Skip to main content

Full text of "Report of the British Association for the Advancement of Science"

See other formats

)': :!j!- 

, \il]',} 















Objects and Rules of the Association v 

Officers and Council "vii 

Places of Meeting and Officers from commencement viii 

Table of Council from commencement ix 

Officers of Sectional Committees and Corresponding Members xi 

Treasurer's Account xii 

Reports, Researches, and Desiderata xiv 

Recommendations for Additional Reports and Researches in Science xxi 

Synopsis of Money Grants xxv 

Arrangements of the General Evening Meetings xxx 

Address of the President xxxi 

Report of the Council to the General Committee xlvi 


On the Microscopic Structure of Shells. ByW.CARPENTER,M.D.,F.R.S. 1 

Report on the British Nudibranchiate MoUusca. By Joshua Alder 
and Albany Hancock 24 

Researches on the Influence of Light on the Germination of Seeds and 
the Growth of Plants. By Robert Hunt 29 

Report of a Committee, consisting of Sir John W. F. Herschel, Mr. 
Whewell, and Mr. Baily (deceased), appointed by the British 
Association in 1840, for revising the Nomenclature of the Stars 32 

On the Meteorology of Toronto in Canada. By Lieut.-Colonel Edward 
Sabine, R.A., F.R.S. 42 

Report on some recent Researches into the Structure, Functions and 
CEconomy of the Araneidea made in Great Britain. By John Black- 
wall, F.L.S 62 

On the Construction of large Reflecting Telescopes. By the Earl 
OF Rosse 79 

Report on a Gas Furnace for Experiments on Vitrifaction and other 
Applications of High Heat in the Laboratory. By the Rev. 
William Vernon Harcourt, F.R.S., &c 82 

Report of the Committee for registering Earthquake Shocks in Scotland 85 

Report of a Committee appointed at the Tenth Meeting of the Associa- 
tion for Experiments on Steam-Engines. Members of the Com- 
mittee : — The Rev. Professor Moseley, M.A., F.R.S. ; Eaton 
Hodgkinson, Esq., F.R.S. ; J. S. Enys, Esq., F.G.S. ; Professor 
Pole, F.G.S. (Reporter) 90 



Report of the Committee to investigate the Varieties of the Human Race 93 
Fourth Report of a Committee, consisting of H. E. Strickland, Esq., 
Prof. Daubeny, Prof. Henslow and Prof. Lindley, appointed to 

continue their Experiments on the Vitality of Seeds 94 

On the Consumption of Fuel and the Prevention of Smoke. By 
William Fairbairn, Esq 100 

Report concerning the Observatory of the British Association at Kew, 
from August the 1st, 1843, to July the 31st, 1844. By Francis 
Ronalds, Esq., F.R.S 120 

Sixth Report of the Committee, consisting of Sir J. Herschel, the 
Master of Trinity College, Cambridge, the Dean of Ely, Dr. 
Lloyd and Colonel Sabine, appointed to conduct the Co-operation 
of the British Association in the system of Simultaneous Magnetical 
and Meteorological Observations 143 

On the influence of Fucoidal Plants upon the Formations of the Earth, 
on Metamorphism in general, and particularly the Metamorphosis of 
the Scandinavian Alum Slate. By Prof. G. Forchhammer 155 

Report on the recent Progress and present State of Ornithology. By 
H. E. Strickland, M.A., F.G.S., &c 170 

Report of Committee appointed to conduct Observations on Subterra- 
nean Temperature in Ireland. By T. Oldham, Esq., M.R.I.A 221 

Report on the extinct Mammals of Australia, with descriptions of certain 
Fossils indicative of the former existence in that Continent of large 
Marsupial Representatives of the Order Pachydermata. By Prof. 
Owen, F.R.S 223 

Report on the Working of Whewell and Osier's Anemometers at Ply- 
mouth, for the years 1841, 1842, 1843. By W. Snow Harris, Esq., 
F.R.S., &c 241 

Report on Atmospheric Waves. By W. R. Birt 267 

Rapport sur les Poissons Fossiles de I'Argile de Londres. ParL. Agassiz, 
with translation 279 

Report on Waves. By J. Scott Russell, Esq., M.A., F.R.S. Edin., 
made to the Meetings in 1842 and 1843. Members of the Com- 
mittee : — Sir John Robison, Sec. R.S. Edin., and J. Scott 
Russell, F.R.S. Ed , 311 

Provisional Reports and Notices of Progress in Special Researches en- 
trusted to Committees and Individuals 390 





The Association contemplates no interference with the ground occupied by 
other Institutions. Its objects are,— To give a stronger impulse and a more 
systematic direction to scientific inquiry,— to promote the intercourse of those 
who cultivate Science in different parts of the British Empire, with one an- 
other, and with foreign philosophers,~to obtain a more general attention to 
the objects of Science, and a removal of any disadvantages of a public kind 
which impede its progress. 



All persons who have attended the first Meeting shall be entitled to be- 
come Members of the Association, upon subscribing an obligation to conform 

to its Rules. 1 • 1 o 

The Fellows and Members of Chartered Literary and Philosophical So- 
cieties publishing Transactions, in the British Empire, shall be entitled, m 
like manner, to become Members of the Association. 

The officers and Members of the Councils, or Managing Committees, of 
Philosophical Institutions, shall be entitled, in like manner, to become Mem- 
bers of the Association. 

All Members of a Philosophical Institution, recommended by its Council 
or Managing Committee, shall be entitled, in like manner, to become Mem- 
bers of the Association. 

Persons not belonging to such Institutions shall be elected by the General 
Committee or Council, to become Members of the Association, subject to the 
approval of a General Meeting. 


The amount of the Annual Subscription shall be One Pound, to be paid in 
advance upon admission ; and the amount of the composition in lieu thereof, 
Five Pounds. 

An admission fee of One Pound is required from all Members elected as 
Annual Subscribers, after the Meeting of 1839, in addition to their annual 
subscription of One Pound. 

The volume of Reports of the Association will be distributed gratuitously 
to every Annual Subscriber who has actually paid the Annual Subscription 
for the year to which the volume relates, and to all those Life Members who 
shall have paid Two Pounds as a Book Subscription. 

Subscriptions shall be received by the Treasurer or Secretaries. 

If the Annual Subscription of any Member shall have been m arrear for 


two years, and shall not be paid on proper notice, he shall cease to be a 


The Association shall meet annually, for one week, or longer. The place 
of each Meeting shall be appointed by the General Committee at the previous 
Meeting ; and the Arrangements for it shall be entrusted to the Officers of 
the Association. 


The General Committee shall sit during the week of the Meeting, or longer, 
to transact the business of the Association. It shall consist of the following 
persons : — 

1. Presidents and Officers for the present and preceding years, with au- 
thors of Reports in the Transactions of the Association. 

2. Members who have communicated any Paper to a Philosophical Society, 
which has been printed in its Transactions, and which relates to such subjects 
as are taken into consideration at the Sectional Meetings of the Association. 

3. Office-bearers for the time being, or Delegates, altogether not exceeding 
three in number, from any Philosophical Society publishing Transactions. 

4. Office-bearers for the time being, or Delegates, not exceeding three, 
from Philosophical Institutions established in the place of Meeting, or in any 
place where the Association has formerly met. 

5. Foreigners and other individuals whose assistance is desired, and who 
are specially nominated in writing for the Meeting of the year by the Presi- 
dent and General Secretaries. 

6. The Presidents, Vice-Presidents, and Secretaries of the Sections are tfj; 
officio members of the General Committee for the time being. 


The General Committee shall appoint, at each Meeting, Committees, con- 
sisting severally of the Members most conversant with the several branches 
of Science, to advise together for the advancement thereof. 

The Committee shall report what subjects of investigation they would par- 
ticularly recommend to be prosecuted during the ensuing year, and brought 
under consideration at the next Meeting. 

The Committees shall recommend Reports on the state and progress of par- 
ticular Sciences, to be drawn up from time to time by competent persons, for 
the information of the Annual Meetings. 


The General Committee shall appoint at each Meeting a Committee, which 
shall receive and consider the recommendations of the Sectional Committees, 
and report to the General Committee the measures which they would advise 
to be adopted for the advancement of Science. 

All Recommendations of Grants of Money, Requests for Special Re- 
searches, and Reports on Scientific Subjects, shall be submitted to the Com- 
mittee of Recommendations, and not taken into consideration by the General 
Committee unless previously recommended by the Committee of Recommen- 


Local Committees shall be formed by the Officers of the Association to 
assist in making arrangements for the Meetings. 

Local Committees shall have the power of adding to their numbers those 
Members of the Association whose assistance they may desire. 



A President, two or more Vice-Presidents, one or more Secretaries, and a 
Treasurer, shall be annually appointed by the General Committee. 


In the intervals of the Meetings, the affairs of the Association shall be 
managed by a Council appointed by the General Committee. The Council 
may also assemble for the despatch of business during the week of the Meeting. 


The Author of any paper or communication shall be at liberty to reserve 
his right of property therein. 


The Accounts of the Association shall be audited annually, by Auditors 
appointed by the Meeting. 


Trustees (permanent). — Roderick Impey Murchison, Esq., F.R.S., P. Geog. S. 
John Taylor, Esq., F.R.S. The Very Reverend G. Peacock, D.D., Dean of 
Ely. F.R.S. 

President. — The Very Reverend George Peacock, D.D., Dean of Ely. 

Vice-Presidents The Earl Fitzwilliam, F.R.S. Viscount Morpeth, F.G.S. 

The Hon. John Stuart Wortley, M.P„ F.R.S. Sir David Brewster, K.H., 
F.R.S.L. and E. Michael Faraday, Esq., D.C.L., F.R.S. Rev. William 
V. Harcourt, F.R.S. 

President Elect.— Sir John F. W. Herschei, Bart., F.R.S. 

Vice-Presidents Elect. — The Right Hon. The Earl of Hardwicke. The 
Right Reverend the Lord Bishop of Norwich. The Rev. John Graham, D.D., 
Master of Christ's College. Rev. Gilbert Ainslie, D.D., Master of Pembroke 
Hall. G.B. Airy, Esq., F.R.S., Astronomer Royal. Rev. Adam Sedgwick, 
F.R.S., Woodwardian Professor. 

General Secretaries. — Roderick Impey Murchison, Esq., F.R.S., P. Geog.S., 
London. Lieut. -Col. Sabine, F.R.S., Woolwich. 

Assistant General Secretary. — Professor Phillips, F.R.S., York. 

General Treasurer.— John Taylor, Esq., F.R.S., 2 Duke Street, Adelphi, 

Secretaries for the Cambridge Meeting in 1845. — Wm. Hopkins, Esq., 
M.A., F.R.S. D. T. Ansted, Esq., M.A., F.G.S., Prof, of Geology in King's 
College, London. 

Treasurer to the Meeting in 1845. — C. C. Babington, Esq. 

Council.— Sir H. T. De la Beche. Rev. Dr. Buckland. Dr. Daubeny. 
Professor E. Forbes. Professor T. Graham. W. Snow Harris, Esq. James 
Heywood, Esq. Dr. Hodgkin. Eaton Hodgkinson, Esq. Leonard Horner, 
Esq. Robert Hutton, Esq. Sir Charles Lemon, Bart. Charles Lyell, Esq. 
Professor MacCullagh, The Marquis of Northampton. Professor Owen. 
Rev. Dr. Robinson." Capt. Sir J. Ross, R.N. The Earl of Rosse. H. E. 
Strickland, Esq. Lieut. -Col. Sykes. William Thompson, Esq. H. War- 
burton, Esq. Professor Wheatstone. C.J. B. Williams, M.D. 

Local Treasurers. — Dr. Daubeny, Oxford. C. C. Babington, Esq., Cam- 
bridge. Dr. Orpen, Dublin. Charles Forbes, Esq., Edinburgh. Professor 
Ramsay, Glasgow. William Gray, jun., Esq., York. William Sanders, Esq., 
Bristol. Samuel Turner, Esq., Liverpool. G. W. Ormerod, Esq., Manchester. 
James Russell, Esq., Birmingham. William Hutton, Esq., Newcastle-on- 
Tyne. Henry WooUcombe, Esq., Plymouth. James Roche, Esq., Cork. 

Auditors. — Robert Hutton, Esq. Leonard Horner, Esq. Lieut. -Col. Sykes. 

Si ad 

• o'^Q 



>=.„•" "J 1.3-£ 

2, * 

o , fi 

i^ -sj 

.S&< J CO . ^g « 
t g ;l, O o w c 

" '5 x',: 

h3 =£<: 

M M>^ OW to 

(1,(1.? S-=k;(i< 

=*"=i §*= fell" ?1« 3=^s I 

■2.^.2 i=oo-S 

>^2 i's^S 

■Sat! e^'*'^=s;« 


g § 


•fti^SiKP4p.,co«K &.> &-i^*-i 


o >■ S S" =0 >3 


II. Table showing the Members of Council of the British Association from 
its commencement, in addition to Presidents, Vice-Presidents, and Local 
Secretaries, for a list of whom see p. viii. 

{Rev. Wm. Vernon Harcourt, F.R.S., &c 1832—1836, 
Francis Baik, V.P. and Treas. R.S 1835. 
R. I. Murchison, F.R.S., F.G.S 1836—1844. 
Rev. G. Peacock, F.R.S., F.G.S., &c 1837, 1838. 
Lieut.-Colonel Sabine, V.P.R.S 1839, 1844. 

General Treasurer. John Taylor, F.R.S., Treas. G.S., &c 1832—1844 

rCharles Babbage, F.R.SS. L. & E., &c. (Resigned.) 
R. I. Murchison, F.R.S., &c. 
Trustees (permanent.) < John Taylor, F.R.S., &c. 

Francis Baily, F.R.S., (Deceased.) 
L The Dean of Ely. 

"^'"'"seLlTr^ jProfessor Phillips. F.R.S., &c 1832-1844. 

Members of Council. 

G. B. Airj-, F.R.S., Astronomer Royal 1834, 1835, 1841. 

Neil Arnott, M.D 1838, 1839, 1840. 

Francis Baily, V.P. and Treas. R.S 1837—1839. 

Sir H. T. De la Beche, F.R.S 1841—1844. 

George Bentham, F.L.S 1834, 1835. 

Robert Brown, D.C.L., F.R.S 1832, 1834, 1835, 1838—1841. 

Sir David Brewster, F.R.S., &c 1832, 1841—1842. 

Sir Thomas Brisbane, Bart 1842. 

Sir M. I. Brunei, F.R.S., &c 1832. 

Rev. Professor Buckland, D.D., F.R.S., &C.1833, 1835, 1838—1844. 

The Earlof Burlington. F.R.S 1838, 1839. 

Rev. T. Chalmers, D.D., Prof, of Divinity, 

Edinburgh 1833. 

Professor Clark, Cambridge 1838. 

Professor Christie, F.R.S., &c 1833—1837- 

William Clift, F.R.S., F.G.S 1832—1835. 

J. C. Colquhoun, Esq 1840. 

John Corrie, F.R.S., &c 1832. 

Professor Daniell, F.R.S 1836, 1839, 

Dr. Daubenv, F.R.S 1838—1844. 

J. E. Drinkwater 1834, 1835. 

Sir Philip G. Egerton, Bart., F.R.S 1840, 1841. 

The Earl Fitzwilliam, D.C.L., F.R.S., &C...1833, 

Professor Forbes, F.R.S. L, & E., &c 1832, 1841, 1842. 

Davies Gilbert. D.C.L., V.P.R.S., &c 1832. 

Professor R. Graham, M.D., F.R.S.E 1837. 

Professor Thomas Graham, F.R.S 1838, 1839—1844. 

John Edward Gray. F.R.S., F.L.S., &c 1837—1839, 1840, 1843. 

Professor Green, F.R.S., F.G.S 1832. 

G. B. Greenough, F.R.S., F.G.S 1832—1839-1843. 

Henry Hallam, F.R.S., F.S.A., &c 1836. 

Rev. W. V. Harcourt, F.R.S 1842, 

Sir William R. Hamilton, Astron. Royal of 

Ireland, M.R.I.A 1832, 1833, 1836. 

W. J. Hamilton, Sec. G.S 1840—1842. 

W. Snow Harris, F.R.S 1844. 

James Heywood, Esq., F.R.S 1843, 1844. 

Rev. Prof. Henslow, M.A., F.L.S., F.G.S. ..1837. 
Sir JohnF.W.Herschel,Bart., F.R.S. L.&E., 

F.R.A.S., F.G.S., &c 1832. 

Thomas Hodgkin, M.D 1833—1837, 1839, 1840, 1842. 

Eaton Hodgkinson, Esq., F.R.S 1843, 1844. 

Prof. Sir W. J. Hooker, LL.D., F.R.S., &C.1832. 
Leonard Horner, F.R.S 1841—1844. 


Rev. F. W. Hope, M.A.. F.L.S 1837. 

Robert Hutton, F.G.S.,&c 1836, 1838, 1839—1843, 1844. 

Professor R. Jameson, F.R.S.L.&E 1833. 

Rev. Leonard Jenyns, F.L.S 1838. 

H. B. Jerrard, Esq 1840. 

Dr. R. Lee 1839. 

Sir Charles Lemon, Bart, F.R.S 1838, 1839, 1842—1844. 

Rev. Dr. Lardner 1838, 1839. 

Professor Lindley, F.R.S., F.L.S., &c 1833, 1836. 

Rev. Prof. Lloyd, D.D., F.R.S., M.R.LA. 1832, 1833, 1841—1843. 
J. W. Lubbock, F.R.S., F.L.S., &c.. Vice- 

Chancellor of the University of London.. .1833— 1836, 1838, 1839. 

Rev. Thomas Luby 1832. 

Charles Lyell, jun., F.R.S 1838, 1839, 1840, 1843, 1844. 

Professor MacCullagh, M.R.I.A 1843, 1844. 

"William Sharp MacLeay, F.L.S 1837. 

Professor John Macneill 1843. 

Professor Miller, F.G.S 1840. 

Professor Moselev, F.R.S 1839, 1840, 1843. 

Patrick NeiU, LL.D., F.R.S.E 18.33. 

The Marquis of Northampton, P.R.S 1840—1843, 1844. 

Professor Richard Owen, F.R.S., F.L.S 1836, 1838, 1839, 1844. 

Rev. George Peacock, M.A., F.R.S., &c. ...1832, 1834, 1835, 1839—1848. 

E. Pendarves, Esq., F.R.S 1840. 

Rev. Professor Powell, M.A., F.R.S., &C....1836, 1837, 1839, 1840. 

J. C. Prichard, M.D., F.R.S., &c 1832. 

George Rennie, F.R.S 1833—1835, 1839, 1841. 

Sir John Rennie, F.R.S 18.38. 

Dr. Richardson. F.R.S 1841—1843. 

Rev. Professor Ritchie, F. R. S 1 833. 

Rev. T. R. Robinson, D.D 1841, 1844. 

Sir John Robison, Sec. R.S.E 1832, 1836, 1841, 1842. 

P. M. Roget, M.D., Sec. R.S., F.G.S., &c... 1834— 1837, 1841, 1842. 

The Earl of Rosse, F.R.S 1844. 

Capt. Sir J. C. Ross, R.N., F.R.S 1844. 

Lieut.-Colonel Sabine, F.R.S 1838. 

Lord Sandon 1840. 

Rev. Professor Sedgwick, M.A., F.R.S. ...1842, 1843. 
Rev. William Scoresby, B.D., F.R.S.L.&E. 1842. 

H. E. Strickland, Esq., F.G.S 1840—1842, 1844. 

Lieut.-Col. W. H. Sykes,F.R.S., F.L.S., &C.1837— 1839, 1842—1844. 

H. Fox Talbot, Esq., F.R.S 1840. 

Rev. J. J. Tayler, B.A., Manchester 1832. 

William Thompson. F.L.S 1843, 1844. 

Professor Traill, M.D 1832, 1833. 

N. A. Vigors, M.P.,D.C.L., F.S.A., F.L.S. 1832, 1836, 1840. 

James Walker, Esq.. P.S.C.E 1840. 

Captain Washington, R.N 1838, 1839, 1840. 

Professor Wheatstone, F.R.S 1838—1844. 

H. Warburton, Esq., F.R.S., Pres. G.S. ...1844. 
Rev.W.Whewell,F.R.S.,MabterofT.C.Camb.l838, 1839, 1842, 1843. 
Professor C. J. B. Williams, M.D., F.R.S. .1842— 1844. 

Rev. Prof. Willis, M.A., F.R.S 1842. 

William Yarrell, F.L.S 1833—1836. 

James Yates. Esq., M.A., F.R.S 1842. 

Secretaries to //«e/ Edward Turner, M.D., F.R.SS. L. & E. 1832—1836. 
Council. I James Yates, F.R.S., F.L.S., F.G.S. 1831—1840. 




President. — The Earl of Rosse, F.R.S. 

Vice-Presidents.— Profesfior MacCullagli, M.R.I.A. Rev. Dr. Robinson, 
M.R.I. A. Rev. Dr. Whewell, F.R.S. Professor Wheatstone, F.R.S. 
,S'ecreianes.— Professor Stevelly, M.A. Rev. Wm. Hey, M.A., F.G.S. 


(including their applications to Agriculture and the Arts.). 
President. — Professor T. Graham, F.R.S. 

Vice-Presidents.— Marquis of Northampton, F.R.S. Professor Grove, 
F.R.S. Dr. Daubeny, F.R.S. 

Secretaries.— Bt. L. Playfair. E. Solly, Esq., F.R.S. T. H. Barker, Esq. 


President.— Henry Warburton, Esq., M.P., President of the Geological 
Society of London. 

Vice-Presidents.— TheE&rl of Enniskillen, F.R.S. Sir H. T. De la Beche, 
F.R.S. R. I. Murchison, F.R.S., P.R.Geog.S. (President for Geography) 
Rev. Professor Sedgwick, F.R.S. t^ ,^ c- 

Secretaries.— Professor Ansted, M.A., F.R.S. E. H. Bunbury, M.A., F.G.S. 


President.— The Very Rev. The Dean of Manchester. 

Vice-Presidents.— Viokssor Owen, F.R.S. Hugh E. Strickland, F.G.S. 
W. Spence, F.L.S. Dr. Falconer, F.R.S. 

(Secretaries.— Professor AUman. Dr. Lankester. Harry Goodsir, Esq. 
Dr. King. 


President.-}. C. Prichard, M.D. 

Vice-Presidents.—^. P. Alison, M.D. H. S. Belcombe, M.D. George 
Goldie, M.D. Thomas Simpson, M.D. 

Secretaries. — I. Erichsen, Esq. R. S. Sargent, M.D. 


President.— L\eut.-Co\. W. H. Sykes, F.R.S., F.L.S., &c. 
Vice-Presidents. -Sir John V. B. Johnstone, Bart., F.G.S. Sir C. Lemon, 
Bart. T. Tooke, Esq. G. R. Porter, Esq. 

Secretaries.— lames Heywood, Esq. Joseph Fletcher, Esq. Dr. Laycock. 


President. — John Taylor, Esq., F.R.S. n t> o 

Vice-Presidents.— J. Scott Russell, F.R.S.E. Eaton Hodgkinson, F.R.S. 

Secretaries. — C. Vignoles, Esq. Thomas Webster, Esq. 

Professor Agassiz, Neufchatel. M. Arago, Secretary of the Institute, 
Paris. A. D. Bache, Philadelphia. Professor Berzelius, Stockholm. Pro- 
fessor Bessel, Konigsberg. Professor H. von Boguslawski, Breslau. Pro- 
fessor Braschmann, Moscow. Professor DelaRive, Geneva. Professor Dumas, 
Paris. Professor Ehrenberg, Berhn. Professor Encke, Berlin. Dr. A. Er- 
man, Berlin. Dr. Langberg, Christiania. M. Frisiani, Astronomer, Milan. 
Baron Alexander von Humboldt, Berlin. M. Jacobi, St. Petersburg. Pro- 
fessor Jacobi, Konigsberg. Dr. Lamont, Munich. Professor Liebig, Giessen. 
Professor Link, Berlin. Professor (Ersted, Copenhagen. M. Otto, Breslau. 
Jean Plana, Astronomer Royal, Turin. M. Quetelet, Brussels. Professor C. 
Ritter, Berlin. Professor Schumacher, Altona. Professor Wartmann, Lausanne. 




£ s. d. 

To Balance in hand from last year's Account 

To Life Compositions received at the Cork Meeting and since 160 
To Annual Subscriptions Ditto Ditto Ditto 446 









8 ; 


' from 



To received for Ladies' Tickets at the Cork Meeting 

To received for Sections' Ditto Ditto 

2 12 


2 16 

3 6 

4 3 

6 15 

7 9 
9 18 

20 15 
IS 10 
34 6 
17 11 






To received Compositions for Books (future publication) ... 

To received Dividends of £5500 in the 3 per cent. Consols, 

12 months to July 1844 

To received from the Sale of Reports, viz. 

1st vol., 2nd Edition 

2nd vol 

3rd vol 

4th vol 

5th vol 

6th vol 

7th vol 

8th vol 

9th vol 

10th vol 

11th vol 

12th vol 




dE2135 16 5 

The General Treasurer on Account of the Printing 

To Cash received from Her Majesty's Government towards the expense of 

Printing the Catalogues of Stars of Lalande and Lacaille 1000 


British Association for the 

To Balance in hand of the Account for Printing Lalande and Lacaille's 

Catalogues 934 2 

£934 2 





15th of August 1843 to the 26th of September 1844. ' 


£ s. d. £ s. d. 
By Sundry Disbursements by Treasurer and Local Treasurers, 
including the Expenses of the Meeting at Cork, Adver- 
tising, and Sundry Printing 317 13 3 

By Printing, &c. of the 12th Report (11th vol.) 344 3 6 

By Engraving, &c. for the 13th Report (12th vol.) 42 7 

By Salaries to Assistant General Secretary, Accountant, &c... 450 

By Paid on Account of Grants to Committees for Scientific 
purposes, viz. for — 

Meteorological Observations at Kingussie and Inverness ... 12 

Completing ditto at Plymouth 35 

Magnetic and Meteorological Co-operation 25 8 4 

Publication of the British Association Catalogue of Stars... 35 

Observations on Tides on the East Coast of Scotland 100 

Revision of the Nomenclature of Stars 1842 2 9 6 

Maintaining the Establishment in Kew Observatory 117 17 3 

Instruments for ditto ditto 56 7 3 

Influence of light on Plants 10 

Subterraneous Temperature in Ireland 5 

Coloured Drawings of Railway Sections 15 17 6 

Investigation of Fossil Fishes of the Lower Tertiary Strata 100 

Registering the Shocks of Earthquakes 1842 23 11 10 

Researches into the Structure of Fossil Shells 20 

Radiata and MoUusca of the JEgean and Red Seas ...1842 100 

Geographical distributions of Marine Zoology „ 10 

Marine Zoology of Devon and Cornwall 10 

Do Corfu 10 

Experiments on the Vitality of Seeds 9 3 

Ditto ditto 1842 8 7 3 

Researches on Exotic Anoplura 15 

Experiments on the Strength of Materials 100 

Completing Experiments on the Forms of Ships 100 

Inquiries into Asphyxia 10 

Investigations on the internal Constitution of Metals 50 

Constant Indicator and Morin's Instrument 1842 10 3 6 

981 12 8 
£2135 16 5 

of Lalande and Lacailles Catalogues of Stars. 

By Cash paid on Account of Superintending the Press Work, &c. &c 65 18 

Balance 934 2 

Advancement of Science. 

By Balance due on the General Account 473 i 5 

By Balance in the Bankers' hands 398 6 4 

Ditto General Treasurer's hands 40 18 4 

Ditto Local Treasurers' hands 16 15 10 

456 7 

£934 2 

REPORT — 1844. 

The following Reports on the Progress and Desiderata of different branches 
of Science have been drawn up at the request of the Association, and 
printed in its Transactions. 


On the progress of Astronomy during the present century, by G. B. Airy, 
M.A., Astronomer Royal. 

On the state of our knowledge respecting Tides, by J. W. Lubbock, M.A., 
Vice-President of the Koyal Society. 

On the recent progress and present state of Meteorology, by James D. 
Forbes, F.R.S., Professor of Natural Philosophy, Edinburgh. 

On the present state of our knowledge of the science of Radiant Heat, by 
the Rev. Baden Powell, M.A., F.R.S., Savilian Professor of Geometry, 

On Thermo-electricity, by the Rev. James Gumming, M.A., F.R.S., Pro- 
fessor of Chemistry, Cambridge. 

On the recent progress of Optics, by Sir David Brewster, K.C.G., LL.D., 
F.R.S., &c. 

On the recent progress and present state of Mineralogy, by the Rev. 
William Whewell, M.A., F.R.S. 

On the progress, actual state, and ulterior prospects of Geology, by the 
Rev. William Conybeare, M.A., F.R.S., V.P.G.S.,'&c. 

On the recent progress and present state of Chemical Science, by J. F. W. 
Johnston, A.M., Professor of Chemistry, Durham. 

On the application of Philological and Physical Researches to the History 
of the Human Species, by J. C. Prichard, M.D., F.R.S., &c. 


On the advances which have recently been made in certain branches of 
Analysis, by the Rev. G. Peacock, M.A., F.R.S. , S:c. 

On the present state of the Analytical Theory of Hydrostatics and Hydro- 
dynamics, by the Rev. John Challis, M.A., F.R.S., &c. 

On the state of our knowledge of Hydraulics, considered as a branch of 
Engineering, by George Rennie, F.R.S., S:c. (Parts I. and II.) 

On the state of our knowledge respecting the Magnetism of the Earth, by 
S. H. Cliristie, M.A., F.R.S., Professor ot Mathematics, Woolwich. 

On the state of our knowledge of the Strength of Materials, by Peter 
Barlow, F.R.S. 

On the state of our knowledge respecting Mineral Veins, by John Taylor, 
F.R.S., Treasurer G.S., &c. 

On the Physiology of the Nervous System, by William Charles Henry, 

On the recent progress of Physiological Botany, by John Lindley, F.R.S., 
Professor of Botany in the University of London. 


On the Geology of North America, by H. D. Rogers, F.G.S. 

On the Philosophy of Contagion, by W. Henry, M.D., F.R.S. 

On the state of Physiological Knowledge, by the Rev. Wm. Clark, M.D., 
F.G.S., Professor of Anatomy, Cambridge. 

On the state and progress of Zoology, by tlie Rev. Leonard Jenyns, M.A., 
F.L.S., &c. 


On the theories of Capillary Attraction, and of the Propagation of Sound 
as affected by the Development of Heat, by the Rev. John Challis, M.A., 
F.R.S., &c. 

On the state of the science of Physical Optics, by the Rev.H. Lloyd, M.A., 
Professor of Natural Philosophy, Dublin. 


On the state of our knowledge respecting the application of Mathematical 
and Dynamical Principles to Magnetism, Electricity, Heat, &c., by the Rev. 
William Whewell, M.A., F.R.S. 

On Hansteen's researches in Magnetism, by Captain Sabine, F.R.S. 

On the state of Mathematical and Physical Science in Belgium, by M. 
Quetelet, Director of the Observatory, Brussels. 


On the present state of our knowledge with respect to Mineral and Thermal 
Waters, by Charles Daubeny, M.D., F.R.S., M.R.I.A., &c.. Professor of 
Chemistry and of Botany, Oxford. 

On North American Zoology, by John Richardson, M.D., F.R.S., &c. 

Supplementary Report on the Mathematical Theory of Fluids, by the Rev. 
J. Challis, Plumian Professor of Astronomy in the University of Cambridge. 


On the variations of the Magnetic Intensity observed at different points of 
the Earth's surface, by Major Edward Sabine, R.A., F.R.S. 

On the various modes of Printing for the use of the Blind, by the Rev. 
William Taylor, F.R.S. 

On the present state of our knowledge in regard to Dimorphous Bodies, 
by Professor Johnston, F.R.S. 

On the Statistics of the Four Collectorates of Diikhun, under the British 
Government, by Col. Sykes, F.R.S. 


Appendix to Report on the variations of Magnetic Intensity, by Major 
Edward Sabine, R.A., F.R.S. 


Report on the present state of our knowledge of Refractive Indices for 
the Standard Rays of the Solar Spectrum in different media, by the Rev. 
Baden Powell, M.A,, F.R.S., F.G.S., F.R.Ast.S.,Savilian Professor of Geo- 
metry, Oxford. 

Report on the distribution of Pulmoniferous Mollusca in the British Isles, 
by Edward Forbes, M.W.S., For. Sec. B.S. 

Report on British Fossil Reptiles, Part I., by Richard Owen, Esq., F.R.S., 
F.G.S.. &c. 


Report on the recent progress of discovery relative to Radiant Heat, sup- 
plementary to a former Report on the same subject inserted in the first 
volume of the Reports of the British Association for the Advancement of 
Science, by the Rev. Baden Powell, M.A.,F.R.S.,F.R.Ast.S., F.G.S.,Savilian 
Professor of Geometry in the University of Oxford. 

Supplementary Report on Meteorology, by James D. Forbes, Esq,, F.R.S., 
Sec. R.S. Ed., Professor of Natural Philosophy in the University of Edin- 

Xvi REPORT — 1844. 


Report on the Conduction of Heat, by Professor Kelland, F.R.S., &c. 

Report on the state of our knowledge of Fossil Reptiles, Part II., by Pro- 
fessor R. Owen, F.R.S. 


Abstract of Report of Professor Liebig on Organic Chemistry applied to 
Physiology and Pathology, by Lyon Playfair, M.D. 

Report on the Ichthyology of New Zealand, by John Richardson, M.D., 

Report on the Establishment of the German Meteorological Association, 
by Dr. Lamont of Munich. 

Report on Chemical Geology, by Professor Johnston (Parts I. and II.). 

Report on British Fossil Mammalia (Part I.), by Professor Owen. 

Synoptical Table of British Fossil Fishes, by Professor Agassiz. 
Report on British Fossil Mammalia (Part II,), by Professor Owen. 
Report on the Fauna of Ireland (Invertebrata), by William Thompson, Esq. 

On the recent Progress and present State of Ornithology, by H. E. Strick- 
land, M.A., F.G.S. 

The following Reports of Researches undertaken at the request of the Associa- 
tion have been published in its Transactions, viz. 


On the comparative measurement of the Aberdeen Standard Scale, by 
Francis Baily, Treasurer R.S., &c. 

On Impact upon Beams, by Eaton Hodgkinson. 

Observations on the Direction and Intensity of the Terrestrial Magnetic 
Force in Ireland, by the Rev. H. Lloyd, Capt. Sabine, and Capt. J. C. Ross. 

On the phaenomena usually referred to the Radiation of Heat, by H. 
Hudson, M.D. 

Experiments on Rain at different Elevations, by Wm. Gray, jun., and 
Professor Phillips (Reporter). 

Hourly Observations of the Thermometer at Plymouth, by W. S. Harris. 

On the Infra-orbital Cavities in Deers and Antelopes, by A. Jacob, M.D. 

On the Effects of Acrid Poisons, by T. Hodgkin, M.D. 

On the Motions and Sounds of the Heart, by the Dublin Sub-Committee. 

On the Registration of Deaths, by the Edinburgh Sub-Committee. 


Observations on the Direction and Intensity of the Terrestrial Magnetic 
Force in Scotland, by Major Edward Sabine, R.A., F.R.S., &c. 

Comj)arative view of the more remarkable Plants which characterize the 
Neighbourhood of Dublin, the Neighbourhood of Edinburgh, and the South- 
west of Scotland, &c. ; drawn up for the British Association by J.T.Mackay, 
M.R.I. A., A.L.S., &c. ; assisted by Robert Graham, Esq., M.D., Professor 
of Botany in the University of Edinburgh. 

Report of the London Sub-Committee of the Medical Section of the 
British Association on the Motions and Sounds of the Heart. 


Report of the Dublin Committee on the Pathology of the Brain and 
Nervous System. 

Account of the Recent Discussions of Observations of the Tides which 
have been obtained by means of the grant of money which was placed at the 
disposal of the Author for that purpose at the last Meeting of the Association, 
by J. W. Lubbock, Esq. 

Observations for determining the Refractive Indices for the Standard Rays 
of the Solar Spectrum in various media, by the Rev. Baden Powell, M.A., 
F.R.S., Savilian Professor of Geometry in the University of Oxford. 

Provisional Report on the Communication between the Arteries and 
Absorbents, on the part of the London Committee, by Dr. Hodgkin. 

Report of Experiments on Subterranean Temperature, under the direction 
of a Committee, consisting of Professor Forbes, Mr. W. S. Harris, Professor 
Powell, Lieut-Colonel Sykes, and Professor Phillips (Reporter). 

Inquiry into the validity of a method recently proposed by George B, 
Jerrard, Esq., for Transforming and Resolving Equations of Elevated De- 
grees; undertaken, at the request of the Association, by Professor Sir W. R. 


Account of the Discussions of Observations of the Tides which have been 
obtained by means of the grant of ^oney which was placed at the disposal 
of the Author for that purpose at the last Meeting of the Association, by J. 
W. Lubbock, Esq., F.R.S. 

On the diflerence between the Composition of Cast Iron produced by the 
Cold and the Hot Blast, by Thomas Thomson, M.D., F.R.SS. L. & E., &c.. 
Professor of Chemistry, Glasgow. 

On the Determination of the Constant of Nutation by the Greenwich Ob- 
servations, made as commanded by the British Association, by the Rev. T. 
R. Robinson, D.D. \ 

On some Experiments on the Electricity of Metallic Veins, and the Tem- 
perature of Mines, by Robert Were Fox. 

Provisional Report of the Committee of the Medical Section of the British 
Association, appointed to investigate the Composition of Secretions, and the 
Organs producing them. 

Report from the Committee for inquiring into the Analysis of the Glands, 
&c. of the Human Body, by G. O. Rees, M.D., F.G.S. 

Second Report of the London Sub-Committee of the Medical Section of 
the British Association, on the Motions and Sounds of the Heart. 

Report from the Committee for making experiments on the Growth of 
Plants under Glass, and without any free communication with the outward 
air, on the plan of Mr. N. I. Ward of London. 

Report of the Committee on Waves, appointed by the British Association 
at Bristol in 1836, and consisting of Sir John Robison, K.H., Secretary of 
the Royal Society of Edinburgh, and John Scott Russell, Esq., M.A., F.R.S. 
Edin. (Reportei;). 

On the Relative Strength and other Mechanical Properties of Cast Iron ob- 
tained by Hot and Cold Blast, by Eaton Hodgkinson, Esq. 

On thejStrength and other Properties of Iron obtained from the Hot and 
Cold Blast, by W. Fairbairn, Esq. 

Account of a Level Line, measured from the Bristol Channel to the En- 
glish Channel, during the year 1837-38, by Mr. Bunt, under the Direction 
1844. b 

xviii REPORT — 1844. 

of a Committee of the British Association. Drawn up by the Rev. ^V. 
Whewell, F.R.S., one of the Committee. 

A Memoir on the iVIagnetic Isoclinal and Isodynamic Lines in the British 
Islands, from observations by Professors Humphrey Lloyd and John Phil- 
lips, Robert Were Fox, Esq., Captain James Clark Ross, R.N,, and Majot 
Edward Sabine, R.A., by Major Edward Sabine, R.A., F.R.S. 

First Report on the Determination of the Mean Numerical Values of Rail- 
way Constants, by Dionysius Lardner, LL.D., F.R.S., &c. 

First Report upon Experiments instituted at the request of the British 
Association, upon the Action of Sea and River Water, whether clear or foul, 
and at various temperatures, upon Cast and Wrought Iron, by Robert Mal- 
let, M.R.I. A., Ass. Ins. C.E. 

Notice of Experiments in progress, at the desire of the British Association, 
on the Action of a Heat of 212" Fahr., when long continued, on Inorganic 
and Organic Substances, by Robert Mallet, M.R.I. A. 

Experiments on the ultimate Transverse Strength of Cast Iron made at 
Arigna Works, Co. Leitrim, Ireland, at Messrs. Bramah and Robinson's, 29th 
May, 1837. 

Provisional Reports, and Notices of Progress in Special Researches en- 
trusted to Committees and Individuals. 


Report on the application of the sum assigned for Tide Calculations to 
Mr. Whewell, in a letter from T. G. Bunt, Esq., Bristol. 

Notice of Determination of the Arc of Longitude between the Observato- 
ries of Armagh and Dublin, by the Rev. T. R. Robinson, D.D., &c. 

Report of some Galvanic Experiments to determine the existence or non- 
existence of Electrical Currents among Stratified Rocks, particularly those of 
the Mountain Limestone formation, constituting the Lead Measures of Alston 
Moor, by H. L. Pattinson, Esq. 

Report respecting the two series of Hourly Meteorological Observations 
kept in Scotland at the expense of the British Association, by Sir David 
Brewster, K.H., LL.D., F.H.SS.L. and E. 

Report on the subject of a series of Resolutions adopted by the British 
Association at their Meeting in August 1838, at Newcastle. 

Third Report on the Progress of the Hourly Meteorological Register at the 
Plymouth Dockyard, Devonport, by W. Snow Harris, Esq., F.R.S. 


Report on Professor Whewell's Anemometer, now in operation at Ply- 
mouth, by W. Snew Harris, Esq., F.R.S., &c. 

Report on the Motions and Sounds of the Heart, by the London Com- 
mittee of the British Association for 1839-40. 

An Account of Researches in Electro-Chemistry, by Professor Schonbein 
of Basle. 

Second Report upon the Action of Air and Water, whether fresh or salt, 
clear or foul, and at various temperatures, upon Cast Iron, Wrought Iron, and 
Steel, by Roberi Mallet, M.R.I.A., Ass. Ins. C.E. 

Report on the Observations recorded during the Years 1837, 1838, 1833 
and 184'0, by the Self-registering Anemometer erected at the Philosophical 
Institution, Birmingham, by A. Follett Osier, Esq. 

Report respecting the two series of Hourly Meteorological Observations kept 
at Inverness and Kingussie, at the Expense of the British Association, from 
Nov. 1st, 1838,toNov. 1st, 1839, by Sir David Brewster, K.H., F.R.S., &c. 


Report on the Fauna of Ireland : Div. Fertebrata, Drawn up, at the re- 
quest of the British Association, by William Thompson, Esq. (Vice-Pres. Nat. 
Hist. Society of Belfast), one of the Committee appointed for that pur- 

Report of Experiments on the Physiology of the Lungs and Air-tubes, 
by Charles J. B. Williams, M.D., F.R.S. 

Report of the Committee appointed to try Experiments on the Preservation 
of Animal and Vegetable Substances, by the Rev. J.S. Henslow, F.L.S. 


On the Tides of Leith, by the Rev. Professor Whewell, including a com- 
munication by D. Ross, Esq. 

On the Tides of Bristol, by the Rev. Professor Whewell, including a com- 
munication by T. G. Bunt, Esq. 

On Whewell's Anemometer, by W. S. Harris, Esq. 

On the Nomenclature of Stars, by Sir John Herschel. 

On the Registration of Earthquakes, by D. Milne, Esq. 

On Varieties of the Human Race, by T. Hodgkin, M.D. 

On Skeleton Maps for registering the geographical distribution of Animals 
or Plants, by — Brand, Esq. 

On the Vegetative Power of Seeds, by H. E. Strickland, Esq. 

On Acrid Poisons, by Dr. Roupell. 

Supplementary Report on Waves, by J. S. Russell, Esq. 

On the Forms of Ships, by J. S. Russell, Esq. 

On the Progress of Magnetical and Meteorological Observations, by Sir 
John Herschel. 

On Railway Constants, by Dr. Lardner. 

On Railway Constants, by E, Woods, Esq. 

On the Constant Indicator, by the Rev. Professor Moseley. 


Results of Hourly Meteorological Observations at Inverness, from Nov. 1, 
1840 to Nov. 1, 1841, by Sir David Brewster, K.H., F.R.S. 

Second Report of the Committee for registering Earthquakes, by David 
Milne, Esq. 

Results of Investigations on Waves, by John Scott Russell, M.A. 

On the Progress of simultaneous Magnetical and Meteorological Observa- 
tions, by Sir John Herschel. 

On the Electrolysing Power of a simple Voltaic Circle, by Professor 

Results of Researches on Marine Zoology by means of the dredge, — off 
the Mull of Galloway by Captain Beechy, R.N., — off the Mull of Cantyre by 
Mr. Hyndman, — off Ballygally Head, Co. of Antrim, by Mr. Patterson. 

On the Preservation of Animal and Vegetable Substances, by C. C. Ba- 
bington, F.L.S. 

Reports of Committee on Railway Sections, by Rev. Dr. Buckland and 
Mr. Vignoles. 

