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MEETINGS OF THE BRITISH ASSOCIATION.

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MEETINGS OF THE BRITISH ASSOCIATION. ( Continued from the eighth page.) The lias formation was next remarked upon, and also the re- imiins of animals calculated to breathe the atmosphere. Much amusement was excited by Sir Henry's description of some of them, such as flying crocodiles, monstrous reptiles, the icthyo- s iuvus, which was about thirty feet long, with the body of a fish, four paddle fins to make its way through the water, and a large mou'h like that of a crocodile. Another, the plesiosaurus, was equally large, with a neck like that of a swan. The oolictic group, resembling the roe of a fish, contains a great quantity of fossils. The chalk or cretaceous group next followed. This group is f.Jimd in large districts in England. The power of breakers on the sea shore was alluded to especially as observed on the coast of Ireland, which were exposed to the unbroken swell of the great Atlantic ocean, as they were sufficiently powerful to move about masses of rock oj about a ton in weight. As land was depressed beneath water, new formations took place by drifting of the mat- ter. The state of North Wales was, at a remote period,, widely different to what it is now, as there were traces of glacial action there—ice floating about and all the phenomena usually observed in the arctic and antarctic regions. In coal formations there was evidence to show that at one time these remote regions were at the surface of the earth, as traces of streams of running water could clearly be distinguished. Faults in mines were explained. They occur when masses of connected strata are found to have been run right across the direction of the seams, and one part raited higher than the other as if we were to cut through a num- ber of slices of bread, and left one pile an inch or so higher than the other, in which case no one edge of a slice would be opposite that from which it is cut. At the conclusion of this admirable address, the company ex- pressed their thanks for the highly intellectual treat they had re- ceived by loud and long. continued plaudits. At the request of the President, the high sheriff of the county. Thomas William Booker, Esq., delivered a long and elaborate speech. We regret that we were not present during the de- livery of this excellent address, which was received with loud applause. Mr. B. expressed his warm thanks to the Association for visiting the county of which he had the honour of being the civil officer. He then quoted largely from the first historian of tha South Wales coalfield, who wrote in the time of Queen Elizabeth—-George O.ven—who, in his time, was much afraid that this useful article of fuel would be soon exhausted, and who called for suspending its export from England. If Owen had been alive now, he (Mr. Booker) did not know what he would have said to the hon. baronet opposite him (Sir J. Joshua Guest), who consumed one thousand tons of coal daily. At the 1-59 blast furnaces for the smelting of iron, and which produced 550,000 tons of iron a-year, there were con- sumed 1,500,000 tons of coal a-year. The copper works con- sumed about 200,000 tons, and the tin works about 150,000 tons a-year. As near as he could ascertain the shipments last year amounted at Newport to Toiis 640,000 Cardiff 5(50,000 Swansea and Xeath 500,000 Llanclly, say. 50,000 1.7oo. 000 When the home consumption would be afterwards added to this enormous quantity, he believed it would, taking the area at fyily 100 square miles, each square mile to contain an available supply of 64,000,000 tons of coal, amount to Tak- ing this as a basis of a calculation, the area, at 100 square miles of 64 millions of tons each, the South Wales basin would not be exhausted in less than 1,409 years. When they con- sidered of what had been told them of a process of formation continually going on, the supply evidently would not be ex- hausted for ages. Taking the value of the exports of coal, iron, and copper, he believed it would amount annually to four millions of money. Sir H. De la Beehe and Sir T. D. Acland spoke in the high- est terms of the able address of Mr. Booker, and requested that it should be given to the public, to which Mr. Booker gracefully consented. SECTION F.—STATISTICS.—STATISTICS OF BHITTAMY AND THE BRETONS. Joseph Fletcher, Esq. read a paper on this subject, the prin- cipal facts of which had been gathered from inquiries instituted by the French Government into the social, educational, and physical condition of this province. The proportion of the population to the soil is greater than in any other part of France. The disproportion of age in marriages in Brittany was one of the social indications to which the lecturer referred. The average age of the women is 35, and that of the men, 30 years. The Bret in is represented as holding to the place of his hirth-obstinate in his prejudices—adhering firmly to the customs and habits of his ancestors not adopting any improve- ments in agriculture, and devotedly attached to the language of his province. Education is represented as deficient, though some progress has been made since the introduction of the national system in 1833. The Government scheme had been npDOsed by certain religious bodies, which has also contributed to the increase of education. Colonel Sykes made some remarks on the comparative con dióion of the Britons and the W elsh, which was highly fa- vorable to Wales. Archdeacon Williams thought the statistical statements should be received with caution, as they appeared to be based on an inquiry into the least favourable parts of Brittany, and from which general conclusions were drawn and applied to the whole population. He thought that such a mode of reporting on the social condition of the people was very unfair and objectionable. The arch-dea- ("In proceeded at considerable length to show the unsound- ness of the general conclusions. His speech, we be lieve, was not at all relished by Mr. Inspector Fletcher and other Govern- ment men present. Colonel Sykes defended the report on account of its being compiled ou't of statements made by the Government. Colonel Sykes then read an elaborate paper on the local affairs of Bengal. This contribution to statistical knowledge will throw much light on the proceedings of Government in Bengal. SECTION G.