Bemoans the fact that 'London is woefully behind almost any second-rate American city in the matter of rapid transport. There is nothing in London that approaches either for speed or for cheapness to the long-distance fares on the trolley-cars which are rapidly becoming the universal means of transit in the Transatlantic cities'. Urges that the London County CouncilLondon County Council
CloseView the register entry >> must sink the revenue which it receives from the current tram system into 'substituting electricity for horse-traction'. (14) Also reports the call made by John E GorstGorst, Sir John Eldon
ODNB CloseView the register entry >> for the improvement of elementary education in agricultural districts because 'otherwise you would have pupils sent up to technical schools so deficient in arithmetic that they could not keep up with their classes' (15).
Section: Leading Articles in the Reviews
Review of Reviews, 19 (1899), 54.
Uncle Sam and His Indians. "A Century of Dishonour"
War, Politics, Military Technology, Invention, Science Fiction, Futurism
Reports the circular forwarded by the Russian government in advance of the proposed peace conference at the Hague, which suggests 'the interdicting of new and more deadly explosives' as well as 'the prohibition of the use of submarine boats' (109–10). Observes, however, that there is 'no likelihood of any interdict being placed upon the use of new weapons; indeed, there is reason to believe that the ending of war is more likely to be brought about by the discovery of vril—that marvellous fluid described by Bulwer LyttonLytton, Edward George Earle Lytton Bulwer-, 1st
ODNB CloseView the register entry >>, by which a child with a staff could annihilate an army at will—than by any attempt to restrict the combatants to what may be regarded as the present recognised weapons of war'. Also comments that the 'proposed prohibition of the submarine boat has naturally irritated the French', who complain that the Russian circular has been 'framed entirely with a view to benefit England'. (110) Indeed, the 'success of their submarine boats' has seemingly led the French 'Minister of Marine' Etienne E A SimonSimon, Etienne Antoine Edouard (pseud Lockroy)
WBI CloseView the register entry >> to make a series of bellicose threats against British shipping, although the 'submarine boat may play France the same ill turn that the chassepot did in 1870, and the mitrailleuse. The new toy is always going to make France invincible. But somehow it always fails' (115).
Gives an account of the posthumous report of the 'martyr to sanitary research' George E WaringWaring, George Edwin
WBI CloseView the register entry >>, who last year died of yellow fever while investigating the sanitary condition of Havana for the United States government. The Cuban capital has 'no sewerage system' and is 'Verily [...] a "city set on the hill", but it is a dunghill', but, since the liberation of Cuba from Spanish rule, 'American science and pluck' have 'resolutely set out to cleanse' the pestilential city in which, last year, the annual mortality rate was '139.36 per thousand'.
Reports that Charles T RitchieRitchie, Charles Thomson, 1st Baron Ritchie of
ODNB CloseView the register entry >>, the President of the Board of Trade, has proposed a parliamentary bill to end the 'preventable slaughter of railway men which goes on at present owing to the refusal of the railway companies to adopt automatic methods of coupling and uncoupling railway carriages and railway trucks'. The bill will 'compel railway companies to use couplings which fasten automatically, and which can be unfastened by some mechanical device less deadly than the present primitive method of coupling and uncoupling by hand', and may also 'compel railway companies in two years to use steam-brakes'. (215)
Section: Leading Articles in the Reviews
Review of Reviews, 19 (1899), 244–45.
Unlimited Power at Next to No Cost. A Stupendous Industrial Revolution at Hand
Invention, Steam-power, Electricity, Magic, Gas Chemistry, Physics, Industrial Chemistry, Futurism, Imperialism, Military Technology
Announces one of the 'most astounding prospects ever opened up by scientific invention', which 'more completely eclipses the mechanical marvels of steam and electricity than the slave-mill and stage-coach' by promising 'at almost no cost any amount of motive power'. This 'new substance', though, is in fact 'a very old friend—nothing less than the common air, only in a liquefied state. Liquid air is the new mechanical magician'. The 'discoveries' in gas liquefaction made since the 1870s by Raoul-Pierre PictetPictet, Raoul-Pierre
DSB CloseView the register entry >>, Karol S OlszewskiOlszewski, Karol Stanislaw
DSB CloseView the register entry >>, and James DewarDewar, Sir James
ODNB CloseView the register entry >> have now been 'developed [...] into the production of a new and potent industrial force' by the American inventor Charles E TriplerTripler, Charles Eastman
WBI CloseView the register entry >>. (244) This low-temperature motive power could mean that, amongst other things, 'the difficulties of tropical climate for white men are overcome', for with 'a house at any temperature he pleases, the Englishman can live and thrive and bring up children in the very hottest part of the earth' (245).
Notes that 'It is the old story over again. The wounds inflicted by machinery only machinery can heal. The forest of chimney stalks with its horrible foliage of smoke is one of the injuries we owe to mechanical progress: its cure is to be more mechanical progress'.