On the Fishes of the Devonian Rocks and Old Red Sandstone, by M. 

On the Growth and Vitality of Seeds, by H. E. Strickland, F.G.S. 

On Zoological Nomenclature, by H. E. Strickland, FcG.S. 

On the Races of Man, by T. Hodgkin, M.D. 

On the Form of Ships, by John Scott Russell, M.A. 


XX REPORT 1844. 

On tlie Constant Indicator, by Professor Moseley. 

On the Meteorological Observations made at Plymouth during the past 
year, by William Snow Harris, F.R.S. 

On Vital Statistics, by Colonel Sykes, and the Committee on that subject. 


Third Report on the action of Air and Water on Iron and Steel, by R. 
Mallet, M.R.I.A. 

Report of Committee for simultaneous Magnetic and Meteorological co- 

Report of Committee for Experiments on Steam-Engines. 

Report of Committee for Experiments on the Vitality of Seeds. 

Report on Tides of Frith of Forth and East coast of Scotland, by J. S. 
Russell, M.A. 

Report of Committee on the Form of Ships. 

Report on the Physiological Action of Medicines, by J. Blake, M.R.C.S. 

Report of Committee on Zoological Nomenclature. 

Report of Committee on Earthquakes. 

Report of Committee on Balloons. 

Report of Committee on Scientific Memoirs. 

Report on Marine Testacea, by C. W. Peach, 

Report on the Mollusca and Radiata of the ;Egean Sea, by Professor E. 

Report of the Excavation at Collyhurst, near Manchester, by E. W. 

Concluding Report of Railway Committee. 


On the Microscopic Structure of Shells, by W. Carpenter, M.D., F.R.S. 

Report on the Britisli Nudibranchiate Mollusca, by Joshua Alder and 
Albany Hancock. 

Researches on the Influence of Light on the Germination of Seeds and the 
Growth of Plants, by Robert Hunt. 

Report of a Committee for revising the Nomenclature of the Stars. 

On the Meteorology of Toronto in Canada, by Lieut.-Colonel Edward 
Sabine, R.A., F.R.S. 

Report on some recent Researches into the Structure, Functions and (Eco- 
nomy of the Araneidea, made in Great Britain by John Blackwall, F.L.S. 

On the Construction of large Reflecting Telescopes, by the Earl of Rosse. 

Report on a Gas Furnace for Experiments on Vitrifaction and other 
Applications of High Heat in the Laboratory, by the Rev. William Vernon 
Harcourt, F.R.S., &c. 

Report of Committee for registering Earthquake Shocks in Scotland. 

Report of Committee for Experiments on Steam- Engines. 

Report of Committee to investigate the Varieties of the Human Race. 

Report of Committee for Experiments on the Vitality of Seeds. 

On the Consumption of Fuel and the Prevention cf Smoke, by William 

Report concerning the Observatory of the British Association at Kew, 
from August the 1st, 1843, to July the 31st, 1844, by Francis Ronalds, 

Report of Committee for simultaneous Magnetic and Meteorological co- 


On the influence of Fucoidal Plants upon the Formations of the Earth, on 
Metamorphism in general, and particularly the Metamorphosis of the Scan- 
dinavian Alum Slate, by Professor G. Forchhammer. 

Report on Subterranean Temperature in Ireland, by T. Oldham, Esq. 

Report on the extinct Mammals of Australia, with descriptions of certain 
Fossils indicative of the former existence in that Continent of large Marsu- 
pial Representatives of the Order Pachydermata, by Professor Owen, F.R.S. 

Report on the Working of Whewell's and Osier's Anemometers at Ply- 
mouth, for the years 1841, 1842, 1843, by W. Snow Harris, F.R.S., &c. 

Report on Atmospheric Waves, by W, R. Birt. 

Rapport sur les Poissons Fossiles de I'Argile de Londres, par L. Agassiz. 

Report of Committee on Waves, by J. S. Russell, M.A., F.R.S.E. 

Provisional Reports and Notices of Progress in Special Researches en- 
trusted to Committees and Individuals. 

Recommendations adopted by the General Committee at the York 
Meeting in Sept. and Oct. 1844. 

Recommendations for Reports and Researches not involving Grants of Money. 

That the Thanks of the British Association be given to Her Majesty's 
Government for their prompt and liberal acquiescence in the request of the 
Association for the publication of Mr. Forbes's ;Egean Researches at the 
public cost. 

That a representation be made to Her Majesty's Government on the im- 
portance of providing adequate funds for the development of the Cautley 
Collection of Siwalik Fossils, and publication of an account of the same. The 
representation to be made by a Committee consisting of the President of the 
British Association, the President of the Royal Society, the President of the 
Geological Society, in co-operation with the President of the Royal Asiatic 

That, in consequence of the difficulty, delay, and expense which attend the 
transmission of Scientific Journals between the British Isles and foreign coun- 
tries, an application be made to Government by the President and General 
Secretaries, to take the subject into its favourable consideration. 

That the Dean of Ely be requested to accept the office of a Trustee of the 
Association, in the room of F. Baily, Esq. deceased. 

That Sir John Herschel, the Astronomer Royal, and Lieut. Stratford, R.N., 
be requested to continue the Reduction of Stars in the ' Histoire Celeste ' of 
Lalande and the ' Ccelum Australe Stelliferum ' of Lacaille. 

That Sir D. Brewster be requested to continue his investigations on the 
action of different bodies on the Spectrum. 

That Col. Sabine, Professor Wheatstone, Prof. Miller and Prof. Graham, be 
a Committee for superintending the translation and publication of Scientific 

That Col. Sabine's Paper ' On the Meteorology of Toronto' be published 
entire among the Reports. 

That Professor Schonbein be requested to prepare a Report on Ozone. 

That Professor Kuhlman of Lille, be requested to extend his Researches 
on the Silicification of soft Minerals. 

XXII REPORT — 1844. 

That Dr. Forchliammer's Paper on the influence of fucoidal Plants in the 
formation of strata and on the Metatnorphic Phaenomena in the Rocks of 
Scandinavia, be printed entire among the Reports. 

That Mr. West be requested to extend his analysis of English Mineral 
Waters, and report the results. 

That H. Goodsir, Esq. be requested to prepare a Report on the Cirripeda. 

That G. J. Johnston, M.D. be requested to prepare a Report on the British 

That J. Paxton, Esq., J.Taylor, jun., Esq., J.S. Russell, Esq.,andE.Hodg- 
kinson, Esq., be requested to make and report the results of Experiments on 
the Hydrodynamical Phaenomena of the Reservoir and Fountain atChatsworth. 

That E. Hodgkinson, Esq. be requested to continue his Experiments on 
the Strength of Materials. 

That W. Fairbairn, Esq. be requested to continue his Experiments on the 
Internal Constitution of Metals. 

That the Meteorological Observations made at the request of the Asso- 
ciation be discontinued, and the instruments transmitted to the Kew Physical 
Observatory, except in the cases where the observations can be continued 

That the Council be authorized to invite, in the name of the British Asso- 
ciation, the attendance of MM. Humboldt, Gauss, Weber, KupflFer, Arago, 
Plana, Hansteen, Kreil, Lamont, Boguslawski, Gillip, Quetelet, and other di- 
stinguished foreigners who have taken a leading part in the great combined 
system of magnetic and meteorological observations which are now in progress, 
at the next Meeting of the Association at Cambridge, with a view to a con- 
ference on the expediency of continuing the observations for another triennial 
or longer period, and for the adoption of such measures with respect to the 
observations which have been or may hereafter be made, as they may deem 
best calcul.ited to promote the advancement of those branches of Science. 

That Mr.Bateman, C.E. of Manchester, he requested to furnish a Report on 
the fall of rain in elevated tracts of country, and on the best means of collect- 
ing and retaining the water for the supply of towns for agricultural and 
manufacturing purposes, and for affording motive power to hydraulic machines. 

That it be referred to the Council to consider of the propriety of modifying 
the title and regulations of Section E, so that it may include a more general 
range of subjects, and to report on the best mode of carrying that modification 
into effect. 

Recommendations of Special Researches in Science, involving Grants of 



That a Committee be appointed, consisting of the Rev. Dr. Robinson, Prof. 
Challis, and Lieut. Stratford, R.N., for the purpose of continuing the publica- 
tion of the British Association Catalogue of Stars, with the sum of £615 at 
their disposal. 

That a Committee be appointed, consisting of Rev. Dr. Robinson, Col. 
Sabine, and Prof. Wheatstone, for the purpose of conducting experiments with 
Captive Balloons, with the sum of £50 at their disposal. 

That a Committee be appointed, consisting of Sir John F. W. Herschel, 
Rev. Dr. Whewell, the Dean of Ely, the Astronomer Royal, Kev. Dr. Lloyd, 
and Col. Sabine, for tiie purpose of Magnetic and Meteorological co-operation, 
with the sum of £50 at their disposal. 


That a Committee be appointed, consisting of Sir John Herschel, the Rev. 
Dr. Whewell, and the Astronomei- Royal, for the purpose of revising the No- 
menclature of Stars, with the sum of £10 ai their disposal. 

That a Committee be appointed, consisting of F. Ronalds, Esq., Prof. Wheat- 
stone, and the Astronomer Royal, for the purpose of conducting the Electri- 
cal Experiments at Kew, with the sum of £50 at their disposal. 

That a Committee be appointed, consisting of W. S. Harris, Esq., Col. 
Sabine, and Prof. Forbes, for the purpose of reducing the existing anemo- 
metrical observations made at the request of the Association, with the sum of 
£25 at their disposal. 

That the Bills for Meteorological Instruments due to Mr. Adie and Mr. 
Johnstone of Edinburgh, amounting to £18 l^.s. 6d., be discharged. 

That the sum oi' £57 be placed at the disposal of the Council for the pay- 
ment of expenses incurred in the provision of electrical apparatus for the Kew 
Physical Observatory. 


That the sum of £150 be placed at the disposal of the Council for the pur- 
pose of maintaining the establishment in Kew Observatory. 

That the sum of £^0 be placed at the disposal of the Council for the erec- 
tion of Kreil's Barometrograph at the Kew Observatory. 


That a Committee be appointed, consisting of Prof. Graham, Dr. Lyon Play- 
fair, and Mr. E. Solly, for the purpose of analysing the ashes of Plants grown 
on different soils in the British Islands, and reporting the results, in case the 
Royal Agricultural Society of England concurs with the Association in making 
the request and is willing to contribute to the expense, with (in that case) the 
sum of £50 at their disposal. 

That this Resolution be communicated to the Royal Agricultural Society, 
and that they be requested to co-operate with the British Association in con- 
ducting the inquiries, and to assist in defraying the expense of the analyses. 

That the Marquis of Northampton, and Sir J. Johnstone, be requested to 
press this subject upon the attention of the Royal Agricultural Society. 

That a Committee be appointed, consisting of Prof, Bunsen and Dr. Lyon 
Playfair, for the purpose of continuing their researches on the Gases evolved 
from Furnaces used in the manufacture of iron, and reporting thereon, with the 
sum of £50 at their disposal. 

That a Committee be appointed, consisting of Dr. Daubeny, Dr. Kane, Dr. 
Apjohn, Mr. Ball, Mr. Babington, Prof. Owen, Prof. Forbes, and Mr. Goadby, 
for the purpose of continuing examinations into the best method of preserving 
Vegetable and Animal Substances, with the sum of £10 at their disposal. 

That Dr. Kane be requested to continue his researches on Tannin, and re- 
port thereon to the next Meeting, with £10 at his disposal for the purpose. 

That Dr. Kane be requested to continue his researches into the nature of 
Colouring Substances, and report thereon to the next Meeting, with £10 at 
his disposal for the purpose. 

That Mr. R. Hunt be requested to institute experiments on the Actinograph, 
with £15 at his disposal for the purpose. 


That Mr. Oldham be requested to continue his observations on Subterra- 
nean Temperature in deep mines in Ireland for one year, with £5 at his dispo- 
sal for the purpose. 

30siy REPORT — 1844. 


' 'That Dr. W. Carpenter be requested to continue his Microscopic Researches 
into the Structure of Recent and Fossil Shells, &c., with £20 at his disposal 
for the purpose. 

That Dr. Carpenter's Report on the Microscopic Structure of Shells be 
illustrated by Litliographic Plates not exceeding twenty in number. 


That a Committee be appointed, consisting of Professor Owen, Prof. E. 
Forbes, Dr.Laiikester, Mr. R. Taylor, Mr. Thompson, Mr. Ball, Prof Allman, 
Mr. Hugh E. Strickland, and Mr. Babington, for the purpose of preparing a 
Report on the registration of periodical phaenomena of animals and vegetables, 
with the sum of £5 ;it their disposal for the purpose. 

That a Committee be appointed, consisting of Sir W. Jardine, Mr. Yarrell, 
and Dr. Lankester, for the purpose of continuing their researches on the Exotic 
Anoplura, and reporting the results to the next Meeting, with the sum of £25 
at their disposal. 

That aCommittee be appointed, consisting of Mr. H. E. Strickland, Dr. Dau- 
beny, Dr. Lindley, Prof. Balfour, and Mr. Babington, for the purpose of con- 
tinuing researches on the Vitality of Seeds, with the sum of £10 at their 

That a Committee be appointed, consisting of Prof. Forbes, Mr. Thompson, 
and Mr. Ball, for the purpose of assisting Capt. Portlock in investigating the 
Marine Zoology of Corfu, with the sum of £10 at their disposal. 

That a Committee be appointed, consisting of Prof. Forbes, Mr.Goodsir, Mr 
Patterson, Mr. Thompson, Mr. Ball, Mr. J. Smith, Mr. Couch, and Dr. All- 
man, for the purpose of continuing their investigations of the Marine Zoology 
of Britain by means of the dredge, with the sum of £20 at their disposal. 

That a Committee be appointed, consisting of Prof. Owen, Prof. Forbes, Sir 
C. Lemon, and Mr. Couch, for the purpose of aiding Mr. Peach in his researches 
into the Marine Zoology of Cornwall, with the sum of £10 at their disposal. 

That a Committee be appointed, consisting of Dr. Hodgkin, Dr. Prichard, 
Prof. Owen, Dr. H. Ware, Mr. J. E. Gray, Dr. Lankester, Dr. A. Smith, Mr. 
A. Strickland, and Mr. Babington, for the purpose of continuing researches 
on the varieties of the Human Race, with the sum of £25 at their disposal. 


That a Committee be appointed, consisting of Mr. Blake, and Dr. Williams, 
for the purpose of reporting on the Physiological Action of Medicines, with 
the sum of £20 at their disposal. 


That a Committee be appointed, consisting of Dr. Laycock, Dr. Alison, and 
Mr. E. Chadvvick, for the purpose of inquiring into the relative Statistics of 
Sickness and Mortality in the city of York, with the sum of £40 at their disposal. 


Gentlemen engaged in scientific researches by desire of the British Asso- 
ciation, are requested to observe that by a Resolution of the General Com- 
mittee at the Manchester Meeting (1842), all Instruments, Papers, Drawings 
and other property of the Association, are to be deposited in the Kew Ob- 
servatory (lately placed by Her Majesty the Queen at the disposal of the 
Association), when not employed in carrying on Scientific Inquiries for the 
Association ; and the Secretaries ore instructed to adopt the necessary mea- 
sures for carrying this resolution into effect. 


Synopsis of Grants of Money appropriated to Scientific Objects by the 
General Committee, at the York Meeting, October 2, 1844, with the 
Name of the Meinber, who alone, or as the First of a Committee, is 
entitled to draw for the Money. 

Mathematical and Physical Science. 

£ 5. a. 
Robinson, Dr, — For the Publication of the British Association 

Catalogue of Stars 615 U 

Robinson, Dr. — For conducting experiments with Captive Bal- 
loons 50 

Herschel, Sir J. — For Magnetic and Meteorological Co-opera- 
tion 50 

Harris, W. S. — For Reduction of Anemometrical Observations 25 

Herschel, Sir J. — For Nomenclature of Stars 10 

Ronalds, F., Esq. — For Electrical Experiments at Kew 50 

Expenses Incurred. — For continuing hourly Meteorological 

Observations at Inverness SO 18 11 

For Meteorological Instruments at Edinburgh 18 12 6 

For Electrical Apparatus at Kew 57 

£906 11 5 
Kew Observatory. 

For maintaining the establishment in Kew Observatory 150 

For Kreil's Barometrograph 30 


Chemistry and Mineralogy, including their application to Agriculture and 

the Arts. 

Bdnskn, Professor. — For Gases from Iron Furnaces 50 0" 

Daubeny, Dr. — For Preservation of Animal and Vegetable Sub- 
stances 10 

Kane, Professor. — For inquiries into the Chemical History of 

Tannin 10 

Kane, Professor. — For investigating the Chemical History of Co- 
louring Matter 10 

Hunt, R., Esq — For Experiments on the Actinograph ...... 15 

Graham, Professor, — For Ashes of Plants 50 


Geology and Physical. Geography. 

Oldham, T., Esq. — For experiments on Subterraneous Tem- 
perature in Ireland 5 

Carpenter, Dr. — For Researches into the Microscopic Struc- 
ture of Fossil and Recent Shells, &c 20 



Zoology and Botany. 

£, s. d. 
Owen, Professor — For Periodical Phaenomena of Organized 

Beings 5 

Jardine, Sir W., Bart. — For Researches on Exotic Anoplura , . 25 
Strickland, H. E., Esq. — For Experiments on the Vitality of 

Seeds 10 

PoRTLocK, Captain. — For a Report on the Marine Zoology of 

Corfu 10 

Forbes, Professor E — For Researches on the Marine Zoology 

of Britain 20 

Owen, Professor. — For Researches on the Marine Zoology of 

Cornwall 10 

HoDGKiN, Dr. — For Inquiries into the Varieties of the Human 

Race 25 

Medical Science. 

Blake, J., Esq. — For Physiological Action of Medicines £20 


Laycock, Dr. — For Statistics of Sickness and Mortality in 

York £40 

Total of Grants £1421 11 5 

Tide Discussions 

£ s. d. 

General Statement of Sums which have been paid on Account of Grants for 
Scientific Purposes . 

1834. 1837. 

£ s. d. 

Brought forward 435 

Tide Discussions 284 1 

Chemical Constants .. 24 13 6 

Lunar Nutation 70 

Observations on Waves. 100 12 

Tides at Bristol 150 

Meteorology and Subter- 
ranean Tempernture . 89 5 
VitrificationExperiments 150 
Heart Experiments .... 8 4 6 
Barometric Observations 30 
Barometers 11 18 6 

Tide Discussions .... 62 
BritishFossillchthyology 105 


Tide Discussions .... 163 
BritishFossillchthyology 105 
Thermometric Observa- 
tions, &c 50 

Experiments on long- 
continued Heat .... 17 1 

Rain Gauges 9 13 

Refraction Experiments 15 

Lunar Nutation 60 

Thermometers 15 6 

Carried forward £435 

£918 14 6 


Tide Discussions 29 

British Fossil Fishes . . 100 

Carried forward £129 



Brought forward 

tions and Anemometer 

Cast Iron (strength of) . 

Animal and Vegetable 
Substances (preserva- 
tion of) 

Railway Constants .... 

Bristol Tides 

Growth of Plants .... 

Mud in Rivers 

Education Committee . . 

Heart Experiments. . . . 

Land and Sea Level . . 

Subterranean Tempera, 


Meteorological Commit- 



























Brought forward 1427 8 

Fossil Reptiles 118 2 

Mining Statistics 50 










Fossil Ichthyology .... 


Meteorological Observa- 

tions at Plymouth . . 



Mechanism of Waves . . 



Bristol Tides 




Meteorologyand Subter- 

ranean Temperature . 







Cast Iron Experiments . 


Railway Constants .... 




Land and Sea Level . . 




Steam-Vessels' Engines. 


Stars in Histoire Celeste 




Stars in Lacaille 


Stars in R.A.S. Catalogue 




Animal Secretions .... 



Steam-engines in Corn- 



Atmospheric Air 



Cast and Wrought Iron. 



Gases on Solar Spec- 



Hourly Meteorological 

Observations, Inver- 

ness and Kingussie . . 













Carried forward £1427 8 3 

£1595 11 

Bristol Tides 100 

Subterranean Tempera- 
ture > 13 

Heart Experiments. . , . 18 
Lungs Experiments . . 8 

Tide Discussions 50 

Land and Sea Level . . 11 
Stars (Histoire Celeste), 242 

Stars (Lacaille) 4 

Stars (Catalogue) .... 264 

Atmospheric Air 15 

Water on Iron 10 

Heat on Organic Bodies 7 
Meteorological Observa- 
tions 32 17 6 

Foreign Scientific Me- 
moirs 112 1 6 

Working Population ..100 

School Statistics 50 

Forms of Vessels .... 184 7 
Chemical and Electrical 

Phsenomena 40 

Meteorological Observa- 
tions at Plymouth . . 80 
Magnetical Observations 185 13 

Observations on Waves 
Meteorologyand Subter- 
ranean Temperature . 


Earthquake Shocks , . 

Acrid Poisons 

Veins and Absorbents. . 

Mud in Rivers 

Marine Zoology 

Skeleton Maps 

Mountain Barometers.. 
Stars (Histoire Celeste). 

Stars (Lacaille) 

Stars (Nomenclature of) 
Stars (Catalogue of) 
Water on Iron 

Carried forward £494 10 8 























) 17 





EEPORT — 1844; '- 

■'> ' £ s. d. 

ii ^'i Brought forward 494 10 8 

Meteorological Observa- 
tions at Inverness . . 20 

Meteorological Observa- 
tions (reduction of) .. 25 

Fossil Reptiles .50 

Foreign Memoirs .... 62 

Railway Sections .... 38 1 6 

Forms of Vessels .... 193 12 

Meteorological Observa- 
tions at Plymouth . . 55 

Magnetical Observations 61 18 8 

Fishes of the Old Red 

Sandstone 100 

Tides at Leitli 50 

Anemometer at Edin- 
burgh 69 1 10 

Tabulating Observations 9 6 3 

Races of Men 5 

Radiate Animals 2 

£1235 10 11 
Dynamometric Instru- 
ments 113 11 2 

Anoplura Britannise .. 52 12 

Tides at Bristol 59 8 

Gases on Light SO 14 7 

Chronometers 26 17 6 

Marine Zoology 1 5 

British Fossil Mammalia 100 

Statistics of Education.. 20 
Marine Steam-vessels' 

Engines 28 

Stars (Histoire Celeste). 59 
Stars (British Associa- 
tion Catalogue of) ..110 
Railway Sections .... 161 10 
British Belemnites .... 50 
Fossil Reptiles (publica- 
tion of Report) .... 210 

Forms of Vessels 180 

Galvanic Experiments on 

Rocks 5 S 6 

Meteorological Experi- 
ments at Plymouth . . 68 
Constant Indicator and 
Dynamometric Instru- 
ments 90 

Force of Wind 10 

Carried forward £1376 6 9 

Brought forward 1376 
LightonGrowthof Seeds 8 

Vital Statistics 50 

Vegetative Power of 

Seeds 8 

Questions on Human 
Race 7 





1 11 


£1449 17 8 

Revision of the Nomen- 
clature of Stars .... 2 

Reduction of Stars, Bri- 
tish Association Cata- 
logue 25 

Anomalous Tides, Frith 

of Forth 120 

Hourly Meteorological 
Observations at Kin- 
gussie and Inverness . 77 12 8 

Meteorological Observa- 
tions at Plymouth . . 55 

Whewell's Meteorolo- 
gical Anemometer at 
Plymouth 10 

Meteorological Observa- 
tions, Osier's Anemo- 
meter at Plymouth . . 20 

Reduction of Meteorolo- 
gical Observations . . 30 

Meteorological Instru- 
ments and Gratuities. 39 6 

Construction of Anemo- 
meter at Inverness .. 56 12 2 

Magnetic Co-operation . 10 8 10 

Meteorological Recorder 

for Kew Observatory 50 

Action of Gases on Light 18 16 1 

Establishment at Kew 
Observatory, Wages, 
Repairs, Furniture,and 
Sundries 133 4 7 

Experiments by Captive 

Balloons 81 8 

Oxidations of the Rails 

of Railways 20 

Publication of Report on 

Fossil Reptiles 40 

Coloured Drawings of 

Railway Sections 147 IS 3 

Carried forward £937 6 7 



Brought forward 

Registration of Earth- 
quake Shocks 

Uncovering Lower Red 
Sandstone near Man- 

Report on Zoological 

Vegetative Power of 

Marine Testacea (Habits 


Marine Zoology 

Marine Zoology 

Preparation of Report 
on British Fossil Mam- 

Physiological operations 
of Medicinal Agents 

Vital Statistics 

Additional Experiments 
on the Forms of Vessels 

Additional Experiments 
on the Forms of Vessels 

Reduction of Observa- 
tions on the Forms of 

Morin's Instrument and 
Constant Indicator.. 

Experiments on the 
Strength of Materials 

£ s. d. 
937 6 7 

























69 14 10 


£1565 10 

Kew Observatory Esta- 
blishment 150 

Kreil's Barometrograph SO 

British Association Cata- 
logue of Stars 615 

Captive Balloons 50 

Meteorological Obser va- 

tion at Inverness ... . 30 18 11 

Carried forward £875 18 11 

Brought forward 875 
Magnetic and Meteor- 
ological Co-operation 50 
Meteorological Instru- 
ments at Edinburgh. . 18 12 6 
Reduction of Anemome- 

trical Observations.. 25 
Nomenclature of Stars. . 10 
Electrical Experiments 

at Kew 50 

Electrical Apparatus .. 57 
Gases from Iron Fur- 
naces 50 

Preservation of animal 
and vegetable Sub- 
stances 10 

Report on Tannin .... 10 
On Colouring Matter.. 10 
Experiments on the Ac- 

tinograph 15 

Ashes of Plants 50 

Subterranean Tempera- 
ture in Ireland 5 

Microscopic Structure of 

Shells, &c 20 

Periodical Phsenomena of 
Organized Beings . . 5 

Exotic Anoplura 25 

Vitality of Seeds 10 

Zoology of Corfu .... 10 
Marine Zoology of Bri- 
tain 20 

Marine Zoology of Corn- 
wall 10 

Varieties of the Human 

Race 25 

Physiological Action of 

Medicines 20 

Statistics of Sickness and 
Mortality in York.. 40 

£1421 11 5 

Extracts from Resolutions of the General Committee. 

Committees and individuals to whom grants of money for scientific pur- 
poses have been entrusted, are required to present to each following meeting 
of the Association a Report of the progress which has been made ; with a 
statement of the sums which have been expended, and the balance which re- 
mains disposable on each grant. 

Grants of pecuniary aid for scientific purposes from the funds of the Asso- 

XXX REPORT 184 4. 

ciation expire at tlie ensuing meeting, unless it shall appear by a Report that 
the Recommendations have been acted on, or a continuation of them be ordered 
by the General Committee. 

In each Committee, the Member first named is the person entitled to call 
on the Treasurer, John Taylor, Esq., 2 Duke Street, Adelphi, London, for 
such portion of the sum granted as may from time to time be required. 

In grants of money to Committees, the Association does not contemplate 
the payment of personal expenses to the Members. 

In all cases where additional grants of money are made for the continua- 
tion of Researches at the cost of the Association, the sum named shall be 
deemed to include, as a part of the amount, the specified balance which may 
remain impaid on the former grant for the same object. 

On Thursday evening, September 26th, at 8 p.m., in the Festival Concert 
Room, York, the late President, the Earl of Rosse, resigned his office to the 
Very Rev. the Dean of Ely, who took the Chair at the General Meeting, and 
delivered an Address, for which see p. xxxi. 

On Friday evening, September 27th, in the same room, Charles Lyell, Esq., 
F.R.S., delivered a Discourse on the Geology of North America, particularly 
noticing the latest surveys of the Western Coal-fields of the United States, and 
new facts which had been discovered, bearing on the recession of the Falls of 
Niagara. The discourse was illustrated by Diagrams and other drawings. 

On Saturday evening, September 28th, in the same room, Dr. Falconer, 
F.G.S., delivered a Discourse on the Gigantic Tortoise of the Siwalik Hills 
in India, illustrated by a restoration drawing of the full size (20 feet) and 
specimens of particular bones of the fossil. 

On Wednesday evening, October 2nd, at 8 p.m., in the same room, the 
Concluding General Meeting of the Association was held, when the Pro- 
ceedings of tlie General Committee, and the grants of money for scientific 
purposes, were explained to the Members. 



DEAN OF ELY, F.R.S., F.B.A.S., &C. 

Gentlemen,— The Noble Lord to whose office I succeed, and who has 
introduced me to your notice, has spoken of me in terms which, however 
flattering to my pride, I can only accept as the expression of his friendship 
and good will ; and I hope he will permit me to add, that whilst there are few 
persons for whose characteF and attainments I feel a more sincere respect, 
there is none whose favourable opinion I should be more anxious to merit. 
The Members of the Association who were present at the Meeting at Cork, 
can bear witness to the courteous, dignified and able manner in which he 
discharged the duties of his office ; whilst others who, like myself, had the 
opportunity of seeing them, could not fail to be deeply impressed with the 
magnificent works which are accomplished, or in progress, at his noble resi- 
dence at Birr Castle. Whatever met the eye was upon a gigantic scale : 
telescopic tubes, through which the tallest man could walk upright ; tele- 
scopic mirrors, whose weights are estimated not by pounds but by tons, 
polished by steam power with almost inconceivable ease and rapidity, and, 
with a certainty, accuracy and delicacy exceeding the most perfect produc- 
tion of the most perfect manipulation; structures of solid masonry for the 
support of the telescope and its machinery more lofty and massive than 
those of a Norman keep; whilst the same arrangements which secure the sta- 
bility of masses which no ordinary crane could move, provide likewise for their 
obeying the most delicate impulse of the most delicate finger, or for following 
the stars in their course, through the agency of clockwork, with a movement 
so steady and free from tremors, as to become scarcely perceptible when in- 
creased one thousand-fold by the magnifying powers of the eye-glass. 

The instruments, which were mounted and in operation at the time of my 
visit, exceeded in optical power and in the clearness and precision of their defi- 
nition of celestial objects, the most perfect productions of the greatest modern 
artists ; and though much had been then accomplished, and great difficulties 
had been overcome by a rare combination of mechanical, chemical and ma- 
thematical skill and knowledge in the preparation for mounting the great tele- 
scope of six feet diameter and fifty-four feet focal length, yet much remained 
to be done ; but I am quite sure that the Members of the Association will learn 
with unmixed satisfaction that the Noble Lord has entirely succeeded in his 
great undertaking; that the great telescope has already made its first essay, 
and that its performance is in every way satisfactory ; and that he proposes to 
communicate to the Mathematical and Physical Section, in the course of the 
present Meeting, an account of the process which he has followed in the pre- 
paration and polishing of his mirrors, and of the expedients which he has 

XXxii REPORT — 1844. 

adopted for bringing under the most perfect control the movements of the vast 
masses with which he has bad to deal. 

It is now more than sixty years since the elder Herschel, by the superior 
optical and space-penetrating powers of his telescopes, began a brilliant career 
of astronomical discovery, and the interest which the construction of his great 
forty-foot reflector — a memorable monument of his perseverance, genius and 
skill — excited amongst men of science of that period, was, if possible, not less 
intense than what now attaches to the similar enterprise of the Noble Lord: 
nor were the expectations which were thus raised disappointed by the result; 
for though this noble instrument was generally reserved for the great and 
state occasions of astronomy only, requiring too great an expenditure of time 
and labour to be conveniently producible for the daily and ordinary business 
of observation, yet the very first time it was directed to the heavens it dis- 
covered the seventh satellite of Saturn, and contributed in no inconsiderable 
degree to the more complete developement of those views of the construction 
of the heavens (I use his own expression), which his contemporaries never suf- 
ficiently appreciated, but which present and future ages will probably regard 
as the most durable monument of his fame. 

It is no derogation to the claims of this great discoverer that art and know- 
ledge are progressive, or that a successor should have arisen, who, following in 
the track which he has pointed out, should bring a coordinate zeal and more 
ample means to prepare the way for another great epoch in the history of as- 
tronomical discovery ; and I know that I do not mistake the sentiments of 
the accomplished philosopher who has succeeded to his name and honours, 
and who throughout his life has laboured with such exemplary filial piety and 
such distinguished success in the developement and extension of his father's 
views, that no one takes a deeper or more lively interest in the success of this 
noble enterprise, and no one rejoices more sincerely in the vast prospects of 
discovery which it opens. 

Gentlemen, it is now thirteen years since the British Association held its first 
Meeting in this ancient and venerable city, under the presidency of the Noble 
Earl Fitzwilliam, who is always the first to offer his services in the promotion 
of the interests of science and of every good and useful undertaking. It was 
in this city that its constitution and laws were first organized, and it is by these 
laws, for which we are chiefly indebted to the excellent sense and judgement 
of Mr. William Vernon Harcourt, with very unimportant changes, the Associa- 
tion has continued to be governed. It is in conformity with the spirit of these 
laws that we should seek to cooperate, and not to interfere, with other societies 
which have pursuits and objects in common with our own ; that we should 
claim no right to the publication of Memoirs which are read at our Sections, 
and which are not prepared at our request; that we should endeavour to con- 
centrate and direct the influence of the public opinion of men engaged or in- 
terested in the pursuits of science in favour of such objects, and such objects 
only, as they agree in considering important for its interests ; and, above all, 
that we should avail ourselves of tlie advantages which we possess, in the ex- 
tensive range of our operations, and in our independence of particular so- 
cieties and particular localities, of organizing and carrying into effect well- 
digested systems of cooperative labour. 

Again, our Meetings were also designed to bring men who are engaged in 
common pursuits and interested in common objects into closer union and more 
frequent intercourse with each other; to encourage the more humble and less 
generally known cultivators of science, by bringing their labours under the 
notice of those men who arc best able to appreciate and to give currency to 


their value; to enable our Members to see us in the places which they visited, — 
wliere all establishments are, with rare exceptions, most liberally thrown open 
to their inspection, — whatever is most remarliable in the productions of their 
manufactures, in the principles and construction ot their machinery, in their 
collections connected with art or the natural sciences, in their public esta- 
blishments for charity or education, in the moral or physical condition of their 
inhabitants, or whatever other objects their neighbourhood presents which 
may interest the antiquary, the geologist, or the lover of picturesque scenery. 
We may venture to add, likewise, that they were designed for purposes of 
social as well as of philosophical recreation, — a consideration of no small 
importance with men whose occupations are frequently monotonous and 
laborious, and such as require the occasional stimulus of change and variety. 

In accordance with these views, we have visited, in their turn, the most re- 
markable localities of the three kingdoms, including the universities of En- 
gland, Scotland and Ireland, the great seats of our manufacturing industry, the 
great marts of our commerce ; and it is not necessary for me to speak of the 
success which has marked our progress. The numbers who have attended our 
Meetings have been always large, and sometimes so great as to embarrass our 
proceedings from the difficulty of finding adequate rooms to receive them ; 
the communications which have come under the notice of our several Sections 
have continued to increase in importance and interest, more particularly since 
the great cooperative inquiries of our body have come into full operation. 
We have been enabled, by the application of our funds, to complete some and 
to forward many scientific enterprises of the highest importance and value, 
and I see no reason to apprehend that the future Meetings of the British 
Association will not continue to advance in scientific interest, or cease to 
exercise a most powerful influence in originating and promoting scientific 
labours, which will equally tend to promote the interests of knowledge and 
the honour of the empire. 

The founders of the British Association justly conceived that men of dif- 
ferent shades of political opinion or religious belief would rejoice in the 
opportunities which such Meetings would afford them of coming together, as 
it were, upon neutral ground, where their mutual warfare would, for a season 
at least, be suspended, and no sounds be heard but those of peace : they felt 
persuaded that the softening influence of reciprocal intercourse would tend to 
soothe the bitterness of party strife, and would expose to view points of con- 
tact and union even between those whom circumstances had most violently 
estranged from each other, and show them that the features of the monsters 
of their apprehension were not so repulsive as their imaginations or intole- 
rance had drawn them. I know that there are some zealots who are ready 
to denounce the interchange of the commonest charities of life with those 
whose opinions, however honestly and conscientiously formed, they believe to 
be unfounded or dangerous. But there is a wide and fundamental distinction 
between the condemnation of opinions and of the persons who hold them ; 
and though 1 should be far from advocating that spurious and false liberality 
which should assume that in the selection of friends, or even in the ordinary 
intercourse of society, there should be a total suppression of all that is di- 
stinctive, both of profession and of opinion, yet there are numberless occasions 
on which we can neither notice them or know of their existence without the 
violation of all those rules of courtesy and good breeding which the most 
scrupulous regard for the integrity of our christian profession and for the best 
interests of mankind would equally teach us to practise and to respect. 

It was with a view of securing this neutral ground as the exclusive basis 
1844. c 

XXxiv REPORT — 1844. 

of their operations, that the founders of the Association cautiously guarded 
against any extension of its boundaries wliich might tend to admit new claim- 
ants to its occupation. They did not attempt to define the precise limits at 
which accurate science terminates and speculation begins, but they endea- 
voured to keep sufficiently within them to prevent the intrusion of discussions 
which might disturb the peace of our body or even endanger its existence- 
Experience has fully established the wisdom of this law, and the absolute 
necessity of a rigid adherence to its provisions. 

In returning to the scene of our first labours, the place of our nativity, 
it becomes us, as grateful children, to acknowledge our filial obligations to 
our founders. 

I regret to say that, for my own part, I can claim no share in the honour 
which that character confers, having been engaged at the time, in common 
with my friends the Master of Trinity College and Professor Sedgwick, in 
duties at Cambridge from which it was impossible for us to escape. I ven- 
ture, therefore, in the name of all those who are similarly circumstanced with 
myself, to render our just tribute of gratitude to the venerable Archbishop 
of this province, who bears the honours of his high station in a green and 
vigorous old age, and whose munificent patronage and support we must ever 
be ready to acknowledge ; to the Noble Earl, our first President, who main- 
tains so worthily the honours of the house of Wentworth ; to Viscount Mor- 
peth, the accomplished representative of the name and honours of another of 
the princely houses of this great county ; to Sir J. Johnstone, who so gene- 
rously protected the old age of the Father of English Geology ; to Sir Thomas 
Macdougall Brisbane, who is equally eminent as a patron and a cultivator of 
astronomy, and whose infirm health alone prevents his being present at this 
Meeting ; to Sir David Brewster, so justly celebrated for his numerous and 
important discoveries in physical optics, and in almost every department of 
physical science, who first suggested and urged the scheme of our Institution ; 
to Mr. William Vernon Harcourt, our lawgiver and proper founder ; to our 
indefatigable General Secretary, Mr. Murchison, who assisted so materially 
in our first organization and subsequent progress, and who has only once been 
absent from our Meetings, when engaged in extending his own Silurian system 
to the feet of the Ural Mountains and into the steppes of Siberia ; to Dr. 
Daubeny, who has studied so successfully the relations of chemistry to geology 
and agriculture, and who has at all times laboured so strenuously in our ser- 
vice ; to Professor Johnston of Durham, who has taken a distinguished part 
in the great extension which agricultural chemistry has recently made, and 
who has at various times been a valuable contributor to our Reports ; to 
Dr. William Pearson, so distinguished as a practical astronomer and the libe- 
ral founder of the observatory in this city; to Mr. Greenough, whose map 
was so important a contribution to English geology; to Professor Forbes of 
Edinburgh, one of the most distinguished of the living cultivators of physical 
science, and whose important scientific tours alone have prevented his attend- 
ance at some of our later Meetings ; to Dr. Scoresby, whose early adven- 
tures contrast so remarkably and yet so honourably with the labours and 
occupations of his maturer years ; to Professor Phillips, who has so long and 
so ably organized the complicated machinery of our Meetings, and reduced 
our annual volumes into order and form ; and to Mr. J, Taylor, our excellent 
Treasurer, whose punctuality and vigilance has kept order and system in every 
department of our finances. 

A reference to the list of our founders presents, as might be expected after 
a lapse of thirteen years, some very distinguished names who have been lost 


to science : in their number we find the name of Mr. William Smith, who first 
received at our meetings the ample recognition of the value of those original 
and unaided researches, which must for ever entitle him to be considered as the 
father of English geology; of Mr. William Allen, of Edinburgh, the eminent 
mineralogist ; of Dr. Lloyd, Provost of Trinity College, Dublin, the father of 
our excellent colleague. Professor Lloyd, and the founder of that truly illus- 
trious school of accurate science in that university, which has given to the 
world a Robinson, a Hamilton, and a MacCullagh ; of Sir J. Robison, who 
inherited from his father, the well-known Professor Robison, his taste for 
science and its application to the arts ; of Dr. Henry, one of our most di- 
stinguished theoretical and practical chemists, and only second in reputation 
to his fellow-townsman. Dr. Dalton, whose very recent loss we have occasion 
to deplore, and whose name, under such circumstances, it would be unbe- 
coming in me to pass over with merely a passing notice. 

Mr. Dalton vvas one of that vigorous race of Cumberland yeomen amongst 
whom are sometimes found the most simple and primitive habits and manners 
combined with no inconsiderable literary or scientific attainments. From 
teaching a school as a boy in his native village of Eaglesfield, near Cocker- 
mouth, we find him at a subsequent period similarly engaged at Kendal, where 
he had the society and assistance of Gough, the blind philosopher, and a man 
of very remarkable powers, as well as of other persons of congenial tastes 
with his own. In 179S, when in his twenty-third year, he became Professor 
of Mathematics and Natural Philosophy in the New College in Mosley Street, 
Manchestei-, a situation which he continued to hold for a period of six years, 
and until that establishment was removed to this city, when he became pri- 
vate teacher of the same subjects, occupying for the purposes of study and 
instruction the lower rooms of the Literary and Philosophical Society in 
George Street, rarely quitting the scene of his tranquil and unambitious la- 
bours beyond an annual visit to his native mountains, with a joint view to 
health and meteorological observations. 

He made his first appearance as an author in a volume of " Meteorological 
Observations and Essays," which he published in 1793, a book of humble 
pretensions and form, but which contains the germ of many of his subsequent 
speculations and discoveries, more particularly as regards the co-existence 
of an atmosphere of air and aqueous vapour, and their relations to each other : 
and his first views of the atomic theory, which must for ever render his name 
memorable as one of the great founders of chemical philosophy, were first 
distinctly suggested to him during his examination of olefiant gas and carbu- 
retted hydrogen gas. This theory was noticed in lectures which he delivered 
at Manchester in 1 803 and 1 804, and much more explicitly in others delivered 
at Edinburgh and Glasgow in the two following years ; it was however first 
made generally known to the world in Dr. Thomson's Chemistry in 1807, and 
was briefly but very explicitly developed in his own " System of Chemical 
Philosophy," the first part of which appeared in the following year; and 
though his claims to this great generalization were subject to some disputes 
both at home and abroad, yet in a very short time both the doctrine and its 
author were acknowledged and recognized by Wollaston, Davy, Berzelius, 
and nearly all the great chemists in Europe. 

