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237 ble. There is no additional room to be had is proposed to embrace an exhibition of spein the building they now occupy. The Post- cimens of useful and elegant fabrics and of office Department, in the same building, works of art, which manufacturers and artiinstead of having any room to spare which is ficers muy place there for that purpose. It now appropriated to it, requires a consider- might, too, embrace a cabinet of interesting able extension of accommodations, from its minerals, which may be received from time increased and increasing business. It needs to time from the various parts of our widelythe whole building. The only way, therefore, extended country, with polished specimens of of providing the necessary extension of room its beautiful marbles from their different lofor the accommodation of the Post-office cations, illustrating the geology and many Department, and the city post-office, and of of the natural resources of the country ; and, providing the requisite accommodation for also, a collection of Indian curiosities and the Patent-office, is to erect a suitable fire- antiquities, many of which are now in the proof building for the latter on some one of possession of one of the departments, boxed the public lots. There are ample funds aris- up for want of some suitable place for their ing from duties on patents, heretofwre paid exhibition. into the Treasury, to the account of clerk In short, the halls of the Patent: office bire in that office, which remain unexpended. should present a national museum of the A portion of that surplus fund, being now arts, and be a general repository of all the inabout 152,000 dollars, may well be appro- ventions and improvements in machinery and priated to the construction of a building manufactures, of which our country can claim which should be commodious and compara- the honour; together with such other objects tively safe from fire.

of interest as might conveniently and proSuch a building as this branch of the perly be placed under the superintendence of public interests requires, would do honour to the Commissioner. Such an institution, the Government and the country. The while it would be an object of just pride to Patent-office, with such accommodations, every American, would have scarcely less incontaining the records of this age of inven- fluence in advancing and accelerating the tions, displaying in its balls and galleries progress of the useful arts and the improvenumberless models of ingenious and useful ment of our manufactures, than would even mechanism, and contrivances in almost in- the encouragement afforded hy granting pafinite variety, adapted to the mechanic arts,

tents for inventions, or establishing high to manufactures, to husbandry, to naviga

tariffs of protection. tion, steam-power, horse-power, water- With these views, the Committee canrot power, railroad transportation, and, in fine, hesitate to recommend an entire re-organisato all the common trades and mechanical tion of the Patent-office, and several material pursuits of life, as well as to our rapidly

alterations in our law of patents, suiting it to multiplying and magnificent public works, the present condition of the arts and the would present an object of interest, and tend

altered circumstances of the country. not a little to elevate our national character. A bill in conformity with our views is It bas been justly remarked that we can go

herewith submitted. into no mechanic shop, into no manufactory

(The Bill in our next.) of any description, upon no farm or plantation, or travel a mile on our railroads or in our steam-boats, without seeing the evi.

THE BRITISH MUSEUM. dence of our originality, and witnessing the

We have been much gratified by the fruits and effects of our ingenuity and enterprise. All the inventions and improvements

perusal of a letter which has been adin mechanism which have done so much to

dressed to the Chancellor of the Exwards advancing the useful arts and manufac

chequer, and "privately printed," contures, should, as far as practicable, be exhi- laining 6o A Pian for the better Managebited in one view in the balls of the Patent- ment of the British Museum," by Mr. office. Such a display would attract the at- John Millard. The writer, by way of tention of the many thousands who annually

annually apology for addressing Mr. Spring Rice visit the capital of the Union from all quarters on the subject, mentions some things of the country, and all parts of the world. which are very much to the honour of No other nation has yet any thing to be com

that respected functionary, though not, pared with it; neither England nor France has ever required models to be deposited of

we suspect, so generally known as they

deserve to be. patented machinery. Collections of models and drawings have sometimes been made by “ Sir,—The public are so deeply indebted private associations, but they are small in to you for the interest you have taken in the number compared with tbose we possess.

affairs of the British Museum, and the In addition to the models of machinery, it anxiety you have shown to extend its utility

