity, is indeed the most unique piece of “is to teach the elements of machinery, absurdity which could by possibility flit and the application of these to the parti across the brain. As far, then, as the cular machines, the construction and tendency of this Professor is to carry out operation of which he will exhibit and the spirit of the intentions of the late teach to his class ;" secondly, he is to Dr. Birkbeck, it must be perceived that teach by lecture; and, thirdly, he is to those distinguished noblemen and gentlelecture to a class at the London Univer men who have so handsomely come forsity: and so the memory of the good ward on this occasion have fallen into a Dr. Birkbeck is preserved ! Further,
very singular delusion. the Committee inform us that by this My Lord, there are some mysterious scheme they are carrying out the spirit allusions, not exactly understandable, of the intentions of the worthy deceased, printed in the circular issued by the namely, the instruction of the working Committee, to which I would draw your classes. My Lord, practical men well know attention. In the third paragraph is the that machinery and manufactures are not following:
:-“that while we were unable t) be learned in the lecture-room, but only to devise means of affording direct adthrough the medium of a long and close vantage to the subscribers whom we apprenticeship in the workshop. The hope to find in all parts of the kingdom,
so it was our duty to avoid any applica- propriate, the most national, at the same tion to merely local purposes of the pro. time the most graceful and durable Deceeds of so general a contribution.” I mento of his name; and further, the would ask, my Lord, is not the applica world would thus be informed, that among tion of the funds to the creation of a the virtues there enshrined, a new virtue, professorship of machinery and manu hitherto not much heeded, had been refactures, at University College, an ap cognized in the person of him, the friend plication to local purposes."
In the and teacher of the English artizan. fourth paragraph is another singular al One more point, my Lord, yet remains lusion :-“ It would have been highly to be noticed, and that is the contemptuous satisfactory to us, if we could have sug and disparagir.g tone with which Mr. gested some means whereby the fund Hodgkin's hint at a monument was rewhich we hope to raise should be devoted ceived. A “ bit of marble," forsooth, immediately to the instruction of those was the only term you could use on this classes of the people, whose intellectual occasion. My Lord, when a great name, and moral improvement Dr. Birkbeck when a great man chooses to be eccentric, has laboured to promote." Thus it ever then a whole host of inferior minds fol. is, my Lord-the old saying is here again low in his wake with wonderful unaniverified"the weakest goes to the wall," mity. So it was with some of the moveand is crushed; nothing could be sug. ment spirits at the meeting. Lord John gested to serve or assist them ; while, in Russell talked of the “bit of marble," the midst of this helplessness to "sug Mr. Roebuck, also talked of the “ bit of gest” for the working classes, a lucky marble." My Lord, when men of re* suggestion” carried the day in favour fined minds, in any age of the world, of the students of University College ! spoke of the art of the sculptor, it has
Enough of this professorship: as a fit never been in this poor and unworthy ting testimonial to the memory of a man, tone. The sculptors of antiquity were who has deserved so well as Dr. Birbeck, not accustomed to such language. It was the thing is an absurdity.
not the custom for cultivated minds in Lord, would have been said, if at the the times of Canova, Flaxman, Chantry, time of the death of the great Nelson, an and their brethren in genius to talk of individual had sprung up, and pro the “bit of marble," when alluding to posed to perpetuate his memory by the their productions. No; their “divine establishment of a professorship in one of art,” and their “immortal productions” the universities of Oxford or Cambridge, were somewhat nearer the style in which for the purpose of teaching the art of their genius was spoken of, while the yarn spinning? Doubtless, my Lord, loftiest and best intellects have, in all the man, would have been looked on as ages, yielded reverential admiration mad, and his scheme would have been to the genius of sculpture. The "bit at once scouted. The place his country of marble" sounded doubly odious coming men gave him was among her great and from you, my Lord; it almost impresses worthy names, which had been preserved one with the conviction that some great to memory in the noblest form; and minds are denied the enjoyment of, and there, in his marble cabin, he still appreciation of, the beautiful. How diflives; while, before his shrine, the races ferent was the tone of another great man, of his countrymen, through all their ge- Napoleon, when standing among the nerations, pass" lovingly and rever monuments of Egypt, he exclaimed to ently," and then the Nile, and Trafalgar, those by whom he was surrounded, and other recollections of his great ser Forty centuries are now looking down vices are recalled to memory, and thus upon us." My Lord, the “bit of marble from generation to generation is trans has brought down to us the deeds of anmitted and secured the great Admiral's tiquity. The “bit of marble” has perfame. So, my Lord, should be trans petuated the manners of the far-off race mitted to future times the memory of of old Egypt. The "bit of marble" has those good services performed to his recorded the graces of humanity of ancountry, by Dr. Birkbeck. A statue cient Greece. The “ bit of marble” has erected to his memory in our Metropo- brought down to us the splendour and the litan Cathedral, would be the most ap heroism of ancient Rome, and the “ bit
MR. WILLIAMS'S FURNACE.