It is quite true that many important laws of chemical synthesis had been 
discovered before his time : Richter, Wenzel and Proust, at various periods 
between 1777 and 1793, had established the constant proportion in which 
the elements of many bodies combine, and had hkewise hinted at the import- 
ant derivative law, that if two elements combine in a certain proportion with 

XXXvi REPORT — 1844. 

a third, tliey may combine in the same proportion with each other. In 1787, 
Dr. Higgins of Dublin had approximated to the Liw of tlie combination of 
different multiples of the elements of bodies, in the case of sulphur and iron : 
but these discoveries, considerable as they were, were not generally known, 
and the laws derivable from them were not formally enunciated ; they had 
hitherto exercised no influence upon the processes or the results of analytical 
chemistry; and so little was their authority recognized, that even Berthollet, 
one of the greatest chemists of his age, continued to maintain that the ele- 
ments of bodies might combine in variable proportions, a conclusion which the 
vague forms under which the analyses of bodies, more particularly those of 
the mineral kingdom, were commonly exhibited, was not a little calculated to 

The atomic theory, however, by the clear conception which it enables us 
to form of the conditions of the co-existence of the elements of bodies in 
chemical combinations, by which they acquire permanent and distinctive 
characters, as different from the results of their indefinite .aggregation and 
mixture, has totally changed the whole face of the science of cheniisiry. It 
was by considering thejveights ar. well as the number of the elementary atoms 
which form the compound atom of the resulting body, that this theory was 
not merely distinguished from the vague speculations of the atomic philoso- 
phers of a former age, but became, when it was once admitted and established, 
the guide as well as the basis of all accurate chemical analysis. The very de- ' 
finite and comprehensive form in which this law was enunciated by its author 
was the immediate expression of his primary conception of the constitution of 
bodies ; and simple, natural and obvious as it may appear to us who are now 
familiar with the results to which it leads, it was not, on that accoimt, a less 
important step in the science of chemistry, whose form and language it rapidly 
changed : the revolution which it effected in our views of the laws and results 
of chemical combination, was nearly as great as that which was produced in 
Physical Astronomy by the discovery and enunciation of the law of universal 

It has been contended, however, that he only discovers who proves, and 
that inasmuch as most of the analyses which Dalton made the foundation of 
his law, were either erroneous or insufficient, he has no suflScient claim to the 
character of its discoverer. The atomic weight which he assigned to oxy- 
gen was 7 instead of 8*01, that of hydrogen being 1 ; and his analyses of de- 
fiant gas and carburetted hydrogen, which he made, in the first instance, the 
basis of the law of multiple combining proportions, was likewise imperfect: 
the theory of atoms also, in the form in which he presented it, was not free 
from very serious objections, as involving assumptions respecting the ultimate 
constitution of bodies, which are not only removed beyond the range of our 
experience, but opposed to our primary conception of matter as susceptible 
of infinite divisibility. But admitting the defects of his analyses, it may be 
justly contended that they in no respect affect the form in which he ex- 
pressed the lawof definite proportions ; and what is more important, they were 
not of such a nature as to affect the form and character of the researches, 
which, even if his fundamental analyses had been found to be perfectly accu- 
rate, would still have been necessary for its further and complete develop- 
ment ; and what is more, that the bearing of such investigations upon the esta- 
blishment or refutation of the theory had been fully pointed and exemplified : 
whilst, in reply to the last objection, it might be contended that not only is 
our conception, of the infinite divisibility of matter, rather geometrical than 
physical, but likewise that it by no means precludes other modes of exhibiting 


the theory in a form in which the use of the term atom would be hypothetical 
only, and not absolute and indispensable. 

It is always unsafe and perhaps unphilosophical to speculate upon the 
amount of the good fortune which is connected with the time and circum- 
stances of any great discovery, with any view to detract from the credit which 
is due to its author ; but it has been contended that WoUaston, Berzelius and 
others were already in the track which would naturally lead to this important 
generalization, and that it could not long have eluded the vigilant pursuit of 
those distinguished chemists. In reply to this insinuation, however, we may 
venture to repeat, what has been often before observed, that if philosophy be 
a lottery, those only who deserve to win them, ever draw its prizes ; that 
those only who have scrutinized closely and cautiously the well-known and 
recognized approaches to the temple of nature, have ever been able to dis- 
cover the new paths which lead to its unexplored treasures, however plain 
and obvious, when they are once mnde known to us, they may appear to be. 
To Dalton this discovery was not due to any momentary philosophical inspi- 
ration, for which his previous contemplations had not prepared his mind; it 
was the legitimate result of long and profound reflection upon the relations, 
which chemical analysis had made known to him, of their separate elements 
to the gaseous, fluid or solid bodies which they composed, and also of the va- 
rious circumstances which appeared to determine their combination with each 
other ; it was, in fact, the capital conclusion, to which his speculations, from 
the earliest period of his philosophical life, had constantly been tending. 

The atomic theory is not the only great contribution to chemical science 
which we owe to Dalton ; he discovered contemporaneously with Gay-Lussac, 
with whom many of his researches run parallel, the important general law of 
the expansion of gases ; that for equal increments of temperature all gases 
expand by the same portion of their bulk, being about three-eighths in pro- 
ceeding from the temperature of freezing to that of boiling water. His con- 
tributions to meteorology were also of the most important kind. 

Dr. Dalton was not a man of what are commonly called brilliant talents, but 
of a singularly clear understanding and plain practical good sense; his ap- 
proaches to the formation of his theories were slow and deliberate, where every 
step of his induction was made the object of long-continued and persevering 
thought ; but his convictions were based upon the true principles of inductive 
philosophy, and when once formed were boldly advanced and steadily main- 
tained : the style of his writings, particvdarly in his ' System of Chemical Phi- 
losophy,' bears strongly the impress of his philosophical character ; it is clear, 
precise, and unembarrassed ; always equal to his subject, and never above it. 

" Tliough Dalton's great discovery," says the historian of the inductive 
sciences, " was soon generally employed and universally spoken of with ad- 
miration, it did not bring to him anything but barren praise, and he conti- 
nued in his humble employment when his fame had filled Europe, and his 
name become a household word in the laboratory. After some years he was 
appointed a Corresponding Member of the Institute of France, which may 
be considered as a European recognition of the importance of what he had 
done ; and in 1826, two medals for the encouragement of science having been 
placed at the disposal of the Royal Society by the King, one of them was 
assigned to Dalton for his development of the atomic theory. In 1833, at 
tlie meeting of the British Association ibr the Advancement of Science which 
was held at Cambridge, it was announced that the King had bestowed upon 
him a pension of £150* ; at the preceding meeting at Oxford, that University 
* This was afterwards increased to £300. 

xxxviii REPORT — 1844. 

had conferred tlie degree of Doctor of Laws, a step the more remarkable 
since he belonged to the sect of Quakers. At all the meetings of the British 
Association he has been present, and has always been surrounded with the re- 
verence and admiration of all who feel any sympathy with the progress of 
science. May he long remain among us thus to remind us of the great ad- 
vance which chemistry owes to him." 

This was written in 1837, the year in which an attack of paralysis se- 
riously impaired his powers. He last appeared among us at Manchester, 
where he received the respectful homage of the distinguished foreigners and 
others who were there assembled. He died on the 27th of July last, in the 
78th year of his age : his funeral, which was public, was attended by all classes 
of the inhabitants, who felt justly proud of being the fellow-citizen of so 
distinguished a man. 

I now proceed to notice some other topics which are connected with the 
distribution of the funds, and the general conduct of the affairs of the Asso- 

Like other public bodies, we have had our periods of financial prosperity 
and decline, and like other bodies, we have sometimes drawn more freely upon 
our resources than their permanent prospects would altogether justify ; tiie 
statement which will be read to you by our excellent Treasurer (see ante, 
p. xii.), will show that during the last year our capital has been reduced : the 
great number of life subscribers, which at one time rapidly augmented our re- 
sources, has a natural and necessary tendency to reduce our annual subscrip- 
tions at every succeeding meeting, and some alterations in the conditions of 
admission for those inhabitants of the places where we are received, who are not 
likely to follow the further movements of the Association, have not tended to 
swell our receipts, though rendered at the time necessary by the great num- 
bers who crowded inconveniently some of our sectional meetings. 

I regret to find that some currency has been given to the notion, which I 
believe to be altogether erroneous and unfounded, that a large excess of in- 
come above our necessary expenditure, which may be devoted to the promo- 
tion of scientific researches and scientific objects, is essential to the successful 
working of the business of the Association, and that our movements should 
therefore be always directed to those places where our coffers are most likely 
to be filled : it may be quite true that the objects of the Association are most 
certainly and eflfectually promoted by going to those places which are likely 
to attract the largest concourse of scientific visitors, and that our financial thus 
becomes immediately dependent upon our general prosperity; but if under any 
circumstances these two principles of selection should ever come into collision 
with each other, there can be no doubt to which of them our preference should 
be given ; and though I think we should very imperfectly accomplish the de- 
sign of our institution, if our tour of visits did not comprehend in their turn 
every important district in the three kingdoms, yet it would be not only un- 
advisable, but dangerous even to our very existence, if we fixed our standard 
in any locality which did not present a reasonable prospect of procuring the 
requisite scientific supplies, and of not sustaining the union as well as vigor- 
ous action of the body to which we belong. 

There are some great principles which have generally governed the Com- 
mittee of Recommendations in recommending, and the General Committee in 
confirming, grants of money for scientific objects, which I hope we shall never 
lose sight of, — that no part of our funds should ever be applied to defray the 
personal expenses or to compensate the loss of time or labour of any of our 
members in making researclies or experiments, even when they are undertaken 


or made at the request of the Association ; that they should not be granted 
for the general promotion of this or that branch of science, but for specific 
and well-defined objects; that in no case should they be applied to make a 
bookselling or other speculation remunerative, which would otherwise not 
be so ; that the results of ipquiries which are carried on partly or wholly at 
our charge, should so far belong to the Association as to secure its just claim 
to the scientific credit which they are calculated to confer. I know that some 
of these principles have been in some instances partially departed from, under 
very pressing and peculiar circumstances ; but the remembrance of the dis- 
cussions to which some claims of this nature have given rise, which it was im- 
proper to grant, but difficult and painful to refuse, has tended to confirm my 
own impression not merely of the wisdom of those important rules, but likewise 
of the almost imperative necessity of adhering to them. 

It was at the memorable meeting of the Association at Newcastle, a period 
of great financial prosperity, that it was resolved to recommend and to under- 
take a very extensive system of astronomical reductions and catalogues: the 
first was the republication, under a greatly extended and much more com- 
plete form, of the Astronomical Society's Catalogue, exhibiting the latest and 
most accurate results of astronomical observations, reduced to a common 
epoch, with the permanent coefficients for their reduction which the Nautical 
Almanac does not supply. The second was the reduction of all the stars in 
the ' Histoire Celeste ' of Lalande, nearly 47,000 in number, containing the 
most complete record which existed sixty years ago of the results of obser- 
vation, and affording therefore an interval of time so considerable as to en- 
able astronomers, by comparing them with their positions as assigned by 
modern observations, to determine their pi'oper motions and other minute 
changes, almost independently of the errors of observation: a third was a simi- 
lar reduction of the stars in the * Coelum Stelliferum Australe' of Lalande, 
8700 in number, which had assumed an unusual degree of importance from 
the recently completed survey of the southern hemisphere by Sir John Her- 
schel, and the establishment of observatories at Paramatta and the Cape. 

Another work of still greater expense and labour, was the reduction and 
publication of the Planetary and Lunar Observations at Greenwich, from the 
time of Bradley downwards, which was undertaken by the Government at the 
earnest application of a Committee of the Association, appointed for that 
purpose and acting in conjunction with the Council of the Royal Society: this 
great undertaking has been nearly brought to a conclusion under the systema- 
tic and vigilant superintendence of the Astronomer Royal. 

The publication of these works must form a great epoch in astronomy ; 
and though the expense to which it has exposed the Association has been very 
considerable, and will amount when completed to nearly £3000, yet it cannot 
fail to prove a durable monument of the salutary influence which it has exer- 
cised upon the progress of science. The catalogues of Lacaille and Lalande 
are to be printed and j)ublished, as is already known to you, at the expense 
of Her Majesty's Government, and the first, which has been prepared un- 
der the superintendence of Professor Henderson, is nearly complete: the 
catalogue of Lalande and the British Association Catalogue were placed 
under the superintendence of Mr. Francis Eaily, and in referring to the irre- 
parable loss whicli astronomical science has so recently sustained by his death, 
I should neither do justice to my own feehngs nor to his long and important 
connection with the Association if I did not detain you for a few moments. 

Mr. Baily was undoubtedly one of the most remarkable men of his time; 
it was only in 18^5 that he retired from the Stock Exchange with an ample 

Xl REPORT 1844. 

fortune, and with a high character for integrity and liberality; but his subse- 
quent career almost entirely belongs to astronomy, and is one of almost im- 
exampled activity and usefulness. The Astronomical Society was almost en- 
tirely organized by him, and throughout life he was the most considerable con- 
tributor to its Memoirs ; the catalogue of the Astronomical Society, the funds 
for which were contributed by several of its members, was entirely formed under 
his superintendence, and we are chiefly indebted to his exertions for the more 
ample development which the Nauticiil Almanac has of late years received, 
and which has added so much to its usefulness. There was no experimental 
research connected with the more accurate determinations of astronomy or 
physical science, undertaken in this country, which was not generally en- 
trusted to his care. 

The discovery, or rather notice, by Bessel of the correction due to the re- 
sistance of the air, which had been neglected in the reduction of the experi- 
ments for the determination of the length of the pendulum by Kater, and 
which consequently vitiated the correctness of the delinition of the standard 
of length which had been prematurely adopted by the legislature, first di- 
rected his attention, not merely to the character and influence of this correc- 
tion* as affected by the forms of the pendulums which were used, but like- 
wise to the modes which had been adopted for suspending them ; and the 
discussion of the elaborate series of experiments which he instituted for this 
purpose, which was given in the Philosophical Transactions for 1829, is a 
model of that happy union of precise and luminous theoretical views with the 
utmost minuteness of practical details, for which his memoirs are generally 
so remarkable. The reduction and discussion of the pendulum observations 
made by Captain Foster, in his well-known voyage in the Chanticleer, to which 
that experimental inquiry had been preliminary, were entrusted to him by the 
Admiralty, after the unfortunate death of that valuable officer, and were pub- 
lished in the seventh volume of the Memoirs of the Astronomical Society, 
forming a contribution to this branch of science which was only second in im- 
portance, whether we regard the character of the observations themselves or 
of the conclusions to which they were subservient, to those which recorded the 
observations which had been previously made by Colonel Sabine in his various 
scientific voyages. 

His comparison of the Standard Scale of the Astronomical Society with 
the Parliamentary Standard and its various representatives, as well as with the 
French metre, presents another remarkable example of his unequalled accu- 
racy and care in conducting experimental inquiries of the most delicate and 
difficult nature, and the result of them has acquired an additional value and 
importance, from the destruction of our national standards in the burning of 
the Houses of Parliament. He had also undertaken, for the Commission of 
Weights and Measures, the conduct of the process for forming the new 
Standard \ard from the scale which he had thus constructed, but unfortunately 
little progress had been made in the execution of this task, for which his 
habits so peculiarly fitted him, when death put an end to his labours. 

It was in consequence of a suggestion of Mr. De Morgan that he undertook, 
at the expense of the Government, the repetition of the celebrated experiment 
of Mr. Cavendish, and his account of the various precautions which he con- 
sidered necessary to obviate every source of uncertainty and error, and to 
overcome the practical difficulties which presented themselves in the course 
of the inquiry, as well as his theoretical discussion of the conclusions to which 

• This correction had been previously determined by Colonel Sabine, by swinging a pen- 
dulum in air and in vacuo. 



tliey lead, which forms a recent volume of the Memoirs of the Astronomical 
Society, will be a durable monument to his patience, perseverance and skill. 

He published, at the request of the Admiralty, the Correspondence and 
Catalogue of Flamsteed, with a most laborious examination and verilication 
of all his authorities. He presented to the Astronomical Society a volume 
containing the catalogues of Ptolemy, Ulugh Beigh, Tycho Brahe, and Heve- 
lius and Halley, with learned prefaces and critical notes, showing their rela- 
tions to each other, and to later catalogues. His preface and introduction 
to the British Association Catalogue, and more than one third of the catalogue 
itself, are already printed, and from the critical examination of the autliorities 
upon which his assumed positions rest, and the careful distribution of the stars 
which are selected, (more than 8000 in number) in those parts of the heavens 
where they are likely to be most useful to observers as points of comparison, 
it promises to be the most important contribution to the science of practical 
astronomy which has been made in later times. The whole of the stars of the 
' Histoire Celeste ' are reduced and a considerable portion (more than one-fifth) 
printed, but it is not known whether the introductory matter, which from him 
would have been so valuable, was prepared at the time of his death. 

Mr. Baily was the author of the best Treatise on Life Annuities and In- 
surances which has yet appeared, as well as of several other publications on 
the same subject ; his knowledge of the mathematicians of the English School 
was very sound and complete, though he had never mastered the more re- 
fined resources of modern analysis. His conception of mechanical principles 
and of their bearing upon his experimental researches, was singularly clear 
and definite, and though in the prosecution of the Cavendish and other ex- 
periments, he freely availed himself of the assistance of the Astronomer Royal 
and of Mr. De Morgan, in the investigation of formulae, which required the 
aid of dynamical or other principles which were somewhat beyond the reach 
of the mathematics of the school with which he was familiar, yet he always 
applied them in a manner which showed that he thoroughly understood their 
principle, and was fully able to incorporate them with his own researches. 

In the midst of these various labours (and the list which I have given of 
them, ample as it is, comprehends but a small part of their number), Mr. Baily 
never seemed to be particularly busy or occupied ; he entered freely into so- 
ciety, entertaining his scientific as well as his mercantile friends at his own 
house with great hospitality. He was rarely absent from the numerous scien- 
tific meetings of Committees and Councils (and he was a member of all of 
them), which usually absorb so large a portion of the disposable leisure of 
men of science in London ; but if a work or inquiry was referred to him, it 
was generally completed in a time which would have been hardly sufBcient 
for other men to make the preliminary investigations. Much of this was un- 
doubtedly owing to his admirable habits of system and order ; to his always 
doing one thing at one time ; to his clear and precise estimate of the extent of 
his own powers. Though he always wrote clearly and well, he never wrote am- 
bitiously ; and though he almost always accomplished what he undertook, he 
never affected to execute, or to appear to execute, what was beyond his powers. 
This was the true secret of his great success, and of his wonderful fertility, and 
it would be difficult to refer to a more instructive example of what may be 
effected by practical good sense, systematic order, and steady perseverance. 

It was the same Meeting at Newcastle which gave rise to the design for the 
greatest combined scientific operation in which the Association has ever been 
engaged, for the extension of our knowledge of the laws of magnetism and 

xlii REPORT— 1844. 

It was the publication of Colonel Sabine's • Report on the Variations of the 
Magnetic Intensity at different points of the Earth's Surface,' and the maps 
whicli accompanied it, which appeared in our volume for 1837, whicli first en- 
abled the celebrated Gauss to assign provisionally the coefficients of his series 
for expressing the tnagnetic elements : the proper data of this theory are 
the values of the magnetic elements at given points uniformly and systema- 
tically distributed over the surface of the earth, and it was for the purpose 
of supplying the acknowledged deficiency of these data and of determining the 
laws which regulated the movements of this most subtle and mysterious ele- 
ment, which induced the Association to appoint a Committee to apply, in con- 
junction with the Royal Society, to Her Majesty's Government to make a 
magnetical survey of the highest accessible latitudes of the Antarctic seas, and 
to institute fixed magnetical and meteorological observatories at St. Helena, 
the Cape, Hobarton, and Toronto, in conjunction with a normal establishment 
at Greenwich, and in connection with a great number of others on the con- 
tinent of Europe, where systematic and simultaneous observations could be 
made, which would embrace not only the phaenomena of magnetism, but those 
of meteorology also. It is not necessary to add that the application was 
promptly acceded to. The views and labours of the framers of this magnifi- 
cent scientific operation, the brilliant prospects of discovery which it opened, 
the noble spirit of cooperation which it evoked in every part of the civilized 
world, were alluded to in terms so eloquent and so just in the opening ad- 
dress of Mr. William Vernon Harcourt, when occupying this Chair at Bir- 
mingham, that I should do little justice to them if I employed any terms but 
his own, and I must content myself with simply referring to them. Much of 
what was then anticipated has been accomplished, much is still in progress, 
and much remains to be done ; but the results which have already been ob- 
tained have more than justified our most sanguine expectations. 

Sir James Ross has returned without the loss of a man, without a seaman 
on the sick list, after passing three' summers in the Antarctic seas, and after 
making a series of geographical discoveries of the most interesting and import- 
ant nature, and proving in the language of the Address to which I have just 
referred, " that for a man whose mind embraces the high views of the philoso- 
pher with the intrepidity of the sailor, no danger, no difficulty, no inconvenience 
could damp his ardour or arrest his progress, even in those regions where 

" Stern famine guards the solitary coast, 
And winter barricades the realms of frost." 

The scientific results of the two first years of this remarkable voyage have 
been discussed and published by Colonel Sabine in his ' Contributions to Ter- 
restrial Magnetism,' in the Transactions of the Royal Society, and they are 
neither few nor unimportant. They have shown that observations of the de- 
clination, dip and intensity, the three magnetic elements, n)ay be made at sea 
with as much accuracy as on land, and that they present fewer anomalies from 
local and disturbing causes ; that the eft'ects of the ship's iron are entirely 
due to induced magnetism, including two species of it, one instantaneous, coin- 
cident with and superadded to the earth's magnetism, and the other a polarity 
retained for a shorter or longer period, and transferable therefore during its 
operation by the ship's motion from one point of space to another ; that in both 
cases they may be completely eliminated by the observations and formulae 
which mathematicians have proposed for that purpose. No intensity greater 
than 2"1 was observed; and the magnetic lines of equal declination, dip 
and intensity, were found to differ greatly from those laid down in Gauss's 
theoretical map, the northern and southern hemisplieres possessing much 



greater resemblance to each other than was indicated by that primary and ne- 
cessarily imperfect essay of tlie theory. 

The range of Sir James Ross's observations extends over more than three- 
fourths of the navigable parts of the southern seas, and you will learn with 
pleasure that one of his most efficient officers, Lieut. Moore, has been des- 
patched from the Cape with a vessel under his command to complete the 
survey of the remainder. 

Nothing could exhibit in a more striking light the completeness of the 
organization and discipline of the system of magnetic observatories than 
the observations of the great magnetic storm of the 25th of September 1841 ; 
it was an event for which no preparation could be made, and whicii no ex- 
isting theory could predict ; yet so vigilant and unremitting was the watch 
which was kept, that we find it observed through nearly its whole extent, 
and its leading circumstances recorded at Greenwich, in many of the obser- 
vatories on the continent of Europe, at Toronto, St. Helena, the Cape, Ho- 
barton, and at Trevandrum in Travancore ; for even the mediatized princes 
of the East have established observatories as not an unbecoming appendage 
to the splendour of their courts. Some of the observations of this remark- 
able phaenomenon, and of many others (twenty-seven in number) of a similar 
nature, have been discussed with great care and detail by Colonel Sabine, and 
lead to very remarkable conclusions. They are not absolutely simultaneous at 
distant stations, nor do they present even the same succession of phases as at 
first anticipated ; and it is the disturbances of the higher order only which 
can be considered as universal. They are modified by season as well as by 
place; the influence of winter in one hemisphere and of summer in the other, 
on the same storm, being clearly distinguishable from each other. The simul- 
taneous movements in Europe and America have been observed to take place 
sometimes in opposite and sometimes in the same direction, as if the disturb- 
ing cause was in one case situated between these continents, and in the other 
not; and we may reasonably expect, when our observatories are furnished 
with magnetometers of sufficient sensibility to indicate instantaneously the 
effects of disturbing causes, that the localities in which they originate may be 
approximately determined. These are very remarkable conclusions, and well 
calculated to show the advantages of combined observations. In such inqui- 
ries, observations in a single and independent locality, however carefully they 
may be made, are absolutely valueless. 

The meteorological observations are made, in all these observatories, on the 
same system and with equal care with those of magnetism ; they embrace the 
mean quantities, diurnal and annual variations, of the temperature, of the 
pressure of the atmosphere, of tlie tension of the aqueous vapour, of the di- 
rection and force of the wind, with every extraordinary departure from the 
normal condition of these elements, as well as of auroral and other phaenomena. 
It would be premature to speak of the conclusions which are likely to be de- 
duced from tliese observations, inasmuch as the reduction and comparison of 
them, with the exception of those at Toronto and Greenwich, has hitherto 
made little progress ; but they cannot fail to be highly important ; for it is 
by the comparison of observations such as these, made with reference to a 
definite system, with instruments constructed upon a common principle and 
carefully compared with each other, and by such means alone, that the science 
of meteorology can be not only advanced but founded. 

Our philosophical records have for the last century been deluged with me- 
teorological observations ; but they have been made with instruments adapted 
to no common principle, compared with no common standard, having reference 

Xliv REPORT — 1844. 

to no station but their own, and even with respect to it possessing no sufficient 
continuity and system ; they have been for the most part desultory, indepen- 
dent, and consequently worthless. It would be unjust however to the merits 
of one of the most assiduous and useful of our members, Mr. Snow Harris, 
if I did not call your attention, in connection with this subject, to his Reports 
(included in the Reports of our Twelfth Meeting) on the meteorological obser- 
vations at Plymouth made by him, or under his superintendence with the aid of 
a very moderate expenditure of the funds of the Association. They compre- 
hend observations of the thermometer at every hour of the day and night 
during ten years, and of the barometer and anemometer during five years, 
carefully reduced and tabulated, and their mean results cymograjjked or pro- 
jected in curves. Nothing can exceed the clearness with which the march of 
the diurnal changes are exhibited in these results, and I sincerely hope that 
means may be found for printing them in such a form as may secure to them 
their permanent authority ar;d value. 

Another discussion of the meteorological observations made at sixty-nine 
stations, at the equinoxes and solstices, in the years 1835, 1836, 1837 and 
1838, which have been reduced and cymographed with great care by Mr. Birt, 
at the expense of the Association, forms the subject of a Report by Sir John 
Herschel in the volume of our Reports for the present year, and maybe con- 
sidered as a prelude, on a small scale, of the species of analysis which the 
results of the great system of observations now in progress should hereafter 
undergo. The inferences which are drawn from the examination of the 
changes of atmospheric pressure, with more especial reference to the Euro- 
pean group of stations only, are in the highest degree instructive and valuable. 

The system of magnetic observatories was at first designed to continue for 
three years only, but was subsequently extended to the 1st of January 1846 ; 
for it was found that the first triennial period had almost elapsed before the 
instruments were prepared or the observers instructed in their duties or con- 
veyed to their stations ; the extent also of cooperation increased beyond all 
previous expectation. Six observatories were established, under the zealous 
direction of M. Kupfter, in different parts of the vast empire of Russia, the 
only country, let me add, which has established a permanent physical obser- 
vatory. The American government instituted three others, at Boston, Phila- 
delphia and Washington ; two were established by the East India Company, 
at Simla and Sincapore ; from every part of Eurojie, and even from Algiers, 
offers of cooperation were made. But will the work which has thus been 
undertaken with such vast prospects be accomplished before the termination 
of the second triennial period ? or is it not probable that the very discussion 
of the observations will suggest new topics of inquiry or more delicate methods 
of observation ? If the march of the diurnal, monthly and annual movements 
of the needle be sufficiently determined, will its secular movements be equally 
well known ? in other words, shall we have laid the foundation of a theory, 
which may even imperfectly approximate to the theory of gravitation in the 
accuracy and universality of its predictions? It is with reference to these 
important questions, and the expediency of continuing the observatories for 
another triennial term, that M. KupfTer has addressed a letter to Colonel 
Sabine, suggesting the propriety of summoning a magnetic congress, to be 
held at the next Meeting of the British Association, and at which himself, 
Gauss, Humboldt, Plana, Hansteen, Arago, Lamont, Kreil, Bache, Quetelet, 
and all other persons who had taken a leading part in conducting, organizing, 
or forwarding these observations should be invited to attend. 

This proposal has been for some time under the anxious consideration ot 


your Committee of Magnetism, consisting; of Sir John Herschel, Colonel Sabine, 
the Astronomer Royal, Dr. Lloyd, the Master of Trinity College, and myself; 
and it will be for the General Committee, before we separate, to decide upon 
the answer which must be given. I think I may venture to say that there 
would be but one feeling of pride and satisfaction at seeing amongst us the 
■whole or any considerable number of these celebrated men ; and there can be 
little doubt but that whatever be the place at which you may agree to hold 
your next Meeting, they will experience a reception befitting the dignity of 
these great representatives of the scientific world. 

It is quite true that the preparations for such a meeting would impose upon 
your Committee of Magnetism, and more especially upon Colonel Sabine, no 
small degree of labour. Reports must be received from all die stations, up 
to the latest period, of the state of the observations ; their most prominent 
results must be analysed and compared, and communicated as extensively as 
possible amongst the different members of the Congress, so as to put them in 
possession of the facts upon which their decision should be founded. Great 
as is our reliance upon the activity and zeal of Colonel Sabine and of his ad- 
mirable coadjutor, Lieut. Riddell, perfect as is his acquaintance with every 
step of an inquiry with the organization and conduct of which he and Prof. 
Lloyd have had the principal share, I fear that he would require greater 
means than his present establishment could furnish, to meet the pressure of 
such overwhelming duties. 

But if it should be the opinion of such a congress, that it was expedient to 
continue the observations for another triennial period, and if such an opinion 
was accompanied by an exposition of the grounds upon which it was founded, 
there can be little doubt that there is not a government in the civilized world 
which would not readily acquiesce in a recommendation which was supported 
by such authority. 

The last volume of our Transactions is rich in reports on natural science, 
and more especially in those departments of it which have an important bear- 
ing on geology ; such is Prof. E. Forbes's Report " On the Distribution of the 
Mollusca and Radiata of the vEgean Sea," with particular reference to the 
successive zones of depth which are characterized by distinctive forms of ani- 
mal life, and the relation existing between living and extinct species. You 
will, I am sure, be rejoiced to hear that Her Majesty's Government have not 
only secured the services of its author in connection with the Geological Sur- 
vey, but have most liberally undertaken, upon the application of the Council, 
to defray the expense of printing the very interesting work upon which this 
Report is founded. The Report of Mr. Thompson, of Belfast, on an ana- 
logous branch of the Fauna of Ireland, is remarkable for the minuteness and 
fullness of the information which it conveys. Prof. Owen has continued his 
Report " On the British Fossil Mammalia," which was begun in the preceding 
volume, and towards procuring materials for which a contribution was made 
from the funds of the Association. I regret to find that a class of reports on 
the recent progress and existing state of different branches of science, which 
occupied so large a portion of our earlier volumes, and which conferred upon 
them so great a value, have been almost entirely discontinued. If the authors 
of these Reports could find leisure to add to them an appendix, containing the 
history of the advances made in those branches of science during the last 
decad of years, they would confer an important benefit on all persons engaged 
in scientific inquiries. 

The history of the sciences must ever require these periodical revisions of 
their state and progress, if men continue to press forward in the true spirit 

xlvi REPORT — 1844. 

of philosophy, to advance the boundaries of knowledge ; for though there may 
be impassable boundaries of human knowledge, there is only one great and 
all-wise Being, with whom all knowledge is perfect, who can say, " Thus far 
shall thou go and no further." The indolent speculator on the history of the sci- 
ences may indulge in an expression of regret that the true system of the uni- 
verse is already known, that the law of gravitation is discovered, that the pro 
blem of the three bodies is solved, and that the mine of discovery is exhausted 
and that there remain no rich masses of ore in its veins to make the fortune 
and fame of those who find them ; but it is in the midst of this dream of hope- 
lessness and despondency that he is startled from time to time by the report 
of some great discovery — a Davy has decomposed the alkalies, a Dalton has 
discovered, and a Berzelius has completely developed, the law of definite pro- 
portions ; a Herschel has extended the law of gravitation to the remotest dis- 
coverable bodies of the universe, and a Gauss has brought the complicated and 
embarrassing phaenomena of terrestrial magnetism under the dominion of ana- 
lysis ; and so it will ever continue to be whilst knowledge advances, the high- 
est generalizations of one age becoming the elementary truths of the next. 
But whilst we are taking a part in this great march of science and civilization, 
whilst we are endeavouring to augment the great mass of intellectual wealth 
which is accumulating around us, splendid as maybe the triumphs of science 
or art which we are achieving, let us never presume to think that we are 
either exhausting the riches or apy)roaching the term of those treasures which 
are behind; still less let us imagine that the feeble efforts of our philosophy 
will ever tend to modify the most trivial and insignificant, — if aught can be 
termed trivial and insignificant which He has sanctioned, — of those arrange- 
ments which the great Author of Nature has appointed for the moral or ma- 
terial government of the universe. Far diflferent are the lessons which he 
taught us by the revelation of his will, whether expressed in his word or 
impressed on his works; it is in a humble and reverent spirit that we should 
approach the fountain of all knowledge, and it is in a humble and reverent 
spirit that we should seek to drink of the living waters which for ever flow 
from it. 

Report of the Council to the General Committee. 

1. The General Committee assembled at Cork in August 1843 having 
passed a Resolution to the effect that an application should be made, on the 
part of the British Association, to the Master- General of the Ordnance, en- 
treating his assistance in the proposed experiments with Captive Balloons, the 
Council has to report that the application has been accordingly made, and that 
a reply has been received from the Master-General, stating that the Com- 
mandant of the Garrison at Woolwich has been directed to afford the facilities 
and assistance which are requested. 

2. The General Committee assembled at Cork having directed that "an 
application be made to Her Majesty's Government for the insertion of Contour 
Lines of Elevation on the Ordnance Maps of Ireland, such lines being of great 
value for engineering, mining, geological and mechanical purposes," — the 
Council has to report, that a copy of this Resolution was transmitted to Her 
Majesty's Government, accompanied by the following Memorial : — 

" The undersigned Membersof the British Association for the Advancement 


of Science have the honour, by tlie direction of the General Committee of the 
Association, assembled at Cork in August 1843, to make an earnest applica- 
tion to Her Majesty's Government for the addition to the engraved sheets of 
the Ordnance Survey of Ireland, of a series o^ contour lines, representing the 
various degrees of elevation of the surface of the country from actual survey. 

" The grounds of this application are, that the execution of such lines would 
prove eminently serviceable to the landed, commercial, and mining interests 
of Ireland; that it would afford information and assistance of the highest value 
to persons engaged in the cultivation of science, and in applying scientific 
discoveries to practical purposes ; and that the work sought to be accomplished 
can be performed by the present Ordnance establishment in Ireland within 
a short time and at a moderate cost. 

" In all cases where the improvement of farms, by opening them to markets, 
or to each other, by the cheapest roads, by drainage or by irrigation, is 
desired — in all the operations for ameliorating the condition of towns, espe- 
cially by diverting for their use existing streams of water, or obtaining new 
supplies by Artesian wells — in arranging the situations of coal-pits and mining 
adits — in planning or diverting roads, railways and canals, a knowledge of the 
inequalities of level of the surface of the country is of primary importance. 

♦' This knowledge, contour lines, engraved on the Ordnance Maps, would 
supply, not only in a general sense, but with an exactness suited to particular 
cases and actual operations, and thereby facilitate in a high degree the pre- 
paration of good plans for public improvement, and save the heavy expense 
of innumerable special surveys, which, however well performed, cannot be 
compared in authenticity and apphcability with theresultsof a general system, 
which, once completed, would be available for new cases and future times. 

" Independent of the assistance which the Ordnance Maps thus rendered 
complete would afford to public works and private enterprises, their aug* 
mented value in a multitude of oases, embracing the applications of science 
and the ordinary concerns of life, is worthy of attention. In fact, without the 
introduction of such lines marking inequalities of level, these splendid maps 
would be incomplete, and less useful to the public than they might be made. 

" The British Association has been assured that this desirable addition to 
the Irish maps is extremely practicable at the present time, because in the 
progress of the survey a great number of the lines and stations necessary for 
contouring have been determined, and a large body of persons has been trained 
to the correct use of the instruments which must be employed in the process, 
whose services are now disposable. As experiments, the county of Kilkenny, 
and parts of Donegal and Louth, have been already contoured for general 
purposes ; a property of the Crown at Llangeinor, in South Wales, for mining 
operations, and Windsor for sanatory objects. 

" From these trials the probable cost of the operations, by which the data 
for contouring the whole of the Maps will be supplied, has been estimated at 
£10,000, a sum which it is hoped Her Majesty's Government will deem 
altogether inconsiderable in comparison with the public advantages which 
cannot fail to arise from the performance of the work. It is also worthy of 
notice, that the newly-discovered process of electrotype is applicable to the 
purpose of enabling duplicate plates to be produced at an extremely small 
cost, in which these lines can be inserted, leaving the original plate unaltered, 
to furnish other duplicates for other purposes — such, for example, as the in- 
sertion of geological lines. 

" The British Association therefore begs leave to solicit from Her Majesty's 
Government a favourable consideration of the subject; and that IJcr Majesty's 

xlvili REPORT — 1844. 

Government will be pleased to authorise the officers of the Ordnance depart- 
ment to take immediate Pteps for contouring on the whole of the maps of Ire- 
land, according to the specimen already executed for the county of Kilkenny." 
(Signed by the Earl of Rosse, President : the Marquis of North- 
ampton and John Taylor, Esq., Members of the Committee.) 

No direct reply has been received to this application ; but the Council has 
learnt from other sources that the Contour Lines are to be inserted in the 
Ordnance Maps. 

3. The General Committee assembled at Cork having passed a Resolution 
to the effect that application be made to Her Majesty's Government to give 
its aid in the publication of Professor Edward Forbes's researches in the 
iEgean Sea, the Council has to report that the General Secretaries, accompanied 
by Mr. Lyell, waited on Sir George Clerk, one of the Secretaries of the Trea- 
sury.andpresentedaCopy of the Resolution passed by the General Committee, 
accompanied by the following Memorial : — 

" Professor E. Forbes was engaged as naturalist in the ' Beacon ' surveying- 
vessel, under the command of Captain Graves, employed in a Hydrographical 
Survey of the Mediterranean, by direction of the British Government. While 
thus engaged, he embraced every occasion of obtaining, by the dredge, exact 
knowledge of the contents of the iEgean Sea, at all depths, ranging from the 
surface to 230 fathoms : he studied the fauna and flora of the isles of the 
Archipelago and the mountains of Lycia, and, by careful and copous notes and 
drawings, he has preservedauthenticand complete accounts of the information 
thus gathered. 

" During the survey of the submarine zoology of the ^gean, and in the ex- 
amination of the coasts and interior country. Professor Forbes observed up- 
wards of 150 species of animals which he regards as altogether new to science, 
and a much larger number which have been previously unknown in these 

" Among many interesting results established by careful registration of the 
circumstances under which the several races of plants and animals were dis- 
covered in the Mgean, it appears that several distinct zones of depth are 
naturally defined in the ^Egean Sea, by distinct and peculiar groups of plants 
and animals ; that the lower we pass downward in this sea the more do the 
organic forms resemble species which occur near the surface of the ocean in 
arctic regions ; and that some species of Mollusca have been dredged alive 
in the yEgean of which the remains only had been previously known in a fossil 
state, and were thought to be extinct. 

" These and some other conclusions derived by Professor Forbes from his 
researches, have an important bearing on the philosophy of natural history, 
and on the establishment of general truths in geology. The announcement 
of them in a report to the British Association has created great interest among 
persons devoted to natural science ; and it appears desirable for the advance- 
ment of knowledge that the data on which the conclusions rest should be 
published in a complete form. This cannot be done upon the expectation of 
remuneration through the ordinary channels of trade ; nor is it compatible 
with the means or the course of proceeding of the Association to undertake 
such a publication, though the sum of £100 was willingly devoted from their 
funds to assist Professor Forbes in defraying the cost of the dredging opera- 
tions, whose results are esteemed to be so valuable : except by aid from the 
Government, theresults of Professor Forbes's labours can never be fully given 
to the public. If published in detached fragments and at various times, they 
will be almost inaccessible, except to a very small number of students; vthereas, , 


published by Government, the whole may be produced in a complete and 
creditable form, and be placed within the reach of the public at a moderate 
price, and given to foreign institutions of science, from which returns of like 
nature may be expected. 

" To fulfil these conditions, to render the publication possible, and to make 
it useful by a sufficient series of illustrations, would probably require a sum 
not exceeding £500." 

The Council has now the pleasure of stating, that Sir Robert Peel has con- 
sented to Mr. Forbes's work being published at the expense of Her Majesty's 
Government, under the superintendence of the Comptroller-General of Sta- 
tionery, and agreeably to the plan submitted by the General Secretaries, viz. 
that the publication should consist of about 300 pages of text in octavo, and 
about 100 plates; 500copiestobe printed of the text, and the plates to be taken 
off as required ; that 50 copies should be presented in the name of the British 
Government to publiclibraries and institutions at home and abroad, according 
toa list to be furnished; that 50 copies should be at the disposal of Mr, Forbes, 
to be presented to persons who had assisted in his researches, or contributed 
towards the work ; and that the remainder of the copies should be sold at a 
price considerably less than that of their cost. 

4. The Council reports that the General Treasurer has received from Her 
Majesty's Treasury the sumof £1000, granted by Government for the publica- 
tion of the Catalogue of Stars in the ' Histoire Celeste ' of Lalande, and of La- 
caille's ' Catalogue of Stars in the Southern Hemisphere.' 

5. The Council reports that the railway geological sections and documents 
connected therewith, which had been made at the expense of the British Asso- 
ciation at a cost of £363 6^. 9d., have been transferred to the Museum of 
CEconomic Geology, upon theassurance that these sections and documents shall 
be open to the public, as other documents in the Mining Record Office at the 
Museum now are, and with the understanding that the sections are to be con- 
tinued by the authority and at the expense of Government, for which purpose 
a sum of £250 has been taken on the estimates of the Museum of CEconomic 
Geology for 1844 — 45. 

6. The Council has added the name of Dr. Langberg, of Cliristiania, to the 
list of Corresponding Members of the British Association. 

7. TheCouncil has requested Professor Wheatstone to prepare a Report on 
the performance of the Self-registering Meteorological Apparatus belonging 
to the Observatory at Kew, and to present it at the Meeting at York. 

8. The Council has requested Messrs. Wheatstone and Ronalds to prepare 
a Report on the performance of the Electrical Apparatus established at Kew, 
and on the results obtained with it ; to be presented at the Meeting at York. 

9. The Council, having ascertained that the Earl of Rosse, President of the 
Association, would not be indisposed to communicate to the Meeting at York 
an account of the recent improvements which he has effected in the construc- 
tion of Reflecting Telescopes, has requested His Lordship to prepare a Report 
on that subject ; to be presented at the York Meeting. 

10. It having been stated to the Council that since the electrical apparatus 
has been fitted up in the cupola of the Kew Observatory, Mr. Galloway has 
been required, in addition to the general duties for which he was engaged, to 
attend to its registry every day from half an hour before sunrise until night ; 
and that the same constant attendance would continue to be required of him 
for this and other meteorological registries, the Council has increased Mr. Gallo- 
way's salary to One Guinea a week, on the understanding that for this salary 
his whole time should be at the service of the Association. 

1844. d 

1 REPORT 1844. 

11. The General Committee assembled at Cork having placed at the disposal 
of the Council a sum of £200 for the purpose of maintaining the establish- 
ment at Kew, the Council reports that of this sum £118 5s. 2^d. has been 
expended in the year which now closes, for salary and house-expenses. 

12. Letters have been received from the Mayor and Town Council of the 
city of Bath ; from the Chairman, Committee and Secretary of the Bath Royal 
Literary and Scientific Institution ; and from the President and Vice-Presidents 
of the Bath Mechanics' Institution — inviting the British Association to hold its 
meeting in tlie year 1845 in that city. 

13. The Council has been informed that the Senate of the University of 
Cambridge has passed a grace to the effect that if the meeting of the British 
Association should take place at Cambridge in 1845, the use of the Senate- 
house, and such of the public buildings and lecture-rooms as may be required 
for the different general and sectional meetings of the Association, should be 
granted under the superintendence of a syndicate ; and further, that the Phi- 
losophical Society of Cambridge designs, at the York Meeting, to invite the 
British Association to hold their Meeting in 1845 at Cambridge. 

14. A letter has been received from Charles P. Deacon, Esq., Town Clerk 
of Southampton, containing an invitation from the Mayor and Borough Coun- 
cil to the British Association, to hold its Meeting for 1845 at Southampton ; 2 
and stating that in such case the Guildhall, Audit-house, and other public I 
buildings, should be placed at the disposal of the Association ; and that the 
Literary and Scientific Society and the Polytechnic Institution would also place 
their lecture and other rooms at the disposal of the Association, and most 
cheerfully co-operate with the authorities in afTording every facility and as- 
sistance in their power. 

(Signed on the part of the Council) Rosse. 

York, September 25tli, 1S44. 




On the Microscopic Structure of Shells. By W. CarpenteRj M.D., 


I. Introductory/ Remarks. 
I HAVE in vain searched the works of recent Conchological writers, for any 
indication that Shell has any claim to the title of an organic structure. The 
researches of Reaumur and Hatchett appear to have induced the universal 
belief, that shell is an inorganic exudation from the surface of the mantle, 
consisting of calcareous particles held together by a sort of animal glue. It 
seems to have been formerly maintained by Herissant, however, that shell has 
an organic structure, and that it grows by interstitial deposit in the manner of 
bone. I have not been able, however, to find his original paper ; and only 
make this statement on the authority of a reference which I have found to it 
in the article Conchjliologie in the ' Encyclopedic Methodique,' in which he is 
quoted as having endeavoured (but failed) to establish by " les experiences 
ingenieuses, bien plus que solides," that shells grow by intus-susception, in- 
stead of by accretion, as demonstrated by Reaumur. In this doctrine he was 
undoubtedly wrong, as I shall hereafter show ; since, although all shell pos- 
sesses a more or less definite organic structure, this structure rather cor- 
responds with that of the various Epidermic appendages of Vertebrated 
animals, than with that of their internal vascular skeleton ; and its mode of 
growth must therefore be analogous rather to that of the former than to that 
of the latter. 