Reports that the 'success of Signor Marconi'sMarconi, Guglielmo
DSB CloseView the register entry >> experiment in transmitting messages from Dover to Calais without any connecting wire has occasioned a pleasant thrill of delight to everybody except holders of cable stock', and urges that there is 'really no reason why thought should not be transmitted without wires all over the world; and some day it will be done. Intermittently it has been done already. But these glimpses of the possibilities of telepathy will never be recognised at their full value until some Marconi of the mind produces a mechanical appliance by which it will be possible not merely to receive but to record the impact of the thought waves which at present only leave their impress upon the brain of the sensitive' (315).
Reports that 'having long ago demonstrated that the cultivation of their brain by women was accompanied by all manner of terrible dangers to their reproductive efficiency', Kenealy 'now lifts up her voice [...] to warn her sisters against the awful consequences of cultivating their muscle'. Her article, however, will 'read like cruel wrong to the myriad women to whom motherhood is an unattainable paradise', and may make 'lazy girls imagine that they are best fulfilling their destinies as breeding machines by never cultivating their minds or training their bodies'.
Sociology, Political Economy, Natural Law, Railways, Methodology, Induction, Temperance
Claims that many current approaches to social problems are 'theoretically and morally perfect, and are constructed with scrupulous regard to all accepted laws of political economy. Their only defect is that in practice they are unworkable. Many of the locomotives which competed with Stephenson'sStephenson, George
ODNB CloseView the register entry >>"Puffing Billy"Puffing Billy, locomotive CloseView the register entry >> were built in accordance with recognised rules. They should have moved, but they did not. It is the same with many proposals for social reform which are enthusiastically supported to-day'. The authors of the present book on temperance, however, 'have approached the subject from the point of view of the scientific investigator who desires to discover the essential facts of the problem, and not with any preconceived theory for which they hoped to find supporting evidence' (387).
Recommends 'establishing a great industrial museum at Peking, a kind of International South KensingtonSouth Kensington Museum
CloseView the register entry >>, in which the Chinese can see with their own eyes all the best inventions and all the triumphs of our applied art and science' as a way of helping to 'develop our trade with China'. In fact, it would 'be well for our own people to realise the advantage of having such a sample of exhibits. We have in this country nothing at all corresponding to the Commercial MuseumPhiladelphia Commercial Museum
CloseView the register entry >> which exists at Philadelphia' (414), and 'In this respect as in many others, we shall find ourselves hopelessly left behind in the race by our ingenious and enterprising cousins across the water' (414–15). Also complains that Charles T Ritchie'sRitchie, Charles Thomson, 1st Baron Ritchie of
ODNB CloseView the register entry >> 'Railway Regulation Bill, in which it was proposed to lessen railway slaughter by introducing automatic couplings, has been dropped like a hot potato' by the Government, after vigorous objections to such 'interference' were made by the 'powerful vested interest' of the railway companies, who were represented in ParliamentHouses of Parliament
CloseView the register entry >> by Claud J HamiltonHamilton, Lord Claud John
WBI CloseView the register entry >> (416).
Section: Leading Articles in the Reviews
Review of Reviews, 19 (1899), 457.
A New Theory of Totemism. A Co-operative System of Food Supply
National Efficiency, Declinism, Industry, Electricity, Commerce, Technology, Machinery
Points out that while many Americans still view 'the Kaiser'sWilhelm II, Emperor of Germany and King of Prussia
CBD CloseView the register entry >> realm as an "effete monarchy"', in fact 'Germans have excelled in steam engines, boilers, electrical machinery, storage batteries, underground cables, chemical processes, and throughout their magnificent iron and steel industry, as well as in the electro-technical industry'.
Review of Reviews, 19 (1899), 467.
Heat Without Fuel. Hitching Our Chariot to the Sun
Comments that 'After Marconi'sMarconi, Guglielmo
DSB CloseView the register entry >> feats of wireless telegraphy incredulity seems to have no foothold left in the regions of electrical and mechanical science', and consequently urges readers to 'dismiss the scepticism which rises unbidden' at the attempts of Nikola TeslaTesla, Nikola
DSB CloseView the register entry >>, 'the Wizard of the West', to 'dispense with fuel and use concentrated sunlight instead'.
Expresses astonishment that 'the Hermit Kingdom' was 'the birthplace of such remarkable inventions as those of moveable metal type, the ironclad war-ship, the suspension-bridge, the bomb and mortar, and a pure phonetic alphabet' (553).
Light, Electromagnetism, Ether, Physics, Military Technology, Mesmerism
Describes the 'marvellous invention' of Alex OrloffOrloff, Alex (Swedish inventor)
RR1/19/6a/5 CloseView the register entry >> who has 'discovered a new form of X-rays, which he has successfully applied to the steering of torpedoes without the use of connecting wires. The light-rays are transmitted through the air from a radiator on shipboard, on the shore, or in a balloon [...] to a receiving apparatus attached to the torpedo', which is 'as it were mesmerised and remains under the control of its sender'.