363 of marble" yet remains, in the opinion vinced that the plan of Mr. C. Williams, of the wisest and best of mankind, the which had been to a considerable extent most worthy medium for the commemo adopted in Manchester, was the best yet ration of virtue.
projected, and calculated to effect the object By this “ bit of marble" then, my
he had in view, almost to perfection. He Lord, I would preserve the memory of accordingly used every means to circulate a Dr. Birkbeck. That spirit of benignant
knowledge of the merits of Mr. Williams's goodness would be far more worthily
invention, and pressed, with an anxiety
highly honourable to him as a public beneand appropriately lodged in our Metro
factor, on his friends who had steam engines, politan Cathedral, than in the low rooms of the London University. His place
to try the experiment of adopting Mr. Wil.
liams's method. In this he has succeeded ; should be among the great men of his and several proprietors have agreed to apply it country, and not in the cabined and crib
to their furnaces. The first experiment was bed dormitory of a professor of “Ma made on the engine furnace of Mr. Alexanchinery and Manufactures." The fame der Harvie, at Govanhaugh Printfield and of the good Doctor Birkbeck would be Dyeworks. The furnace having been tried far better secured by the “bit of marble." for a few days with complete success, Mr. The “bit of marble," my Lord, would Alston made a respectful application to the speak to the heart of posterity, with far
Dean of Guild, and the other members of the more point and effect than the husky Dean of Guild Court, to visit the premises of tongue of the professor, and the divine Mr. Harvie, and judge for themselves of the art of the sculptor would give an immor
invention and its results. This was handtality to his fame, as far transcending the
somely assented to, and on Thursday last, paltry power of the “professor,” as the
James Black, Esq., the sub-Dean, and the sun's light exceeds that of the moon, or
other members present, accompanied Mr. the cultured intellect that of the meanest
Alston to Govanhaugh, where the whole ap
paratus and its effects were exhibited and savage.
explained. I remain, my Lord, your Lordship’s
Exteriorly, the furnace exhibits no differvery humble servant,
ence from those of the ordinary form. It HENRY BROWN. is in the interior of the structure chiefly
where the means of preventing the formation of the smoke are accomplished. [Here fol
lows a description of the furnace, with which WILLIAMS'S FURNACE.-INTRODUC the readers of the Mechanics' Magazine are
already familiar.] (From the Glasgow Constitutional.)
When the Dean of Guild and the other While it must be admitted that in a manu gentlemen arrived at the works, Mr. Harvie facturing city such as Glasgow, where hun. directed fuel to be put upon the fire, and, dreds of steam engines are daily at work, excluding the air from the air chamber, he smoke, and that of a very dense character, showed the usual quantity of smoke issuing has been looked upon hitherto as inseparable from the stalk. By an ingenious application from the prosecution of manufactures; yet of glazed apertures at each end of the boiler such is the progress of science, that we ought the state of the flues could be distinctly not to rest satisfied with our atmosphere of seen, while immediately over the door of the smoke while there remains the slightest orifice leading to the diffusion box, another prospect of obtaining the means of entirely glazed aperture affords a view of the castremoving or of abating the evil. Numerous iron plate, and the effects of the first contact plans have been proposed for the purpose of of the air with the smoke from the furnace. consuming or dissipating the smoke emitted While the smoke continued to pour in vofrom the furnaces of steam engines, but, at lumes from the stalk, Mr. Harvie opened least in this city, none of them have so far the door or valve of the air-ports, and in succeeded as to produce any general diminu about a minute-in fact as soon as the smoke tion of the nuisance. Of late, public atten at that moment in the flues and stalks could tion has been recalled to the subject by the escape-not a particle of visible smoke was exertions of Mr. Alston, of Rosemount, who emitted ! During the time the door was is indefatigable in his pursuit of any object shut the flues were seen filled with smoke ; which he conceives to be calculated to pro but immediately on its being opened and mote public or individual benefit. In the air admitted the flues were filled with flame. course of his inquiries and researches on the These alternate shuttings and openings were most approved methods of removing the several times repeated with the same fire, smoke nuisance. Mr. Alston became con and the result was invariably the same--with
TION AT GLASGOW.