The idea that such would be probably found to be the case, I expressed in 
the second edition of my ' Principles of General and Comparative Physio- 
logy' (October 184-1), as follows : — " The dense calcareous shells of the Mol- 
lusca, and the thinner jointed envelopes of the Crustacea, have been com- 
monly regarded as mere exudations of stony matter, mixed with an animal 
glue secreted from the membrane which answers to the true skin. The hard 
axes and sheaths of the Polypifera, however, have been also regarded in the 
same light ; and yet, as will hereafter appear, these are unquestionably formed 
by the consolidation of what was once living tissue*. From the analogy 
which the shells of Mollusca and Crustacea bear to the epidermic appendages 
of higher animals, there would seem reason to believe that the former, like 
the latter, have their origin in cells, and that these are afterwards hardened 
by the deposition of earthy matter in their interior." — (§ 44.) 

Acting upon this view, I commenced, in the spring of 1842, a series of in- 

* Reference was here made to the researches of M. Mihie-Edwards, upon the development 
and growth of some of the corals. The natxu-e of their organic structnre has been subse- 
quently elucidated with great success by Mr. Bowerbank. — (Pliil, Trans. 1842.) 
1844. B 

2 REPORT — 1844. 

quiries into the structure of the sliells of Mollusca, Crustacea, and Echinoder- 
mata ; -which I have since been prosecuting as time and opportunity have been 
afforded me. About the same period, Mr. Bowerbank connnenced an inde- 
pendent series of observations; which have had reference, however, I'ather to 
the formation of shell, than to its microscopic characters when complete ; and 
which have been limited to a comparatively small number of species, whilst 
my own have included a very extensive range. Finding that our paths of in- 
quiry were so distinct, Mr. Bowerbank and I agreed to pursue them inde- 
pendently of each other ; and the results of our researches were simul- 
taneously communicated, — on his part to the Microscopical Society, — and on 
mine to the Royal Society, — in January 1843. A brief sketch of my own 
inquiries was laid before the British Association at its Cork meeting ; and, 
with the aid of the grant which was then made to me from the funds of the 
Association, together with the assistance I have received from various quar- 
ters, in regard to the collection of subjects for examination, — especially from 
the Geological Society, the Council of which has liberally permitted me to 
examine duplicate specimens from its valuable museum, and from Messrs. H. 
Cuming, S. Worsley, S. P. Pratt and J. Morris, — I have made during the past 
year little short of a thousand preparations of shell-structure. A considerable 
part of my labour has been directed to the determination of the questions, — 
whether an uniform structure prevails through every part of the same shell, 
so that the structure of the whole shell may be predicated from that of a 
small portion of it, — and whether the same structure is found in different in- 
dividuals of the same species, and among different species of the same genus. 
It is obvious that a settlement of these questions must be of great importance 
in the application of the Microscope to the determination of fossil shells ; and 
I think that I am now entitled to answer them with some degree of confi- 
dence. 1 have, in a considerable number of instances, submitted every por- 
tion of a shell to microscopic investigation, selecting such specimens as, from 
the peculiar characters of their structure, would serve as types to which 
to refer others ; and I have invariably found that an uniform structure 
pervades the whole of each ; so that the examination of but a very small 
fragment is sufficient to determine the structure of the entire shell. I feel 
equally certain with respect to the correspondence between the structure of 
different individuals of the same species ; as I have never found any decided 
variation, although I have in some instances examined several specimens of 
one kind. With respect to the degree of difference which may exist among 
the several species of the same genus, I am not yet prepared to speak with 
certainty. In general I have found the correspondence such, that the size of 
the elementary parts is the chief point of difference ; but occasionally I have 
found particular forms of structure present in one species and absent in 
another. It will hereafter appear, however, that this difference corresponds 
with other variations, which are probably to be considered as establishing 
generic distinctions in the cases in question. 

In the following Report, it is my intention to give a general account of the 
chief forms of elementary structure, which I have met with in Shell ; and to 
enter into systematic details in regard to the group of Brachiojjoda, and the 
families of Placunidce, Ostracea;, Pectinida, Margaritacece, and Unionida, 
among the Lamellibranchiate Bivalves. The remaining families of Bivalves, 
and the whole group of Univalves, must be reserved for a future report. 

I am desirous that it should be understood that, where I do not express 
myself to the contrary, my statements are the result of my own researches ; 
and that I am ready to substantiate them by reference to the preparations on 
which they are grounded, all of which are in my possession. 



I shall commence with a brief outline of the researches and conclusions of 
Mr. Hatchett (Phil. Trans, 1799), and of Mr. Gray (Phil. Trans. 1833) ; the 
only two original inquirers on this subject, so far as I am aware, since the 
time of Reaumur. 

The experiments of Mr. Hatchett led him to divide Shells into two classes, 
the porcellanous and the nacreous. He stated that those belonging to 
the former group are composed of carbonate of lime, held together by so 
small a proportion of animal matter, that, although its presence may be recog- 
nized by the eifects of heat upon the shell, no membranous film is left after 
the action of dilute acid upon it. Under the nacreous group he placed those 
shells which, though they do not all exhibit the nacreous lustre, possess an 
amount of animal membrane sufficiently great for the form of the shell to be 
more or less perfectly preserved, after the calcareous matter has been com- 
pletely dissolved away by dilute acid. To such shells the term memhranous 
has been subsequently applied with much greater propriety ; and of the class 
of membranous shells, the true nacreous form a subordinate division. This 
distinction, however, cannot now hold good ; since all shells, without excep- 
tion, have a distinct animal basis, as will be shown hereafter. 

According to Mr. Gray, another classification of Shells may be founded 
upon the manner in which the carbonate of lime is deposited in their sub- 
stance; some shells exhibiting a distinctly crysto^/«we fracture, whilst others are 
granular or concretionary, Mr. Gray states that, among the crystalline shells, 
some may be found, in which the carbonate of lime exhibits a rhomboidal 
crystallization, whilst in others it is prismatic. I think it will appear from my 
inquiries, that the calcareous matter in all shells is nearly equally crystalline 
in its aggregation ; and that the parti cularybrTWS which their fracture presents 
are determined, chiefly if not entirely, by the arrangement of the animal basis 
of the shell, which possesses a more or less highly organized structure. 

I shall now proceed to describe the principal varieties of structure which 
I have met with in the examination of upwards of 400 species of Shells, recent 
and fossil, selected from all the principal families of Mollusca. When exami- 
ning recent shells, I have, in nearly every instance, submitted them to micro- 
scopic investigation in at least two ways ; first, by making thin sections of 
them, so that their structure might be examined by transmitted light ; and 
second, by examining the animal membrane left after the removal of the cal- 
careous matter by dilute muriatic acid, which I shall name for convenience 
the decalcifying process. In many instances also, I have found the examina- 
tion of the natural or fractured surfaces of the shell by reflected light, or of 
the thin lamins into which many shells will readily split, to afford valuable 
information. These methods of investigation mutually aid and correct each 
other ; and neither can be prosecuted alone, without much liability to error. 

n. On the Condition of the Calcareous Matter in Shell, 

1. All thin sections of recent Shell are translucent, except those which con- 
tain a large amount of opake colouring matter, or which (as sometimes hap- 
pens) have a layer of calcareous particles deposited in a chalky or concre- 
tionary state between the proper laminae of shell-structure. This is the case 
in the common Oyster, as pointed out by Mr. Gray ; and in many other shells 
which possess an opake white aspect, such as Fusus despectus. But I can- 
not regard such layers as forming part of the proper structure of the shell ; 
since the particles of carbonate of lime, of which they consist, are not con- 
nected by any organic basis. 

2. Again, all thin sections of shell possess the power of depolarizing light, 
so that the portion of shell appears bright upon a dark ground, when the 

4 REPORT — 1844. 

polarizing and analysing plates or prisms are so arranged as to prevent the 
transmission of ordinary light. 

3. From these facts I think we are entitled to conclude, that the calcareous 
matter of shell is in a state of crystalline aggregation, even when no crystal- 
Mne forms are presented by it. The absence of the latter is probably due to 
the mode in which the calcareous matter is set free from the whole surface at 
once ; so that there is not room (so to speak) for these forms to be generated. 
This conclusion is strengthened by the remarkable fact, that crystalline forms 
do present themselves under peculiar circumstances. Thus I have met, in the 
Oyster, with layers incompletely calcified ; so that, instead of being covered 
by a continuous and uniform deposit of carbonate of lime, the membrane was 
studded with a multitude of minute rhomboidal bodies, varying in size from 
about the l-6000th to the l-2000th of an inch across (fig. 16) ; the effect of 
polarized light and of chemical reagents upon which, left no doubt that they 
are crystals of carbonate of lime*. In very thin sections of parts of Cypraea 
and other porcellanous shells, in which the quantity of animal matter is ex- 
tremely small, I have frequently seen the apparently-homogeneous calcareous 
deposit crossed by lines, inclined to each other in such a manner, as to indicate 
a rhomboidal crystallization in its substance. And in the tooth of Mya 
aretiaria, I have seen an appearance which seems to me (from a comparison 
of it with numerous allied forms of structure) to indicate the crystallization 
of the carbonate of lime in a radiating manner, (the centres being the nuclei 
of the cells, within which each group of crystals was originally inclosed,) 
somewhat after the manner of i-adiating Arragonite or Wavellite (fig. 14). 

III. Of the Animal Basis of Shell. 

4<. When a portion of any recent Shell is submitted to the decalcifying 
process, a perfectly definite animal basis remains. Tiiis basis may be nothing 
more than a film of memhrane, so delicate as almost to elude detection f, but 
evidently not an amorphous residuum ; or it may be a membrane of firmer 
consistence, presenting regular plications or corrugations ; or it may consist 
of an aggregation of cells, having very definite membranous walls, and a 
more or less regular form. My first division of shell-structures, therefore, is, 
according to the character of the animal basis, into the cellular and the mem- 
branous ; these I shall now proceed to describe in detail. 

IV. Prismatic Cellidar Structure. 
5. If a small portion be broken away from the thin margin of the shell of 
any species of Pinna, and it be placed without any preparation under a low 
magnifying power, it presents on each of its surfaces, when viewed by trans- 
mitted light, very much the aspect of a honeycomb ; whilst at the broken 
edge it exhibits an appearance M'hich is evidently fibrosis to the eye, but 
which, when examined under the microscope with reflected light, resembles 
that of an assemblage of basaltic columns. The shell is thus seen to be com- 
posed of a vast multitude of prisms, having for the most part a tolerably 
regular hexagonal shape and nearly uniform size. These are arranged per- 
pendicularly (or nearly so) to the surface of each lamina, so that its thick- 
ness is formed by their length, and its two surfaces by their extremities. A 
more satisfactory view of these prisms is obtained by grinding down a lamina, 

* It is stated by Wagner, that minute crystals of calcareous matter are to be found in the 
cartilaginous envelope of Ascidia mammiUata. — (Lelirbuch der vergleicbenden Aiiatomie, 
p. 60.) 

t When such films have not been visible in the menstruum, I have found them involved in 
the bubbles that lay on the smface after the effervescence was over. 


until it possesses a high degree of transparency ; and it is then seen, that the 
prisms themselves appear to be composed of a very homogeneous substance, 
but that they are separated by definite and strongly-marked lines of division 
(fig. 3). In general the substance forming the prisms is very transparent, 
but here and there is seen an isolated prism, usually of smaller size than the 
rest, which presents a very dark appearance, even in a section of no more 
than 1 -400th of an inch in thickness, as if the prism contained an opake 
substance (fig. 6). These dark cells are seen in very great abundance, when 
we examine a lamina in which the natural external surface has been pre- 
served, the reduction of its thickness having been effected by grinding down 
the under side only ; and it is then seen that their degree of opacity varies 
considerably (fig. 5). To the cause of this appearance I shall presently revert, 
as it is a matter of some interest in reference to the formation of this kind of 

6. When a piece of the shell of Pinna has been submitted to the action of 
dilute acid, the carbonate of lime being dissolved away, a consistent and 
almost leathery membrane remains, which exhibits the prismatic structure 
just as perfectly as does the original shell ; the hexagonal division being seen 
when either of its surfaces is examined, and the basaltiform appearance 
being evident on the inspection of its edge. No resemblance can be stronger 
than that which exists between a layer of this membrane and a corresponding 
layer of the pith or bark of a plant, in which the cells are hexagonal prisms. 
In many instances I have been able to detect distinct nuclei or cytoblasts in all 
the cells of a naturally thin layer ; although, from some cause which I am not 
able to explain, these are generally invisible (fig. 8). I have often been able 
to detect them with 7-e^ecferf light, however, when I could not distinguish them 
with transmitted. As the nucleus occupies one of the ends of the prismatic 
cell, it is of course useless to look for it when the natural surface of the 
lamina has been removed by grinding. The decalcified membrane presents 
no trace of the opake cells just now mentioned ; indeed the small cells which 
would probably have presented this appearance in a section of the shell, are 
now, if anything, rather more transparent and free from colours than the rest. 

7. The action of dilute acid having thus enabled us to obtain the mem- 
branous element of shell in a separate state, we are enabled to inquire into 
the condition of the calcareous element, by means of specimens, in which the 
animal matter has been removed by the long-continued action of water. I 
am indebted to Mr. S. Stutchbury for an interesting specimen, in which the 
thick outer layer had become disintegrated during the life of the animal, by 
the decay of its organic structure, and the prisms of carbonate of lime were 
left in situ, but not in any way held together, so that they could be sepa- 
rated by a touch. On treating these prisms with dilute acid, I have found 
them encircled by an extremely delicate membranous film ; the remainder of 
the cells in which they were originally formed having been removed by decay. 
In the fossil Pinnce of the oolite and neighbouring formations, it very fre- 
quently happens that the prisms exhibit a similar tendency to come apart, so 
as to admit of separate examination. It is then seen, that whilst some of 
them are truncated at both ends, so that their extremities appear at the two 
surfaces of the layer which they form, others gradually come to apoint at one 
end, so that this is lost in the thickness of the layer (figs. 9-1 1 ). A careful 
examination of these prisms, and of their irregularities of form, quite disproves 
the idea that their shape is due to a prismatic crystallization of carbonate of 
lime, it being evident that they are casts of the interior of organic cells, the 
shape of. which is determined by their mode of origin and formation. The 
variations in the size of the prisms at different parts of their length, accounts 

6 REPORT — 1844. 

satisfactorily for the varying size of the reticulations as shown on a transverse 
section of them, — some of the cells being cut across at their thickest, and some 
at their thinnest part. The very small hexagons which are occasionally seen 
in the midst of larger ones (fig. 7), are evidently the sections of prismatic 
cells, which are coming to a pointed termination. Of this fact I shall pre- 
sently make further use (§ 14). 

8. The great thickness of the basaltiform layers in many of the fossil 
Pinnce (and their allied genera) renders them very favourable subjects for 
examination of their structure, by a section at right angles to their surfaces. 
It is then seen that the direction of the prismatic fibres is seldom quite 
straight. In the same section they are often cut longitudinally in one part, 
and obliquely or almost transversely in another. Hence, although it is 
plain from the appearances shown on fracture, or by the disintegration of the 
shell, that most of the fibres pass continuously from one surface to the other, 
it is seldom that the whole length of them can be displayed in any one section, — 
one set frequently passing off by a change of direction, and another coming 
into view. Even to the naked eye, the curvature of these fibres is often 
sufficiently evident in the large Pinnce and Inocerami ; a circumstance which 
may, I think, be regarded as adding weight to the conclusion, that the pris- 
matic character of the fibres is not to be attributed to crystalline action, but 
to the form of the cells in which the calcareous matter is deposited. 

9. The general structure of the outer layers of the shell of Pinna (and, 
as I shall hereafter show, of many other genera) may be thus desci'ibed : — 
it consists of a stratum of prismatic cells, usually more or less hexagonal, 
adherent to each other by their sides, and forming the surfaces of the layer 
by their flattened terminations. Most of these cells pass continuously from 
one surface to the other, so that their length corresponds with the thickness 
of the layer ; but some of them end, by acute terminations, in the interior of 
the layer, when its thickness is considerable (figs. 2 and 10). These cells are 
filled with carbonate of lime, which give firmness to what would be otherwise 
a soft membranous stratum. From the universality with which this kind of 
structure, when it presents itself at all, forms the external layers of the shell, 
and from the complete correspondence between the form and aggregation of 
its cells, and those of the Epithelium covering the free surfaces of the other 
membranes of the body, I think we are justified in regarding the prismatic 
cellular substance of shell (which is the term by which I have designated 
this kind of structure) in the light of a calcified epithelium. It would thus 
correspond with the Enamel of Teeth, to which it is analogous in every re- 
spect, save the character of the mineral deposit, and the much larger size of 
the prisms. 

10. A more minute investigation of this structure throws some additional 
light on the mode in which it is at first produced. When a thin section is 
made of the shell of Pinna nigrina parallel to its surface, it exhibits a beau- 
tiful reddish-violet hue by transmitted light, which is not, however, uniformly 
diff'used over the Avhole section, some parts being commonly almost or com- 
pletely colourless (fig. 1). This appearance is completely explained by the 
examination of a thin section made in the opposite direction ; and it is then 
seen that there is an alternation of coloured and colourless strata through the 
whole thickness of the layer; so that the variations in the hue of the hori- 
zontal section are due to the mode in which these strata crop out, one from 
beneath another (fig. 2). If the section, however, should happen to traverse 
one layer only, its hue will be uniform throughout ; and thus I have sections 
of the same shell, taken from the same part of it, in some of which the whole 
is colourless, whilst in others it is uniformly tinted. Now these facts are in- 


teresting, as proving, I think, beyond a doubt, that the filling up of these long 
prismatic cells with carbonate of lime was not accomplished at one nisus ; 
and that there must have been a succession of deposits, of which some were 
tinted by the admixture of a coloured secretion, whilst others were left 
colourless. The outer portion of each layer will of course be the part first 
formed ; and the coloured layers are usually most numerous and deeply 
tinted in its neighbourhood. 

11. The idea of a succession of deposits is borne out by a very curious ap- 
pearance, which is presented by the two elements of the structure, when they 
are separately examined. The prismatic cells of the decalcified membrane ex- 
hibit a series of transverse markings at a small distance from each other, which 
bear no small resemblance (as Mr. Bowerbank has remarked) to the transverse 
strife of muscular fibre. These markings may be best seen by looking at 
the sides of the cells, in a vertical section which has been decalcified by 
dilute acid ; and they impart to the long prisms very much the aspect of the 
scalariform vessels of plants (fig. 11). But they may frequently be well seen 
in a horizontal section (with or without decalcification), when, as often hap- 
pens, the direction of some of the prisms is somewhat oblique, instead of being 
perpendicular to the plane of the section. Markings of a precisely similar 
nature are seen upon the calcareous prisms themselves, both from recent and 
fossil shells ; and they evidently correspond with those which the cell-walls 

12. These markings are attributed by Mr. Bowerbank to the existence of 
a vascular network, by which he supposes each stratum of prismatic cells to 
be surrounded. He thinks that a network of tubes, passing round each cell, 
may frequently be seen in the decalcified membrane ; and that the slight 
bulging inwai'ds, which the passage of the tube between the contiguous walls 
of two cells will give to each of them, is the cause of the marking in question. 
I cannot but think, however, that this view has been somewhat hastily 
adopted. In the first place, we know of no instance in which vessels pass in 
this manner through a cellular structure, except in the adipose tissue of 
animals, to which the fabric of shell bears no resemblance. I have in vain 
looked, in many scores of carefully-prepared specimens, for appearances 
distinctly indicative of the passage of tubes between these cells ; but have 
never succeeded. I can in any one, however, readily produce the appear- 
ance figured by Mr. Bowerbank as a vascular reticulation, by throwing the 
cut edges of the membrane a little out of focus. Moreover, if these tubes 
have a real existence, they ought to be very evident in the shell, before decal- 
cification ; in which I have never been able to find a trace of them, although 
I have examined more than 100 sections, cut in various directions, of various 
species of Pinna alone. When it is considered that the striae are seldom 
more than 1 -5000th of an inch apart, and are frequently much less, it is 
evident that there must be at least 5000 strata of this vascular network in a 
layer of shell an inch thick. According to Mr. Bowerbank, these strata 
communicate with each other by vertical tubes passing upwards and down- 
wards from the angles of the reticulations. These also I have failed to see, 
although I have used every variety of magnifying power and of method of 
examination. I may mention also that, as will presently appear, I have 
found numerous instances, in which a tubular structure of great delicacy is 
readily discernible in Shell ; so that I am quite familiar with the appearances 
which such a structure in Pinna might be expected to present. 

13. By submitting the cut edges of the membranous wall of the prismatic 
cell to a high magnifying power, under favourable circumstances, I have 
been able to discover what I believe to be the real cause of the transverse 

8 REPORT — 1844. 

striation in question. The membrane evidently projects inwards at those 
parts, not in consequence of being pushed inwards from without, but be- 
cause its own thickness is there increased. This appearance corresponds well 
with the conclusion already drawn, in regard to the progressive formation of 
each layer of shell ; and I am much inclined to believe that each transverse 
marking indicates a distinct deposit. Whether, during the time when this 
succession of deposits was taking place, the prismatic cells grew at their 
bases, and these lines indicate the additions which were progressively made 
to the length of the cells, — or whether the long prismatic cells, as we now find 
them, are made up by the coalescence of a number of layers of flat pavement- 
like enithelium-cells, placed one upon another, and the lines indicate their 
points' of junction, — I do not feel warranted in affirming with certainty, as the 
question could be only rightly decided by examining the shell in the progress 
of its formation, wliicli I have not yet had the opportunity of doing. I am 
much inclined, however, to adopt the latter view ; which was suggested to uie 
by Professor Owen. The coalescence of cells, linearly arranged, so as to 
form a single long cell or tube, is an occurrence with which Animal and Ve- 
getable Physiologists are alike familiar. The idea derives strength from the 
fact, that I have occasionally met with a layer of prismatic cellular structure 
of such extreme tenuity, that it was almost impossible to separate it, lying 
between thicker layers of the same in the shell of Pinna. The cells of this 
layer, instead of being elongated prisms, were flat and pavement-like, resem- 
bling the epithelium of serous membrane ; and it was in such that 1 have 
found the cytoblasts most perfectly preserved (fig. 8). It is hardly to be 
supposed that this layer was produced by a distinct act of shell- formation, as 
it would not add in any appreciable degree to the size or solidity of the shell ; 
and it seems probable that it was a supplemental portion, which had not 
coalesced with the remainder of the layer, of which it should properly have 
formed a part. 

14. The last point to which I shall advert, is one which I have already 
noticed, — the presence of dark or semi-opake cells in great numbers on the 
natural outer surface of the layers of prismatic cellular substance in the 
Pinna (fig. 5) ; their presence in a much diminished proportion, and only as 
small cells, in sections taken from the interior of the layer (fig. 6); and 
their complete absence (in general at least) from thenatural internal surface 
of the layers (fig. 7). I have nearly satisfied myself, that the appearance of 
opacity is due to the presence of a small quantity of air in or near the ex- 
tremities of the cells. That this, being enveloped in a substance of so high 
a refracting power as carbonate of lime, would give the appearance of opa- 
city, is easily understood on optical principles, and is practically well known 
to the microscopist. Now when we consider that the exterior surface, on which 
this appearance is chiefly seen, is the one furthest removed from that surface 
on which the carbonate of lime is being poured forth, it does not appear 
surprising that the calcifying substance should not always find its way to the 
ends of the cells, but should occasionally leave a void space there. And 
when it is remembered that the dark cells of the interior of the layer are few 
and small, and that, as already shown, these small cells are the sections of the 
acute terminations of prisms Avhich do not pass on to the surface, it is obvious 
that the same view fully accounts for their occurrence in this situation. 

15. Although the prismatic cellular structure has not yet been observed 
in actual process of formation, yet certain appearances which are occasionally 
met with in the marginal portions of its newest layers, throw great light upon 
its mode of growth, and indicate its strong resemblance to cartilage in this 
respect ; for in these situations we find the cells neither in contact with each 


Other nor polygonal in form, but separated by a greater or less amount of 
intercellular substance, and presenting a rounded instead of an angular 
border (fig. 1 2 c). Upon looking still nearer the margin, the cells are seen 
to be yet smaller, and more separated by intercellular substance (fig. 12 b.); 
and not unfrequently we lose all trace of distinct cells, the intercellular sub- 
stance presenting itself alone, but containing cytoblasts scattered through it 
(fig. 12 a.). This appearance has been noticed by myself in Perna and 
Unio, and by Mr. Bowerbank in Ostrea ; so that I have no doubt that it is 
general in this situation. We may, I think, conclude from it, that the cells 
of the prismatic cellular substance are developed, like those of cartilage, in 
the midst of an intercellular substance, which at first separates them from 
each other ; that as they grow and draw into themselves the carbonate of 
lime poured out from the subjacent surface, they approach each other more 
and more nearly ; and that as they attain their full development, their sides 
press against each other, so that the cells acquire a polygonal form, and the 
intercellular substance disappears. 

V. Membranous Shell-substance. 

16. Under this appellation I describe the substance, of which (under va- 
rious forms) all those shells consist, that do not present the prismatic cellular 
tissue just described. In this substance no trace of cells can for the most 
part be discovered ; and when they do present themselves, they are usually 
scattered through it with little or no regularity, and do not form a continuous 
stratum, when the calcareous matter has been i-emoved by acid. In no shell, 
even those most decidedly porcellanous, have I failed in detecting some 
membranous basis, although the film is often of extreme tenuity. I believe 
that there is no shell, in which this kind of structure does not exist under 
some form ; for even where almost the entire thickness is made up of the 
prismatic substance, as in Pinna and its allies, there is still a thin lining of 
nacre, which I shall presently show to be but a simple modification of the 
ordinary membranous structure. 

17. Although I cannot yet speak positively on the subject, still lam much 
disposed to believe, that in every distinct formation of shell-substance there is a 
single layer of membrane; and I am further of opinion that this membrane was 
at one time a constituentpart of the mantle of the mollusc. The late researches 
of Mr. Bowman upon mucous membrane, have shown that the essential consti- 
tuent of this tissue is a delicate, transparent and homogeneous expansion, the 
free surface of which is usually covered with epithelium-cells, whilst the attached 
side is in contact with that complex tissue (composed of areolar structure, 
blood-vessels, lymphatics, &c.) to which the name of " mucous membrane" 
is commonly applied. This expansion is termed by Mr. B. the " basement 
membrane;" and it is found, not merely on the raucous membranes, but also 
on the external surface of the tnie shin, lying beneath the epidermic cells. 
Now the mantle of the MoUusca, being essentially analogous to the true skin 
of higher animals, may be inferred to possess this element ; and if it be pe- 
riodically thrown off and renewed, we have a case strongly analogous to the 
formation of the " decidua" in the human uterus. Whether this be or be 
not the origin of the membranous residuum, which is found after the decal- 
cification of shell, the correspondence between this tissue and the basement- 
membrane of Mr. Bowman is extremely close. In its simplest condition, the 
former, like the latter, is a pellucid structureless pellicle of extreme delicacy 
and transparency, exhibiting no trace either of cells, granules or fibres (fig. 19). 
I have occasionally found it, however, of a somewhdX granular appearance, as 
if formed by the solidification of a thin stratum of fluid, including an immense 

10 REPORT 1844. 

number of minute molecules. In other cases, again, I have found it studded 
here and there with what seemed to be incipient cells. And lastly, I have 
occasionally found these cells more developed, and forming an almost conti- 
nuous layer on the surface of the membrane. In this state they somewhat 
resemble the incipient form of the prismatic cellular substance. These cells 
may be occasionally seen in sections of the shell itself ; and they will be often 
found in very different degrees of development, even in the corresponding 
layers of two shells of the same species. Coupling the appearances which I 
have myself observed with the observations of Mr. Bowerbank on the forma- 
tion of shell, and keeping in view the general doctrines of cell-action, which 
I have elsewhere endeavoured to develope, I am inclined to believe that 
these cells are, like the cells of the prismatic cellular structure, the real 
agents in the production of the shell, it being their office to secrete into their 
own cavities the carbonate of lime supplied by the fluids of the animal. 
But whilst the cells of the prismatic cellular structure advance in their de- 
velopment, so as to form a perfect tissue, — the "calcigerous cells," of which we 
are now speaking, appear to burst or liquefy, and to discharge their contents 
upon the surface of the subjacent membrane, on which a shelly layer is 
thus formed. A greater or smaller proportion of these being left entire, 
and being included in the substance discharged from the rest, would pre- 
sent the appearances I have mentioned as occasionally manifesting them- 
selves in sections of membranous shell-structui'e, and in the decalcified mem- 
brane. Thus in Mi/a, Anatina, Thracia, and other allied genera, I have met 
with obvious indications of a cellular structure in sections of the exterior 
layer of the shell (fig. 15) ; but I have seldom been able to obtain any distinct 
layer of cell-membrane (like that existing in the shell of Pinna and its allies) by 
the action of acid, except in Thracia and Pandora ; although traces of scattei-ed 
cells do present themselves. Hence it is evident that the cells, if they ever 
existed as such (of which I have little doubt), have ceased to exist ; but that 
their solid contents have been left. The difference between this kind of 
structure and the regular prismatic cellular substance, will be made evident 
by a comparison of the two forms delineated in figs. 3 and 15. The sharp- 
ness and definiteness of the lines dividing the cells in the former, are in 
striking contrast with the irregularity of the spaces intervening between the 
latter. In the shells of the family Myidee, too, I have seen other appearances 
wjiich fall in with the view just expressed in regard to the "fusion" of cells 
with each other ; these I shall describe more particularly in a future Report ; 
but in the mean time I may direct attention to fig. 13, as most clearly indi- 
cating the existence of such a "fusion ;" its various stages being evident in 
the different parts of the same specimen. 

18. Tiie Membranous shell-substance presents many curious varieties of 
aspect, which may be generally accounted for by corresponding diversities in 
the arrangement of the basement-membrane. Thus it sometimes presents a 
simple homogeneous character, as if the shelly matter had been uniformly 
diffused over a plane surface ; but this is comparatively seldom the case, for 
there are few instances in which the shell does not present, in some part of 
its thickness, an appearance which indicates an unevenness of surface on the 
jiart of the basement-membrane (fig. 43) ; and this appearance is usually 
found to correspond with the aspect of the membi-ane after decalcification. 
Sometimes this unevenness amounts simply to a corrugation or wrinkling, 
closely resembling that of morocco leather. The boundaries of the wrinkles 
are so strongly marked in some shells, that even the experienced Microscopist 
may be deceived into the belief that he is looking at a section displaying fusi- 
form cells. Such is the case with the inner layer of the shell of Patella. In 


all these instances, the decalcification of the shell affords a tolerably con- 
clusive test of the real nature of the structure ; for the absence of cells in 
the membranous residuum, coupled with the existence of the corrugations in 
the membrane itself, clearly indicates its character. 

19. In many other instances the membrane is still more gathered up into 
plaits or folds, which lie over one another, so that their edges present them- 
selves as a series of lines, more or less exactly parallel. I shall presently 
show that the peculiarity of nacreous structure is dependent upon this kind 
of arrangement ; and that another very remarkable form of it is characteristic 
of the Terebratulce and their allies. 

20. I am at present inclined to believe that a great part of the appearances, 
which are attributed by Mr. Gray to the rhomboidal crystallization of the 
carbonate of lime, are really due to the corrugation or plication of the base- 
ment-membrane ; for there may be noticed in the disposition of the folds, 
exactly that variation between the different layers, which Mr. Gray has pointed 
out as resulting from the different directions of the crystallization. Thus in 
Cyprcea and its allies, the three layers of shell are easily made to come into 
view in the same section, and it is then seen that the corrugations of each 
layer cross those of the adjoining one. A different explanation has been 
offered however by Mr. Bowerbank ; and until I have examined the subject 
afresh, I avoid expressing a positive opinion on the subject. 

VI. Nacreous Structure. 

21. The superficial aspect of nacre (or mother-of-pearl), and the optical 
phaenomena which it presents, have been examined and described by Sir D. 
Brewster* and Sir John F. W. Herschelf . My inquiries into its structure 
will enable me, I think, to give a more satisfactory description of its forma- 
tion than has yet been offered ; and also to explain some of the optical phae- 
nomena, which have not yet been fully accounted for. 

22. When a thin layer of nacre is submitted to the microscope, its surface 
is seen to be marked with numerous delicate lines, which traverse it with 
greater or less regularity : sometimes these lines are almost straight, and 
run nearly parallel to each other at tolerably regular intervals ; whilst in other 
parts of the same specimen they are seen to follow a more irregular course, 
and to diverge widely from each other (fig. 17). Sir J. Herschel has not 
unaptly compared this appearance to that of the surface of a smoothed deal 
board, in which the woody layers are cut perpendicularly to their surface in 
one part, and nearly in their plane in another. These lines are seen on the 
natural interior surface of the nacre, and no polishing obliterates them. Their 
distance from each other is extremely variable ; I have seen them only l-7500th 
of an inch apart ; but they are usually in much less close proximity. 

23. When the nacre-lines are carefully examined, it becomes evident that 
they are produced by the cropping-out of laminae of shell, situated more or 
less obliquely to the plane of the surface. The greater the dip of these 
laminae, the closer will their edges obviously be ; whilst the less the angle 
they make with the surface, the wider will be the interval between the lines. 
When the section passes for any distance in the plane of a lamina, no lines 
will present themselves on that space. 

24-. As far as I can understand Sir D. Brewster's idea of the structure of 
nacre, he appears to me to suppose, that it consists of a multitude of layers 
of carbonate of lime alternating with animal membrane, and that the pre- 

* Philosopliical Transactions, 1814 ; and " Optics " in Lardner's Cabinet Cyclopsedia, 
pp. 115-120. 
t Edinburgh Philosophical Journal, vol. ii. 

12 REPORT — 1844. 

sence of grooves on the most highly-polished surface is due to the wearing- 
away of the edges of the animal laminae, whilst those of the hard calcareous 
laminte stand out. If each line upon the nacreous surface, however, indi- 
cates a distinct layer of shell-structure, a very thin section of mother-of-pearl 
ought to contain many thousand such layers, in accordance with the number 
of lines upon its surface. But when the nacre is treated with dilute acid, so 
as to dissolve away its calcareous portion, this is found not to be the case. 
The number of layers of membrane bears no proportion whatever to the 
number of lines upon its surface ; and it is impossible therefore to imagine, 
that the laminations indicated by these lines are so many distinct layers of 

25. It is generally difficult to ascertain anything from the examination of 
the decalcified membrane, as to its disposition in the nacreous structure ; since 
the disengagement of carbonic acid more or less completely unfolds the plaits, 
of which some indications remain in it (fig. 19) : but one shell affords us the 
opportunity of examining the plaits in situ, and thus presents a clear demon- 
stration of the real structure of naci-e. The shell I allude to is Haliotis spleri- 
dens, in which, as Mr. Gray has remarked*, a considerable quantity of animal 
matter intervenes between the layers of nacre. This is not disposed in spots, 
however (as stated by Mr. Gray), but in the form of numerous jj/a^e* of a 
horny substance, very like tortoise-shell in colour and aspect. As the sur- 
faces of these plates usually follow the curvature of the shell, a plane sec- 
tion will not pass through any one of them for any considerable distance, 
and consequently its cut portion will appear as an insulated spot. If a piece 
of this shell be submitted to the action of dilute acid, the calcareous por- 
tion of the nacreous layers, which intervene between these plates and hold 
them together, is dissolved away, and they readily separate. Each horny plate 
is then seen to be covered on one side with the membranous residuum of the 
nacre, whilst on the other it is bare, — this surface being applied, in the un- 
altered shell, to the layer of nacre which adheres to the next plate. Only a 
single layer of nacre-membrane exists between each pair of horny laminae, 
and we have thus a most favourable opportunity of studying its disposition. 
It is generally found that, when the horny plates fall asunder in the dilute 
acid, some of them exhibit the nacre-membrane in an undisturbed condition, 
and their surfaces then exhibit the iridescent lustre, although all the calcareous 
matter has been removed from the structure. On looking at the surface with 
reflected light, under a magnifying power of about 75 diameter, it is seen to 
present a series of folds or plaits more or less regular (fig. 18) ; and the iri- 
descent hues which these exhibit are of the most gorgeous description. If 
the membrane be extended with a pair of needles, these plaits are unfolded, 
and it covers a much larger surface than before ; but the iridescence is then 
completely destroyed. 

26. I think it will be admitted that this is an experimentum cmcis, in regard 
to the cause of the iridescence of nacre, demonstrating that the peculiar 
lineation of its surface (on which the iridescence undoubtedly depends) is 
due, not to the outcropping of alternate layers of membranous and calca- 
reous matter, but to the disposition of a single membranous layer in folds or 
jilaits, which lie more or less obliquely to the general surface ; so that their 
edges present themselves as lines, at a greater or less distance from each 
other, according to the direction in which the section traverses them. 

27. Besides the images described by Sir D.Brewster, another optical phse- 
nomenon has been pointed out by Sir J. Herschel, as presented by mother-of- 
pearl, when light is reflected from its surface. This he has aptly compared 

* Pliilosopliical Transactions, 1833. 


to the minute ripples which cross the surface of the larger waves. I think 
that my observations furnish the explanation of these appearances. The 
lines which mark the edges of the plaits are seldom or never quite even, but 
are more or less wavy. Of these irregularities, some are caused by the mi- 
nute scratches or indentations left by the polishing material ; but these may 
be readily distinguished by the experienced observer ; and there is, besides 
them, a regular series evidently caused by slight transverse undulations in 
the plaits themselves, which thus form a secondary series of minute corruga- 
tions, lying at right angles with the principal plaits. These secondary cor- 
rugations, however, are seldom deep enough to overlie one another, and 
hence they exhibit no lined edges. I have been able to detect them very 
readily in the decalcified nacre-membrane, when it has suffered no exten- 
sion ; when it has been in the least degree stretched, however, the secondary 
corrugations are flattened, and the edges of the primary folds become quite 
straight. The reason why the optical appearances resulting from this arrange- 
ment cannot (as Sir J. Herschel has remarked) be communicated, like those 
of the primary series, to surfaces of wax, resin, &c., appears to me to be sim- 
ply this, that' the folds are not deep enough to overlap each other, and that 
thus no lined edges are produced ; consequently the corrugations give rise 
to no inequalities on the polished surface, and cannot communicate any pecu- 
liar character to substances impressed upon it. 

28. In no nacreous shells that I have examined, have I failed to discover 
the structure which I have described ; and my examination has comprehended 
examples, both recent and fossil, from all the tribes in which this chai-acter 
presents itself. 

29. There are several shells which present what may be termed a sub- 
nacreous structure, their polished surfaces being covered with lines indicative 
of folds in the membrane ; but these folds being destitute of that regularity 
of arrangement, which is necessary to produce the iridescent lustre. This is 
the case, for example, with most of the Pectinidce, also with some of the 
MytilacecB, and with the common Oyster. It is easy to understand, therefore, 
why there should be a variation in this respect within the limits of a single 
genus. Thus in Ostrea there is usually no perfect nacre, yet thei-e are spe- 
cies which are truly nacreous. On the other hand, in Mytilus there is usu- 
ally a truly nacreous interior ; yet there are species in which this is wanting. 
When so very slight a difference in the arrangement of the folds will produce 
this variation, it is not surprising that it should occur among the species of 
the same genus. A want of transparency, also, appears to be one cause of 
the absence of the iridescent lustre. Thus in a very thin layer of the shell 
of Ostrea edulis, the nacreous lineation is here and there very characteristi- 
cally shown ; yet the shell possesses no iridescence, partly in consequence, I 
am inclined to think, of the presence between its layers of the chalky depo- 
sits formerly mentioned (§ 1), which can neither transmit nor reflect light. 

VII. Tubular Structure. 

30. All the different forms of membranous shell-structure are occasionally 
traversed by tubes, which seem to commence from the inner surface of the 
shell, and to be distributed in its several layers. These tubes vary in size 
from about the 1 -20,000th to the 1 -2000th of an inch ; but their general dia- 
meter, in the shells in which they most abound, is about l-^SOOth of an inch. 
The direction and distribution of these tubes are extremely various in differ- 
ent shells ; in general, where they exist in considerable numbers, they form 
a network, which spreads itself out in each layer, nearly parallel to its sur- 
face ; so that a large p£irt of it comes into focus at the same time, in a section 

14 REPORT — 1844. 

which passes in the plane of the lamina (fig. 20). From Ihis network some 
branches proceed towards the nearer side of the section, as if to join the net- 
work of another layer ; whilst others dip downwards, as if for a similar pur- 
pose. The most characteristic examples of this structure which I have met 
with are to be found in the outer yellow layer of Anomia ephippittm (fig. 4-0), 
the external layer of Lima scabra, and in Chama Jlorida. In other in- 
stances, the tubes run at a distance from each other obliquely through the 
shelly layers, and they are then usually of large size. This is the case for 
instance in Area Noce, and Pectunculus. In no cases liave I seen any such 
variation in the size of the tubes of the same shell, as would convey the idea 
of their resemblance to blood-vessels ; and even where a division occui-s, the 
size of each of the branches is usually equal to that of the single trunk. 
Sometimes these canals are quite straight, whilst in other instances they are 
sinuous. That they are not mere channels or excavations in the shell-sub- 
stance, is proved by the fact that they may be seen in the decalcified mem- 
brane (fig. 41). I have frequently seen in them indications of a cellular 
origin, as if they had been formed by the coalescence of a number of cells 
arranged in a linear direction ; and I find that Mr. Bowerbank has come to 
the same conclusion. 

31. The tubular structure is usually found only in the ordinary membra- 
nous shell-substance; in fact, I have seldom observed it in the nacre, except 
where the tubes penetrate this, to be distributed in a layer external to it, 
as is the case, for example, in Anomia and Trigonia. I have nowhere ibund 
it coexisting in the same shell with any great amount of prismatic cellular 
substance ; consequently it is for the most part absent in the Margarita- 
cecE and NayadecE, and but very slightly manifested in the true Ostracece, 
In most of the families of Bivalves, however, in which the lobes of the 
mantle are united, some traces of it may be detected ; though these are often 
very scanty. There is less regularity in regard to this character, than in 
respect to most others furnished by the microscopic examination of the 
shell. Thus I have found a little collection of tubes in one spot of the nacre 
of an Avicula, in no other part of which did I meet with any ; and I have 
frequently found one species of a genus extremely tubular, whilst another, 
closely allied to it, was almost or entirely destitute of tubes. Nevertheless, 
in conjunction with other characters, I consider that the presence or absence 
of this structure may often afford valuable assistance in determining the 
position of an unknown specimen. Of this I shall presently adduce a stri- 
king example. 

VIII. Cancellated Structure. 

32. I give this denomination to a peculiar structure closely resembling 
the cancellated texture of bone, which is remarkably characteristic of that 
very peculiar and perplexing group, — the Rudistes. I can scarcely de- 
scribe this structure so well, as by comparing it with the prismatic cellular 
structure oi Pinna and its allies, upon a large scale ; v>ith this important dif- 
ference, however, that in this cancellated structure the prismatic cells are 
not solid but hollow*. It is true that in many specimens of Hippurite and 
Sphserulite, the cancelli are found to be completely filled with carbonate of 
lime ; but there are appearances about this deposit, which lead to the belief 
that it is the work of subsequent infiltration ; and this view is confirmed by 
the fact, that the Rudistes of the Chalk are commonly found with their can- 
celli empty. In what manner these minute chambers were occupied during 

* This structure has been described bv Mr. Gray in the Magazine of Zoologj' and Botanv, 
vol. ii. p. 228. 


the life of the animal, it is impossible now to say ; as there is no existing 
wroup, to which the Rudistes seem to bear any close resemblance. The shape 
of each is usually that of a very short hexagonal prism, terminated at each 
end by a flat partition : consequently a section in one direction wijl exhibit 
the walls of the chambers disposed in a hexagonal network (fig.j2^) ; whilst, i, *:> 
■when the section passes in the opposite direction, the transverse partitions 
come into view (fig. ^). The cancellated structure is externally and inter- ^ . 
nally covered with a shelly plate, in which no perforations whatever can be 
seen. It is difficult to imagine, therefore, how any communication could 
have existed between the animal contained within the shell, and the cancel- 
lated structure which forms its thickness. 

