Punch, 23 (1852), 126.
Extraordinary Nocturnal Balloon Ascent of the British Association
Education, Chemistry, Societies, Mesmerism, Animal Magnetism, Astronomy, Evolution, Aeronautics, Ethnology, Electricity, Physics
Edwin Lankester , Robert Hunt , Thomas Pettigrew
Written by Professor Puffy, who explains that he learnt the science of mechanics from his toys and the chemistry of alcoholic drinks from his college gyp. Puffs his contributions to the 'Transactions' of the British Association for the Advancement of Science and his other scientific achievements. This include his correspondence with Karl L Reichenbach by 'sympathetic snails', his authorship of the Vestiges, and his priority over Alfred Smee in identifying man as a 'voltaic battery'. Reports the approbation with which the association received his paper on comets and notes how he accompanied Roderick I Murchison and Charles R Weld on a balloon ride to the 'Glimpses of the Moon', armed with a lactometer for Mr Woods and Michael Faraday. Describes a fantastic voyage and battle 'amongst the planets', in which the planets and constellations are the mythical beings whose names they bear. Notes how Edward Sabine 'got us all into a mighty scrape, / By proposing that in Mercury (I think the man was daft), / With the help of Ursa Minor, we should try to sink a shaft', and how John R Hind tried to save the travellers from the 'dogstar'. Concluding lines of poem reveal that the voyage has been Puffy's dream. The illustration shows Puffy ascending above crowds with an umbrella.
© Science in the Nineteenth-Century Periodical Project, Universities of Leeds and Sheffield, 2005-07
Printed from Science in the Nineteenth-Century Periodical: An Electronic Index, v. 3.0, hriOnline Publications <http://www.sciper.org> [accessed ]