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not only by your proposal for a! * School of Design,” for the encouragement of the arts and manufactures, and for the increased fadilities of access to the Museum, by giving 'your sanction to its being opened during the holidays, and the establishment of an evening reading-room-but by the purchase, at your recommendation, of the valuable Egyptian antiquities of the late Mr. Salt-of a magnificent collection of Dutch etchings, of a considerable portion of the late Mr. Heber's valuable manuscripts,--of the matchless Durand collection of Etruscan vases, and the unique Bible of Alcuin and of Charlemagne, that I am induced to believe I cannot address myself to any one more competent to appreciate the plan for the better management of the British Museum, which I have now the honour to submit to your notice.”

As there is no individual in the State who could, for these reasons, have been addressed with more propriety on the subject than the Chancellor of the Exchequer, so, on the other hand, is there no person who has a better right 10 be the addressing party, or a stronger claim to be listened 10 with attention, than Mr. Millard. It was owing to the representations and remonstrances of this gentleman that the recent Parliamentary inquiry into the state of the Museum was instituted ; and it is to him the public will stand principally indehted for whatever benefit may result from it.

He not only originated the inquiry, but has, to our knowledge, pur:ued it for these thiree years past, ai great personal sacrifices both of time and money. For a long period previously to that he had been engaged in preparing a new general index to all the collections of MSS. in this establishment; and be obtained by this means such an insight into the deiails of its management, as renders him a most competent witness on the subject; and to a perfect acquaintance with all the facts of the case, he adds great shrewdness, and a most sound judgment.

The “ Plau” which he proposes for the reformation of the Institution is, after a general review of its history-its excellences and defects—thus presented to the reader :

* I would propose then, sir, that an Act of Parliamert should be passed which should first repeal all acts relating to the British Museum, and then appoint the present Official Trus'ees (with the exception of the Presidents of the Royal Academy, the Royal Society, the Society of Antiquaries, and the College

of Physicians, who might form a part of the proposed new Council), nineteen in number, the responsible or legal Trustees of the whole property of the Museum, whose doty it should be to watch over and protect the various collections, but who should not have any share in the management. The ten family Trustees, with any others that it might be hereafter necessary to appoint, to be Trustees only of the particular property which they represent, their sole duty being to preserve the integrity of their respective trusts. I would also propose that, after the passing of this Act, the services of the elected Trustees be dispensed with, and that no similar body be created.

“ To supply the place of the present Board of Management, I beg to submit to your consideration the propriety of appointing a Council, to consist of twenty persons, to be named by the Government, who should each of them be eminently distinguished in one of the following branches of science and learn. ing:-1. Geology and Oryctology; 2. Mineralogy; 3. Conchology; 4. Botany; 5. Entomology ; 6. Ornithology; 7. Icthyology; 8. Ampliibia and Reptilia; 9. Mammalia; 10. Comparative Anatomy and Physiology; 11. Egyptian and Indian Antiquities; 12. Grecian and Roman Seulpture; 13. Architecture* and School of De sign ; 14. British Antiquities; 15. Coins, Gems, and Medals; 16. Pictures, Prints, Maps, and Charts; 17. Ethnography; 18. Arts and Manufactures of Great Britain ; 19. Palæography; 20. Bibliography.

“ There would, I am persuaded, be no difficulty in selecting from the galaxy of talent which now adorns our country (despite the presumed 'dulness' of the English), individuals eminently fitted to give their advice aud assistance in the improvement of the National Museum. Among those who have devoted their energies to the successful cultivation of natural science may be mentioned Sir John Herschell, of whose scientific acquirements, and liberal and enlightened views, ev'ry Englishman may be justly proud; nor can I hesitate to add the names of Sir Philip Egerton, Messrs. Airy, Dalton, Olinthus Gregory, Sedgwick, Greenough, Murchison, Henslow, Mac Leay, Grant, Vigors, Bell, Owen, and South ; and many others might be readily enumerated. In art, we have a Chantrey, a Bailey, the accomplished President of the Royal Academy, and Mr. Sheepshanks; and in architecture, a Barrý, whose magnificent and unique design for the