33. The only approaches to this structure, so far as I am aware, presented 
by any recent shells, are to be found in the irregular cancellated structure of 
the base of some of the sessile Cirrhopods ; and iu a similarly irregular can- 
cellated structure, which has been described by Mr. Gray* as existing be- 
tween the laminae of an undescribed species of Oyster, named by him Ostrea 
purpurea, I have not myself met with anything at all to be compared with 
it among the shells of ordinary MoUusca ; and I cannot but think that its ex- 
istence, as nearly the sole component of their shells, marks out the Rudistes 
as a group altogether distinct from them. The position which I should be 
myself inclined to assign to them, from the structure of the shell, is between 
the OstracecB and the sessile Balani ; and I believe that the most complete 
information we possess on the character of the animals, would lead to the 
same conclusion. 

34. The presence of this structure in any fossil, whose situation is doubt- 
ful, appears to me a sufficient reason for referring it to the group of Rudistes, 
Thus from finding it in Pleurorhynchus Hibernicus (figs. 24, 25), 1 should 
almost unhesitatingly assign this position to that shell, notwithstanding its 
strong resemblance in form to some of the Cardiacece. It has not the least 
correspondence, however, to the Cardium cardissa, or to any of the Cardiacete 
that I have examined, in regard to the structure of its shell, which entirely 
consists of cancellated texture, — the cancelli being formed by the intersec- 
tion of planes at right angles to each other. When the shell disintegrates, 
the casts of these cancelli, which are produced by the infiltration of carbonate 
of lime, are disposed to separate from each other ; and thus a layer of iso- 
lated parallelopipeds are found in place of the shell. 

35. Having now described the principal component elements, of Avhich the 
shells of MoUusca are made up, I proceed to detail the results of my inquiries 
into the combination of these, in the several groups Avhich altogether form 
this sub-kingdom. From what has been already stated, the question natu- 
rally presents itself, how far the elementary structure of the shell may furnish 
characters of importance in classification and in the determination of fossils. 
My inquiries, so far as they have yet proceeded, tend to establish this po- 
sition, that ivhere a recognizable and constant diversity presents itself in the ele- 
mentary structure of the shell among different groups, that diversity affords 
characters, ivhich are to a very high degree indicative of the natural affinities 
of those groups. It is not always that peculiarities sufficiently distinctive pre- 
sent themselves, even between what are regarded zoologically as distinct fami- 
lies ; but where a marked diversity does exist, I believe that it will always be 
indicative of the affinities of the animal. Thus the conformity in structure 
between all the shells of one natural family is usually so close, that any 
strongly-marked difference in a particular genus would make me hesitate in 

* Loc, cif. 

16 REPORT — 1844. 

admitting it into the group. I think it well at once to premise, that the cha- 
racters derived from the intimate structure of the shell are not likely to serve 
for the distinction of species from each other, and that they will not often 
distinguish genera ; but for the separation of some nalural families, I believe 
that they will furnish the best single set of characters that the naturalist pos- 
sesses, especially among particular groups, in which the application of other 
characters is very uncertain. 

IX. Brachiopoda. 

36. The shells of the Brachiopoda or Palliobranchiata (Owen) present 
many interesting objects for inquiry ; their structure is, in almost every in- 
stance, quite distinct from that of the shells of the Lameliibrauchiate bivalves ; 
so that, as I shall presently show, even amorphous fragments of shell maj' be 
referred with certainty to this group, when not altered by metamorphic action. 
I have recognized in the shells of Brachiopoda two leading types of con- 
formation ; one of which is a peculiar variety of the plicated membranous 
structure ; whilst the other is an equally peculiar form of the tubular. The 
former occurs in the genus Terebratula and its allies, the latter in Lingula 
and Orbicula. 

37. The shell of Terebratula psittacea, which (for a reason presently to be 
specified) I shall take as a type of the first of these structures, is remarkable 
for its divisibility into thin micaceous plates, which may be split into laminae 
of extreme tenuity. I do not know any one of the Lamellibranchiate bivalves 
whose shell corresponds with it in this respect, except Placuna and Anotnia, 
which evidently verge towards the Brachiopoda. This facility of lamination 
characterizes a large number of the fossil species of the group ; especially 
those which correspond with the one now under consideration, in its peculiar 
characters. The natural laminae thus obtained frequently aflbrd better sub- 
jects for microscopical investigation than can be procured by making sections 
in the ordinary manner. When these laminae are examined with a good 
microscope, they are found to present a most remarkable and characteristic 
appearance ; they are traversed by a very regular series of lines, usually 
nearly straight, but sometimes slightly curved, and running quite parallel to 
each other (figs. 27, 28). The distance of these lines from each other averages 
about 1 -2000th of an inch, and from this average I have never found any very 
wide departure, — the greatest distance I have met with being in Terebratula 
octoplicata, where the space between them is about 1 -700th of an inch. 

38. When the broken extremities of these natural lamina are examined, it 
is seen that the lines in question are produced by sharp foldings of the shelly 
layer, which foldings are parallel to each other ; and this view is confirmed by 
examination of the decalcified membi'ane, of which only one continuous stra- 
tum exists in each lamina. 

39. When the natural internal surface of the shell is examined, a very 
beautiful appearance is presented by it ; a most regular imbricated arrange- 
ment is seen, exactly resembling a tiled roof, in which the lower margins of 
the tiles are rounded, instead of being quadrangular (fig. 29). If a portion 
of the surface be slightly rubbed down, so that the connection of these tile- 
like markings with the interior structure can be traced, it is seen that they 
are the extremities of the longitudinal folds just mentioned, each row of them 
belonging to one lamina, and a series of these laminae cropping-out, one be- 
neath another. 

40. When artificial sections, instead of the natural laminse or surfaces of 
this shell, are examined, a great variety of appearances will be presented, ac- 
cording to the mode in which the plane of the section traverses the plaited 


surface (fig. 30). These appearances, however, are all reconcileable with the 
description which I have given of this peculiar kind of structure, and are 
easily recognized as appertaining to the group in question, and to this alone. 

4<1. When any other recent species of Terehratula is examined, an addi- 
tional peculiarity is observed ; this consists of the presence of a large number 
of perforations in the shell, generally passing somewhat obliquely from one 
surface to the other, and terminating by an orifice at each (figs. 33-39). The 
size of these perforations is sufficiently great, to enable them to be detected 
with a hand-magnifier, as minute punctations on the surface ; and as such they 
have been recognized by many, who have made this group their particular study. 
I am not aware, however, that the fact of these punctations being the orifices 
of large canals, passing from surface to surface of the shell, has been previously 
noticed. The diameter of these perforations in the shells of recent Tere- 
hratulcB varies from about '0006 to •0024< of an inch ; they are readily distin- 
guished in the decalcified membrane, and are seen to be lined by a tubular 
prolongation from it. Of their object or purpose I can give no definite ac- 
count ; and not having had the opportunity of examining a recent specimen 
with the animal preserved, I am unable to speak confidently as to the degree 
of connection, which these passages have with the mantle and with the interior 
of the shell. 

42. Having examined all the recent Terebratulce in the British Museum, 
and in the collection of Mr. Cuming, I feel able to state as a general fact, 
that all these species possess this remarkable character, with the exception of 
Terehratula psittacea ; which, in the opinion of many, has other distinctive 
characters of its own, quite sufficient to separate it from the group. Upon 
turning my attention to the fossil species, however, a diff'erence in this respect 
soon became obvious; for whilst some presented these perforations very 
distinctly, others were found entirely destitute of them. The presence or 
absence of the perforations cannot be detected in the fossil species, as in the 
recent, by the examination of the surface of the shell with a hand-magnifier ; 
since, owing to the filliug-up of the passages with the fossilizing material, 
their extremities are not sufl[iciently distinguishable from the surrounding sur- 
face. Hence, in order to determine the existence of this character in the 
fossil species, it is necessary to make a section of the shell. Believing that it 
must have some intimate relation with the structure and habits of the animal, 
and that it must consequently be a character of zoological importance, I 
have endeavoured to carry out this kind of examination to an extent suflBcient 
to test its value ; and the following is the result of the examination of thirty- 
five fossil species of the genus Terehratula : — 


Caput serpentis. 

Not Perforated. 














1844.. c 

18 REPORT 1844, 







Not Perforated. 


Tliis list will enable any one conversant with the genus to see, that, with 
scarcelj" an exception, the perforated species are smooth, or but slightly pli- 
cated, not exceeding in their plication the Terebratula caput serpentis, which 
is, I believe, the most plicated of the recent species ; whilst the non-per- 
forated species are deeply plicated*. Besides the species named in this list, I 
have examined about ten other species of non-plicated Terehratulce, whose 
names I was unable to ascertain ; they all agreed with the other non-plicated 
species, in the possession of the perforations. 

43. Among the genera most nearly allied to Terebrahda, I have usually 
found a similar variation. Thus, Orthis canalis and Orthis (Spirifer, Phil.) 

Jiliaria present exactly the same structure as the perforated Terehratulm ; 
whilst Orthis hemiproiiites, Orthis resupinata, and another species from the 
Silurian formation, Ohio, are destitute of perforations. 

44. In Spirifer, again, the perforations are present in some of the sj)ecies, 
and absent in others. For want of good specimens I have not been myself 
able to examine many species of this genus ; but I have found the perforations 
very well marked in Spirifer Walcotii of the Lias, whilst they are absent in 
Sjnrifer cuspidatus and another Mountain Limestone species, and in a species 
from the Devonian formation at Hudson's Bay. I learn from Mr. Morris, 
that he has remarked the punctations in the Spirifers of the Silurian and 
later secondary strata, but not on those of the mountain limestone ; which 
circumstance he attributed to the metamorphic condition of the shell in the 
latter. I am satisfied, however, that such is not the case ; since, although the 
structure of the shell is often obscured by this action, I possess sections in 
which it is extremely well preserved, and in which there is an evident absence 
of the perforations. 

45. In no Ati~ypa, however, have I met with perforations. The species I 
have examined are Atrypa ojffinis, A.pugnvs, A. lineata, A. galeata, and a 
crag species closely allied to Terebratula psittacea, if not identical with it. 

46. In Pentamerus Knightii I have found the structure characteristic of 
the group, but without perforations. 

47. The structure of the shells of Lingula and Orbicula is equally peculiar, 
but very different from that which has been now described. These shells are 
almost entirely composed of laminte of horny matter, which are perforated 
by minute tubuli, closely resembling those of ivory in size and arrangement, 
and passing obliquely through the laminae (fig. 22). Near the margin of the 
shell, these tubuli may be seen lying nearly parallel to the surface. 

X. PlacunidcB. 

48. This family has been separated by Deshayes from the OstracecE, and con- 
stitutes, according to his views, " a descending and lateral line, really inter- 
mediate between the ordinary Bivalves and the Brachiopoda." The propriety 
of such an arrangement is completely borne out by the microscopic structure 

* There are one or two apparent exceptions to this, as the case of the Terebratula sub- 
plicata, in wliich the plications are veiy slight ; hut this is thought hy Mr. Morris to be the 
young of a deeply-plicated species ; and the same explanation will probably apply to other 


of the shells ; for Placuna and Anomia agree in several particulars, in which 
both differ from the Ostracea. The principal part of the shell of the Pla- 
cunidce consists of true nacre, the laminaB of which are peculiarly separable 
from each otlier, thus in some degree corresponding with Terebratula and 
other Brachiopoda. In the Oyster, the shelly layers are more divisible than 
they are in most other Conchifera, and so far it approaches the Placunidce ; 
but this divisibility is not nearly so great as in the latter. In the form of the 
nacreous lineation, too, the Placunidce show more resemblance to Producta 
than they do to the ordinary Conchifera. Their chief point of distinction 
from the OslracecB is the entire absence of the prismatic cellular structure 
which characterizes the latter, and the presence, in its stead, of a tubular 
structure which is found in the nacre itself of Placuna and Anomia, but 
more particularly in the yellowish external coat of the upper valve in the 
latter genus (figs. 4-0, 41). The tubuli are about 1 -2000th of an inch in dia- 
meter; they sometimes form a network parallel to the laminae, and sometimes 
dip down and penetrate them obliquely or vertically ; the wavy direction of 
the tubes is particularly evident in these shells. By these characters I should 
have no difficulty in identifying a small fragment of a shell belonging to this 
family, as I know no other shells which have so regular a distribution of 
large tubes in their nacreous layers. 

XI. OstracecB. 

49. This family now contains only the genera Ostrea and GryphcBa, between 
which there is a very close resemblance in general characters, so that it is 
doubted by many conchologists whether they are really distinct, the one 
passing gradually into the other. This correspondence exists also in their 
microscopic structure ; in both we find a layer of prismatic cellular sub- 
stance, in which the cells are very obliquely arranged, forming the margin 
of each lamina (fig. 44), whilst the general structure of the shell is sub- 
nacreous (§ 29). Between the recent Gryphcea and Ostrea, I have not been 
able to detect any difference ; but in the Gryphcea incurva of the lias, I 
have found the nacre perforated by scattered tubes, of which no trace exists 
in Ostrea edulis. 

Xll. PectinidcB. 

50. In the several genera of this family, the structure of the shell is almost 
exclusively membranous. There are generally two very distinct layers, an inner 
and outer ; but there is no essential difference in their structure, the chief point 
of distinction being usually in their colour, as in Pecten and Spondylus. I have 
occasionally met with traces of cellular structure, especially on the external 
surface of the shell ; but I am not inclined to believe that these are to be 
regarded as constant, or as peculiarly characteristic of the group (fig. 42). 
No distinct cellular layer can be obtained by the decalcification of the shell ; 
but cells are seen here and there scattered among the folds of the basement- 
membrane. Hence I am inclined to regard them simply as the remains of 
the original calcigerous cells, by which the shell was at first formed. — The 
most characteristic feature of the shells of the PectinidcB is the coarsely- 
corrugated structure which they exhibit, both in their inner and outer layers 
(fig. 43) : there is also, in some instances, an extremely delicate corrugation, 
visible only with a high power, and giving to the shell the appearance of 
possessing a delicate fibrous texture. Both these arrangements are seen in 
tiie decalcified membrane, as in the shell itself. In some shells of this family 
there is a very remarkable amount of tubidar structure ; in fact, I have no- 
where found a more characteristic example of it than in Lima scabra, but it 
is not constantly present even in species of the same genus. 

51. We shall hereafter find that this corrugated structure, with a greater or 


20 REPORT — 1844, 

less amount of tubular perforation, is characteristic of several other families of 
Lamellibranchiate bivalves, which have the mantle wholly or partially closed ; 
and it would not, therefore, serve by itself to distinguish a fragment of a shell 
of this family from those alluded to. But it is quite sufficient to distinguish 
a shell of this family from any of the neighbouring families, to which, in its 
general characters, it might possess an affinity. The following is a charac- 
teristic example of its use : — A shell was described by Prof. Philips, in his 
' Geology of Yorkshire,' as an Avicula, which had been previously described 
by Messrs. Young and Bird as a Pecten. The same species, or one closely 
allied to it, found near Bristol, was described by Mr. S. Stutchbury as an 
Avicula ; he not being at the time aware, that it had been met with and de- 
scribed elsewhere. The mixture of characters is such, as would sanction its 
being placed in either group, according to the relative value attached to 
them. Thus, in the form of its hinge it is most allied to Avicula, Avhilst in 
the flatness of its under valve, and in the disposition of its costse, it rather 
corresponds with the Pectens. The intimate structure of the shell here 
sei-ves, I think, to decide the point ; for we find no trace of either the pris- 
matic cellular substance or the nacre, which are characteristic of Avicula ; 
but we meet, on the other hand, with the coarsely-corrugated and somewhat 
tubular structure of the Pectinidce. 

XIII. Margaritacece. 

52. I employ the above designation of this family, because I believe it to be 
the one most applicable to the genera I include in it, which are the follow- 
ing : — Perna, Malleus, Crenatula, Vulsella, Avicula and Pinna, with the 
addition of the fossil genera Gervillia, Inoceramus and (I presume) Catil- 
lus *. All the genera thus associated together exhibit a remarkable uniformity 
as to the structure of their shells, — the exterior being composed of prismatic 
cellular substance, and the interior of true nacre, — both of which structures 
here present themselves in their most characteristic form. There is no dif- 
ference whatever, that I have met with, except as to the size of the cells, be- 
tween the elementary structure of any of these shells. This difference is often 
very considerable ; thus the average diameter of the hexagonal cells of the 
large fossil Pinna is about 1-lOOth of an inch, whilst that of the cells of a 
small (unnamed) species of Vulsella, kindly presented to me for examination 
by Mr. Cuming, is about 1 -2800th of an inch. One cell of the former would 
contain, therefore, in its area, about 784 of the latter. In three species of 
recent Pinna which I have examined, the average diameter of the cells haa 
been found very nearly the same, namely, 1 -500th of an inch. One of these, 
however, shoAvs a remarkable difference in the size of the cells at the exterior ■ 
and interior of each layer, the average of the former being about 1 -380th of] 
an inch, whilst that of the latter is about 1 -833rd : this difference is due to 
the fact, that several of the cells of the superficial part of the layer are not 
prolonged through its thickness, but cease near its middle, as shown by exa- 
mination of the vertical section, so that there is room for the enlargement of 
the others. In the genera Perna, Avicula and Malleus, I have found more 
variation in the size of the cells in the same shell than in the preceding ; a < 
layer of much smaller dimensions than the average, being generally found 
where this tissue comes in contact with the nacreous substance (figs. 45-50). 

53. Although the genus Pinna has been placed by nearly all Conchologists 
in the family Mytilacece, yet I have ventured to associate it with the other 
genera I have named, on account of its close conformity with them in the 
structure of its shell, and its entire difference in this respect from the true 
Mytilacece. And this alteration of its position seems justified by a careful, 

* I have not had an opportunity of examining this genus. I 


comparison of the general characters of the animal, with that of Avicula on 
the one hand, and Mytilus on the other. In Mytilus there are always two ad- 
ductor muscles, the anterior very small, the posterior much larger ; the lobes 
of the mantle are united posteriorly at one point, so that there is a single anal 
siphon ; the aperture of the mouth is not furnished with papillae ; and the liga- 
ment is altogether external. In Pinna there are still two unequal adductor 
muscles ; the lobes of the mantle have no posterior commissure (though partly 
united along the back), and consequently there is no anal siphon ; the mouth 
as well as the lips are covered with membranous papillee ; the ligament is 
very narrow and elongated, often covered by a thin testaceous lamina, and 
loses almost all the characters of the external ligaments. In Avicula there 
is no longer any anterior adductor muscle ; there is no posterior [commissure 
of the mantle ; the mouth is furnished with papilte, and the ligament has no 
longer any of the characters of external ligaments, entirely resembling those 
of the other Monomyaria. The animal of Pema, so far as it is known, ap- 
pears to be very closely allied to that of Avicula. Hence the only impor- 
tant character by which Pinna is connected with Mytilus, is the presence of 
an anterior adductor muscle ; but against this are to be set the want of the 
posterior commissure of the mantle, the difference in the position of the 
ligament, and the presence of papillae on the inner surface of the mouth and 
lips, — in all which points there is a much closer approximation to Avicula. 
Thus we see how correct is the determination which would have been formed 
from the sole consideration of the structure of the shell ; and even if we con- 
sider this but as a single character, to be taken into account with others in 
the determination of the position of the genus, I think it difficult to resist 
the preponderance of evidence for detaching Pinna from the family Myti- 
lacece, and for uniting it with the Margaritacece. 

XIV. Nay odea. 

54. Although this family is usually separated widely from the Margaritacece 
by systematists, there appear to me many points of resemblance between 
them. Contrary to Lamarck's statement, the lobes of the mantle in both 
Unio and Anodon are entirely open along their whole extent, and the chan- 
nel which forms the anal passage is made up of the two branchial laminae, 
which are there adherent together. Now it is extremely interesting to find 
that in this group, which conducts us so remarkably from the Lamellibran- 
chiata with the lobes of the mantle entirely open, to those in which it is closed, 
the prismatic cellular structure so characteristic of the former division is 
still found, but in small quantity. The principal part of the shell is nacreous ; 
and the prismatic cellular structure forms but a very thin layer beneath the 
periostracum (fig. 51). It is to this that the dead- white aspect of the shell 
is due, when the epidermis has been frayed off (as it often is during the life 
of the animal, especially near the umbo) Avithout the nacre being brought into 
view. I can discover no difference between Unio and Anodon in the micro- 
scopic characters of the shell ; and consequently can offer no objection on 
this score to the reunion of these two genera, as proposed by M. Deshayes. 

55. In connection with these last families, I may allude to the structure of 
the cui-ious genus Etheria ; in regard to the place of which, there is not yet an 
agreement amongst systematists. By many Conchologists it has been arranged 
among the Chamacem, chiefly on account of its tendency to attach its lower 
valve to solid bodies. Its removal from these, however, has been proved to 
be required by additional knowledge regarding the structure of the animal. 
M. Deshayes seems inclined to rank it among the Nayadece ; M. de Blain- 
ville thinks it should be associated with the Margaritacece. The lobes of its 
mantle are entirely open, but there is an anal passage formed by the adhesion 

22 REPORT — 1844. 

of the branchiae, as in Unio ; and, as in the NayadecB, there is a large foot. 
When we add to these characters the attachment of the shell by one of ita 
valves, as in OstracecB and Chamacew, the assemblage becomes very per- 
plexing. The microscopic structure of the shell here affords, I think, valu- 
able aid (fig. 52). The prismatic cellular structure here exists in large amount, 
as in Pinna ; and the interior is nacreous or sub-nacreous. In these respects 
it entirely differs from the CliamacecE, in which there is not a trace of pris- 
matic cellular structure, and in which the inner layer has characters which 
that of Etheria does not possess. 

56. In all the preceding families, the lobes of the mantle are disunited ; 
and it is very interesting to find hoAv completely the Prismatic Cellular sub- 
stance is restricted to the group thus constituted. The only approaches to 
it, which I have met Avith in other Bivalve Mollusca, are among the family 
Myid(B ; and it is only in the very aberrant genus Pandora, that it shows 
itself in a truly characteristic form. Of this group I should be disposed 
to take the MargaritacecB as the typical or central family. From these 
we might pass off towards the Brachiopoda on the one hand, by the true 
OstracecB, which conduct us towards the Placunidce. Again, by Avicida and 
Pinna, we are led towards the MytilacecB. By Etheria we are conducted to 
the Nayadea, and these lead us towards the Chamacece. The most aberrant 
family, in respect to the structure of the shell, is that of Pectinida, in Avhich 
the prismatic cellular structure is entirely absent, whilst there is also an ab- 
sence of the true nacreous character. Noav although the general structure of 
the PectinidcB is not usually regarded as widely different from that of the 
OstracecB, their habits depart most widely from those which prevail in the 
group ; for while the Oysters ai'e fixed by the adhesion of their shells, and 
the Margaritacece by a byssus, the Pectens are usually free, and seem to 
possess more locomotive power, together with a more complete sensory appa- 
ratus, than any others of the group. It seems to me that, in these respects, 
they have a relation of analogy with the CardiacecB : and if such a relation 
exist, it is remarkably borne out by the intimate structure of the shell, which 
is closely allied in these two families ; as well as by that ribbed surface, which 
is well known to be characteristic of its exterior, at least in the typical genera 
of each family. 

List of Illustrations. 

Plate I. — Fig. 1 . Section of Pinna nigrina, parallel to its surface, under 
a power of 10 diameters; cutting the prismatic cells transversely, and 
showing the outcrop of the coloured layers (§ 10). — Fig. 2. Section of 
Pinmi nigrina, perpendicular to its surface, under a power of 50 dia- 
meters; showing the alternation of coloured and colourless laj'ers (§ 10). 

Plate II Fig. 3. A portion of fig. 1, magnified 185 diameters. — Fig. 4. 

A corresponding portion, after immersion in dilute acid, showing the 
residual membrane, composed of cells (§ 5, 6). 

Plate III. — Fig. 5. External surface of Pinna marina, shovi'ing nu- 
merous large dark cells; magnified 185 diameters. — Fig. 6. Section 
parallel to the surfaces, but through the middle of the thickness of the 
same layer ; showing a compai'atively small number of dark cells. Mag- 
nified 185 diameters. — Fig. 7. Internal surface of the same layer; 
showing the entire absence of the dark cells, and the greatly-increased 
size of the remainder (§ 5, 14). 

Plate IV. — Fig. 8. Thin (natural) lamina of Pinna ingens, showing the 
nuclei of the cells. Magnified 300 diameters (§ 6) — Fig. 9. Separate 


calcareous prisms of outer layer of Pinna. Magnified 185 diameters 


Plate V. — Fig. 10. Section of Pinna nigrina, perpen dicular to the sur- 
face, cutting the prismatic cells longitudinally. Magnified 185 dia- 
meters (§11) Fig. 11. The same decalcified by immersion in acid; 

showing the residual membrane (§ 11). 

Plate VI. — Fig. 12. Various stages of cell-formation in Perna epliippiwmi 
showing at a small cells (?) in incipient stage of development, imbedded 
in intercellular substance ; at b, their development more advanced ; at 
c, their polygonal form beginning to show itself; and at d, their com- 
pletion, their walls coming into contact with each other, and the inter- 
cellular substance disappearing. — Fig. 13. Various stages of cell-trans- 
formation in the same shell ; showing at a the distinct cells ; at b, the 
process oi fusion beginning to manifest itself; and at c, the fusion so far 
advanced, that the partitions between the cells cease to be discernible, 
except at the angles. Magnified 250 diameters. 

Plate VII. — Fig. 14-. Cells in external layer of 3Iya arenaria. Magnified 
125 diameters (§ 3). — Fig. 15. Cells in external layer of Anatina olen. 
Magnified 250 diameters (§ 17). — Fig. 16. Crystals in imperfectly-cal- 
cified layer of Ostrea edulis. Magnified 350 diameters (§ 3). 

Plate VIII. — Fig. 17. Polished surface of Nacre, showing the lines by which 
it is marked. Magnified 85 diameters (§ 22). — Fig. 18. Decalcified 
membrane of the same, from Haliotis splendens, with the plaits undis- 
turbed. Magnified 75 diameters (§ 25) Fig. 19. Basement- membrane 

of Nacre irregularly extended. 

Plate IX. — Fig. 20. Tubular structure oi Lima scabra. Magnified 200 dia- 
meters (§ 30). — Fig. 21. Portion of the same, magnified 412 diameters. 
— Fig. 22. Tubular structure of Lingula. Magnified 400 diameters 

Plate X Fig. 23. Section of Hippurite — horizontal. Magnified 10 dia- 
meters (§ 32). — Fig. 24. Section of Hippurite — vertical. Magnified 10 
diameters (§ 32). 

Plate XI. — Fig. 25. Section of Pleurorhynchus Hibernicus, parallel to the 
surface. Magnified 10 diameters (§ 34). — Fig. 26. Vertical and oblique 
sections of ditto. Magnified 10 diameters (§ 34). 

Plate XII. — Fig. 27. Fractured surface of Terebratula (Atrypa) psittacea. 
Magnified 125 diameters (§ 37).— Fig. 28. Thin shred of ditto. Mag- 
nified 250 diameters (§ 38). 

Plate XIII. — Fig. 29. Internal surface of Terebratula (Atrypa) psittaeea. 
Magnified 75 diameters (§ 39). — Fig. 30. Section of ditto, parallel to 
the surface. Magnified 185 diameters (§ 39). 

Plate XIV. — Fig. 31. Section of Terebratula octoplicata, parallel to the 
surface. Magnified 250 diameters (§ 42). — Fig. 32. Fractured surface 
of ditto. Magnified 250 diameters (§ 42). '% 

Plate XV Fig. 33. Internal surface of Terebratula truncata. Magnified ~^ 

75 diameters (§ 40).— Fig. 34. Internal surface of Terebratula. Mag- ^ 
nified 125 diameters (§40). . f~ 

Plate XVI Fig. 35. Horizontal section of Terebratula truncata. Magni- ^r 

fied 125 diameters (§ 41). — Fig. 36. Horizontal section of Terebratula -^ 
bullata. Magnified 125 diameters (§ 41). ^ 

Plate XVII. — Fig. 37- Vertical section of Terebratula truncata. Magni- *i 
fied 55 diameters (§ 41). — Fig. 38. Vertical section of Terebratula am- ^] 
pulla. Magnified 125 diameters (§ 41). — Fig. 39. Vertical section of 
Terebratula variabilis. Magnified 125 diameters (§41). 

24 REPORT — 1844. . 

Plate XVIII. — Fig. 40. Tubular structure of Anomia ephippium. Mag- 
nified 250 diameters (§ 48). — Fig. 41. Decalcified membrane of ditto. 
Magnified 250 diameters (§ 48). — Fig. 42. External surface of Lima 
squamosa, showing its cellular structure. Magnified 200 diameters (§ 50). 
— Fig. 43. Section of internal layer oi Lima squamosa; showing corru- 
gated structure. Magnified 125 times (§ 50). 

Plate XIX. — Fig. 44. Prismatic cellular structure from Ostrea edulis. Mag- 
nified 250 diameters (§ 49). — Fig. 45. Ditto from Per7ia ephippium. 
Magnified 125 diameters (§ 52). — Fig. 46. Ditto from Avicula marga- 
ritacea. Magnified 125 diameters (§ 52) — Fig. 47. Ditto from iJfa//e2<s 
albus. Magnified 125 diameters (§ 52). 

Plate XX. — Fig. 48. Ditto from Vulsella. Magnified 250 diameters (§ 52). 

Pig. 49. Ditto from fossil Pinna of Oolite. Magnified 40 diameters 

/§ 52). Fig. 50. Ditto from Gervillia mytiloides. Magnified 125 dia- 
meters (§ 52). — Fig. 51. Ditto from Unio occidens. Magnified 125 dia- 
meters (§54). — Fig. 52. Ditto from Etheria. Magnified 125 diameters 

Report on the British Nudibranchiate Mollusca. By Joshua Alder 

and Albany Hancock. 
The Mollusca Nudibranchiata of Cuvier, although forming a small order in 
the class Gasteropoda, are sufficiently peculiar in their characters and in- 
teresting in their zoological relations to allow of their being reported upon 
separately from the extensive class to which they belong. Their interest in 
a physiological point of view has also been much increased lately by the re- 
searches that have been made into their structure and mode of development. 
The anatomical researches of M. de Quatrefages have disclosed, according to 
his views, so many peculiarities of conformation in some of the species, that 
he has been induced to detach a considerable portion of this order, and, uniting 
them with some other Mollusca rather dissimilar in external appearance, to 
institute for them a new order, which he has called Plilebenterata. Not en- 
tirely coinciding with the views which M. de Quatrefages has taken, we shall 
content ourselves in the present report with considering the Mollusca Nudi- 
branchiata of Cuvier as still forming one entire group, divisible into two 
sections, distinguishable from each other by external characters, and probably 
equally so by physiological peculiarities, the limits of which have not yet 
been ascertained in the several genera. 

The little animals forming this interesting group were long neglected by 
naturalists, and were scarcely known to any of our earlier writers. Six spe- 
cies only were described by Linnaeus in the twelfth edition of his ' S3'^stema 
Naturee.' These were included in the class Vermes, and formed the genera 
Doris, Scyllma and Tethys. 'Muller paid more attention to them. Four- 
teen species are published in his « Zoologia Danica,' the figures and descrip- 
tions of which, considering the time at which they appeared, are good. Not- 
withstanding the contributions of Miiller, Fabricius and some others, these 
animals still continued a neglected tribe, until the appearance of the cele- 
brated memoirs of Cuvier, published in the 'Annales du Museum,' formed a 
new era in their history, and laid the foundation of those enlightened views 
of their structure and affinities which were carried out in his ' Regne Ani- 
mal,' where the order Nttdibranchiata was first instituted for their reception. 
It is to be regretted however that so few species were known even in Cuvier's 
time, and that he was obliged to have recourse to specimens in spirits for his 
descriptions. So far as their anatomy is concerned the disadvantages arising 
from this circumstance were not greatly felt, but those only who have seen 


these animals alive can know how very imperfect an idea of their external 
characters specimens preserved in spirits can convey. Considering the early 
period at which the British naturalists of the Linnaean school applied them- 
selves to the study of species, we are surprised to find how little was effected 
in this department. Pennant published his 'British Zoology' in 1777, which 
contains just three species of Nudibranchiata, under the names of Doris 
Argo, D. verrucosa and D. electrica. The latter has not since been recog- 
nised. No further attention appears to have been paid to these animals until 
Colonel Montagu, to whom we are so deeply indebted for his contributions 
to British zoology, published figures and descriptions of several species found 
on the Devonshire coast in the Linnaean Transactions. In 1807 Dr. Turton 
published his ' British Fauna,' where nine species were described, one only 
of which appears to have been introduced from personal observation ; three 
are those of Pennant and five of Montagu. The whole number of species 
described by Montagu is twelve, published at diiFerent times between 1802 
and 1811. For more than twenty years afterwards scarcely anything was 
done in this department. A few species collected by Dr. Leach are pre- 
served in the British Museum, and some additional species observed by Dr. 
Fleming and other Scottish naturalists appeared in his ' British Animals', pub- 
lished in 1828, at which time the number of species, including Pennant's and 
Montagu's, only amounted to twenty. Dr. Johnston's excellent monograph 
on the Scottish Nudibranchiata appeared in the first volume of the ' Annals of 
Natural History' in 1838. This treatise gave a new impetus to the study of 
the order, and with it the first adequate knowledge of the British Nudibran- 
chiate Mollusca may be said to have commenced. An anatomical and phy- 
siological account of the animals comprised in the order was given as far as 
then known, and an attemjit was made to extricate the synonyms from the 
confusion in which they had long been involved, — a task of no easy accom- 
plishment, but necessary to remove a chief obstacle to the study of these 
animals. This monograph, which was entirely confined to Scottish species, 
contains descriptions of twenty-one species, ten of which were new to Bri- 
tain. In the extensive researches that Professor Edward Forbes has made 
among the Invertebrata of our shores, and the many new species that he has 
added to our Fauna, the Nudibranchiata were not forgotten ; nine or ten 
species have been added by this gentleman in different publications, and Mr. 
Thompson of Belfast, whose success in the cultivation of Irish zoology is so 
well known, has added at least an equal number. During the time that 
your reporters have paid attention to the subject, it has also been their good 
fortune to meet with many new species. Those published by them in the 
' Annals of Natural History,' at different times during the last three years, 
amount to thirty-one species. 

The present number of known British species, making allowances for some 
erroneously raised to that rank, may be stated at seventy-five, which are dis- 
tributed in the following genera : — 

Doridce. Tritoniadce. 

Doris 18 Tritonia 3 

Goniodoris 4; Melibcea 4< 

Polycera 5 Proctonotus 1 

Thecacera 1 Eubranchus 1 

Euplocamus 1 Eolis 33 

— Pterochilus 1 

29 Calliopsea 2 

Alderia ... 1 

Total 75 46 


REPORT — 1844. 

This number far exceeds that of any other country. In the present im- 
perfect state of our knowledge it would be impossible to give an accurate 
statement of their geographical distribution on our shores. The attempt 
which we shall now make must therefore be considered little more than an 
approximation to such a result. For this purpose we shall consider it sufficient 
to divide the coast of the British Islands into three principal districts, viz.— 

1st. The north and east. This division will comprise the north and east 
coast of England and Scotland, which may be expected to approximate to 
the character of the Fauna of northern Europe and the North Sea, 

2nd. The south, including the whole of the south coasts of England and 
Ireland. This division may be expected to show some indications of the 
Famia of southern Europe. . x, , i x, .u ^ e 

3rd. The west, including the west coast of England, the south-west ot 
Scotland, and the whole of Ireland, with the exception of the southern coast. 
This division will be found to be of a mixed character, uniting some of the 
characters of both the former with features peculiar to itself. 


1. Doris tuberculata, Cuv. 







coccinea, For. 

flammea, A. and H. 

obvelata, John 

repanda, A. and H. 

mera, A. arid H. 

muricata, Mull. 

aspera, A. and H. 

ulidia;, Thomp 

bilamellata, Linn 

affinis, Thorn 

depressa, A. and H. 

pilosa, Gm 

similis, A. and H. 

la;vis, Linn 

sublaevis, Thorn 

quadricornis, Mont 

Maura, J^orJ 

19, Goniodoris nodosa, Mont 

20, marginata, Mont 

21, elongata, Thorn 

22, emarginata. For 

23, Polycera quadrilineata. Mull.. 

24, typica, Thorn 

25, ocellata, A. and H. 

26, cr\, Aid 

27, citrina, Aid 

28, Thecacera pennigera, Mont. , 

29, Euplocamus claviger, Mull. . 



30. Tritonia Hombergii, Cuv. 

31. plebeia, Jo/«» 

32. arborescens, i^ai 

33. Meliboca fragilis, For , 

34. coi'onata, John 

35. piunatifida, Mont 

36. maculata, Mont 

37. Proctonotus mucroniferus, A. andll. 

38. Alderia amphibia, Allm 

39. Eubrancbus tricolor, For 

40. Eolis papillosa, Linn 

Zetlandica, For 

rosea, A. and H. 

obtusalis, y^. awd H. 

angulata, A. and H. 

stipata, A. and H. 

nana., A. and H. 

aurantia, A. and H. 

concinna, ^. onrf /^. 

olivacea, A. and H. 

Northunibrica, A. and H..... 

\iridis, For 

Hystrix, A. and H. 

vittata, A. and H. 

pallida, A. and H. 

FaiTani, A. and H. 

violacea, A. and H. 

foliata, For 

coerulea, Mont 

alba, A. and H. 

coronata. For 

pedata, ilfow^ 

Cuvieri, /o/m 

Urumraondi, Thorn 

curta, A. and H. 

rufibranchialis, John 

pellucida, A. and IL 

gracilis, A. and U. 

68. longiconiis, Mo»< 

69. purpurascens, i^/em 

70. plumosa, Flem 

71. miuiiaa, For 

72. despecta, /o/h> 

73. Pterochilus pulcher 

74. Calliopaja dendritica, A. and H.. 

75. .'bifida, Mont 




























112 3 

In the division No. 1 (north and east) there are, — 

Doridae 16 

Tritoniadae 30 

— 46 


No. 2 (south),— 

Doridae 14; 

Tritoniadse 15 

— 29 

No. 3 (west),— 

Doridae 22 

Tritoniadae 20 

— 42 

The principal thing to be remarked in these catalogues is the deficiency of 
Tritoniadce in the south and west compared with the north-eastern division. 
That this family, particularly the genus Eolis, is a northern form, will be- 
come still more apparent if we compare our native species with those of 
foreign countries. The whole number of foreign species described, as far as 
we have been able to ascertain, is 

Doridae 104 

Tritoniadae 43 


of these the genus Doris contains 88 

Eolis 22 

Comparing these with the number of British species of the two families, 

DoridEB 29 Doris 18 

Tritoniadffi 46 Eolis 33 

and taking into account that a majority of the foreign species are from 
warmer climates than our own, we see that the Doridce greatly predominate 
in the southern and tropical seas, and the TritoniadcB, particularly the genus 
Eolis, in the northern. Some allowance however must be made for the 
great imperfection of our knowledge of foreign species, and the circumstance 
that the Dorides being the largest and most conspicuous animals of the class 
would be the first to be observed ; but that this is not sufficient to account 
for the diff"erence will be evident if we compare the NitdibrancJiiata of the 
Mediterranean with those of our own coast. The Mediterranean has been 
searched by many able naturalists, and its Fauna pretty accurately ascer- 
tained. A glance at its species of Nudibranchiata will at once show the 
predominance of the Dorides, their superiority in number as well as in size 
and brilliancy of colour over those of our northern climate. But if we look 
to their Eolides, we shall, on the contrary, find them few in number and 
small in size, and not at all to be compared with those of the British shores. 

The embryology and development of the Nudibranchiate MoUusca have 
not until lately engaged much attention. M. Sars was the first to announce 
(in Wiegman's Archives for 1841) that these animals undergo a true meta- 
morphosis, and that in their young state they are inclosed in a shell, a fact 
which your reporters have since had the opportunity of verifying in several 
of the genera. Dr. Grant had previously published, in the Edinburgh 
Journal of Science for 1827, an account of the development of several of the 
MoUusca, in which he pointed out the existence of vibratile cilia in the em- 
bryo, and their use as a means of locomotion on its exclusion from the egg ; 
but he had failed to distinguish the peculiarities of the Nudibranchiate species, 
as he states that there is a remarkable similarity between them and the young 
of Buccinum and Purpura, species which do not undergo any metamorphosis. 
The spawn of the Nudibranchiate MoUusca is deposited in the shape of a 
gelatinous band, always arranged in a more or less spiral form, and fast- 
ened to corallines and the under sides of stones by one of its edges. The 
ova are minute and very numerous, amounting in some species to several 
thousands. Before the period of exclusion, the young may be seen revolving 

28 REPORT— 1844. 

on their own axis by means of vibratile cilia, and on escaping from the egg, 
they swim about freely in the water by the same means. The larva is ex- 
tremely minute, and has more the appearance of a rotiferous animalcule than 
a MoUusk. It is inclosed in a transparent, calcareous, uautiloid shell, with 
an operculum. Its structure is very simple, showing no signs of the external 
organs that distinguish the future adult. The principal portion visible out- 
side the shell is composed of two flat discs or lobes, fringed with long cilia, 
by the motion of which it swims freely through the water. These are often 
withdrawn into the shell, and the operculum is closed upon them when the 
animal is at rest. We have not yet been able to trace the animal further 
than the first stage of its development, and are therefore unable to say by 
what process it assumes the very different form of the adult state. We have 
succeeded in bringing out the larvae of Doris, Tritonia, Melibcea, and Eolis, 
between all of which there is a very great resemblance. The embryology of 
the Mollusca has been so little investigated, that it would be difficult to point 
out the alliances that this mode of development appears to indicate. M. Van 
Beneden has shown the existence of a similar larva in Aplysia, and it is pro- 
bable that Bulla and some others of the Tectibranchiata will be found to 
follow the same type. The majority of those Gasteropoda whose embryology 
is known do not undergo any metamorphosis. The ciliated discs observed 
in the young of Buccinum and Purpura after birth cannot be considered an 
exception, as they disappear almost immediately, and the shell and other 
organs with which the young animal is furnished on its exclusion from the 
egg are essentially the same that it retains to the latest period of its existence. 

The anatomy of the Doridce was carefully studied by Cuvier, and found 
by that distinguished naturalist to agree in all important characters with the 
true molluscan type. 

The Eolidians, however, which comprise most of the Tritoniadce, vary in 
this respect from the rest of the order. M. Milne-Edwards was the first to 
draw the attention of physiologists to the fact, and more recently M. de Qua- 
trefages has investigated the subject with great elaboration. 

In most of the Gasteropodous Mollusca the liver is largely developed, but 
in this division of the Nudibranchiata that organ entirely disappears from 
the abdomen. At the same time a system of vessels is found to exist in 
connection with the stomach, and branching into the dorsal papillae, the in- 
terior of which is clothed with a coloured glandular substance, which probably 
acts the part of a liver and contributes to the digestive process. This system 
of vessels has been called gastro-vascular, and is stated to receive the more 
refined products of digestion immediately from the stomach. It is compared 
by M. Milne-Edwards and M. de Quatrefages to the circulatory system of 
the Medusidm on the one hand, and of Nymphon and some of the Annulosa 
on the other. It appears, however, according to our observations, to be merely 
an appendage of the digestive system, while the vessels of the Medusida unite 
the two functions of digestion and circulation into one. The circulation of 
the blood is provided for in the Eolidians by a separate system of vessels, con- 
sisting of a heart and arteries ; but according to M. de Quatrefages the veins 
disappear in his genus Eolidina, their place being occupied by lacunae. The 
respiratory function resides chiefly in what are called the branchial papillae. 
The skin, however, considerably assists in aerating the blood. This function 
is therefore more diff"used than is usual in the Gasteropoda, in most of which 
respiration is provided for by highly developed branchiae. In the typical 
Doridce the branchial plumes are of a very elaborate character, but we may 
perceive in some of the thin-skinned genera of that family, as in Pob/cera, 
an indication, by the presence of vibratile cilia over other parts of the body, 


that the skin participates in the respiratory functions, as in Eolis and other 
of the TritoniadcR. 

These are some of the principal deviations from the normal character of 
the order, which have induced M. de Quatrefages to detach the genus Eolis 
and its allies from the order Nudibranchiata, and to place them in his new- 
order Phlebenterata, in which they are associated with some Mollusca of very 
inferior organization, containing the genus Acteon of Oken (of which the 
Aplysia viridis, Mont, is the type), and some other genera still more simply 
organized. The point of agreement between these is stated to be the pre- 
sence of a gastro-vascular system, but in the latter genera, which are united 
into a suborder (^Dermobranchiata), this system appears to perform the three 
functions of digestion, circulation and respiration, which, indeed, is stated by 
M. de Quatrefages to constitute the dominant character of the order Phle- 
benterata. We think, however, that no satisfactory evidence lias been adduced 
of such union of functions in any of the Nudibranchiata, and so far as we 
have examined the species our experience is against the supposition. 