APPLIED TO CANAL NAVIGATION.
the air chamber door shut there was the the banks from the action of paddle-wheels ordinary smoke emitted, with the door open being once removed, (by the adoption of there was none whatever !
The The Sub-Dean and the other members of
stern propellers,) the rest is easy. the Dean of Guild Court expressed the high- proprietors of the disc engine are making est satisfaction at the results, and declared active exertions to take the lead in this nex their perfect conviction of the invention
field of enterprize, and, from all we can being completely successful in accomplishing learn, with good prospects of success. the intended object.
We understand that, now when a certainty exists that at a trifling cost the smoke nuisance may be completely removed, the Pro PILBROW'S CONDENSING CYLINDER ENGINE. curator Fiscal of the Dean of Guild Court is
Sir, I have been prevented sooner Offer determined to bring several of the manufac ing my thanks to your valuable correspondent turers, &c. having engines in the city, before
“S," for his good wishes, and for his com. that Court, under the act of Parliament, to
munication upon my engine (in No. 971) decide the point whether such parties can be which I have read with satisfaction; because, forced to obviate the smoke of their furnaces
though he does not take quite so farourable a in the most effectual way.
view of it as I could wish, yet it appears free from prejudice, and his facts, as there given,
are but proofs of the correctness of my CAPTAIN CARPENTER'S PROPELLERS
own views. The drawing he mentions, I
presume he perceived was meant merely to We noticed in a recent Number the per illustrate the principle, not to work from ; formance of Captain Carpenter's stern pro therefore it was made as compact and as neat pellers, and of the disc engine, as fitted to
as the circumstances permitted, and occa.
sion required. the pinnace of the steam-frigate “ Geyser,”
I feel also obliged to your correspondent when tried on the river. We learn that, “ Throttle-valve'' for his "suggestions" (in subsequently to these trials, experiments No. 972,) though I think he misapprehends have been made with this boat on the Grand
the grand object which I endeavour to ob.
tain by my invention, and incline to think Junction Canal, in the presence of Sir F.
he cannot have seen the pamphlet written Head, and other leading Directors of the
upon it, as an arrangement is there made for Canal Company, and some partners of the passing the centre with one engine." eminent carrying firm of Messrs. Pickford
I am, Sir, and Co.
Very respectfully yours,
James PILBROW. Notwithstanding the unfitness of Captain
Tottenham Green, April 18, 1842. Carpenter's boat for canal navigation, arising from her great breadth of beam, the results obtained during these experiments
PATENT LAW CASES. were such as to induce the gentlemen pre Vice-Chancellor of England's Court, Lin. sent to express their unanimous opinion,
coln's Inn. that the important problem of the adapta
April 21, 1842. tion of steam power to canal navigation had
Hancock v. Hullmandell. at length been completely solved.
[In January, 1838, Mr. Charles Hancock, We are, further, much pleased to learn
the eminent animal painter, obtained a pa.
tent for “ certain improved means of prothat the Committee of the Grand Junction
ducing figured surfaces sunk and in relief, Canal Company have voted a sum of 1001., and of printing therefrom, and also of to be tendered to Captain Carpenter, on be
moulding, stamping, and embossing.” The half of the Company, to mark the sense
defendant, Mr. Hullmandell, also obtained
a patent in November, 1841, for "a new which they entertain of the important ser effect of light and shadow, imitating a brush vice which he has rendered to the canal in. or stump drawing, or both combined, proterest by his invention.
duced on paper, being an impression from a We may now, therefore, hope soon to see
plate or stone prepared in a particular mansteam-power as triumphant on our canals as
ner for that purpose, as also the mode of
preparing the said plate or stone for that our rivers; for the objection of injury to object.” Mr. Hullmandell's “new effect"
is alleged by Mr. Hancock to be obtained by means which are included in his specification ; and the present was a motion for an injunction to restrain the alleged infringement.
