Punch,  19 (1850), 79.

Punch's Guide to the Science of Things Familiar



Essay, Drollery


Textbooks, Education, Physiology, Electricityl, Physics

    Discusses Ebenezer C Brewer's 'very useful little work' (Brewer 1848) which gives, in fine and pleasant phraseology, answers to 'some very thousands of familiar questions'. Disagrees with some of Brewer's explanations: for example, denies that we 'feel a desire for activity in cold weather' and that this is due to 'fanning combustion in the blood'. Rather, insists that we feel a desire 'to sit cosily over a fire in cold weather'. Gives explanations of several familiar things recognised as not 'strictly correct in a philosophical point of view' but 'never disagreeable'. For example, the reason why lightning turns milk and beer sour is 'because the electric fluid does not know how to conduct itself', or because the electric and milky fluids cannot agree. Anticipates that the reader will 'exert his scientific powers' in finding the best solutions to such questions.

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

Printed from Science in the Nineteenth-Century Periodical: An Electronic Index, v. 4.0, The Digital Humanities Institute <http://www.sciper.org> [accessed ]