The senses are as highly developed in the Nudibi-anchiata as in any of the 
other gasteropodous Mollusks. The eye is furnished with a well-formed 
pigment-cup, a spherical lens, a cornea, and a general capsule. It is present 
in all the genera, but in Doris it can only be seen externally in young indi- 
viduals; the thickening of the cloak obscuring it in the adult animals, and 
probably impeding the function. The auditory apparatus is composed of a 
small vesicle, containing concrete vibratile bodies. Touch is perceived by 
the whole surface of the body, but is most likely specialized in the labial 
tentacles, and taste may be inferred from the fleshy lining of the mouth. In 
a paper read before the last meeting of this Association, we gave reasons for 
supposing that the sense of smell resides in the dorsal tentacles. These 
organs have a much more elaborate structure in the Nudibranchiata than in 
any of the other Gasteropods, and approach so nearly in their lamellated 
structure to the olfactory apparatus of fishes, that we entertain little doubt of 
their performing the same function. The sense of smelling is therefore 
probably enjoyed by them in a higher degree than in any other of the Gas- 

In both the great divisions of the order the senses are equally well deve- 
loped, and we should instance this fact as a reason for keeping them united. 
In both the nervous systems are the same, as are also the generative organs ; 
and in both too there is a considerable similarity in the respiratory organs, and 
perhaps when the circulatory sji-stems are better understood, less deviation 
will be found to exist in them than is at present supposed. The relationship 
between the two divisions is also seen in the similarity of the spawn, and, 
what is still more striking, in the perfect similarity that exists in the larva 
state of each, and the consequent metamorphosis that both must undergo. 

For these reasons we are disposed to adhere at present to the arrangement 
of Cuvier, though, from the discoveries that have been recently made in their 
anatomy, some alterations become necessary in the divisions of the order. 

Researches on the Influence of Light on the Germination of Seeds and 
the Growth of Plants. By Robert Hunt, Secretary to the Royal 
Cornwall Polytechnic Society. 

In the course of these investigations many very curious, and in some cases 
apparently anomalous results have presented themselves, and tended greatly 
to increase the difficulties of the question. Experiments have been con- 

30 REPORT — 1844. 

tinued during the whole of the beautiful summer of 1 844, and many are now 
in progress. It will be necessary to repeat these during another season ; and 
I feel, therefore, under the circumstances of difficulty in which I am jjlaced 
by the publication of very different results obtained on the other side of the 
Atlantic, compelled to defer until the next meeting of the Association any- 
thing like a regular report. I shall, however, place upon record a few of the 
experiments, as they may serve to direct attention to an inquiry, in itself of 
the greatest interest, and leading to the development of some of the most im- 
portant problems connected with the dependence of organization and life on 
the solar influences. 

It must be understood, unless it is distinctly stated to the contrary, that 
the arrangements have been the same in principle, although on a much more 
extended scale, as those which I have described in the report made to the 
Association in 1842. 

I have used different absorptive media, and by a most careful prismatic 
analysis of the rays by which they have been permeated, I have ascer- 
tained with considerable correctness the condition of the rays which have 
been in active operation. Not only have I examined tlie luminous spectrum 
produced after the rays have undergone absorption, but I have ascertained 
the relative quantity of the active chemical principle (Actinism) Avhich has 
passed through the coloured glasses and fluids, by obtaining in every case 
several spectra impressed upon photographic papers. 

I have found, that by using different thicknesses of glass, by superposing 
glasses of different tints, and by varying the depth of colour in my solutions, 
I have been enabled to procure with tolerable purity well-insulated rays. 

As in the former report I have spoken of the colours of the glasses and fluids 
as bearing some relation to the unabsorbed rays, I shall continue to do so. 
It will not be improper to state tliat the following arrangement may be re- 
garded as fairly representing all the conditions of each experiment. When 
I speak of a blue medium, it will indicate the presence of the most cliemi- 
cally active rays. 

A RED MEDIUM the presence of the most calorific rays. 

A YELLOW MEDIUM the greatest amount of light with the least quantity of 
heat and chemical power. 

A GREEN MEDIUM wiU indicate in most cases, light and chemical power 
nearly balanced. 

On the 20th of March I sowed seeds of the sweet-scented pea in the open 
ground, and in a box divided in partitions, so that each division was under 
the influence of that light only which had permeated the media by which it 
Avas covered. Under the influence of the blue and red media the seed ger- 
minated six days before those sown in the open ground. The seed under the 
yellow and green media germinated, and threw up their leaves at the same 
time as those which had been placed under perfectly natural circumstances. 
These pea plants were all of them allowed to grow until the 18th of April, 
when tiiey were drawn from the soil ; their roots cut off, and the plants, 
twelve from each compartment, carefully weighed. Their i-espective weights 
were as follows : — 

Twelve plants grown under blue media 195^grs. 
Twelve ])lants grown under red media 276 grs. 
Twelve plants grown under green media 243^^ grs. 
Tvvelve plants grown under yellow media 264 grs. 

It is important to notice, that all the plants which had grown under the 
blue medium were of a fine fresh and healthy green colour. Those which had 


grown under the influence of the yellow had white stalks, all the lower leaves 
were of a very delicate green, whilst the upper ones were yellow. An open- 
ing in the upper cover of the box admitted a little white light from the 
northern sky, and under its influence the leaves above the yellow ones became 
green. These specimens were carefully dried in the sunshine, by which they 
lost in weight respectively as follows : — 

Those grown under the blue media 178'9 grs. or 91"4 per cent. 
Those grown under the red media 252-2 grs. or 91 '3 per cent. 
Those grown under the green media 219'4 grs. or 90" 1 per cent. 
Those grown under the yellow media 239*1 grs. or 90-6 per cent. 

When, however, these were placed on a stove, and still higher dried, the 
results wei'e more equalized ; 

The plants under the blue losing 92'84 per cent. 
The plants under the red losing 92*75 per cent. 
The plants under the green losing 92*40 per cent. 
The plants under the yellow losing 92*31 per cent. 

From the above results it would appear that the rays which permeated the 
green and yellow media, had the property of occasioning the secretion of 
larger quantities of woody fibre than the other rays, the quantities of water 
or volatile matter being greater in the plants grown under the blue and red ; 

Those under the blue leaving 7*16 per cent, of woody fibre. 
Those under the red leaving 7*25 per cent, of woody fibre. 
Those under the green leaving 7*60 per cent, of woody fibre. 
Those under the yellow leaving 7*69 per cent, of woody fibre. 

These facts certainly appear to strengthen the opinion which has been ex- 
pressed by Dr. Daubeny and others, that the decomposition of carbonic acid 
in plants is eflected by the yellow or luminous ray. I have on two previous 
occasions stated the blue rays of the spectrum to be the most active in effect- 
ing this decomposition, and in all my experiments made with a particular 
view to the examination of this question, I have found the liberation of oxygen 
more abundant in tubes which were placed at the blue end of the spectrum ; 
these tubes being filled with water holding carbonic acid in solution, and 
some small leaves plucked from my garden. I have only stated the results of 
one set of my experiments in which the balance was used to test them. It 
is due to those holding a different view from myself, to state that three sets 
of experiments gave nearly similar results. At the same time, as these expe- 
riments would appear to show that yellow light is not injurious to the growth 
of young plants, it must be most distinctly understood that the contrary has 
been, in every instance, proved to be the case. The plants have always been 
more or less etiolated, whereas those which have grown under the influence 
of the blue rays, have always presented lively and beautifully green leaves. I 
cannot, therefore, admit at present that the formation of chlorophylle is due to 
the luminous rays. 

April ] 9th. — Seeds of the sweet-scented-pea and mignonette were planted 
in the partitions of boxes, arranged as above. On the 29th the seeds under 
the blue and red media had thrown up leaves in abundance ; those under the 
blue being marked by their very healthful character. A few dwarfed and 
miserably pale plants had appeared under the green media, but not one under 
the yellow media. After a few days the peas under the yellow began to 
germinate, and the plants presented tlie same aspect as I have described. 
But although the most careful attention was given I could not succeed in 

32 REPORT — 1844. 

producing the germination of mignonette under the influence of those rays 
which have permeated the bichromate of potash in solution. 

In my first published experiments, I stated that the luminous rays acted 
most injuriously upon germination and prevented the growth of young plants. 
Every experiment has tended to confirm my first statement, and however 
much uncertainty — and I have not endeavoured to hide this — there may be 
about some other phaenomena of vegetation, there is not any on this point. 
Light prevents healthful germination and is injurious to the growth of the 
young plant. A number of fine young Pansies were placed in the most fa- 
vourable circumstances under different absorptive media, on May 19th. On 
the 1st of June the Panseys under the yellow media were found to be dead, 
whilst all the others were growing well. When planted these plants all had 
small flower-buds, but with the exception of the plants under intense red 
media I could not get a flower to form upon any. Several of the ten-week 
stocks were removed from the garden in the most healthy conditions when of 
about a fortnight's growth ; the stocks exposed in the yellow light died in ten 
days. With these plants I succeeded in obtaining flowers both under the 
influence of the blue and the red media. I reserve the statement of many 
other experiments to a future occasion. In justice, however, to myself, I 
am bound to state that I have repeated Dr. Gardner's experiments on the 
production of chlorophylle without success. 

Postscript, Nov. 20. — On my return to Falmouth after the York meeting, 
I found all the peas and mignonette dead, except under the red fluid. This 
mignonette was very healthy, abundant and in full flower, in which state it 
continues to this time. Would not this point to the use of red media for pre- 
serving delicate plants in the winter season ? 

Report of a Committee, consisting of Sir John Herschel, Mr. 
Whewell, and Mr. Baily {deceased), appointed by the British 
Association in 1840, /or revising the Nomenclature of the Stars. 

The obvious importance and necessity of arriving at some definite practical 
conclusion which might be satisfactorily acted upon in assigning a uniform 
system of constellations, letters, numbers and names to the stars in each and 
all of the three great Catalogues now in course of preparation under the 
auspices of this Association, viz. the "British Association Catalogue," the 
Southern Catalogue of Lacaille and the extensive Catalogue of the Histoire 
Celeste, has caused your Committee to assign this particular object as the 
present term and scope of their labours, the Catalogues in question being 
fully prepared for publication, and being actually in course of printing. Tlie 
great extent and high authority of these Catalogues, — their appearance all at 
one epoch, — their preparation on a uniform system digested and arranged by 
the master-mind of our late lamented colleague, — and the use of the same 
nomenclature throughout all the three, — can hardly fail to give that nomen- 
clature universal currency in every observatory for a very long time to come, 
and to do away at once and for ever with the uncertainty and confusion which 
has so long and so unhappily prevailed in this respect. 

In resting at this point, therefore, your Committee consider that a great prac- 
tical benefit will have been conferred on astronomy. And in resolving on 
this course they have necessarily abandoned (not without much discussion, 
extensive foreign correspondence, interchange of opinion with British astro-, 
nomei-s, and many partial modifications of the design,) the idea which they 
had originally entertained of a total remodelling of the southern constella- 


tions and redistribution of them into groups more easily recognizable than 
those which have obtained currency. 

Your Committee, however, are desirous to be distinctly understood that for 
certain astronomical purposes, although not for those to which catalogues of 
stars arranged in order of right ascension are especially applicable, such a 
remodelling, not only of the southern constellations but of those in both 
hemispheres, is both desirable and necessary. Neither are the means of 
putting such a project in execution wanting, as heretofore. The celestial 
charts of Messrs. Argelander, which have arrived in this country and been 
consulted by your Committee, would alone furnish data for such an under- 
taking. To their general accuracy in respect of the magnitudes of the stars, 
as far exceeding that of any other publication which has come to our know- 
ledge*, we are prepared to testify — one of our number (Sir J. Herschel) 
having (since the appointment of this Committee and in ignorance of M. Ar- 
gelander's labours) carried out over the whole of the northern hemisphere, 
and that part of the southern which lies between the Equator and the tropic 
of Capricorn, a survey for the express purpose (in continuation of a similar 
survey previously begun and completed by him for the southern constella- 
tions), in which the whole surface of the heavens has been divided into tri- 
angles, and each triangle examined seriatim down to stars of the sixth mag- 

Nevertheless your Committee do not propose to extend their labours at 
present to such a general remodelling. A resting-point has been attained, 
and one of great value, even considered as a step to such an ulterior design, 
as will be found explained in a statement, embodying the nature of the con- 
clusions arrived at by the corrections effected and the alterations which it has 
been found indispensable to make, drawn up by our late lamented colleague 
Mr. Baily, and forming part of his preface to the Catalogue of the British 
Association, which we append to this report. 

It ought to be mentioned, that the whole of the labour of revising and cor- 
recting the nomenclature of the constellations visible in Europe, constituting 
by far the most difficult and delicate part of the task undertaken, and in- 
volving the necessity of a hardly credible amount of patient and persevering 
research, has been executed by him, together with the very considerable 
additional work of applying the general principles agreed on for the south- 
ern circumpolar regions to the stars occurring in all the catalogues, and dis- 
posing finally of the many difficulties which arose in so doing. 

No part of the remainder of the original grant of the Association (amount- 
ing to £-}2 Os. 6c?.) has been actually disbursed during the current year by 
the Committee, but liabilities have been incurred by the purchase of Messrs. 
Argelander's and Schwinke's maps, and for some items of less importance, 
which it has not been possible finally to discharge or even precisely to ascer- 
tain owing to the recent melancholy event above alluded to, which will render 
it necessary to continue to regard the grant in question disposable for those 
purposes, though in other respects this report may be considered as final. 

(Signed on the part of the Committee) J. F. W. Herschel. 

• The charts of M. Schwinke which, at the date of our last report were understood to be 
either published or in immediate course of publication, were ordered for the Committee, but 
have not yet come to hand. The examination of M. Argelander's however had proved so sa- 
tisfactory, as confirmatory of their views on a great many points, that it has not been considered 
expedient to defer coming to a final conclusion (which would have retarded indefinitely the 
printing of the Catalogues) for the arrival of the others. 


S4 REPORT — 1844. 

Revision of the Cotistellations*. 

The advantage and importance of having the boundaries of the constella- 
tions of the stars distinctly and properly dehned on our maps and globes, must 
be evident to every one that has occasion not only to refer to so useful and 
convenient an auxiliary to the practical astronomer, but also to consult a 
catalogue of stars. For unless due attention is paid to some clear and well- 
organized plan of arrangement, and to some regular method of drawing the 
lines that constitute the limits of the constellations, much confusion and in- 
tricacy soon enters into the system, and not only does the whole become an 
unintelligible mass of intersecting and undefinable boundaries, but the nomen- 
clature of the catalogues also becomes sadly deranged. This is no ideal an- 
noyance ; for the present state of all our modern maps and globes bears 
evident proofs of the existence of the evil to which I have here alluded ; and 
the catalogues likewise partake largely of this confusion. But the time has 
arrived when this inconvenience, now become so troublesome and perplexing, 
can be no longer tolerated. The extended state of the present catalogue (in 
which there are a number of additional stars selected from various works, 
differing very essentially in the nomenclature of the stars which they con- 
tain) requires that every star thus introduced should be located on maps in 
which the boundaries of the constellations are constructed and drawn (or 
assumed to be constructed and drawn) upon some definite and systematic 
plan ; so that the name of the constellation, to which the star may be thus 
found to belong, should be correctly affixed thereto, and thus show at once 
its true and accurate locality in the heavens. This can only now be done 
by a general revision of the whole system. 

Ptolemy drew his figures on the globe in such a manner that the stars 
should occupy the positions that he has designated in the descriptions of 
them in his catalogue : and the boundary of each figure thus drawn was, in 
fact, the limit of the constellation intended to be represented. For, when he 
observed any stars that were beyond the outline of his figures, he denomi- 
nated them uji6p(pwToi, unformed; and this method was long followed by his 
successors. But, in the time of Tycho Brahe, this plan was in some measure 
departed from, and a more comprehensive extension of the original limits 
adopted, by including the unformed stars within the boundaries of one or 
other of the contiguous constellations ; so that all the constellations abutted 
against one another, and the whole of the heavens was thus occupied by one 
portion or another of some known constellation; the ^5r«res remaining (the 
same. Some confusion however soon crept into this arrangement: for it 
appears that one of Ptolemy's unformed stars in Libra (543 of my catalogue 
of Ptolemy) was very justly placed by Tycho within the boundary of the 
same constellation ; in which arrangement lie has been followed by Flam- 
steed, who designates it 20 Libra. But Bayer has unfortunately placed it in 
the constellation Scorpio, an arrangement which has been adopted by He- 
velius, Lacaille and others. Thus some confusion in this part of the boun- 
daries of these two constellations has been introduced, and which continues to 
the present day. 1 have adopted Tycho's arrangement, and made the dis- 
cordant catalogues agree therewith ; as it cannot be tolerated at the present 
day that this confusion should be perpetuated, or even now exist. When 
Hevelius formed his catalogue, he observed many stars, in the large spaces 
between Ptolemy's figures, that had not been previously noticed ; and in ' 

* This section forms the substance of a Paper that was read at a meeting of the Royal As- 
tronomical Society, on May 12, 1843. 


these spaces he introduced new figures, or constellations, many of which are 
still retained. But the greatest innovator on this system was Bode, who al- 
though no great observer himself, has, in his catalogue and in his maps, filled 
the heavens with a host of new figures and constellations that were by no 
means requisite, and that tend only to annoy and confuse, without presenting 
one single advantage. 

In these remarks I have reference only to the constellations in the northern 
hemisphere ; or, at least, to those constellations only that are visible in the 
northern latitudes, which, of course, include many of the southern stars. 
When the southern ocean however was visited by European navigators in 
the sixteenth century, a map of the portion of the heavens, there visible and 
not hitherto described, became requisite and was soon formed : but it was 
not till the time of Halley that any catalogue or map of the southern constel- 
lations could be depended upon. The constellations that were adopted or 
introduced on this occasion were in some measure altered and increased in 
the last century by Lacaille, who has, at the same time, encroached on the 
boundaries of the former constellations, which, although situate to the south- 
ward, had been tolerably well defined and agreed upon by the northern as- 
tronomers; whereby he has created much confusion and ambiguity. For 
this reason, and in order to remove such confusion of terms and identity, it 
has been considered requisite to revise also the constellations and nomencla- 
ture introduced by Lacaille. I shall however again advert to this subject 
when I have gone through the proposed revision of the northern constella- 

When Hevelius formed his catalogue of stars, he at the same time con- 
structed maps of the constellations, in which they were to be respectively 
placed. By this method he in some measure preserved an uniformity in his 
classifications and arrangements, and obviated any considerable distortion of 
the boundaries of the constellations, having himself defined the limits. But 
Flamsteed did not possess this advantage, since his maps were not constructed 
till long after his catalogue had been formed, and indeed not till many years 
after his decease : and as Hevelius's maps were not published till after Flam- 
steed had commenced his observations with the mural quadrant, the ' Urano- 
metria' of Bayer was the only authority to which he could refer even for an 
approximate classification of any new stars that he might observe. This 
however appears to have been often done either without due consideration 
and attention, or from ignorance of the true limits; and the name of a con- 
stellation was frequently written down, in the margin of the observation- 
book, as that which, at the time of observation, Flamsteed supposed to be the 
true constellation under review ; but which afterwards, when the observations 
came to be reduced and arranged, have been found to be incorrect. An in- 
spection of Flamsteed's manuscript books, at the Royal Observatory at Green- 
wich, and indeed the second volume of his ' Historia Coelestis,' will fully con- 
firm this remark. The consequence has been that several of the stars in his 
catalogue have been inadvertently arranged and classed under erroneous con- 
stellations : and our modern map-makers (instead of correcting these obvious 
errors in due time, and in a proper manner, or of laying down any general 
principle, on which the boundaries might be constructed and drawn, in all 
cases of new discoveries) have suffered the evil not only to continue, but to 
increase to such a degree by subsequent innovations, that the celestial maps 
have at length become a system of derangement and confusion. For, a prac- 
tice seems to have been adopted that whenever a modern astronomer has, in 
his catalogue, inadvertently introduced a star which he has designated by an 
erroneous constellation, the map-maker, or globe-maker (probably through 


36 REPORT — 1844. 

ignorance), immediately extends the circuit of the constellation so as to em- 
brace the star within its limits ; although in so doing he causes the most 
inconvenient and absurd distortion of the boundary lines, and, in some cases, 
actually includes thereby stars that ought not to have been disturbed ; which 
consequently renders the map, or the globe, a mass of confusion and intricacy, 
and totally unfit for accurate reference. An inspection of most of the modern 
celestial maps or globes will fully confirm this remark. 

Before a catalogue of any considerable extent, containing new stars, is 
finally arranged as to its nomenclature, a specimen map of the constellations, 
or at least their general outlines or boundaries, ought to be laid down upon 
some uniform and acknowledged system, for the guidance of the astronomer. 
The plan which was pursued by Ptolemy, and which with some slight altera- 
tions has been continued down to the present time, may serve as a basis for 
modem guidance and improvements. Its antiquity, and the numerous refer- 
ences which have always been, and still are, constantly, made to it, render it 
now difficult (even if it were desirable) to make any considerable deviation 
from a system which is associated with so many scientific, historical, and 
mythological recollections. But whatever plan be adopted, it ought to be 
preserved with some degree of uniformity and regularity : so that if an author 
has inadvertently designated a star by a wrong constellation, the name in the 
catalogue should be amended, rather than the boundary of the constellation 
distorted. This however will occasionally admit of some laxity ; for, if such 
star should happen to be near the confines of a constellation, a slight variation 
in the curvature of the boundary may be justly allowed in the case of a well- 
recognised star, more especially as the precise limits are in some measure ar- 
bitraiy. But where a star in any catalogue is designated by the name or title 
of a constellation, to which it manifestly does not belong, and has been inad- 
vertently recorded and arranged as one of the stars in such constellation, the 
only proper mode of correcting the error is to alter its name and character in 
the catalogue, and thus restore it to its proper designation and position. 

As an example of the confusion which is created by such misnomers, I need 
only adduce the case of two stars in Flamsteed's catalogue ; one of these is 
called 44 Li/ticis, but whose position is in the middle of Ursa Major, and was 
so located by Ptolemy; and the other is called 19 Ursce Major is, which evi- 
dently belongs to Lynx. Now the map-maker, in order to comprise these 
stars within the limits of the constellations in which Flamsteed has thus inad- 
vertently and erroneously located them, has extended the boundaries of each 
of these constellations in such a confused and intersecting manner that the 
limits are scarcely intelligible. The proper mode would have been to alter 
the nomenclature, at once, in the catalogue ; and thus prevent the perpetuity 
of the error. Another example (still more remarkable) occurs in the star 
13 Argus in Flamsteed's catalogue; a star that is in fact situate in the con- 
stellation Canis 3Ii?ior, which lies to the north of the intermediate constella- 
tion Monoceros : and the map-maker, in order to include this distant star within 
the limits o^Argo, has in a similar manner traced a double line directly through 
the body of Monoceros, which thus appears like two distinct constellations. 
Many other similar examples of distortion might be adduced, but it is need- 
less to multiply proofs of such evident absurdities, which need only be seen to 
be duly estimated and repudiated. 

Cases of another kind occur where the constellation is improperly and. 
unnecessarily extended, although there may not be any intersection of the 
boundary lines : such as that which may be seen in Flamsteed's catalogue of 
stars, in the constellation Crater, where many of the stars there introduced 
do not fall within the limits of the figure drawn by Bayer ; nor is Flamsteed's 


extension of the boundaries warranted by Ptolemy's description of the position 
of the stars in that constellation *. 

Much confusion has also arisen from inattention to a regular classification 
and arrangement of certain clusters of stars that lie near the adjoining con- 
fines of two contiguous constellations ; such as the cluster of stars about the 
head of Serpens, which are strangely intermixed with the stars that are con- 
sidered to be in the arm of Hercules : and many similar cases may be seen in 
Monoceros and Hydra, Draco and Cepheus, Auriga and Camelopardus, Libra 
and Hydra, Hercules and Ophiuchus, Vulpecula and Cygnus, &c. 

But the most striking proof of the inattention of map- and globe-makers to 
accuracy of arrangement, occurs in the cases where the author of the catalogue 
has placed the same star in two distinct constellations, and where unfortu- 
nately (in constructing the map) the erroneous one has been selected for its 
location. A singular case of this kind occurs with Flamsteed's 25 and 27 
Aquarii, which are the same stars as 6 and 11 Pegasi. The map-maker has 
correctly placed the stars in the head oi Aquarius, as drawn on the map ; but 
then, as if doubtful of such a step, or desirous of preserving the double inter- 
pretation, has extended the boundary line of Pegasus so as to embrace it 
within the limits of that constellation. 

Cases of such double insertions in a catalogue are not to be wondered at in 
the early state of the science, where minute accuracy was not always attain- 
able, nor the error always discoverable on account of the mode of classifica- 
tion ; and we accordingly meet with a few of such cases in the catalogues of 
Ptolemy and others. But in more modern times the error has arisen princi- 
pally, if not solely, from the method of arranging the stars, in a catalogue, 
under distinct and separate constellations, whereby the similarity of position 
is not readily discovered ; and this will account for the synonyms that occur 
in the catalogues of Flamsteed and Hevelius : but when discovered they ought 
to be at once corrected, and not suffered to remain a perpetual blot in the 
catalogue. The modern mode, however, of arranging the whole of the stars 
in a catalogue, according to the order of their right ascension, without any 
regard to the order of the constellations in which they may be placed, pre- 
vents the occurrence of a similar inconvenience in future. 

But a like source of error arises, and frequently causes doubt and difficulty 
to the map-maker, and even to the astronomer, when the authors of two dif- 
ferent catalogues vary in their decision as to the constellation in which a star 
should be located. Numerous instances of this kind may be seen in comparing 
the catalogues of Hevelius and Flamsteed, or either of these with the cata- 
logues of Piazzi or Taylor : which confusion has arisen from a want of a system 
of well-defined and acknowledged boundaries to the respective constellations, 
whereby the astronomer may know when he is correct in locating the observed 
stars. Let any one examine the stars in Hevelius's first constellation {Andro- 
meda), and he will there find that Flamsteed has placed some of them in Pe- 
gasus, one in Perseus, and one in Lacerta ; whilst Piazzi places one of them 
In Cassiopea. Those only who have to make frequent references to the class 
of smaller stars, and are desirous of identifying them, and of comparing the 
results of different observers, can justly appreciate the labour and inconveni- 
ence that occurs from such a confused state of location. And with respect to 
the map-maker, it is a forlorn hope to expect from him anything like regu- 
larity, uniformity, clearness or precision so long as he continues the present 
system of circumscribing every star with the boundary line of the constella- 

* An exception, perhaps, might here be made to Flamsteed's 11 Crateris, and which Bayer 
has designated by the letter j3 : a star which Ptolemy places in Hydra, at the same time how- 
ever describing it as ^terd Trjv pdaiv tov Kparrjpos. I have followed Bayer and Flamsteed. 

38 REPORT — 1844. 

tions to which the author of the catalogue, in which it is found, considers it 
to belong, and rejects every attempt at improvement. 

On the maps published by the executors of Flamsteed, there are not any 
boundaries surrounding the figures that are there drawn : for, all the stars in 
Flamsteed's catalogue are placed in their true positions (as to right ascension 
and declination) as given in the British Catalogue, without any boundary 
lines ; and those who consult the maps are at liberty to draw the boundaries 
in such manner as they may think most proper. It is the catalogue which is 
in error, and not the maps • and it is very probable that the editors were 
aware of this circumstance, having found out the mistake when it was too late 
to mend it. 

Bode appears to have been the first that drew boundary lines to the con- 
stellations ; and in so doing, instead of correcting the catalogue and preserving 
an uniform system of drawing his lines in a simple and regular manner between 
contiguous constellations, whereby the contour was distorted as little as pos- 
sible, he introduced the practice (above mentioned, and which has been im- 
plicitly followed by most of the English map- and globe-makers) of hooking 
within such limits all the stars that Flamsteed or any subsequent astronomer 
had inadvertently designated by a wrong constellation ; thus disfiguring and 
distorting the boundaries and rendering them very intricate, perplexing, and 
annoying. In his large set of celestial maps, however, which he published 
about twenty years afterwards, he became sensible of his error, and very pru- 
dently discontinued this absurd practice, and confined his boundaries to their 
proper restriction. But the English map- and globe-makers, instead of fol- 
lowing this laudable example, have not only continued the evil, but have 
carried the practice to such an enormous and ludicrous extent that the mo- 
dern celestial charts and globes at the present day exhibit a complete msiss 
of intersecting and conflicting lines, utterly subversive of the object and de- 
sign of such a divisional arrangement of the heavens. Harding, in his Celestial 
Atlas, has avoided this confusion : and so likewise has Argelander in his recent 
' Uranometria.' So that there is probably now some prospect of our being able 
to obtain, in this country, celestial maps and globes freed from all the mis- 
chievous confusion with which they are encumbered : and if the globes (and 
also the maps) were confined to such stars only as are visible to the naked 
eye, their utility and convenience for an ocular view of the heavens would 
be much improved*. 

In order that our catalogues and our maps (or globes) should speak the 
same language, and that they should at the same time be clear and intelligi- 
ble to those Avho consult them for the purpose of identifying the stars in the 
heavens, it is requisite that the nomenclature of the stars, or, in other words, 
the boundaries of the constellations, should be placed on a more uniform, 
regular, and well-defined plan : but, in making this necessary reform, regard 
must be had (especially in the northern hemisphere) to long-established names 
and authorities, which by their antiquity and constant use have acquired full 
possession of the public opinion and favour. Now, it fortunately happens 
that very material improvements may be made in the present mode of deli- 
neating the boundaries of these constellations, without encroaching at all on 
any of the ancient arrangements, and without much alteration in those of 
more modern date. All that is required will be the correction of some of 
those manifest errors which have been caused principally by following too 
closely and implicitly the arrangement and classification of the stars in the 
constellations in Flamsteed's catalogue ; and which has opened the door to 
further encroachments by his successors. 

* Argelander 's ' Uranometria' is an excellent pattern for such a system of map-making. 


I have alluded here to the correction of Flamsteed's catalogue only, not 
however as being the only one (or even the most discordant) that requires 
reform, since similar anomalies, and equal in amount, are to be found in the 
catalogues of Hevelius, Piazzi, Taylor, and perhaps some others ; but because 
it is the only one in these latter days (if we except Hevelius's, which is not 
very frequently referred to) in which the stars are quoted and known by the 
numerical order and position in which they stand in the respective constella- 
tions ; those of other astronomers being always designated by the order of 
their right ascension. And as all our map- and globe-makers fill up the 
boundaries of the constellations with Flamsteed's numbers as they find them 
in his catalogue, whether properly located or not, it is requisite in the first 
instance to place those stars in their proper positions. The method which I 
propose for carrying this object into execution, and for reforming the boun- 
dary lines, is the foUoM'ing : viz. 

1°. That Ptolemy's constellations be preserved, and form the basis of the 
construction and arrangement of the constellations in the northern hemisphere. 

2°. That nine of the constellations, adopted by Hevelius, be retained; but 
that no others be introduced in the northern hemisphere. These nine con- 
stellations are Camelopardus, Canes Venatici, Coma Berenices, Lacerta, Leo 
Minor, Lynx, Monoceros, Sextant, and Vulpecula; which, having been 
adopted also by Flamsteed, are still referred to at the present day, and con- 
sequently should be retained. But the rest, as Avell as all the other constella- 
tions introduced by Bartsch, Bode, Hell, Kirch, Lalande, Lemonnier, and 
Poczubut, having fallen into general disuse, need not be revived or continued. 
Even those which are retained as above mentioned might be diminished with 
much benefit to the practical branch of astronomy: for this modern pro- 
pensity to multiply the number of constellations has led to great confusion 
and annoyance (especially where they interlace with each other) without 
being attended with a single advantage. 

3°. That Ptolemy's figures be attended to, so that the drawings (if any) 
should embrace all the stars mentioned by him, and within their true outlines. 
Libra perhaps may be an exception to this rule, as this constellation has been 
introduced instead of the claws of Scorpio adopted by Ptolemy. There are 
also four stars in Ptolemy's catalogue that are common to two adjoining con- 
stellations : namely Flamsteed's 52 Bootis, which is common to Hercules ; 
112 Tauri, which is common to Auriga; 79 Aquarii, which is common to 
Piscis Australis; and 21 Andromedce, which is common to Pegasus. 

4°. That if Bayer or Flamsteed has introduced any star from another con- 
stellation that would distort the correct drawing, it must be named, in the 
catalogue, after the constellation to which it correctly belongs, and its pseu- 
donym must be discontinued. In other words, the catalogue must be cor- 
rected, but not the boundaries of the constellations distorted. Thus, Flam- 
steed has, after the example of Ptolemy, correctly placed 51 and 54 Andro- 
medce in the right foot of that figure : but Bayer, inattentive to Ptolemy's 
description, erroneously makes these two stars form part of the sword of 
Perseus ; and his mode of lettering those constellations is consequently inac- 
curate. Again, Ptolemy's 13 Arietis, which is distinctly described by him as 
being "in the extremity of the hind foot," is erroneously placed by Flam- 
steed in Cetus and is 87 Ceti in his catalogue ; although it appears that both 
he and Halley, at one time, maintained the contrary * ; and that Halley in- 
deed inserted it in Aries, in his catalogue (1712). The proper mode of cor- 
recting such errors is to return to the original authority ; a method which I 
have here adopted. 

* See my Account of the Rev. John Flamsteed, page 287. 

40 REPORT — 1844. 

5°. That the errors of Bayer or Flamsteed being thus reclined, and the 
figures of the constellations introduced by Hevelius being properly drawn (if 
requisite) within the intermediate spaces, the boundaries of the constellations, 
thus decided on, be carefully drawn and laid down agreeably to some syste- 
matic plan, M'hich may thus serve as the perpetual limits of the constellations : 
and that no distortion of the outlines or boundaries of any of these constella- 
tions, in the northern hemisphere, be permitted in consequence of the mistakes 
of any subsequent astronomers in arranging their stars under improper divi- 
sions of the heavens. 

6°. That as all Flamsteed's stars are designated by the numerical order in 
which they stand in the constellation, and as these numbers are in most cases 
well known and recognised, it is desirable to preserve his stars within the 
boundaries of their respective constellations, wherever it can be conveniently 
done. But, in the case of synonymous stars (amounting to 22) this is evidently 
impossible ; and there are also several other cases, which have been already 
alluded to (amounting to 66, of which 19 belong to Crater), where it is im- 
practicable, consistently with the rules here proposed*. These anomalous 
stars must be corrected in the catalogue, and there located in their proper 
constellations ; which will thus in future be a guide to the globe-makers. 

7°. That as all the stars in the catalogue of Piazzi are designated and 
always quoted by their number in the Junir of right ascension, and those of 
Taylor and others, by their ordinal number, it is not so requisite to pay spe- 
cial attention to inscribing such stars within the boundaries of the constella- 
tions to which they are assumed to belong ; and which will frequently be 
found to be discordant: still, that if any of these stars lie near to the boun- 
daries so assumed, a slight detour be allowed in the drawing. 

Such is the plan which I have pursued in the present arrangement of the 
stars in the northern constellations ; and which I propose also to adopt in the 
classification of the stars deduced from the observations recorded in the ' His- 
toire Celeste.' I shall now proceed to state the several alterations that have 
been proposed by Sir John Herschel for amending the boundaries and no- 
menclature of the southern constellations. But, as I cannot add to the clear- 
ness and precision with which he has treated this subject, I shall here subjoin 
his statement in his own words. 

" The idea, originally proposed of entirely re-modelling the southern con- 
stellations f, has (after very mature consideration and much discussion, and 
after consulting the opinions of some of the most eminent continental astro- 
nomers, which have been found very adverse to the idea of so decided a 
change) been laid aside ; at least in so far as regards the present undertaking. 
It is conceived however that if the nomenclature of the constellations, gene- 
rally, be ever destined to undergo a systematic change at all (and many rea- 

* The following is a statement of the G6 stars in Flamsteed's catalogue, which I have as- 
sumed to be incorrectly arranged : viz. 13 Arg'is belongs to Canis Minor ; 33, 34, 35 Camelo- 
pardi belong to Auriga; 50 Camclopardi belongs to Lynx; 85, S7 Cetihe\ong to Aries; 1, 2, 
3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 17, 18, 19, 20, •22, 23, 25, 26, 28, 29 Cralerh belong to Hydra; 3 Cygni 
belongs to Vulpecula ; SO Draconis belongs to Cepheus ; 3 Herculis belongs to Serpens ; 66 
Hercules belongs to Ophiuchus ; 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 ieonii jl/jnorii belong to Lynx ; 6, 41, 49 Leonis 
Minoris belong to Leo ; 25 Leonis Minoris belongs to Ursa Major ; 37, 39, 44 Lyncis belong 
to Ursa Major; 30, 31 Monocerotis belong to Hydra; 32, 33, 34 OpMuchi he\oxig to Hercules ; 
47 Ophiuchi belongs to Serpens ; 23 Piscium belongs to Pegasus ; 1 Sagitta belongs to Vulpe- 
cula; 2 Sagittaril belongs to Ophiuchus; 24, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33 Scorpii belong to Ophiu- 
chus; 48 iSe)7)e«i(s belongs to Hercules; 10, 11 Sextajitis belong to Leo; 16 Trianguli belongs 
to Aries ; 10, 19 Ursa Majoris belong to Lynx ; 46 Ursa Majoris belongs to Leo Minor ; 101 
Virginis belongs to Bootes. 

t By Sir John Herschel himself, as stated in his Paper inserted in vol. xii. of the Memoirs 
of the Roy. Ast. Society, — F. B. 


sons may be adduced for considering such a change desirable) the first and 
most important step towards it will be found in the present work itself, and 
in the catalogues, now publishing simultaneously Avith it on the same system 
of nomenclature*, Avhich clear the ground of all existing confusion ; and by 
assembling into one distinct view, and under names and numbers at least 
definite and recognised, all the individuals of which the new groups must be 
composed, render it easy at any future time to pass, by a single table of 
synonyms and by one decided step, from one to the other system, whenever 
the convenience and consent of astronomers may dictate the propriety of a 
change. Such views, if entertained, would render the nomenclature of the 
present catalogues so far provisional that a more rational and convenient 
system of groups (confined not to the southern hemisphere, but extending 
oVer both) may yet be contemplated by astronomers. Nevertheless, so long 
as the ancient system is at all retained, a general and scrupulous adherence 
to the nomenclature here adopted is most earnestly recommended to the 
astronomical world, as the only mode of escape from a state of confusion at 
present quite intolerable. As regards the southern constellations, the follow- 
ing are the principles proposed to be adhered to : viz. 

" 1°. That all the constellations adopted by Lacaille be retained, and his 
arrangement of the stars preserved ; subject however to certain alterations 
hereafter specified. 

" 2°. That all the stars, having a doubtful location, such as those which 
Lacaille (after the manner of Ptolemy) has considered as ajuo'p^wroi (un- 
formed), be included within the boundaries of either one or other of the con- 
tiguous constellations, so as to preserve a regularity of outline. 

" 3°. That all the rest of Lacaille 's stars be placed within the boundaries 
laid down by him, with the following exceptions : first, a few stars which are 
located too far from the border of the constellations in which they are re- 
gistered, to admit of an uniform contour of the lines ; secondly, such stars as 
have been previously observed by Ptolemy or Flamsteed, and by them located 
in other constellations, or which interlace and are confusedly mixed with such 
previously observed stars f ; thirdly, the six stars that are placed by Lacaille 
in the end of the spear of Indus, but which are now assumed to form part of 
the constellation Pavo, in order to render the contour of these two constella- 
tions less circuitous. 

" 4°. That the Greek letters, selected by Lacaijle, be adopted in prefer- 
ence to those introduced by Bayer in the southern constellations ; but that 
they be retained only as far as stars of the 5th magnitude inclusive. That 
no Roman letters be used, except in the subdivisions of Argo, subsequently 

" 5°. That Argo be divided into four separate constellations, as partly 
contemplated by Lacaille ; retaining his designations of Carina, Puppis and 
Vela ; and substituting the term Mains for Pixis Nautica, since it contains 
four of Ptolemy's stars that are placed by him in the mast of the ship. 

" 6°. That the original constellation Argo, on account of its great magni- 
tude and the subdivisions here proposed, be carefully revised in respect of 

* Sir John Herschel here alludes to Lacaille's new catalogue of 9760 southern stars, and to 
the catalogue of upwards of 48,000 stars, deduced from the ' Histoire Celeste,' both of which are 
now printing at the expense of Government. — F. B. 

f " A single exception to this rule occurs in the case of the last star in the constellation 
Piscis Australis, in Ptolemy's catalogue, which Bayer has denoted by the letter k, and which 
is presumed to be the same as that which has been designated by Lacaille as y Gruis. As 
there is some ambiguity however in the position of this star in Bayer's map, it is here assumed 
(like some other stars already mentioned) as common to both constellations, in order to adjust 
this discordance ; and, in the present catalogue, Lacaille's designation of y Grids is retained, 
on account of its forming the principal object in the head of that constellation." 

42 REPORT — 1844. 

lettering, in the following manner : first, in order to preserve the present no- 
menclature of the principal stars, all the stars in Argo (that is, in the general 
constellation, regarded as including the subdivisions above mentioned) indi- 
cated by Greek letters, by Lacaille, to be retained, with their present letter- 
ing, under the general name Argo : secondly, all the remaining stars, to be 
designated by that portion of the ship in which they occur, such as Carina, 
Puppis, Vela, and Mains, and to be indicated by Roman letters, as far as the 
5th magnitude inclusive. And no two distant stars, in the same subdivision, 
to be indicated by the same letter ; but, in cases of conflict, the greater mag- 
nitude is to be preferred ; and, when they are equal, the preceding star to be 
fixed upon. 

" 7°. That the constellations, which Lacaille has designated by two words, 
be expressed by only owe of such words. Thus, it is proposed that the several 
constellations, indicated by Lacaille as Apparatus Sculptoris, Mons Metisce, 
CcBlum Scalptorium, Equuleus Pictorius, Piscis Vola^is and Antlia Pneu- 
matica, be called by the respective titles of Sculptor, Mensa, Ccelum, Pictor, 
Volans, and Antlia ; contractions which have on some occasions been par- 
tially used by Lacaille himself, and are very convenient in a registry of 

Such is the plan proposed by Sir John Herschel for a better arrangement 
of the stars in the southern hemisphere : and, agreeing fully in the principles 
here laid down, I have not hesitated in adopting them in the construction of 
the present catalogue, and in the classification of the stars inserted therein. 

On the Meteorology of Toronto in Canada. 
By Lieut.-Colonel Edward Sabine, B..A., F.R.S. 

[A communication made to the Mathematical and Physical Section at the York Meeting, and 
directed to he printed entire amongst the Reports.] 

The subject which I am about to bring before the Section consists of a por- 
tion of the results of the meteorological observations which have been made 
at the magnetical and meteorological observatory at Toronto in Canada, in 
the first two years of its establishment. It is well known to the members of 
the Section, that in conformity with the recommendation made by this 
Association, the British Government has formed establishments in various 
parts of the globe, for the purpose of making magnetical and meteorological 
observations on a systematic plan, and has created a department for the re- 
duction and publication of the observations. As the officer entrusted with the 
conduct of these operations, I regai'd it as not less a duty than a pleasure, to 
communicate, from time to time, at the meetings of the British Association, 
such of the arrangements, or of the observations themselves, or of the conclu- 
sions to which they may have led, as I may suppose may be interesting to its 
members. I have accordingly selected for the present occasion some portion 
of the results wliich the meteorological observations at Toronto, in 1841 and 
1842, have yielded, when subjected to a full process of reduction, and care- 
fully examined. I have preferred the meteorological to the magnetical ob- 
servations, partly on account of the more popular character of the subject 
generally, and partly because the conclusions to which the meteorological 
observations have already conducted appear to possess a completeness and 
fullness not yet attained in magnetism. The observations, which will be treated 
of in this communication, were made at every second hour throughout the 
year, except on Sundays, Christmas day, and Good Friday. Subsequently to 
the period which will be now passed in review, they have been made hourly, 


and the results of these may possibly be brought before the Section on a 
future occasion. 