* The attendance of an eminent architect at the council would be very desirable, not only during the progress of the new buildings, but in case of any alterations it may be necessary to make in the present plan, which, it is said, is not exactly suited to the wants of the Maseum,



New House of Commons, with other beauti- would be favonred at the expense of another. ful productions of this enlightened artist, If it were considered necessary, a Board of deservedly place him at the head of his pro- Visiters, similar to that attached to the Board fession. The field of literature would other of Longitude, might be named by the Governun abundant choice of distinguished authors, ment-a measure recommended by Sir Hans and of gentlemen eminently skilled in books Sloane, the founder of the Museum--who and manuscripts; suffice it to mention the might from time to time visit and examine names of Mr. Petrie, the Keeper of the the establishment, report to the Government Records in the Tower, Sir Harris Nicolas, on the proceedings of the Council, and make and Mr. Hallam. The study of Egyptian any useful suggestions that might occur to Antiquities has been ably illustrated, and the them. National Museum benefited, by the labours “ The great defect of the existing constiand researches of Mr. Wilkinson, and others; tnsion of the Museum is, that the present and no small praise is due to Mr. Gage, the Trustees are an irresponsible body--being Director of the Society of Antiquaries, for his amenable only to Parliament for the manage. perfect acquaintance with the much neglected ment of the Institution ; and unless the te. study of the Antiquities of Britain. It would, dious process of a Committee of Inquiry be I fear, sir, occupy too much of your

valuable resorted to, no complete information can be time to pursue this subject; but I cannot obtained as to the state and condition of the conclude the imperfect list I have hastily Museum, as to its retrograde or forward sketched without recording the names of Sir movements; the annual account presented to John Barrow, whose geographical and ethno- Parliament of the receipt and expenditure, graphical acquirements are so eminently dis- and of the number of visits and visiters to the played in his valuable publications; and of Museum, affording no data by which the Mr. Babbage, whose knowledge of the arts Executive can form a satisfactory opinion on and manufactures, and the best means for these matters. It remains only then, Sir, to their successful improvement, are too well urge upon your consideration the plan which known to need any eulogium from my pen. I have suggested for infusing new life and

“ I would further propose, tbat ihe indi- vigour into the national museum, being fully viduals forming the new Council should assured, that every improvement therein, annually elect from among themselves a Pre- now so anxiously desired by the public, would sident, suivject to the approval of the Go- speedily follow the proposed change in its vernment, anıl should possess the entire ma- constitution; but without such an alteration, nagement of the Museum ; but should, like I fear there is little probability of any per. the Record Commission, report from time to manent good being effected by the present, time to the Executive Government, and be or any other inquiry that may be instituted placed under the immediate control of one of on the subject.” the ministers of state, as is almost uniformly Mr. Millard has in this extract urged the case in foreign museums.

so well the advantages of the “ Plan" “I would also submit to your consideration the propriety of dividing the Museum

he proposes, that we need only say that into (wenty distinct departments, as before

it has our entire approbation and best enumerated, and of appointing a Director to

wishes for its speedy adoption. each of them, who should be named by the Government, at the recommendation of the

RAISING THE STATUE OF NAPOLEON. Council. "These Directors, together with a Principal Director, to be appointed by his At a meeting of the Institute of British Majesty, also at the recommendation of the Architects, held on the 3rd of June, Mr. T, Council, should be entitled to a seat at the L. Donaldson, Honorary Secretary, explained board, but without a vote.

