Punch,  47 (1864), 232–33.

Punch's Scientific Register



Introduction, Drollery; Proceedings, Spoof


Societies, Scientific Practitioners, Periodicals, Publishing, Geology, Mineralogy, Magnetism, Palaeontology, Archaeology, Comparative Philology, Industry, Zoology, Zoological Gardens, Botany, Natural History, Animal Behaviour, Human Development, Physical Geography, Exploration, Mapping, Taxonomy, Vulcanology, Photography, Anaesthesia, Light, Astronomy, Extra-Terrestrial Life, Cosmology

Institutions mentioned:

Zoological Society—Gardens , Metropolitan Board of Works

    Explains that, in response to the 'desire of the Scientific World', Mr Punch has decided to present 'a record of the proceedings of the various societies which meet to bewilder themselves with wisdom'. Points out that Mr Punch has edited the proceedings and hopes that these will be regarded by scientific societies as the source for the 'latest and best information on science'. These spoof proceedings describe the activities of six scientific organisations, namely the Geological Society, the Zoological Society, the Royal Geographical Society, the Photographic Society, the Royal Astronomical Society, and the Royal Archaeological Institute. Scientific activity is presented as bewildering, abstract, and often absurd. At the Geological Society, Mr Fondlesquaw presented his observations on 'a large number of interesting miocene corals' found on a London street. At the Archaelogical Institute, Mr Grundy 'exhibited an ancient heir-loom, which had evidently been used for looming hair'. (232) At the Zoological Society, Professor Phlunkey 'exhibited an exceedingly fine toad, which he had captured in a pond at Hampstead, and which he stated to be edible'. At the Geographical Society, a letter was received from Mr Wool Gatherer 'who stated that he did not know exactly where he was at present, but that when he found out he would let the Society know': the society then awarded him a gold medal for his efforts. At the Photographic Society there was a paper on the 'Best Mode of Keeping Babies Still for the Photographic Sitting'. At the Astronomical Society, the meeting featured a paper from Mr De Transit on his '"Observations upon the last Solar Eclipse", which he had been unable to see, owing to its being invisible in England'. (233)

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

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