For the purpose of rendering this communication more interesting and 
more useful, I have compared the meteorological results obtained at Toronto 
with those obtained by M. Kreil at the magnetical and meteorological obser- 
vatory at Prague in Bohemia*. It is frequently found that we gain more by 
such comparisons, — by the points of resemblance and points of difference, 
and by the analogies and contrasts which they bring to our notice, — than we 
do by a simple direct investigation. 

Prague like Toronto is situated at a considerable distance from the ocean 
(between 300 and 400 miles) in the interior of a great continent, the latitude 
and elevation moreover not being very dissimilar. The agreement which 
will be shown in the leading features of their meteorology manifests that 
these features belong to a locality so circumstanced, whether the continent 
be Europe or America ; whilst the minor differences point to climatological 
distinctions of a secondary order, important indeed to discuss from their 
bearing on the health and occupations of mankind, as well as in more purely 
scientific respects, but into which time will scarcely permit me to enter on 
the present occasion beyond a mere notice of some of the facts. 

In all comparisons between places situated in Europe and in North Ame- 
rica, there is one leading difference in respect to temperature which we must 
expect to find, which is doubtless familiar to all the members of the Section, 
viz. that in Europe we enjoy a climate of higher mean temperature in pro- 
portion to the latitude than is the case in America ; in other words, that the 
isothermal lines descend into a lower latitude in America than they do in 
Europe. It would occupy far too much time to discuss, on the present occa- 
sion, the causes of this great climatological difference ; they have been largely 
discussed by many eminent philosophers ; but it may be Avell, before we pro- 
ceed to further details, to notice briefly the amount of difference in this re- 
spect which is shown by the observations at Prague and Toronto. 

The following statement exhibits the particulars of the latitude, elevation 
above the sea, and mean temperature of the two stations ; as well as the cor- 
rection of the difference of their mean temperatures on account of difference 
of elevation : — 

Toronto, latitude 43° 39' Elevation 330 feet. 

Prague, , 50 05 „ 582 „ 

Difference 6 26 Difference 252 

Prague should be colder on account of its elevation . 0°'8 Fahr. 

Mean temperature, Toronto 44°'4< 1 j^.rn . .„ 

„ Prague . 48 •? t J ' ^^^^^^ • ■ • 

Difference of temperature corrected 1 p - . 

for difference of elevation J ° 

Whence it appears that Prague is 5°*1 warmer than Toronto, although its 
latitude is 6° 26' more distant from the equator. 


We will now proceed to the distribution of the mean temperature into the 
several hours of the day, and into the several months of the year ; the first, 
forming the diurnal vai-iation of the temperature, or that variation which has 
a day for its period ; the second, the annual variation, or that variation which 
has a year for its period. 

Diurnal Variation. — The diurnal variation is the well-known consequence 

* Mag. und Met. Beobachtungen ; Prag. 1839-1842. f Kreil, Jahrbuch fiir 1843. 


REPORT — 1844. 

of the earth's rotation on its axis. It is a single progression ; having but one 
ascending and one descending branch, the turning points being a maximum 
early in the afternoon, and a minimum about sunrise. Each hourly mean in 
each year in the subjoined table is an average of about 311 observations, 
being one on each day, except Sundays, Good Friday and Christmas day. 
Each hourly mean of the two years is therefore an average of about 622 ob- 
servations. The mean temperature of each year, or of all the hours on all 
the days of the year, rests on about 3732 observations ; and the mean tem- 
perature of the two years on about 7464 observations. The very small 
amount of the differences which the table exhibits in the results at the seve- 
ral hours in 1841 and 1842, shows a probability that we have already deter- 
mined the diurnal march of the temperature, (as far as it can be obtained 
by two-hourly observations,) with a very near approximation to the truth*. 

Mean Annual Temperature at every observation hour. 


1 J 1842... 


^ (_Mean. 





2 P.M. '4 P.M. [6 P.M. 8 P.M. 



2 a.m. 

4 A.M. 









50-3 48-1 
50-8 482 











50-55 48-15 44-10 






Temperature at the several observation hours higher (-|-) or lower (—) 
than the Mean Annual Temperature. 

Toronto .... 

- 5-0 - 1-75 
-47 -2-6 

+ 1-95 
+ 0-9 

+ 4-45 
+ 3-8 

+ 6-15 
+ 5-2 

+ 6-15 
+ 5-1 

+ 3'75 
+ 37 

+ 0-8 




-3-4 -4-4 

Toronto proportionally colder (— ) or warmer ( + ) than Prague at 
the several observation hours. 

l-O'sl + O'SsI + 1-05 |+0-65|+ 0-95!+ rosl+o-osl- 1-1 j - 0-15 j-r25[-l-I5|- 0-8 | 

If we take the difference between the mean temperature at Toronto derived 
from all the observations (44°'4), and the mean of all the temperatures ob- 
served at each of the observation hours, we have the mean diurnal march of 
the thermometer as shown in the table, or how much the temperature amount 
is above or below its mean at each hour of observation. 

In the line immediately beneath the diurnal march of the temperature at 
Toronto, is placed the diurnal march at Prague, by which means the general 
resemblance and the minor differences can be at once perceived by the eye. 

These latter are further shown in the last line, which points out the 
hours when the temperature is proportionally warmer at Toronto than at 
Prague, which hours have a + sign before them, and those when it is pro- 
portionally colder, which are characterized by the — sign. It will be at 
once obvious that the climate at Toronto is proportionally warmer during 
the hours of the day, and colder during those of the night, than at Prague. 
Toronto being in a lower latitude and therefore nearer the sun, the sun's in- 
fluence is proportionally greater during the hours of the day ; but in the 
absence of the sun, the powerful causes which, in spite of the difference 
of latitude, depress the isothermal lines, show their unchecked influence in 
the proportionally lower temperature of the hours of the night. So strong 
indeed are those causes, that at no one hour of the twenty-four does the 
absolute temperature at Toronto rise to an equality with that of Prague. 

* The building of the observatoiy at Toronto having been completed in September 1840, 
the observations now under notice commence with October 1840. The year 1841 in this 
communication is therefore more strictly the year which commences October 1, 1840, and 
ends September 30, 1841. In like manner 1812 commences with October 1, 1841, and ends 
with September 30, 1842. 



The nights being proportionally colder and the days warmer than at Prague, 
the mean daily range of the thermometer is greater, being 9°'9 at Prague and 
11°"35 at Toronto. The mean temperature of the 24 hours occurs earlier in 
the forenoon and earlier in the afternoon at Toronto than at Prague. 

Annual Variation. — The next table exhibits the mean monthly temperatures 
in each month of 1841 and 1842, and their average. In a separate column is 
shown the amount by which the temperature in each month exceeds or falls 
short of the mean temperature of the year. This forms the annual variation of 
the temperature ; it is, as is well known, the consequence of the earth's annual 
motion in its orbit, which regulates the order and succession of the seasons, and 
occasions a progression of temperature from a minimum in the midwinter to a 
maximum in the midsummer. This also is a single progression, having but 
one ascending and one descending branch. The annual variation of the 
temperature at Prague is placed by the side of that at Toronto, by which 
means the eye is at once enabled to judge of the general agreement and the 
minor differences; the latter are also shown more distinctly in the final 


Mean of 
20 years. 

The several months 

above (+) or below (— ) 

the annual mean. 


hotter (+) 
or colder (— ) 
than Prague. 














- 2-8 
+ 6-1 
+ 141 

- 11 

- 8-9 

+ 01 
+ 9-3 
+ 15-9 
+ 19-4 
+ 18-0 
+ 1-4 
- 99 


+ 1-3 












Difference between tbe hottest and coldest month. 

Prague 41°-2 

Toronto 39°-5 

In viewing the minor differences shown in the last column, we must not 
overlook that our numbers are based on two years only of observation, and 
that for an annual progression, a single year forms in fact but a single ex- 
periment. When we view the differences which some of the months present 
in the columns representing the observations in 1841 and 1842, we shall readily 
acknowledge that more than two years are required to give that approxima- 
tion to a mean annual progression which the present state of science requires. 
There are, however, some features of difference which present such obvious 
characters of system that we may have reason to expect that the observations 
of a greater number of years will but make them more assured. Thus the 
spring months are all proportionally colder, and the summer months hotter, 
at Toronto than at Prague. There is also one remarkable difference, viz. in 
January, which is proportionally a colder month by above 4° at Prague than 
at Toronto ; and from the magnitude of the amount, it wears the aspect of a 
permanent climatological difference. Now it is well known that in the month 


REPORT — 1844. 

of January the wind from the east and north-east prevails in Europe, bring- 
ing with it our severest winter cold. This feature has not a parallel in North 
America, where the cold of winter is more equably distributed. It would 
occupy too much time to discuss the cause of this peculiarity in the European 
climate ; and I must content myself with referring generally to M. Dove's 
elaborate work on the distribution of temperature ; a work which cannot fail 
to impress the reader strongly with the value of the conclusions to be derived 
from long-continued series of observations subjected to a laborious and per- 
severing study. It is a curious result from this excess of cold in Europe in 
January, that notwithstanding the greater proportional warmth in summer 
and cold in spring at Toronto, the extreme difference, or that between the 
coldest and the warmest month of the year, is absolutely greater at Prague 
than at Toronto, being 41°-2 at Prague and 39°'5 at Toronto. 

It is a consequence of the minor differences already pointed out, that a 
temperature equal to that of the mean temperature of the year occurs later 
in spring and earlier in autumn at Toronto than at Prague ; and that the tem- 
perature is higher than the mean of the year during seven months at Prague, 
whilst at Toronto it is only so during five months. 

I have inserted in the next table the mean raii</e of the thermometer during 
three years at Toronto and at Prague. It must be understood that the 
maximum of each month inserted in this table is the mea7i maximum during 
three years ; viz. March 1840 to March 1843 at Toronto ; July 1839 to July 
1842 at Prague; and the same is to be understood of the minimum: the 
range is consequently a meati range during three years, and is of course ex- 
ceeded by the range in individual years. 

Range of the Temperature in different Months. 

Toronto (3 years). 

Prague (3 years). 








+ 1-8 
- 10 
+ 7-0 
+ 12-7 
+ 3-7 




+ 4-0 
+ l-O 
+ 13-8 













Mean range ... 


Mean range ... 


Toronto i Highest, June 29, 1841 +917 p„„,„/ Highest, July 18, 1841 +97-8 
^°™''*°t Lowest, Feb. 16,1842 1 82* P'^^Sue | L^^^gst, Dec.l5, l84oI 70 

Range ... 99-9 Eange ... 104-8 

* The thermometer ranged much lower in Januaiy 1840, before the commencement of 
the series under notice, \iz. — 

January 2nd - 17-5 January 15th - 8-5 

„ 3rd - 9-2 „ 16th - 150 

„ 4th - 10-0 „ 17th - 19-2 lowest observation. 


Here also the general character shown by the comparison of the two sta- 
tions is that of very close resemblance, while the minor differences also stand 
out prominently. The greater variation to which the temperature is subject 
at Toronto in March and April is very obvious in the column of range ; as is 
also the small amount of the variation in the month of November at Prague. 
The mean monthly range deduced from the twelve months is 4'3°"9 at Toronto, 
and 39°*7 at Prague ; a considerable amount of difference, and which marks 
the greater general vicissitude of the climate of Toronto : still it is deserving 
of notice that Prague is occasionally liable to fully as great, and (during these 
three years at least) even greater extremes of temperature than Toronto, as is 
shown by the memorandum at the foot of the table ; it is indeed curious to 
remark how very nearly the stations approach each other in the extreme 
amount of their thermometrical range. July and August are the only months 
in which during three years the observations at Toronto never show a tem- 
perature of the air so low as the freezing point. At Prague there are five 
months, viz. from May to September inclusive, in which during the three 
years the temperature was never observed so low as 32° . 

If we seek in the old continent a station most nearly isothermal with To- 
ronto, we must refer to a latitude considerably higher than Prague. The 
station in M. Mahlmann's list (Dove, Repertorium, b. 4, and Humboldt, Asie 
Centrale, tom. 3.), which most nearly resembles it in the mean temperature 
of the different seasons, as well as in that of the whole year, is Wexio in 
Sweden, in latitude 56° 53', and height above the sea 450 Parisian feet. 
Toronto is in 43° 39', and height above the sea 330 English feet. The mean 
temperatures are — 

Spring. Summer. Autimin. Winter. Annual. Coldest month.Wannest month. 

Toronto 41*4 

t 63-8 






Wexio 41*5 







Aqueous Vapour. 

I proceed to consider the elastic force or tension of the aqueous vapour 
contained in the atmosphere, and the degree of humidity produced by it, 
together with the diurnal and annual variations of these phasnomena. 

The elastic force of the vapour is considered to be one of the constituents 
of the pressure upon the surface of the mercury in the cistern of the barome- 
ter, which, conjointly with the other and much larger constituent, viz. the 
pressure of the gaseous atmosphere, produces what in common parlance is 
called the pressure of the atmosphere, measured by the height of the mercurial 
column in the barometer. Although we have no instrument by which we can 
measure the gaseous pressure independently of that of the aqueous vapour, 
we possess in Daniell's hygrometer, and in the wet and dry thermometers, the 
means of ascertaining the aqueous pressure at any instant independently of 
the gaseous pressure ; and therefore, by the combination of the barometer and 
of the wet and dry thermometers (or of the hygrometer before mentioned), 
we should be able to obtain separately the pressure due to each constituent, 
and the annual and diurnal variations of both. It will be understood, there- 
fore, that when the " tension of the vapour" is here mentioned, it expresses 
also the pressure on the barometer produced by the elastic force of the vapour 
present in the air. 

The scale in which the humidity of the iair is expressed is the simple 
natural scale in which air at its maximum of humidity (i.e. when it is satu- 


REPORT — 1844. 

rated with vapour) is reckoned as = 100 ; and air absolutely deprived of 
moisture as = : the intermediate degrees are given by the fraction 
100 X actual tension of vapour, 

tension required for the saturation of the air at its existing temperature. 

Thus if the air at any temperature whatsoever contains vapour of half the 
tension which it would contain if saturated, the degree is 50; if three- 
fourths, then 75 ; and so forth. 

Air of a higher temperature is capable of containing a greater quantity of 
vapour than air of less temperature ; but it is the proportion of what it does 
contain to what it would contain if saturated, which constitutes the measure 
of its dryness or humidity. 

The capacity of the aii- to contain moisture being determined by its tera- 
pei'ature, it was to be expected that an intimate connexion and dependence 
would be found to exist between the annual and diurnal variations of the 
vapour and of the temperature. I shall proceed to show how distinctly and 
fully this connexion is exhibited by the observations at Toronto. We will 
commence with the humidity. 

Diurnal Variation. — The degree of humidity at tlie several observation 
hours exhibits, as in the case of the temperature, a simple progression of one 
ascending and one descending branch, having its turning points the same 
as those of the temperature, namely, a maximum at or near the coldest, 
and a minimum at or near the hottest hours of the day ; the progression is 
inverse, but is in harmony with that of the temperature. 

Mean degree of Humidity at Toronto at the several Observation Hours. 

6a.m. 8a.m. 




4p.M. 6p.m. 

8p.m. jlOp.M.' Mid. 
















82 84 
81 82 













78-5| 81-5 j 83 




The accord of the two years' observations is remarkably satisfactory ; they 
unite in showing that in the average state of the atmosphere at Toronto, the 
air is charged Avith between three-fourtlis and four-fifths (or more exactly 
with 78 parts in 100) of the vapour required for its saturation. 

When we proceed to the mean tension of the vapour at the several obser- 
vation hours, we perceive an accord with the march of the temperature fully 
as striking ; one ascending, one descending branch ; — the turning points in 
obvious dependence, — and the march hannonious ; in this case the progression 
is direct, in relation to that of the temperature, — as it was inverse in the case 
of the humidity. 

Mean Tension of the Vapour at the several Observation Hours. 

6a.m. 8a.m. 


Noon. !2p.m. 









In. 1 In. 
•249i -268 
•234 -251 



In. In. 

•293 ^296 
•271 275 






In. In. 

•264 -254 
•250 ^245 








•242| -260 


•282 ^285 









The direct evidence of connexion and dependence exhibited in the diurnal 
march of the vapour and temperature at Toronto is the more deserving of 
our notice, because in many climates, this connexion, though it always exists, 



is partly obscured by other less direct influences of the temperature. Thus 
at Trevandruni, in the East Indies, where the zeal of our indefatigable 
associate Mr. Caldecott, Director of the Magnetical and Meteorological Ob- 
servatory established by His Highness the Rajah of Travancore, has already 
accumulated, reduced, and transmitted to England five years of hourly obser- 
vations with the wet and dry thermometers, the maximum and minimum of 
the tension are found to occur within three hours of each other ; the mini- 
mum coinciding with the coldest hour, viz. at 6 a.m. ; but the maximum 
occurring at 9 in the forenoon. This may possibly be a consequence of the 
sea breeze, which springs up as the sun gains power, and as the earth warmed 
by the solar rays heats the air in contact with itself and causes it to rise, occa- 
sioning an inpouring of the air from over the surface of the ocean. The sea 
breeze brings an influx of fresh air charged with vapour ; the air in its turn 
is heated and ascends, but the vapour is subject to a difierent law ; and though 
a portion of it is doubtless rapidly conveyed upwards by the ascending cur- 
rent, it is probably the accumulation below which causes an immediate rapid 
rise in the tension of the vapour, making its maximum to occur at a very early 
hour. The few facts which are yet known regarding the diurnal march of 
the vapour in different parts of the globe, present many phsenomena of this 
nature, which at first sight appear inconsistent with the dependence of the 
progression of the vapour on that of the temperature ; but which, when duly 
explained, will doubtless be found directly or indirectly in accordance with it. 
The knowledge of the phsenomena of the vapour in different climates and 
under different circumstances (such as in insular, littoral, or continental 
situations, &c.), with the explanation of the various peculiarities which they 
present, will form hereafter a very interesting and beautiful chapter in the 
physical history of the globe. 

Annual Variation, — We will now proceed to the mean montldy humidity 
and mean monthly tension exhibited in the following tables : — 

Mean Monthly Humidity. 



Greater (-^J 
or less (— ) 
than the an- 
nual mean. 






March . 
April ... 
June ... 
July .... 


Sept. ... 
Oct. ... 

















+ 6-0 
+ 4^0 

- 0-5 

- 7-5 

- 12-5 

- 4-0 

- 40 
-I- 2-5 
-1- 3-0 
-F 3-0 
+ 5-5 
+ 7-0 









Greater ( + ) 
or less (— ) 
than the an- 
nual mean. 

1811.! 1842. 





Jan. ... 





Feb. ... 










April ... 





May ... 





June ... 





July .... 




-f ^184 

Aug. ... 




+ •227 

Sept. ... 




+ •143 





- ^027 

Nov. ... 













We perceive by the table in which the mean monthly humidity is shown, 
that the months from March to July are drier than the average of the year, 
and that the remaining months are more humid than the average. The drier 
months are those in which the temperature of the air is rising ; the most hu- 
mid those in which the temperature is eitherfalling or nearly stationary. When 
the temperature is rising the warmth increases more rapidly than the air re- 

1844- E 


REPORT — 1844. 

ceives the addition to its vapour required to maintain an equal degree of humi- 
dity, and the air becomes in consequence drier. This is even the case in the 
neighbourhood of extensive lakes, as at Toronto. May is the driest and De- 
cember the most humid month in the year : and this is also stated to be the 
case in Europe. 

When we turn to the table in which the mean monthly tension of the 
vapour is shown, we see most distinctly marlicd the connexion between the 
temperature and the vapour pressure, and the dependence of the one upon 
the other ; we see a simple progression, the turning points being the same as 
those of the temperature, and a march as harmonious as we are perhaps en- 
titled to expect from observations of only two years' continuance. 

I shall reserve what further I may have to say in regard to the range of 
the vapour-pressure in different months, until we have before us the other 
constituent of the barometric pi-essure, viz. the gaseous atmosphere, to which 
I now proceed. 

Atmospheric Pressure. 



6 a.m. 

8 a.m. 

10 A.M. 


2 P.M.' 4 P.M. 

6 p.m. 

8 p.m. 

10 p.m. 


2 A.M. 



Mean bar. fl841. 
Pressure. . ) 1842. 
29 inch. + ) 


Deduct pressure \ 
of the vapour. . J 

Press, of the ga-T 
seous atmosph. \- 
29 inches + . . J 

Pressure at eachT 
hourgreater{ + ) 
or less (-) than V 
the mean annual 
pressure J 





■595 i -591 

•594 1 ■sgo 












•594 , ^590 









+ ■027 


+ •023 


+ •015 












+ ■009 



+ ■009 


+ •013 


+ ■019 


Diurnal Variation. — The first two lines of this table exhibit the mean 
monthly pressure on the mercurial column at Toronto at the several observa- 
tion hours of 1840 and 1841, — the mean of the two years is shown in the tliird 
line. The close accord of the mean pressure at the same hours in each of the 
two yeai's is a very satisfactory testimony of the confidence to which these 
bai'ometrical results are entitled : the mean at each hour of each year repre- 
sents about 311 observations ; consequently in tlie two years the mean at each 
observation hour represents about 622 observations, the mean of all the hours 
in the one year 3732 observations, and in the two years 7464 observations. 

The diurnal march of the barometer may consequently be regarded as a 
very near approximation to the truth. The diurnal march of the vapour 
pressure is obtained by an equal number of observations, and may therefore 
also be viewed as a very near approximation to the facts of nature. By de- 
ducting the vapour pi'essure from the whole barometric pressure at each ob- 
servation hour, we should obtain the daily march of the gaseous atmosphere. 
This is shown in the fifth line of figures in the table ; and by taking the differ- 
ence between the last column, (i. e. between the mean gaseous pressure at 
all the observation hours in the two years,) and the pressure at each hour, 
we obtain the amount by which the pressure is greater or less at each ob- 
servation hour than the mean general pressure at all the hours. 

On first casting our eyes (in the last line of the preceding table) on this 
representation of the diurnal variation of the gaseous atmosphere, freed from 
the complication which its combination with tlie vapour pressure produces 



in the indications of the barometer, we cannot fail to be immediately struck 
with the very close correspondence of the diurnal march before our eyes with 
that of the temperature which we have already examined. The maximum 
of pressure is at 6 a.m.; the minimum at 2 p.m. The progressions take place 
in the opposite or inverse sense to each other, but they are remarkably har- 
monious, and leave no doubt of a mutual connexion, and of the dependence 
either of the one on the other, or of both on a common cause. 

An explanation of this connexion, which presents itself to the mind as soon 
as the facts are clearly perceived, may be thus stated : — As the temperature of 
the day increases, the earth becomes warmed and imparts heat to the air in 
contact with it, and causes it to ascend. The colunm of air over the place of 
observation thus warmed rises, and a portion of it diffuses itself, in the higher 
regions of the atmosphere, over adjacent spaces where the temperature at the 
surface of the earth is less. Hence the statical pressure of the column is 
diminished. On the other hand, as the temperature falls, the column con- 
tracts, and receives in its turn a portion of air which passes over in the higher 
regions from spaces where a higher temperature prevails ; and thus the sta- 
tical pressure is augmented. 

This explanation is merely the extension to the particular case of the 
diurnal variation, of principles which have long been familiar to meteorolo- 
gists in accounting for various other atmospherical phtenomena, such for 
example as monsoons, and land and sea breezes. To make the parallel com- 
plete, it should be shown that, when the temperature rises, an influx of air 
takes place towards the lower part of the column, proportioned to the ascend- 
ing current, and tending to replace the air which is thus removed. The obser- 
vations which will be cited in the sequel of this communication will sliow 
that such is precisely the fact at Toronto. The force of the wind, taken 
without reference to its direction, has also its diurnal variation, corresponding 
in all respects with the diurnal march of the temperature and of the gaseous 

pressure ; being a minimum at 6 a.m., and a maximum at 2 p.m increasing 

with the augmentation of the temperature, and decreasing with its diminu- 
tion. The air which thus flows in, becoming warmed, pursues in its turn the 
course of the ascending current. We have thus the double evidence of the ex- 
istence of this current, — 1st, in the diminution of pressure, showing the out 
pouring at one extremity; and 2nd, in the increased force of the wind, showing 
the inpouring at the other extremity. As the temperature keeps continually 
rising, both the demand for and the supply of fresh inflowing air progressively 
increase. The diminution which the gaseous pressure continues to undergo as 
long as the temperature continues to rise, shows, as we might naturally ex- 
pect, that the supply is continually somewhat in arrear of the demand. 

The diminution of the gaseous pressure and increase in the force of the 
wind being consequent on the rise of the temperature, the turning points of 
the two former phaenomena might be expected to occur somewhat later than 
the instant of minimum temperature ; and this appears by the tables to be the 
case, but will probably be more clearly shown when the hourly observations 
shall come under review. 

Annual Variation. — Let us now proceed to the mean pressure of the 
gaseous atmosphere in each month of the year, and its consequent annual va- 
riation. These are shown in the following table : — 



UEPORT — 1S44. 

Meax Monthly Pressure. 






Gaseous | 
pressure in 
each month ' 
ereater( + ) or 
less ( - ) than 
the mean an- 
nual pressure. 

pressure in 

Gaseous ^^t^J^^^, 

1841. 1842. 



less ( — ) than 
the mean 



29664 29^508 
•489 , ^548 
•657 -638 




-■027 1 


+ 144 




•584 -186 
•565 -243 
•564 ^399 


-•184 28-898 
-•155 28-861 
-•130 28-882 
-•117 28-912 
+•058 i 29-045 
+ 064 29-047 
+ 139 29163 





September ... 

November ... 
December ... 

Mean 29612 



29^608 jj ^259 


1 29019 

In turning our attention to the column which exhibits the excess or defect 
of the mean monthly pressure on the mean of all the months, we at once 
perceive another illustration of the principle which has been just stated. We 
find the pressure of the gaseous atmosphere diminished in the summer months 
and augmented in the winter months. The general dependence on the 
march of the temperature is manifest ; and it must remain for the additional 
evidence which will be produced by the observations of subsequent years, to 
determine, whether the minor deviations from a perfectly harmonious march 
are mere accidental differences, which a wider observation basis will cause to 
disappear, or whether they may not point to some other periodical influence 
(possibly of the temperature also, but of a less direct nature) which is as 
yet unrecognized*. 

I will now ask the Section to turn its attention for a moment to the column 
which presents the mean height of the barometer in each month of the 
year. It is curious to observe how completely the annual march of the gaseous 
atmosphere is masked in the barometer by its combination Avith the vapour 
pressure, both being measured in one by the mercurial column ; the increase 
of temperature, w^hich causes the gaseous pressure to diminish, occasions the 
increase of the vapour, and vice versa ; and so nearly are these two opposite 
effects of the one cause balanced at Toronto, that the height of the barometer 
remains veiy nearly the same in every month of the year ; or at least, shows 
no trace whatsoever of an annual period. 

The principle which has been thus adduced for the purpose of explaining 
the annual and diurnal march of the atmospheric pressure should be ge- 

* The very few meteorological registers, which have been maintained with proper care for 
several years together in Europe, are stated to afford very decided indications of the e.\istence 
of other fluctuations besides ihe annual aud dim-nal variations, which apparently do not 
proceed from merely local causes, but recur regulairly at stated periods of the year, and are 
recognisable simultaneously over widely extended spaces, such for example as a considerable 
portion of an entire continent. How far the high pressure of the month of March at To- 
ronto may be a phaenomenon of this class it may perhaps take some years to decide. It is 
of very marked character, and is shown decidedly in both years. As 1 have already remarked, 
each year is but a single experiment in investigations of annual phsenomena. 



neral in its application. I have inserted in the table the gaseous pressure 
at Prague, as it is given by M. Kreil in his ' Jahrbucli' for 1843, from the 
observations of three years. The march of the vapour, as far as it has yet 
been determined at Prague, does not present a curve agreeing quite so satis- 
factorily with that of the temperature as we have been able to deduce at 
Toronto: whether this arises from disturbing influences in nature (such 
possibly as indirect influences of temperature), or whether it will disappear 
by longer-continued observation, cannot be yet anticipated. What is still 
uncertain, however, at Prague, is not of magnitude sufficient to obscure the 
dependence of the annual progression of the gaseous pressure on that of the 
temperature. The measure of agreement in this respect at the two stations 
cannot be viewed otherwise than as highly interesting and satisfactory. 
Mean quantities derived from a greater number of years will in all proba- 
bility show even a closer accordance. 

We will now revert to the maximum, minimum and range of the vapour 
pressure in the several months of the year, for the purpose of showing that 
its variations are such, as to seem to claim a greater attention than they have 
hitherto received, at the hands of those who are engaged in investigating the 
non-periodic fluctuations of the atmosphere, by the comparison of observed 
barometrical heights. In the next table we have the maximum, minimum, and 
range of the vapour pressure at Toronto, taken from the mean of two years. 
By thus exhibiting the mean quantities only of the two years of observation, 
extremes are of course somewhat moderated ; but, on the other hand, there 
is the advantage that the numbers are probably a more faithful representation 
of what may be expected in ordinary course. 

Range of the Barometer. 

Maximum, Minimum, and Range of the 
Tension of Vapour. 



Toronto — Mean of 2 years. 

Prague — Mean of 2 yerfrs. 





































We here perceive that the mean monthly range of the tension of the 
vapour falls little short of four-tenths of an inch ; and that in the summer 
months of June, July, August, and September, when it is greatest, it is very 
little less than the whole range of the barometer in the same months. Win- 
ter is the season for the great fluctuations of the barometer ; summer for those 
of the vapour pressure. If, as is believed by many modern meteorologists, 
the fluctuations of the vapour pressure affect the barometer to their whole 
extent, then the fluctuations of the gaseous atmosphere at Toronto approach 

54 REPORT — 1844. 

much nearer to an equality in the two seasons of summer and winter, than do 
those of the barometer. A north-west wind at Toronto is usually accompanied 
by a rise in the barometer and a fall in the temperature with a diminution in 
the tension of vapour ; and a south or south-east wind, by a fall in the baro- 
meter and a rise in the thermometer with an increased tension of vapour. 
In a change from one of these winds to the other, consequently, the alteration 
of the gaseous pressure would be greater than that of the barometric pressure, 
which is partially counteracted by the accompanying change in the elastic 
force of the vapour:. and as already noticed, the fluctuations in the vapour 
pressure are very considerable in summer. I have selected some remarkable 
instances in a single year, IS^l, which are as follows: — 

Variations of Vapour Pressure in IS^l. 



d. h. 

Between May 30 



June 5 4 

under 6 days 0*594 

„ June 11 

June 15 10 

„ 5 „ 0-503 

„ June 30 


July 2 6 

„ 3 „ 0-610 

July 2 


July 5 4 

„ 3 „ 0-465 

July 23 


July 25 16 

„ 3 „ 0-500 

„ Aug. 18 


Aug. 23 14 

„ 6 „ 0-496 

If the principles are correct, of which we have here traced a portion of the 
consequences, barometrical observations generally must lose an essential part 
of their value when unaccompanied by hygrometrical observations, by means 
of which the pressures of the air and vapour may be separated. Whenever 
such complete observations are made, i.e. hygrometric as well as barometric, 
the tension of vapour should be computed on the spot and at the instant. 
When calculations of this nature are suffered to fall in arrear, unreduced 
observations accumulate, and danger is incurred that the calculations are 
never made, and that science will lose the advantage which the observations 
were capable of affording. 

The comparison of the barometric range in the different months at Toronto 
and Prague exhibits a very satisfactory accordance, and shows how similar 
are the phaenomena which present themselves in this respect over the two 

The comparison of the range of the vapour pressure at Prague and Toronto 
exhibits only such differences as may be reasonably ascribable to the greater 
range of the temperature at Toronto, and possibly to the greater facility with 
which the air can acquire vapour at that station from the great lakes in its 

It may be worthy of notice, that the highest and lowest barometric obser- 
vations in the two years at Toronto occurred within a very few days' inter- 
val of each other, being apparently parts of one great atmospheric Avave. 

The highest and lowest barometric observations at Prague also took place 
within a few days of each other, and at the same season, viz. midwinter, but 
a year earlier. The observations were as follows, viz. — 

Extreme Range of Barometer in 1840, 1841. 
Toronto. Prague. 

Max. Dec. 22, 1841 .... 30-417 Dec. 27, 1840 .... 30-260 
Min. Dec. 4, 1841 .... 28-672 Jan. 4, 1841 .... 28*654 

Interval 18 days 1-745 Interval 9 days 1-606 

We have undoubtedly made a considerable step in advance in meteorology, 
if we thus correctly substitute the consideration of the separate daily march of 
the pressures of the vapour and of the gaseous atmosphere, for the compara- 


tively profitless study of the complex effect produced on the barometer by the 
operation of these two distinct agencies. The labour has been by no means 
small which has been bestowed in the endeavour to generalise the diurnal 
phsenomena of the barometer by the formation of empirical formulae ; it has 
been in many instances the labour of highly accomplished men : but we 
have the recent acknowledgment of a valued and distinguished member of 
our own body*, who has himself engaged in this inquiry, that it failed in 
conducting to a recognition of the causes of the phaenomena. On the other 
hand, the moment we apply ourselves to the contemplation of the separate 
phaenomena of the vapour and of the air, there appears to be revealed to 
us a simple and beautiful dependence of each upon the diurnal march of the 
temperature, producing effects which in their combination seem also to 
afford a full and perfect solution of the problem of the daily rise and fall of 
the barometric column. 

It would be unjust to the meteorologists of Germany if we were not grate- 
fully to acknowledge in how great a degree this advance in the science is to be 
ascribed to their writings, and especially to those of M. Dove. Their mete- 
orological researches have been pressed with an assiduity and devotion of 
labour which is beyond all praise. In the consideration which we (the mem- 
bers of the British Association) are likely soon to be called upon to exer- 
cise, whether any and what great combined endeavours are further desi- 
rable to be made for the advancement of meteorological science, we should 
be indeed inexcusable if we neglected to avail ourselves of the advice, and 
look with becoming respect to the opinions, of men, who have spent yeai's 
of untiring labour, and brought great attainments to bear, on a branch of 
science which has been comparatively less cultivated by ourselves. 

Admitting M. Dove's views, we can easily perceive that an empirical for- 
mula, in which the diurnal oscillation of the barometer should be made to 
vary as a function of the latitude, could never universally represent the 
phaenomena. The difference between an insular or littoral station, where 
the vapour pressure attains its maximum at 9 in the forenoon, and an in- 
terior station in the same latitude where the maximum is at 2 or 3 in the 
afternoon, cannot both be represented with fidelity by a formula in which 
this difference is not taken into the account. At stations where the maxi- 
mum of vapour pressure takes jDlace at 9 a.m., and the tension thencefor- 
ward descends until the afternoon, — (as at Trevandrum), — the range of the 
diurnal oscillation of the barometer will be greater, ceteris paribus, than 
when, as at Toronto, the vapour pressure progressively rises from sunrise 
to a maximum at 2 or 3 in the afternoon : the hours of maximum and mi- 
nimum will also be somewhat modified. 

The important problem of the equality or inequality of the mean press- 
ure of the gaseous atmosphere at the level of the sea at different points 
on the surface of the globe, has lately begun to occupy the attention of phy- 
sical philosophers in a degree which will probably tend, before many years, 
to its practical solution. In this labour the determinations of our co-operative 
observatories may perform an important part. Great care has been taken that 
the barometers of our colonial observatories shall speak precisely the same 
language as the standard barometer in the Royal Society's Apartments ; and 
steps are now taking to ensure a similar comparison of the barometers, which, 
in different parts of the United States, are now observed simultaneously with 
Toronto by our American coadjutors ; and which may hereafter, if that obser- 
vatory should be continued, form a very valuable extensive basis of induction 
for the movements of the atmosphere over that great continent. 

* Professor J. D. Forbes; Meteorological Report. 

56 REPORT — 1844, 

Prague and Toronto furnish the materials for an interesting comparison 
of their respective mean gaseous pressures. I have exhibited this comparison 
in the subjoined table. After the proper corrections have been applied for 
the reduction to an invariable scale of pressure, and of the pressure itself to 
a common elevation above the sea, the residual difference in the pressure is 
about four hundredths of an inch. This is within the amount of difference 
that might reasonably be expected in so indirect a comparison. The infer- 
ence therefore at present must be, that no unaccounted for difference of 
pressure exists, or at least next to none, at these two stations in Europe 
and America. 

Pressure of the dry atmosphere at Toronto .... SQ'S^g 
Pressure of the dry atmosphere at Prague .... 29'019 

Difference 0-330 

Reduction to an invariable scale of pressure. . . . 0*017 

True difference of pressure 0"313 

Difference of elevation equivalent to 0'273 

DiflFerence of pressure unaccounted for O'Oi 

Modern researches have shown that the height of the barometer at dif- 
ferent points of the earth's surface is not only disturbed by self-adjusting 
causes which produce temporary displacements, but that there are causes in 
action which effect persistent differences in the mean height of the barometer 
in different localities, strictly at the level of the sea ; so that, to use the 
words of Bessel, the mean atmospheric pressure depends on the geographical 
co-ordinates of a station in latitude and longitude as well as in elevation. 
This remark of Bessel's is founded chiefly on Erman's observations * ; and 
Erman himself, who has considered the effect of the vapour pressure upon his 
barometrical heights, concludes that the pressures which the air would have 
exerted without the presence of aqueous vapour, indicate also persistent dif- 
ferences of mean gaseous pressure depending on geographical position. The 
instance quoted by Professor Forbes from Captain Kingf , who found the 
mean height of t!ie barometer 29'462 in observations repeated five times a 
day in five consecutive months of summer at Port Famine, is an example of 
an atmospheric valley, as it lias been called, in the former sense, but not in 
the latter. When allowance is made for the probable vapour pressure, the 
gaseous pressure at Port Famine will be found greater than its ordinary 
amount at the Equator ; where indeed other observations liave indicated a 
gaseous pressure lower than in the adjacent extra-tropical latitudes. 

Assumed equatorial barometer 29*95 

Deduct vapour pressure (assumed dew point 74°) 0*83 

Mean pressure of the gaseous atmosphere at the Equator 29*12 

Barometer at Port Famine in five summer months 29*462 

Deduct vapour pressure (assumed dew point 38°) '230 

Pressure of the gaseous atmosphere at Port Famine .... 29*23 : 

* Erman, Met. Beob. bei einer Seereise iim die Erde. 

t Forbes, Reports of the Brit. Assoc., 1832. 

X This is of course only an approximate comparison ; to render it more exact, it would be 


In these last remarks I have perhaps ventured further from the strict sub- 
ject of this communication than I should have been disposed to have done, 
had I not had in view to call the attention of the Section to what it is in the 
power of our own countiy to accomplish, Avith its widely extended dominions, 
in the solution of this great problem of the uniformity or otherwise of the 
mean pressure of the atmosphere, by the establishment of colonial observato- 
ries, conducted on a systematic plan, and continuing in operation only until 
certain specified and definite objects should be attained ; such, for example, 
as the mean values, and the periodical variations, of the several meteorological 
elements. The present communication is an evidence of the important re- 
sults which even a very brief duration of such observations may be sufficient 
to accomplish. When such establishments are proposed, with the sanction 
and support of the colonial authorities, and with the advantage of men of 
assured competency to conduct them, we may venture to promise the fullest 
co-operative aid (that may be compatible with circumstances) on the part of 
the British Association, which has placed foremost amongst its objects " to 
give a stronger impulse, and a more systematic direction to scientific inquiry." 

I have one more point to bring under your notice ; a point highly inter- 
esting in itself, and completing the evidence of the harmony in the meteo- 
rological variations. 

It has been noticed that from the diminution of the gaseous pressure as 
the temperature of the day increases, evidencing an ascending current, we 
should be prepared to expect a corresponding influx of air at the station, or 
a diurnal variation in the force of the wind (taken without reference to the 
direction from which'it blows), which should have its minimum at or near the 
coldest hour of the day, and its maximum at or near the warmest, and its pro- 
gression in harmony with the curve of temperature, having one ascending and 
one descending branch. Such is the fact. The subjoined table exhibits the 
sum of the pressures, expressed in pounds avoirdupois, exerted on a square foot 
of surface at Toronto, at each of the observation hours in ISil, and the same 
in 1842. The wind is proverbially uncertain, and our means of measuring its 
pressure are more imperfect than we could desire ; but these numbers afford 
an ample evidence that there is a diurnal variation in the force of the wind, 
and furnish a curve which, when projected, is found in remarkable corre- 
spondence with the curve of the temperature. This fact, observed at Bir- 
mingham by Mr. Osier, has been already brought under the notice of the 
Association at a former meeting. The diurnal march of the gaseous atmo- 
sphere furnishes the additional link in the chain of evidence, by which the 
connexion between the temperature (producing an ascending current) and the 
force of the wind (flowing in to replace it) may receive its explanation ; 
placing before us in an intelligible form their mutual relations to each other, 
as cause and effect. 

necessary to regard the influence of the season of the year (summer) at which the barometer 
was observed at Port Famine ; as well as the correction due to the effect of the variation of 
gravity on the standard of measure. Both corrections would tend to increase the mean 
pressure of the gaseous atmosphere at Port Famine in comparison with that at the Equator. 
The barometrical obsen'ations made in the Erebus, in the late Antarctic Expedition, furnish 
a beautiful illustration of the progressive decrease in the height of the barometer from the 
tropics to the high latitudes, coincident with the diminution of the elastic force of the vapour 
accompanying the decrease of temperature. I hope that Sir James Ross will shortly pubUsh 
these interesting observations, with the corresponding pressures of the gaseous atmosphere in 
the different parallels. 


REPORT — 1844. 

Sum of the pressures exerted by the force of the wind at Toronto on a sur- 
face of one foot square at the several observation hours in IS^l, 184'2. 

6 A.M. 8a.m. 

1 A.M. 


2 P.M. 


P.M. iSp.M. 

10 P.M. 


2 A.M. 









































Without ascribing anything Hke precision to the numbers in this table 
(which are however likely to be more correct in relative than in absolute 
value), they lead to the inference that the pressure of the wind, on the average 
of the whole year, is doubled, or nearly so, between the coldest and warmest 
hours of the day; i. e. between 6 a.m. and 2 p.m. The confirmation, or 
otherwise, of this remarkable result by the observations of succeeding years 
cannot fail to be a point of much interest. It appears from the registry of 
Mr. Osier's anemometer, during four years at Birmingham, that at that sta- 
tion the increase in the pressure of the wind is considerably more than double 
between the hours of the minimum and maximum temperature. It will in- 
fluence many reasonings if it shall be found as a fact of pretty general oc- 
currence, that so large a portion of the daily wind is put in circulation to 
supply an ascending current*. 

Synopsis of the Diurnal Variations at Toronto. 





of wind. 

2 A.M 


39-2 Min. 
46 3 
50-5 "1 H 
50-5 11 



-234 Min. 





•285 Max. 








29-376 Max. 




29-309 Min. 









111 Min. 




244 Max. 






6 A.M 


10 A.M 





Midnight .... 

* To the agency of this current we should probably ascribe the upward conveyance of the 
vapour of increasing constituent temperature as the warmtli of tlie day increases, and which 
appears to take j)lace more rapidly than the vapour might of itself make its way if the air were 
tranquil. M. Kreil remarks (Mag. und Met. Beoh. Erster Jahrgang, p. 140), that in the sum- 
mer months, when from the increased amount of the vapoiu- its effects are more noticeable, 
the clearness of the sky decreases from the commencement of the morning to about noon, 
and then increases uninterruptedly till towards midnight. And M. Dove notices (Met. 
Untersuchungen, p. 53), that on fine calm days, when there is little lateral wind to disturb 
the ascending current, the clear morning becomes clouded towards noon ; wliilst towards 
evening, when the ascending cniTent has ceased, these condensed vapours, no longer up- 
borne by its influence, descend into the wai-mer strata and are redissolved : hence the pecu- 
liar transparency and beauty often observed in evening \-iews. 


S5'nopsis of the Annual Variations at Toronto. 


January ... 






August . . , 
October .., 

Temperature. Vapour pressure. Gaseous pressure, 


25-6 Min. 











5-1 1 
5-1 1 



•123 Min. 






•486 Mas. 







29-501 Max. 



29-165 Min. 







The Plates which are annexed exhibit — Plate XXI. the Diurnal variation, 
projected in curves, of the temperature, tension of vapour, gaseous pressure, 
and force of the wind. In each case the whole variation, i. e. the diiference 
between the highest and lowest observation in the twenty-four hours, has 
been made equal to 1| inch, and the proportionate amount has been laid off 
at each hour of observation : the scales are of course wholly arbitrary. 