the means lately employed for placing the 6. The benefits to be derived from such an statue of Napoleon upon the Colonne Venassociation of the officers with the Council dome, Paris. This operation was one of would be very great ; the Council, being all considerable difficulty. It is true that, as a men of high attainments in their respective statue had previously been placed on this branches of science and learning, would be column, and had been removed, M. Lepère, competent judges of the deficiencies in the the architect charged with the task of erectvarious collections, and would thus be en- ing the present statue, had precedents to abled to determine on the expediency of resort to ; but, uufortunately, they were such complying with the requests of the Di. as were of no use to him. When the first rectors of the several departments. Another statue was placed in its elevated situation, advantage would accrue; there would be an the workmen availed themselves of the scaf. equal division of the money granted by Par- folding already fixed firmly in the ground for liament for the support of ihe various objects erecting the column, and, of course, found of tbe Museum ; and no one department scarcely any difficulty ; and the apparatus 230

STEPHENS' IMPROVED FOUNTAIN INKS. displaces either of the above substances, as I have shown, slight-the combination is and you impair or weaken the colour. easily disturbed, and this, which renders the Gallate of iron is a coloured or black composition liable to fade, gives to it also its compound; oxalate of iron is comparan

insecurity. The action of the sun, time, and tively colourless. Oxalic acid having a

various other causes, abstract and dissipate stronger affinity for the iron than the

the vegetable principle. The iron is thus

gradually left uncombined. It is a property gallic acid, displaces the latter, and

of almost every substance to seek for comchanges the composition from a black to

bination : deprived of one substance with a colourless impression, and effaces the

which it had been united, it attracts to it record. Many other influences attack

another; thus the iron, deprived of the gallic the vegetable principle, subtracting and acid on which its colour depended, and in dissipating it, leaving the remains a which state of union it had no corrosive brown oxide of iron : such is the action properties, begins to attract oxygen, and, of the sim, the slow operation of time, as an oxide of iron, is more or less injurious marine influences, and the operation of

to the textures on which it had been written, water in washing ink-stains on linen, &c.,

If the iron exists in small proportions, the proved by the iron-mould remains. The

evil is small; but if it abounds in the com

position, it is more strongly corrosive. Withpractice of reviving old records by brush

out being aware of the above cause, the fact ing them over with tincture of galls,

has been known that inks containing too evidences the departure of the vegetable

large a quantity of iron soon become brown. principle, and the remains of the metal

There are not wanting other facts to support lic oxide."

this opinion. Black dyes, the composition The above sketch tends to show that of which is the same as ink, are well known common ink depends for ils colour upon to be more destructive to cloth, &c. than, very simple aflinities, which are easily other colours. * Black dyes perish the cloth, disturbed, both by chemical ageucies and is a very common expression, and results by surronnding influences, and that a from the decomposition of the colouring incolour having more fixed and complicated

gredients, and the corrosiveness of the miaffinities, would be less liable to such

neral remains. From this brief analysis, the influence, and would consequently be

inference is tolerably plain, that if the in

gredients composing a colour are united by inore durable. Some interested indivi

stronger affinities than common ink, such duals have asserted, that the writing fluid colour will be both more permanent and more will corrode or injure the paper or textures

secure." to which it is applied, upon which point Mr. Stephens makes the following re

Guided by these truths, Mr. Stephens mark:

has been eminently fortunate in the ses

lection of substances suitable for the " It is well known that papers, &c., upon which records have been written, have been

production of a very superior writing destroyed by the ink, and that, not by any

fluid ; but he has attained perfection by immediate effect, but after the lapse of years.

a minute attention to the proportions, And how is this caused? I have seen no

and by being careful to use all the in statement satisfactorily accounting for it. A gredients in a state of extreme purity. hasty, but very erroneous solution is gene

Few inventions have been so gratefully rally given-naraely, that it is the acid in received, and so extensively patronised in the ink, and this assertion has generally been a short space of time, as Mr. Stephens' deemed satisfactory; but I shall have no writing fluid ; one consequence of this difficulty in showing that such is not the has been, that imitators and adulterators In the first place, there exists in com

have sprung up, like mushrooms, with mon ink no uncombined acid.*

various mixtures, pretending to possess « If uncombined acid existed in ink suffi

the same good qualities as the original ciently strong to destroy the paper, the effects

article. would be early exhibited, and consequently be of less importance, as the record could be

I have critically examined most of more easily restored.