—-MECHANICAL SCIENCE. President, Professor Walker, M.A., P.R.S. In this section Mr. Wisha w read his paper and gave his ex- planation of the various applications of Gutta Percha, nume- rous specimens of which in the shape of thread, cord, tubular pipes, "driving bands, constable staves, sticks, whips, inkstands, medallions, shields, and other ornaments—water-buckets, ste- reotype-plates, and almost every other description both useful and ornamental, which appeared exceedingly attractive to the auditory were shown. The paper, after stating that Gutta Per- cha was the concrete juice of a large tree of the same name abounding in Borneo, and obtained by the tapping of the tree periodically by the Malays, stated that its introduction into this country was purely accidental. Dr. Montgomery having transmitted the first sample of it to the Society of Arts in 1843, le at which time he (Mr. Wishaw) was secrcta y. From that period U') to July 11, 134S, between 600 and 700 tons had been imported. From 20 to 60 tons were now regularly imported every month. Gntta Percha is an excellent non-conductor of electricity. A minute (lesc: ipti )n was then given of the pro- cess by which it was manufactured for several purposes. It concluded by enivnerat ng the various purposes, useful and orn .mental, for which it w is used. Among others was a very splendid, communion dish, which attracted the notice of the Bishop of St. David's. THE SPEAKING TELEGRAPH.—Mr. Wishaw next exhibited this rreat novelty. It was manufactured of Gutta Percha, and the sneaker suggested it might be very useful for persons who held different parishes, so that they might address all their parishioners with the same sermon. By merely whis- pering at the mouth of the tube the voice can be conveyed quite"audibly to a distance of at least three quarters of a mile, and a conversation easily kept up. It is probable that it will in a short time supersede the use of bells. Mr. W., by causing a tube 100 feet in length to be inserted, in the mouthpiece of a fhtP, and putting his own mouth to the end of the tube, played (;-oc1 save the Queen" at a d.stance of 100 feet from the per- son giving the flute breath. S' TKT.ROIIA.PU. —Mr. Wishaw then exhibited tho GuttaPercha sub m trine rope or telegraph, which consisted of a tube perforated with a series of small tubes for the con- veyance of telegraphic wires, and which for the purpose of pre- venting its being acted upon by the sea water or marine insects was handed or braided rr.und'by small ropes, and being per- fectly pliable could easily be conveyed across rivers or the channel and sunk. It was shown that where there were no electric wires the sperking telegraph could he conveyed across such rivers as the Thames, the Mersey, and thus a conversa- tion be kept up with perfect ease. Mr J. Scott Russell read a paper on the improvements of steam navigation. These consist in boilers, engines, and pad- dle wheeLs There was an old notion that the piston should not move up and down in the cylinder faster than two miles and a half an hour, which was only two feet ana a half in a second, while the motion of steam w-rs l,lf0 feet in a second. Fortunately, however, this old-fashioned maxim had bee i ab,Ild,jllc.i I and the piston now moved from 250, 270, to 3;0 < feet in a minute, and the lecturer knew no reason why it should not attain the rate of 350 feet. Another great improve- ment has been made in the construction of steam vessels—they are now built in a manner by which they can make much greater progress in water than they formerly could. The pa- per was altogether of a very valuable character. Mr. R. Roberts, of the Globe Works, Manchester, explained to the section the construction of a mechanical contrivance, by which may be effected in a very simple manner movements for which more complicated mechanism is frequently employed. The model consisted of a steel shaft, on which were (closely fitted) two brass discs, having each a boss to keep it steady. One of the discs had eleven teeth (rounded at top and bottom) in its circumference, and was placed on the body of the shaft; the other disc, which was rather the larger, was on the eccentric portion of the shaft, with its face to that of the toothed disc. The plain disc had four studs rivetted into it at equal distances from each other, and at such distance from its centre as to ad- mit of their being brought successively, by the revolution of the eccentric, to the bottom of the hollows in the toothed disc. The following movements may be effected by this model, namely, if the shaft be held stationary and the discs be made to revolve upon it, one of the discs will make twelve revolutions, whilst the other makes only eleven. Again, if the disc be held, whilst the shaft be made to re- volve twelve times, the plain, disc will revolve in the same direction one revolution only; and if the plain disc be held, the toothed disc will perform one revolution in the contrary direction for eleven revolutions of the shaft. It will be evident that almost any other number of revolu- tions may be produced by employing a smaller number of studs, not fewer than three, which will not divide the number of teeth in the disc. The idea of this novel element of mechanism was suggested to Mr. Roberts by a dial movement in an American clock. The description of this new element of mechanism excited great in- terest among mechanicians.

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