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THE NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY

ASTOR, LENOX AND TILDEN FOUNDATIONS

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THE MOST IMPORTANT DISCOVERIES AND IMPROVEMENTS

OF THE PAST YEAR;

IN MECHANICS AND THE USEFUL ARTS; NATURAL PHILOSOPHY ;
ELECTRICITY; CHEMISTRY; ZOOLOGY AND BOTANY; GEOLOGY

AND MINERALOGY; METEOROLOGY AND ASTRONOMY.

BY JOHN TIMBS, F.S.A.

AUTHOR OF
“THINGS NOT GENERALLY KNOWN FAMILIARLY EXPLAINED,"

CURIOSITIES OF LONDON," ETC.

“Science is not on the decline; and its cultivators have not been negligent in their high calling."--Address of the Rev. Dr. Lloyd, President of the British Association, at Dublin, 1857.

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LONDON:
W. KENT & CO., (LATE D. BOGUE,) 86, FLEET STREET.

MDCCCLVIII.

GIOR LIBR

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took the subject of the Great Exhibition under his own personal superintendence.
To Mr. Scott Russell must therefore be awarded the merit of having been one of
the three originators of the Exhibition of 1851. He was one of the two Secretaries
to the Royal Commission originally named by Her Majesty in the commission
issued Jan. 3, 1850; and he had, during the previous six months, planned and
organized the preliminary arrangements. It is interesting to trace the precise
share which Mr. Scott Russell had in this great industrial display; for there is
a kindred -a sort of family tie between the Great Exhibition of 1851, and the
Great Eastern Steam-ship of 1858.

Of the energy and ability of Mr. Scott Russell as a labourer in the great field
of mechanical science during the last quarter of a century, the reader may satisfy
himself by glancing through the series of Arcana of Science and Year-Book of
Facts for that period. He combines the advantages of a mind well stored with
facts, and great power of reasoning and conviction, with urbane and gentle.
manly manner. Mr. Scott Russell married, in 1837, Harriette, second daughter
of Sir Daniel Toler Osborne, Bart., and of the Lady Harriette, daughter of the
tirst Earl of Clancarty.

The accompanying portrait has been ably engraved by Mote, from a photo-
graph by Mayall and Son, Regent-street.

We shall next describe the most colossal and important undertaking in which
Mr. Scott Russell has been hitherto engaged, and which has established his fame
as the most advanced shipbuilder of the day-namely, the steam-ship Leviathan.

* See the Account of the Great Exhibition in the Extra Year-Book of Facts,
1851, by the Editor of the present volume.

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OBITUARY LIST

283—284

THE

YEAR-BOOK OF

FACTS

Mechanical and Useful Arts.

THE LEVIATHAN” STEAM-SHIP. • The origin and mechanical structure of this stupendous ship can. not be better described than in the paper read to the Mechanical Section of the British Association* by her builder, Mr. John Scott Russell, who said :

He was not, as was generally supposed, an advocate for large ships, but the contrary; and it was the peculiarity of the Great Easternt that she was the smallest ship that could be built capable of doing the work which she was intended to perform. It had been found that a steam-ship could not be profitably worked which was of a less size than a ton to a mile of the voyage she was to perform, carrying her own coal. The voyage to Australia and back was 25,000 miles. The burthen of the Great Eastern, according to this principle, ought to be 25,000 tons, whereas her actual tonnage was only 22,000. Mr. Brunel first started the idea of building a vessel capable of performing the voyage to India or Australia and back, and the result of his suggestion was the great ship now fast approaching completion,

Mr. Russell then stated that the Great Eastern, as far as her lines were cons cerned, was a child of the Mechanical Section of the British Association. It was formed on the Wave principle, which, at the former meeting of the Association in Dublin, twenty-two years ago, he had first propounded, which, after a careful investigation by a Committee of the Association, had been found to be the right principle, and was now universally adopted. When a vessel was about to be built, intended to attain a certain speed, from ten miles an hour upwards, reference to the table of the wave principle informed them of the length which the bows and stern must be, and of the peculiarity of construction necessary in order to procure the desired result. According to this principle it was necessary, in order to acquire the speed which this vessel was to attain, that the length of her bow should be 330, the length of her stern 250, of the midship 120, which with 10 feet for the screw-propeller, gave an entire length of 680 feet. He showed that, while increasing the carrying or paying power of the ship to an immense extent, its mode of construction was such that the increase in the resistance of the water was in a much lower ratio, so that the vessel, notwithstanding its enormous size, could be worked as economically as a smaller one.

He next entered into a detailed description of the various improvements which he had introduced into the building of iron vessels, which were at first constructed in close imitation of the model of wooden ships with cumbrous timber frames, which gave no strength, but entailed great expense. He could not always build ships upon the improved principles, because owners insisted on having them made in the old-fashioned way. All improvements, which Mr. Scott Russell detailed at great length, were introduced into the Great Eastern, together with the cellular system, which had been so successfully applied in the construction of the Britannia Bridge, and which presented the greatest amount of strength that could possibly be procured against any crushing or resistance

* At the Annual Meeting held in Dublin, in August and September, 1857. + Subsequently the name of the ship was changed to the Leviathan.

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