Punch,  58 (1870), 81.

Secrets in the Air



News-Commentary, Drollery


Microscopy, Instruments, Pollution, Analytical Chemistry, Religious Authority, Politics, Charlatanry, Utilitarianism

    Begins by describing the researches of George Sigerson of the Royal Irish Academy, who used a microscope to analyse the foul constituents of city air and the more beneficial components of sea and country air. Suggests that a more powerful microscope could 'detect in the air its subtler qualities—say the proportions of weariness, worldliness, and worship, that make up the air of Church; or the elements of patriotism and pomposity, vanity and verbosity, the filaments of red tape, and the dry rust of precedent, that blend in the air of the House of Commons'. Upholds the value of analysing these and similarly unsavoury elements of the air above Exeter Hall and around the guardians of St Pancras Poor Law Union.

© 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 ]