Punch,  16 (1849), 219.

A Shower of Discoveries



News-Commentary, Drollery


Physics, Electromagnetism, Steam-power, Railways, Force, Charlatanry, Discovery

    Reports on the discovery of two 'new motive powers': 'Electro-Magnetism' and 'Xyloidine'. Explains that Xyloidine is a power for stopping steam, a process that Punch thinks is 'dangerous' and which is so strong that it will 'drive every railway out of the country'. Adds that the machinery for exploiting the power is sufficiently small that 'ladies will walk about with a live locomotive stuffed in their reticules' and that omnibuses, cabs, and horses will take on far less important roles. Anticipates a shower of 'new motive forces', including the power 'to turn Railway Directors into the path of honesty'. Expects to 'congratulate British science' if any of these powers 'are brought to light' and show that 'Power is enviable only, when guided by the noblest motives'.

© Science in the Nineteenth-Century Periodical Project, Universities of Leeds and Sheffield, 2005 - 2020

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