Mr. Stuart and Mr. Elderton were for the plaintiff; Mr. Girdlestone and Mr. Rotch for the defendant.
The part of his specification on which the plaintiff relies, is the following: “I take a thin solution of caoutchouc mixed with etching ground, or any other composition which will resist the action of acids, and with it cover the whole surface of the plate, and then with an etching point, or other suitable instrument, remove all the parts which are not intended to be in relief, (or with the same or any suitable composition, draw or paint upon plain, curved, or undu. lated metallic surfaces, the whole of that part of my design which I intend to be in relief,) and when the drawing is perfectly dry, I place it in a dish or trough of ade. quate dimensions, with its face downwards, immersed to a proper and uniform depth in the acid liquor, which I allow to operate until the desired effect is obtained. Should any part require to be placed in higher relief, the plate, block, or cylinder, is to be washed clean with spirits of turpentine, and a ground laid on in the manner usually practised in relaying of grounds; it is then to be submitted again to the action of the acid, or the part lowered with the graver.''
The degree of similarity between the preceding process and that followed by the de. fendant, will be seen by reference to the Mech. Mag. vol. xxxiv. p. 207, where a very full abstract is given of his specification.
Numerous affidavits from artists and men of science, were produced on both sides ; but there was a great conflict of testimony as to the novelty of the inventions, and whether one was an infringement of the other.
At the conclusion of the arguments of Mr. Stuart and Mr. Elderton on behalf of the plaintiff,
The Vice-Chancellor said, when the Court found persons of such scientific knowledge in these matters giving the opinions they had, he was quite unwilling to take upon himself to say what they had stated was groundless, which he should do to a certain extent by granting the injunction in the present state of things. Therefore, in the extraordinarily dark state of the case as it was now presented to the Court, he thought
proper course would be to do nothing on the motion, but to let it stand over for the plaintiff to bring such action as he should be advised, to try the validity of his patent.
Mr. Girdlestone, with Mr. Rotch, how
insisted that upon the conduct of the parties since the granting of the patent of Hullmandell, as well as the ground that two legal titles were brought before the Court, one of which must be taken, prima facie, to be as good as the other upon a motion for an injunction, the application ought to be dismissed altogether. The learned counsel also went into a lengthened argument upon the principles of the two patents, in the course of which illustrations were given by the execution of impressions of the engravings in open court, his Honour observing, that in the whole course of his experience he never remembered such a peculiar kind of “ drawing in equity." (A laugh.)
The Vice Chancellor, in giving judgment, said he considered the case a very important one, and for that reason he should follow the course he had already suggested. He wished to have it made absolutely certain whether there had been an infringement of the patent or not. If he were to act on the present impression in his mind, it might happen that when the case came before a jury, a verdict might be pronounced against that opinion, and then he should have on a matter of fact, and not being at all conversant with the subject, an opinion he had pronounced on the verity of the case contradicted by persons who were, by the law of the country, the constituted judges of disputed matters of fact. He therefore adhered to the opinion he had expressed, that all he could do was to let the motion stand over for the plaintiff to bring an action, or otherwise to take such proceedings as he might be advised, with liberty to either party to apply.
Russel v. Ledsam. [For the better understanding of this case, we prefix a few explanatory particulars. Mr. Russel, the plaintiff, is the well known gas tube manufacturer of Wednesbury, who, besides being himself the inventor of a method of making tubes, for which he had a patent long since expired, is assignee of a patent for improvements in this branch of manufacture, granted to Cornelius Whitehouse in 1825, and renewed on its expiration, for a term of seven years. Mr. Ledsam, the defendant, has been recently manufacturing tubes under the patent of Mr. Richard Prosser, of which we gave an account in vol. xxxiii. p. 386, and it is the validity of this patent which is the present subject of dispute. Mr. Russel alleges it to be an infringement of Whitehouse's. In our account of Mr. Prosser's invention we re. ferred to a patent still older than either Prosser's or Whitehouse's, namely, that