The real cause of

these imitations, but have met with none destruction is as follows:-The affinity be.,

yet that will conipare with the writing tween the vegetable and mineral principle is, fluid, either in point of colour, fluidity,

or permanence. The following simple, • Unless when inks are made with a proportion:

experiment will put the claims of this of vinegar.

and similar productions to a fair triali




237 Having written on a piece of paper and which do not require to be often with Stephens' and other fluids, pour over moved (as slate is, of course, heavy), may the writing a small quantity of a bleach- be made of it, decorated in the most ela. ing solution (chloride of lime), and the borate style. The natural texture of the effect will be conclusive.

slate, it has been found, is peculiarly apAn objection has been made to the plicable as a ground for the reception of writing fluid, that, bring more fluid, it colours; and Mr. Stirling has some spenecessarily sinks into the paper more cimens of tables with a wreath of flowers! than common ink ; but I consider this, round the edge, and a group in the cenin a moderate degree, rather a virtue tre, inost beautifully executed the neutral than a defect. It is quite evident that a tint of the slate forming an appropriate colour which is intended to endure, back-ground. A very beautiful and apshould combine with, and in some de- propriate application of the article his gree dye, the substance to which it is been made in the formation of doorapplied. If it sits upon the surface like panels. The General Steam Navigation varnish, liable to be erased by slight Company has, we understand, given scratching, and almost by friction, it can- orders for the fitting up of the saloon of not be expected to retain its impression one of its new steam-vessels with these strongly, any more than we should ex. panels, painted with groups of fruit, pect our coats, dyed on the outer surface flowers, and designs of a like nature. only, to be durable in their colour. Amongst the numerous other articles of

A precipitate of colouring malter is slate manufactured by Mr. Stirling, we liable to take place from all solutions by shall merely particularise his door fingerlong standing, but the precipitate from plates and inkslands, which are extremely the writing fluid is perfectly soluble; the beautiful. inkstand should, therefore, be occasion. ally shaken, which can very easily be done, if the fountain-ink of Mr. Stephens is employed. It will be perceived, by Sir,- In your No. 667, I observe that referring to the drawing, that these stands Messrs. Mordan and Co.'s last patent fort are constructed so as to lessen evapora- steel-pens is noticed. The public wilt, tion; to prevent lodgments of dust ; to no doubt, derive a great benefit from the afford an oblique and more convenient use of them, and it must be admitted access with grooved rests for the pen; it that Mordan and Co are good makers is also particularly adapted for the occa- of these articles; but as to their patent sional agitation of the contents.

right, I fear it will cost a good deal ton I have received much personal con- defend it. It was certainly rather a hold venience from the use of Mr. Stephens' step of Mordan and Co. to speculate writing fluid ; and have much pleasure ipon a patent under the peculiar circumin thus publicly expressing my thanks stances stated by your correspondentu for the same. Wishing him every However, I wish they may establish their success,

patent, because I think it would prove I remain, yours respectfully, whether the late act to amend the patent

WM. BaddELEY. law be of any benefit or not. London, June 9, 1836.

For some years past I have formed several ideas about iinproving.steel-pens,

and, although not a pen-maker, I thought ORNAMENTAL SLATE MANUFACTURE.

that I was, and perhaps am, the first inSlate has of late years become exten- ventor of the three-prong pen, for this is sively useful, and its application to new the name I gave what is now called the purposes is of every-day occurrence. A three-nibbed pen-but I think the nib of Mr. Stirling has for some time been la. a pen consists of all its prongs together. bouring 10 bring it into use as a material About a year ago, after searching almost for the manufacture of various articles of every place where steel-pens were sold, I furnitare, and, from the specimens which could not find any thing approaching my we have seen, we think it likely that he ideas on the subject, which led me to will meet with complete success. Tables think that I had hit upon something of all kinds, sideboards, wash-hand stands, I then applied to several of his and other articles of a similar nature, pen-makers, and examined several spects


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