Plate XXII. The Amiual variation, projected in curves, of the temperature, 
tension of vapour, and gaseous pressure. The whole variation of each has 
here also been made equal to 1§ inch, without reference to absolute values 
or to the scales employed in projecting the diurnal variations. 

Plate XXIIl. represents, on a scale of four inches to one-tenth of an inch, the 
diurnal variations of the barometer and gaseous pressure, projected in curves, 
and connected at each observation hour by vertical lines proportioned to the 
elastic force of the vapour. This Plate is illustrative of the conversion of the 
single progression of the gaseous pressure, into the double progression oi 
the barometric pressure, by the presence and influence of the vapour pressure. 
The detached curve is that of the diurnal march of the temperature, and is 
inverted, for the purpose of shoAviug more distinctly its correspondence with 
the curve of gaseous pressure. 

An inference of much practical utility to general observers may be drawn 
from meteorological observations, made with the frequency which can only 
be expected at those observatories, where a sufficient establishment is main- 
tained for the express purpose of observation. We may find that compara/- 
tively a very few observations in each day, at hours not inconvenient in ordi- 
nary life, may furnish a very close approximation to the mean values and to the 
annual and diurnal march of the atmospherical phsenomena. Thus from the 
complete record at Toronto we find, as shown in the subjoined table, that the 
mean values of the temperature, of the vapour tension and of the humidity, of 
the pressure of the gaseous atmosphere, and of the whole atmospheric pressure, 
may all be obtained, with a very near approximation, by a single observation 
at 8 P.M. (mean time), providcsd the observation be made with tolerable pre- 
cision in regard to the hour. By combining with this an observation about 
sunrise, and another between 2 and 4 in the afternoon, the maximum and 
minimum of the temperature, of the aqueous and gaseous pressure, and of 
the humidity, may also be obtained. These hours are by no means inconve- 
nient for persons whose avocations permit them to keep a register at all ; 
and appear in every way preferable to a selection which makes 3 o'clock in 
the morning one of the observation hours. That hour is perhaps the most 
generally inconvenient for the purpose of the whole twenty-four. The hours 
here suggested must not however be understood to be of universal applica- 
tion : they are not so thoroughly suitable, for example, at stations where, as 
at Trevandrum, the vapour pressure attains a maximum in the forenoon. 


REPORT 1844. 

Convenient hours of observation. 

For mean values, 8 p.m. mean time (precise) ; which at Toronto gives the 
following approximation : viz 

f Temperature 44*1 Mean annual value 4<4'*4 

At 8 P.M. at J If "°"^'y •. ^^'l,. » » 78-0 , 

Toronto < Vapour tension -25/ „ „ -259 

loionio. I Barometric pressure , . 29-605 „ „ 29-608 

[^ Gaseous pressure 29-345 „ „ 29-349 

For maxima and minima. 

From 4 to 6 a.m., for minimum of temperature and tension of vapour, and for 

maximum of humidity and gaseous pressure. 
From 2 to 4 p.m., for maximum of temperature and tension of vapour, and 

for minimum of humidity and gaseous pressure. 

I have now only to apologize to the Section for the length of time that I 
have occupied them, and to thank them for their patient attention. 
York, September 27th, 1844. 

Postscript, Woolwich, Nov. 30. 

After the preceding pages were printed, I received from Mr. Airy the 
volume of the Greenwich magnetical and meteorological observations for 
1842, in which the meteorological reductions have been made in almost 
exactly the same form a-s those of Toronto. The volume was accompanied 
by a suggestion from the Astronomer Royal, that it might increase the interest 
of this communication, if 1 were to add a few words by way of appendix, 
showing the points of similarity or dissimilarity in the results at the two 
stations. I have much pleasure in adopting this suggestion, and in availing 
myself of Mr. Airy's permission to do so ; for I have had great satisfaction 
in noticing the very remarkable similarity which prevails in the results at 
Greenwich and Toronto, with reference to several points which have been 
the objects of especial notice in the preceding discussion. In the diurnal 
variations of the elastic force of the vapour, — of the gaseous pressure, — and 
of the force of the wind, — the evidence of a direct dependence on the diurnal 
march of the temperature is fully as striking at Greenwich as at Toronto, as 
will be seen by the following synopsis : 

Synopsis of the Diurnal Variations at Greenwich. 






Force of the 

h m 

I 20 a.m. 

3 20 a.m. 

5 20 A.M. 

7 20 a.m. 

9 20 A.M. 
11 20a.m. 

1 20 P.M. 

3 20 P.M. 

5 20 P.M. 

7 20 P.M. 

9 20 P.M. 
11 20 p.m. 



44^9 Min. 



55^7 Max. 








•302 Min. 





•349 Max. 







•520 Max. 

•475 Min. 
•521 Max. 

Sums of the 
estimated forces. 




89 Min. 

13U Max. 


Means of the 







At Greenwich the force of the wind is estimated at each observation hour 
in numbers varying within the limits of to 6. At Toronto the estimation 
is in lbs. pressure on a square foot of surface kept perpendicular to the 
current. In single instances the scales are comparable, because the square of 
the number expressing the force at Greenwich corresponds approximately to 
the pressure in lbs. avoirdupois. But the comparability of the scales does 
not hold good when the sums of the forces and the sums of the pressures are 
taken. The sums of each are however comparable inter se, and show the 
hours of maximum and minimum force, and the regularity of the progression. 
The registry of the anemometer at Greenwich shows that the pressure of the 
wind is more than doubled in its mean diurnal range. 

The following table exhibits the differences at the several observation hours 
of Greenwich and Toronto, of the temperature, of the vapour pressure, and 
of the gaseous pressure, from their respective mean yearly values. The sign 
+ signifies above the mean value of the year, and — below it. 

Observation hour. 


Vapour pressure. 



Greenwich . 








h. m. 






1 20 a.m. 

2 A.M. 





+ 013 


3 20 a.m. 

4 A.M. 





+ •014 


5 20 a.m. 

6 A.M. 






-4- -027 

7 20 a.m. 

8 A.M. 







9 20 a.m. 

10 A.M. 







11 20 a.m. 








1 20 p.m. 

2 P.M. 







3 20 p.m. 

4 P.M. 







5 20 p.m. 

6 P.M. 







7 20 p.m. 

8 P.M. 







9 20 p.m. 

10 P.M. 







11 20 p.m. 







+ •009 

The mean monthly values of the vapour pressure, and of the gaseous press- 
ure at Greenwich exhibit also the same correspondence with the variation of 
the temperature in the different months of the year as at Toronto. 

Synopsis of the Annual Variation of the Temperature, Vapour pressure, and 
Gaseous pressure at Greenwich. 





Vapour pressure + or 

— , i.e. greater or less, 

than the mean annual 


Gaseous pressure + or 

— , i. e. greater or less, 

than the mean annual 


January ... 






August ... 
October ... 
November . 
December . 

32^9 Min. 







65^4 Max. 






•186 Min. 

•505 Max. 


29^715 Max. 

•294 Min. 





Mean of the 




62 REPORT— 1844. 

It appears therefore that the annual and diurnal variations derived from 
the observations at Greenwich present a most satisfactory accordance with 
those at Toronto in those points which were brought most prominently be- 
fore the Association at York, and to which the attention of the Section was 
especially called, viz. — 

First, in regard to the diurnal variation : 

1. The vapour tension and the force of the wind have each a minimum, 
and the gaseous pressure a maximum, at or near the coldest hour of the day. 

2. The vapour tension and the force of the wind have each a maximum, 
and the gaseous pressure a minimum, at or near the warmest hour of the day. 

3. The diurnal march of each from the minimum to the maximum, and 
from the maximum to the minimum again, is continuous, like that of the tem- 
perature, without any interruption deserving of the name. 

4. At Greenwich as well as at Toronto the diurnal variations of the vapour 
tension and of the gaseous pressure, produce by their combination the double 
maxima and minima of the diurnal oscillation of the mercury in the barometer. 

Secondly, in respect to the annual variation : 

The annual march is somewhat less regular at Greenwich than at Toronto, 
being derived from the observations of a single year only ; but Ave have the 
same general features : a minimum of temperature and vapour-pressure, and 
a maximum of gaseous pressure in the midwinter; and a maximum of tempe- 
rature and vapour pressure, and a minimum of gaseous pressure in the mid- 
summer. All the summer months are characterised by the + sign in the 
vapour, and by the — in the gaseous pressure ; and all the winter months by 
the — sign in the vapour, and the -i- sign in the gaseous pressure. 

I am unable at the jDresent moment to pursue the comparison of the Green- 
wich and Toronto results in many other points in which I can perceive that 
the interest would prove an ample repayment for the time so employed. But 
I may hope to enjoy some future occasion of resuming the subject under 
more favourable circumstances in respect to leisure than I can at present 

Report on some recent Researches into the Structure, Functions and 
(Economy of the Araneidea made in Gh'eat Britain. By John 
Blackwall, F.L.S. 

In essaying to give an epitome of some investigations recently made in this 
country relative to the organization, physiology and ceconomy of the Araneidea, 
I shall endeavour to accomplish the undertaking in as compendious a m.anner 
as may be deemed compatible with a perspicuous statement of the various 
facts to be detailed, distinguishing those already before the public from such 
as are not by references to the works in which they have appeared. 

Without further preface, I proceed to the consideration of those remark.ible 
appendages termed scopidce or brushes, with which the tarsi of numerous spe- 
cies of spiders are provided. This apparatus, consisting of coarse, compound, 
hair-like papillfe either distributed along the inferior surface of the tarsi or 
situated immediately below the claws at their extremity, bears a close analogy 
to the tarsal cushions of insects, enabling its possessor to ascend the per- 
pendicular surfaces of highly polished bodies and even to adhere to smooth 
objects in an inverted position by the emission of a viscous secretion*. The 
different plans according to which the papillae are disposed upon the tarsi are 
respectively represented by two common IBritish spiders, Drassus sericeus and . 
Salticus scenicus. 

* Transactionsof the Linnxan Society, vo). xvi. pp. 7CS,769. Researches in Zoology, p. 2S!). 



Some of the spiders belonging to the families TJieridiidcB and Epiiiridce 
have the sides and lower part of the tarsi, at their extremity, supplied with 
several small, curved, dentated claws, in addition to the three larger ones 
common to them all. Epeira quadrata, Epeira apoclisa, and, indeed, most 
of the larger species of EpeircB indigenous to Great Britain, exhibit this 
structure to advantage under the microscope ; they have, besides, a strong, 
moveable spine, inserted near the termination of the tarsus of each posterior 
leg, on the under side, which curves a little upwards at its extremity, and 
presents a slight irregularity of outline at its superior surface. These spines, 
which have been denominated sustentacula, subserve an important purpose. 
By the contraction of their flexor muscles they are drawn towards the foot, 
and are thus brought into direct opposition to the claws, by which means the 
animals are enabled to hold with a firm grasp such lines as they have occasion 
to draw from the spinners with the feet of the hind-legs, and such also as 
they design to attach themselves to*. 

There are on the superior part of the metatarsus of the posterior legs of all 
the Cini/lo7iidce two parallel rows of moveable spines commencing just below 
its articulation with the tibia and terminating near its lower extremity. In 
a state of repose, the spines composing both rows are directed down the joint 
and are somewhat inclined towards each other ; those of the upper row have 
a considerable degree of curvature and taper gradually to a fine point, those 
of the lower row being stronger, more closely set, and less curved. Employed 
to transform, by the process of curling, certain lines proceeding from the 
spinners into the small flocculi characteristic of the snares of the Cini/lonidce, 
the double series of spines has received the name oi calamistrum. 

When a spider of this family purposes to form a flocculus, it presses its 
spinners against one of the glossy lines constituting the foundation of its snare, 
and, emitting from them a small quantity of liquid gum, attaches to it several 
slender filaments, drawn out by advancing the abdomen a little, and kept 
distinct by extending the spinning mammulas laterally. The posterior legs 
are then raised above the plane of position, and the tarsal claws of one of 
them are applied to the superior surface of the metatarsus of the other, near 
its articulation with the tarsus, and the calamistruni is brought immediately 
beneath the spinners, at right angles with the line of the abdomen. By a 
slight extension of the joints of the posterior legs the calamistrum is directed 
backwards across the diverging extremities of the spinners, which it touches 
in its transit, and is restored to its former position by a corresponding degree 
of contraction in the joints. In proportion to the continuation of this process 
the inflected lines of the flocculus are produced, the spider making room for 
them as they accumulate by elevating and at the same time advancing the 
abdomen a little, which it effects by slightly extending the joints of the third 
pair of legs and contracting those of the first and second pairs. When the 
requisite quantity of inflected filaments is obtained, the spider again applies 
its spinners to one of the glossy lines and attaches the flocculus to it. In this 
manner it proceeds with its labours, occasionally employing both calamistra, 
till the snare is completed. The modus opei'andi appears to be this. The 
points of the lower row of spines in passing over the extremities of the spinners 
draw from them lines which run into numerous flexures in consequence of 
not being kept fully extended, and the purpose subserved by the spines of the 
upper row is the detachment of these lines from the spines of the lower row 
by a motion upwards f. 

If the metatarsus of one of the posterior legs of Ciniflo ferox, a spider of 

* Transactions of the Linnsean Society, vol. xvi. p. 476 ; vol. xviii. p. 224, note*, 
t Ibid. pp. 471-475 ; vol. xviii. pp. 224, C06. 

64 REPORT — 1844. 

frequent occurrence in the interior of buildings, be examined under the 
microscope witli a moderately higli magnifying power, tlie arrangement of the 
spines composing the two rows whicli constitute the calamistrum will be ap- 

Four, six, or eight mammulas, somewhat conical or cylindrical in figure, and 
composed of one or morejoints each, constitute the external spinning apparatus 
of the Araneidea : they are usually closely grouped in pairs at the extremity 
of the abdomen, and are readily distinguished from each other by their re- 
lative positions. The pair situated nearest to the anus may be denominated 
the superior spinners ; that furthest removed from the anus, the inferior 
spinners ; and the mammulae placed between these extremes, the intermediate 
spinnei's ; distinguishing them, when there are two pairs, by prefixing the terms 
superior and inferior. Exceedingly fine, moveable papillae or spinning tubes, 
for the most part dilated at the base, occur at the extremity of the mammulae, 
or are disposed along the inferior surface of their terminal joint, whence issues 
the viscous secretion of which all the silken lines produced by spiders are 
formed. The papillae connected with the mammulte vary greatlj- in number 
in different species of spiders, and also differ considerably in size, not only 
in individuals of the same species, but often even on the same raammulas. 

Among our native spiders, the larger species of Epeircc have the mammulae 
most amply provided with papillae ; it is probable, however, that the total 
number does not greatly exceed a thousand even in adult females of Epeira 
quadrata, whose weight is about twenty grains, and in many other species it 
is much smaller. In Tegenaria civilis the total number of papillae does not 
amount to four hundred ; in Textrix hjcosina and Clubiona corticalis it is 
below three hundred ; in Segestria senoculata it scarcely exceeds one hundred ; 
and in many of the smaller spiders it is still further reduced. 

A difference in the number and size of the papillae connected with the 
several pairs of mammulae in the same species, and with similar pairs in dif- 
ferent species, is also very apparent. In spiders of the genera Epeira, 
Tetragnatha, Linyphia, Theridion and Segestria, they are generally much 
more numerous and minute on the inferior spinners than on the superior and 
intermediate ones ; the last are the most sparingly supplied with them, and 
in the case of Segestria senoculata each has only three large papillae at its 
extremity. An arrangement nearly the reverse of this takes place in some of 
the Drassi, and is conspicuous in Drassus ater, which has the intermediate 
spinners abundantly furnished with papillae, those on the inferior spinners 
being very few in number and chiefly of large dimensions, emitting the viscous 
secretion copiously. The papilte connected with the short terminal joint of 
each inferior spinner of this species vary in number with the age of the animal ; 
the young, on quitting the cocoon, are provided with four only ; individuals 
which have attained nearly a third of their growth have five or six ; those about 
two-thirds grown, six or seven ; and adults, which have acquired their full 
complement, eight ; two of them, situated on the inferior surface of the spinner, 
at a greater distance from its extremity than the rest, are minute and almost 
contiguous. It is a fact deserving of notice, that the papillae are not always 
developed simultaneously on these spinners, six, seven, or eight being some- 
times observed on one, when five, six, or seven only are to be seen on the 
other ; and this remark is applicable, not to the inferior spinners alone, but 
to the intermediate ones also, which, in mature individuals, are further modified 
by having the extremities of the terminal joints directed downwards at right 
angles to their bases. The same law of development holds good as regards 
the papillae connected with the inferior spinners of Drassus cupreus and 
Drassus seiiceus, and though their number is not uniformly the same even 



in adults of either of these or the preceding species, j'et the two minute ones 
belonging to each mammula are present invariably *. 

The superior spinners of many spiders are triarticulate ; and when the 
terminal joint is considerably elongated, thickly clothed with hairs, and tapers 
to a point, the papillae, in the form of hair-like tubes dilated at the base, are 
commonly distributed along its inferior surface, as in the case of Agelena 
labyrinthica, Tegenaria domestica, and Textrix lycosina. This deviation from 
the prevailing structure has induced Lyonnet, Savigny, Treviranus, Audouin, 
and other skilful zootomists, who have failed to detect the papillae, to regard 
the superior mammula, thus modified, as anal palpi, and to deny that they 
perform the office of spinners ; but if these parts be carefully examined with 
a powerful magnifier in living specimens during the exercise of tiieir function, 
the fine lines of silk proceeding from the papillae cannot fail to be discerned, 
and a correct knowledge of their external organization may thus be obtained. 
Not being aware, apparently, of the publication of this discovery in the ' Re- 
port of the Third Meeting of the British Association for the Advancement 
of Science, held at Cambridge in 1833,' p. 4-45, Baron Walckenaer, in the 
Supplement to the second volume of his ' Histoire Naturelle des Insectes 
Apteres,' p. 407, has ascribed it to M. Duges, whose observations on the 
subject in the ' Annales des Sciences Naturelles,' seconde serie, t. vi., Zoologie, 
p. 166, were not published till 1836. 

One of the most striking peculiarities in the structure of the Ciniflonidce, 
which serves to distinguish them from all other animals of the order Araneidea 
at present known, is the possession of a fourth pair of spinners. These spinners 
are shorter and further removed from the anus than the rest, being situated 
at the base of the inferior intermediate pair, by which they are almost concealed 
when in a state of repose. Their figure is somewhat conical, but compressed 
and truncated, so that the base and apex are elliptical with long transverse 
axes. Consisting of a single joint onlj'^, each is connected with the other 
throughout its entire length, the extremity alone being densely covered M^ith 
exceedingly minute papillae, which emit the viscous matter that is formed 
by the calamistra into a delicate tortuous band constituting a portion of every 
flocculus in the snares of these spiders, and chiefly imparting to them their 
most important property, that of adhesionf. 

Arachnologists have not bestowed that degree of attention on the palpi of 
spiders to which their diversified structure and importantfunctions undoubtedly 
entitle tliem. 

Much difference is observable in the relative proportions of the several 
joints of the palpi of female spiders, not only in species constituting the same 
family, but even in those belonging to the same genus ; while, on the other 
hand, it frequently happens that females belonging to diff"erent genera bear 
a striking resemblance to each other in this particular. It is among male 
spiders, however, that these peculiarities are the most marked, and to them 
may be added structural differences and resemblances both of the palpi and 
sexual organs still more conspicuous. 

A great similarity in the form of the organs of reproduction, in the simplicity 
of their structure, and in the manner of their connexion with the digital joint 
of the palpi, which has no cavity opening externally, may be seen in certain 
males of the family Dysderidce ; in Dysdera erythrina, Dysdera hombergii, 
Segestria perfida, Segestria senoculata, and Oonops pulcher, for example ; 
and this similitude is extended to the males of various species belonging to 
the family Mygalida. 

Between the males of Pachygnatha clerckii and Tetragnatha extensa there 
* Transactions of the Linnaean Society, vol. xviii. p. 219-224. f Ibid. pp. 223, 224, 60G, 

1844. ^ F 

66 REPORT — 1844. 

is a near approximation in the structure of the palpi and sexual organs, yet 
these spiders are not included in the same family, the former belonging to the 
Theridiidce, and the latter to the Epeiridce. 

If the spiders constituting the genus Clubiona be compared with those of 
the genus Drassus, and those of the genus Linyphia. with the species comprised 
in the genus Neriene ; or, extending the investigation still further, if the genera 
Walckenaera, Theridion, Epeira, Eresus, Salticus, Thomisus, and Philodro- 
mus be compared together, numerous instances of correspondence in the re- 
lative proportions of the joints of the palpi will be perceived immediately ; at 
the same time, striking contrasts will present themselves to the eye of the 
observer, not as regards proportion alone, but organization also, even among 
nearly allied species. 

As the full development of the palpi and the organs of generation connected 
with them indicates a state of maturity in male spiders, the skilful arachnologist 
is enabled, by attending to this circumstance, not only to distinguish adult 
males from females, but likewise from immature individuals of both sexes. 
This knowledge is useful in preventing him from falling into the too common 
error of mistaking young spiders for old ones, and of describing them, and 
the sexes of spiders of the same kind, as distinct species. When any doubts 
exist as to thespecific identity of adult spiders of differentsexes, they frequently 
may be set at rest by placing the spiders together in captivity and noticing 
whether they pair or not. 

The great diversity of structure observable in the palpi and sexual organs 
of male spiders supplies excellent specific characters, and, indeed, frequently 
presents the only available means of distinguishing species of similar colours 
and dimensions from each other ; but when it is borne in mind that this di- 
versity of structure extends to spiders connected by the closest relations of 
affinity, it is, perhaps, in vain to expect that it will ever be applied with much 
success to the establishment of genera. 

From remarks on the structure of the palpi to the consideration of the 
functions they perform the transition is easy and natural. 

Many spiders employ their palpi in assisting to collect the slack line which 
results from their operations when engaged in ascending the silken filaments 
by which they have lowered themselves from stations previously occupied, 
or in drawing in such as have been emitted from the spinners for the purpose 
of facilitating a change of situation in some other direction. The silk collected 
on these occasions is formed into a small heap, which is either attached to 
some fixed object, or is transferred to the maxillae, and, after having been 
mixed with saliva and reduced in volume by repeated acts of compression, is 
ultimately allowed to fall to the ground. 

In conjunction with the mandibles, the palpi are employed by females of 
the species Dolomedes mirabilis and Dolomedesfimbriatusto retain their cocoons 
under the sternum, in which situation those spiders usually carry them where- 
ever they move. The LycoscR also avail themselves of the same parts in re- 
gaining possession of their cocoons when detached from the spinners. 

Certain spiders belonging to the genus Mygale have the inferior part of 
the tarsi furnished with a dense brush of hair-like papillae for the emission of 
a viscous secretion, which enables them to ascend bodies having smooth per- 
pendicular surfaces. Now, as the females of these species usually have the 
under side of the digital joint of their palpi, which are remarkably long and 
powerful, supplied in like manner' with papillse, analogy would lead to the 
conclusion that, in liarmony with their organization and distribution, they also 
constitute a climbing apparatus. 

Various species of SaUicid^-, to which distinctness and accuracy of vision 


are of the utmost consequence, as they do not construct snares, but capture 
their prey by springing suddenly upon it from a distance, have the terminal 
joint of the palpi abundantly supplied with hairs, and constantly make use of 
those organs as brushes to remove dust, or any other extraneous matter, from 
the corneous coat of the anterior eyes. 

The palpi appear to afford direct assistance likewise to spiders in general 
in securing their prey, in changing its position while they are feeding upon 
it, and in restraining the action of the wings of all their victims which happen 
to be provided with them*. 

With regard to the function exercised by the remarkable organs connected 
with the digital joint of the palpi of male spiders there exists some difference 
of opinion. Taking anatomy as his guide, Treviranus arrived at the conclu- 
sion that the parts in question are used for the purpose of excitation merely, 
preparatory to the actual union of the sexes by means of appropriate organs 
situated near the anterior part of the inferior region of the abdomen. This 
view of the subject, whicli is very generally adopted, is opposed to that de- 
rived from physiological facts by Dr Lister and the earlier systematic writers 
on arachnology, who regarded the palpal organs as strictly sexual. 

Rejecting the opinion of Treviranus, Baron Walckenaer has given his sup- 
port to that entertained by Lister and the physiologists, having endeavoured 
to establish its accuracy by pursuing the imperfect method of investigation 
employed by the latter, which chiefly consists in examining the condition of 
the palpal organs when applied by male spiders to the vulva of females and 
carefully noticing the changes they undergo ; but as it is possible that such 
females, should they prove to be prolific, may have been impregnated at a 
former period, and as other organs than those connected with the digital joint 
of the palpi may have been instrumental in producing the result, observations 
of this description appear to be quite inadequate to effect the object proposed. 

An attempt to relieve the inquiry from objections so weighty is recorded 
in the ' Report of the Third Meeting of the British Association for the Ad- 
vancement of Science, held at Cambridge in 1833,' pp. 444-5, and the result 
arrived at has a direct tendency to confirm the truth of the opinion promulgated 
by Dr. Lister. Since that time, researches in connexion with this subject have 
been greatly extended and varied, and it is satisfactory to add, that they sup- 
ply a body of evidence which appears to be conclusive as to the agency of 
the palpal organs. 

The following is a concise summary of the more important particulars 
elicited by this investigation. 

It is an admitted fact, that female Aphides, when impregnated, are capable 
of producing females which, without sexual intercourse, are prolific through 
several successive generations. In order to determine whether this is the 
case with spiders or not, young females of the species Tegenaria domestica, 
Tegenaria civilis, Agelena labyrinthica, Ciniflo atrox, Drassus sericeus, Theri- 
dion quadripunctatum, Segestria senoculata, &c., were placed in phials of 
transparent glass and fed with insects. Most of these individuals remained 
in captivity from one to three years after they had completed their moulting 
and attained maturity ; yet three only, an Agelena labyrinthica, a Tegenaria 
domestica, and a Tegenaria civilis, produced eggs, and they proved to be sterile, 
though several of the others, to which adult males were subsequently intro- 
duced, laid prolific eggs after coition. It is worthy of remark, that the spiders 
which produced unfruitful eggs deposited them in cocoons and bestowed the 
same care upon them as if they had been fertile. 

* Report of the Twelfth Meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science, 
held at Manchester in 1842 ; Transactions of the Sections, pp. 67, 08. 


68 REPORT — 1844. 

This preliminary point being settled, attention was directed in the next 
place to spiders in a state of liberty, when it was perceived that the males of 
various species do not bring any part of the abdomen near the vulva of the 
females in the act of copulation, and that this is the case with the Lycosce in 
particular ; for example, the male of Lycosa higubris, after having made the 
customary advances, springs suddenly upon the back of the female with his 
head directed towards her spinners and the anterior part of the inferior surface 
of the abdomen resting upon her cephalothorax ; then placing the first pair 
of legs immediately behind her posterior pair, the second pair between her 
second and third pairs, the third pair between her first and second pairs, and 
the posterior pair before her first pair, he thus embraces her, and applies the 
palpal organs to the vulva by inclining to one side or the other as the occasion 
may require. In this situation the male remains till the act of union is con- 
summated and then quits it with precipitancy, so that his abdomen is not even 
brought into contact with that part, much less with the vulva, of the female. 

Precisely the same manner of proceeding is pursued by Lycosa agretyca, 
Lycosa saccata, Lycosa pallida, and Lycosa ohscura ; and females of the last 
species have been seen to receive the embraces of several males in immediate 
succession, and to copulateeven at the time they had cocoons containing newly- 
laid eggs attached to their spinners, which circumstances serve to support 
the opinion that some spiders pair oftener than once in the course of their 

When in captivity, the sexes of Lycosa luguhi-is sometimes continue paired 
more than four hours, during which period the male applies the palpal organs 
several hundred times to the vulva of the female. 

Notwithstanding the important bearing of these observationsuponthephysio- 
logical problem under consideration, something was still wanting to complete 
its solution, and recourse was had to direct experiment to supply the desidera- 

On the 4th of May 1842, an adult male Tegenaria civilis was procured, and, 
being held by the legs in an inverted position, the inferior surl'ace of the 
abdomen was moistened by applying to it a camel's hair pencil which had 
been dipped in water. The entire interval between the plates of the spiracles, 
supposed by Treviranus to be the seat of the sexual organs in male spiders, 
and even a considerable space below that interval, was then covered with 
strong, well-gummed writing-paper cut into a suitable form and closely applied, 
and when the paper became thoroughly dry and firmly attached, the spider 
was placed in a phial with a female of the same species, which had been in 
solitary confinement from the 2nd of June 1841, and had cast its skin twice 
during its captivity. With this female the male paired on the same day he 
was introduced to her, applying the palpal organs to the vulva in the usual 
manner, and immediately after the union was completed he was removed from 
her. On the 23rd of May she deposited a set of eggs in a cocoon spun for 
their reception, and on the 11th of June she constructed another cocoon in 
which she laid a second set of eggs. All these eggs proved to be prolific, the 
extrication of young spiders from the first set commencing on the 26th of June, 
and from the second set on the 13th of July, in the same year. Without re- 
newing her intercourse with the male, this female deposited a set of eggs in 
a cocoon on the 2nd of April, the 9th of May, the 4th of June, the 22nd of 
June, and the 9th of July 1843, and on the 22nd of April, the 30th of May, 
the 29th of June, and the 1st of August 1844, respectively, nine sets in number, 
all of which produced young. 

Another male Tegenaria civilis, after undergoing the same treatment exactly 
as that in the preceding experiment, was introduced, on the 6th of May 1842, 


to a female of its own species, ■which had been in solitary confinement from 
the 25th of January 1840, and had cast its skin three times during its captivity. 
This female received the embraces of the male as soon as he was admitted 
into the phial to her, and laid a set of eggs on the 27th of the same month, 
all of which were productive, the young beginning to be disengaged from them 
on the 27th of the ensuing month. 

In stating a further repetition of this experiment with spiders of the same 
species, it is only necessary to premise that the female had cast her skin three 
times in captivity, and that the male had but the right palpus, the other having 
been removed by amputation. They were placed together on the 16th of May 
184-2, paired the same day, and were separated as soon as their union was ac- 
complished. On the 19th of June the female deposited a set of eggs in a 
cocoon, which began to be hatched on the 24th of the following July, and all 
produced young. Without further sexual intercourse, in 1843 she enveloped 
a set of eggs in a cocoon on the 7th of April, the 5th of May, the 1st of June, 
the 18th of June, and the 3rd of July, respectively, from all which young were 

Promptness in accommodating itself to the restraint of confinement, together 
with the certainty of being able to procure specimens whenever they might be 
required, led to the selection of Tegenaria civilis as a suitable subject for the 
foregoing experiments, from which, conjointly with the preceding observations, 
the following inferences may be deduced : — 

1st. That female spiders are incapable of producing prolific eggs without 
sexual intercourse. 

2nd. That females which have not been impregnated occasionally produce ' 
sterile eggs. 

3rd. That the female of Tegenaria civilis, when impregnated, is capable of 
producing several sets of prolific eggs in succession without renewing its in- 
tercourse with the male*, two years or more occasionally elapsing before all 
are deposited, and a period often months nearly intervening sometimes between 
the deposition of two consecutive sets. 

4th. That spiders of various species copulate without the abdomen of the 
male being brought into contact with that of the female. 

5th. That male spiders, in which the part stated by Treviranus to be the 
seat of the sexual organs is entirely covered with strong, well-gummed writing 
paper closely applied, nevertheless possess the power of exercising the function 
of generation unimpaired. 

6th. Lastly, that males so circumstanced invariably consummate the act by 
applying the palpal organs to the vulva of females, plainly demonstrating 
thereby the interesting truth, that those organs, however anomalous their 
situation may be, are the only efficient instruments employed by male spiders 
in the propagation of their species. 

Before they arrive at maturity spiders change their skin several times : the 
manner in which these moults are effected may be illustrated by describing 
the proceedings of an individual of the species Eptira calophylla. Pre- 
paratory to casting its integument, this spider spins some strong lines in the 
vicinity of its snare, from which it suspends itself by the feet and a filament 
proceeding from the spinners. After remaining for a short time in this 
situation, the coriaceous covering of the cephalothorax gives way laterally, 
disuniting at the insertion of the legs and mandibles ; the line of separation 
pursues the same direction till it extends to the abdomen, which is next dis- 

* Tegenaria domestica {Araneadomestica, Linn.), Jgelena labyrinthica, and Epeira cucurbi- 
lina are endowed with similar powers of production. Vide the Report of the Third Meeting of 
the British Association, p. 445. 

70 REPORT 1844. 

engaged, the extrication of the legs being the last and greatest difficulty the 
spider has to everconie. As the suspensory filament connected with the 
spinners of the exuviae is considerably shorter than the legs and does not un- 
dergo any sensible alteration in length, the abdomen, during the process of 
moulting, becomes gradually deflected from its original horizontal direction 
till it assumes a vertical position nearly at right angles with the cephalothorax. 
By this change of posture, attended with numerous contortions of the body, 
and alternate contractions and extensions of the limbs, the spider is ultimately 
enabled to accomplish its purpose. When it has completely disengaged itself 
from the slough, it remains, for a short period, in a slate of great exhaustion, 
suspended solely by a thread from the spinners, connected with the interior 
of the abdominal portion of the cast skin, which is much corrugated. After 
reposing a little, the spider further attaches itself to the suspensory lines by 
the claws of the feet, and when its strength is sufficiently restored, and its 
limbs have required the requisite degree of firmness, it ascends its filaments 
and seeks its retreat*. 

Recent observations establish the fact that the number of times spiders 
change their integument before they become adult is not uniformly the same 
as regards every species. A young female JEpeira calophylla, disengaged 
from the egg on the 30th of March 1843, moulted on the 8th of the ensuing 
month in the cocoon, which it quitted on the 1st of May ; moulting again, in 
the same year, on the 4th of June, the 22nd of June, the 12th of July, and 
the 4th of August, respectively, when it arrived at maturity, having cast its 
skin five times. 

An egg of Epeira diadema, hatched on the 14th of April 1843, produced 
a female spider, which moulted in the cocoon on the 24th of the same month ; 
on the 3rd of May it quitted the cocoon, and moulted again on the 21st of 
June, the 10th of July, the 3rd of August, and the 23rd of August, in the 
same year. On the 28th of February 1844 it died in a state of immaturity 
after having completed its fifth moult. 

On the 27th of June 1842 an egg of Tegenaria civilis produced a female 
spider, which underwent its first moult in the cocoon on the 10th of the ensuing 
July ; quitting the cocoon on the 21st of the same month, it moulted again 
on the 17th of August, the 4th of September, and the 26th of September, 
in the same year; and on the 26th of January, the 9th of April, the 24th 
of May, the 21st of June, and the 5th of August in 1843, when it arrived 
at maturity, having changed its integument nine times. 

A male Tegenaria civilis, extricated from the egg on the 27th of June 
1842, also moulted nine times, casting its skin in the cocoon on the 10th of 
the following July ; on the 21st of the same month it abandoned the cocoon, 
moulting again on the 13th of August, the 10th of September, and the 13th 
of October, in the same year ; and on the 1st of February, the 25th of April, 
the 17th of June, the 13th of July, and the 17th of October in 1843, when 
its development was complete. 

Modifications of food and temperature exercise a decided influence upon 
the moulting of spiders. A young female Tegenaria civilis disengaged from 
the egg on the 24th of July 1842, on the 2nd of the following August 
moulted in the cocoon, which it quitted on the 12th of the same month, casting 
its skin again on the 29th of August, and the 10th of October, in the same 
year ; being scantily supplied with nutriment, it increased very little in size, 
and died on the 4th of July 1843, having changed its integument three times 
only. Another female of the same species, which was extricated from the 
egg on the same day as the foregoing individual, and was well-fed, on the 13th 
* Transactions of the Linnaean Society, vol xvi. p. 482-484. 


of July 1 84<3 had moulted seven times. It is apparent also from the particulars 
already stated, that the intervals between consecutive moults are much shorter 
when the temperature of the atmosphere is high than when it is low. 

Immature spiders infested by the larva of Polysphincta carbonaria, an insect 
belonging to the family IchnmmonidcB, which feeds upon their fluids, never 
change their integument*. 

Lilie certain animals of the class Crustacea, spiders possess the property of 
reproducing such limbs as have been detached or mutilated, and this curious 
physiological phsenomenon is intimately connected with the renovation of the 
integument, as it is observed to take place at the time of moulting only. Ex- 
periments illustrative of this interesting subject have been multiplied to a very 
great extent ; in introducing some of them to notice, such have been selected, 
as from the novel and important conclusions deducible from them are best 
deserving of attention. 

1. A young male Textrix lycosina had half of the terminal joint of each 
superior spinner amputated, and the posterior leg on the right side detached 
at the coxa, on the 3rd of August 1838. It moulted on the 1 0th of September, 
reproducing the detached parts, which were small but perfect in structure. 
On the 23rd of February 1839 it moulted again and became adult; at the 
same time a sensible increase took place in the bulk of the reproduced parts, 
which, nevertheless, were still defective in point of size. 

2. On the 23rd of August 1838 a young female Tegenaria civilis had the 
anterior leg on the right side and the third leg on the left side detached at the 
coxa, the terminal joint of the superior and inferior spinners on the right side 
being amputated at the same time. This spider moulted on the 27th of Sep- 
tember, when the detached parts, of a smaller size than the corresponding 
parts on the opposite side, but perfect in structure, were reproduced. On 
the 6th of November it changed its integument a second time, and on the 16th 
of June 1 839 a third time, when it arrived at maturity. The reproduced parts 
advanced perceptibly in growth at each successive moult, but did not ultimately 
acquire their lull dimensions. 

3. A young male Tegenaria civilis had the digital joint of the left palpus, 
which was very tumid, detached on the 6th of October 1838. It moulted on 
the 17th of June 1839 and reproduced the left palpus, which, though small, 
had the radial joint provided with the apophysis characteristic of a state of 
maturity in this species. The sexual organs, however, were altogether wanting, 
and the digital joint was slightly modified in size and form by this circumstance. 
It is scarcely necessary to remark that the sexual organs connected with the 
right palpus were fully developed. 

4. The digital joint of the left palpus of a young female Segestria senoculaia 
was amputated on the 18th of May 1839. This spider cast its integument on 
the 8th of July, the left palpus, of a small size, being reproduced. It moulted 
again on the 28th of June 1840, when the reproduced palpus had its dimen- 
sions enlarged and the spider arrived at maturity. On the 12th of December 
1842 it died, having existed nearly three years and a half in captivity. 

5. On the 8th of June 1839 a young female Agelena labyrinthica had the 
terminal joint of each superior spinner amputated. Bringing the extremities 
of the tarsi of the posterior legs to the mouth, it moistened them with saliva, 
and repeatedly applied them to the mutilated parts. On the 21st of the same 
month it moulted, and the superior spinners, of a small size, were reproduced. 
It moulted again on the 12th of the ensuing July, when the reproduced spin- 
ners were increased in size, and it arrived at maturity. 

6. A young male Textrix lycosina had the terminal joint of each superior 

* Annals and Magazine of Natural History, vol. xi. p. 1-4. 

72 REPORT 1844. 

spinner amputated, and the third leg on the right side detached at the coxa, 
on the 25th of July 1S39. This spider cast its integument on the 6th of the 
ensuing August, when the stumps only of the mutilated parts were produced. 
On the 2nd of December, in the same year, it moulted again ; the superior 
spinners and third leg on the right side, of a small size, were then reproduced, 
and it arrived at maturity. 

7. The left palpus of a young male Tegenaria civilis, the digital joint of which 
was very tumid, was amputated at the axillary joint on the 15th of January 
1840. On the 22nd of June, in the same year, it moulted, reproducing the left 
palpus, which was of small dimensions. The radial joint was provided with an 
apophysis, indicating the mature state of the spider, but the digital joint was 
somewhat modified in size and form, and the sexual organs were not reproduced. 

8. A young male Tegenaria civilis had the right palpus amputated at the 
axillary joint on the 15th of January 1840. It moulted on the 2nd of the 
following June, when the detached part, of a small size, was reproduced and 
the digital joint became very tumid. On the 12th of August, in the same 
year, it moulted again ; the right palpus was augmented in size, the radial 
joint was furnished with an apophysis, and the sexual organs, complete in their 
organization, were developed ; these several parts, however, were still decidedly 
smaller than the corresponding parts of the left palpus. 

9. On the 25th of January 1840 the left palpus of a young female Tegenaria 
civilis was amputated at the axillary joint. This spider moulted on the 1st 
of the ensuing May, at which time the detached part, of a small size, was re- 
produced. On the 20th of June and the 6th of August, in the same year, it 
moulted again and arrived at maturity, the left palpus receiving an increase 
in size at each successive moult. 

10. A young male Cinijio ferox had the cubital, radial and digital joints 
of the left palpus amputated on the 26th of May 1840. It moulted on the 
18th of the following June and reproduced the left palpus, which was small, 
with the digital joint very tumid. On the 8th of August, in the same year, it 
moulted again, when the left palpus was enlarged, the apophyses of the radial 
joint were produced, and the sexual organs were developed. Though the 
several parts of the left palpus were smaller than the corresponding parts of 
the right palpus, yet they were perfect in their organization. 

11. The left palpus of a young male Cinijio atrox was amputated at the 
axillary joint on the 28th of May 1840. This spider changed its integumeut 
on the 27th of the following June, and reproduced the left palpus, which had 
the digital joint very tumid. On the 11th of August, in the same year, it 
moulted again, when the apophyses of the radial joint and the sexual organs, 
perfect in structure, were developed, but all the parts of the left palpus were 
smaller than the corresponding parts of the right palpus. 

12. A young male Linyphia cauta had the right palpus at the axillary 
joint, the cubital, radial and digital joints of the left palpus, and the tibiae and 
tarsi of the first, second and third legs on the left side amputated on the 30th 
of May 1840. On the 25th of the ensuing June it moulted, when the stumps 
only of the palpi were produced, but the nmtilated legs, of small dimensions, 
were reproduced. It moulted again on the 21st of July, in the same year, 
and though the palpi still were not reproduced, yet the newly-formed legs 
were augmented in size and the spider arrived at maturity. 

13. The digital joint of the left palpus of a young male LinypJiia cauta, 
which was very tumid, was amputated on the 20th of July 1840. The spider 
moulted on the 19th of the following August, reproduced the left palpus, of 
a small size, with the digital joint considerably modified, and at the same 
time arrived at maturity ; but the sexual organs were not reproduced. 



li. A young male Tegenaria civilis had the right palpus amputated at the 
axillary joint on the 9th of June IS^l. On the 13th of the following July it 
cast its integument and reproduced the right palpus, which, though small, 
had the digital joint very tumid. It moulted again on the 20th of August, 
in the same year, when the dimensions of the right palpus were augmented, 
the radial joint Avas provided with an apophysis, and the sexual organs were 
developed. The organization of the right palpus was perfect in all its parts, 
but they Avere smaller than the corresponding parts of the left palpus. 

15. On the 25th of June 1841 a young male i^rassMsserz'ceM* had the cubital, 
radial and digital joints of the left palpus amputated, the digital joint being 
very tumid. It moulted on the 16th of the ensuing August and reproduced 
the left palpus, of a small size ; the radial joint was provided with an apo- 
physis, indicating the mature state of the spider, but the sexual organs were 
not reproduced. 

16. A young male Ciniflo ferox had the right palpus amputated at the 
axillary joint on the 2nd of July IS^l. On the 19th it moulted, but the 
stump only of the mutilated part was produced. On the 28th of the same 
month the left palpus was amputated at the axillary joint. The spider 
moulted again on the 28th of the ensuing August, when both the palpi, of a 
small size, were produced. 

17. The anterior leg on the left side of a young female Tegenaria civilis 
was amputated at the coxa on the 1 st of September 1 842. This spider was 
dissected on the 14th of the following October, when on the point of moult- 
ing, as was evident from the deepened hue of the integument and from the 
perfect structure of the tarsal and palpal claws, visible through it. The an- 
terior leg on the left side, which was reproduced, was complete in its organi- 
zation, /^ths of an inch in length, and was curiously folded in the integument 
of the old coxa, which measured only gJ^th of an inch in length. 

18. A young male Tegenaria civilis had the posterior leg on the left side 
amputated near the middle of the tibia on the 24th of April 1843, when it 
moistened the tarsus of the third leg on the same side with saliva and re- 
peatedly applied it to the mutilated limb. Being about to moult, this spider 
was dissected on the 5th of the ensuing June ; the posterior leg on the left 
side, which was reproduced, was found to have its tarsal and metatarsal joints 
folded in the undetached half of the integument of the old tibia. 

A recapitulation of the more remarkable results obtained from the experi- 
ments, elucidated in several instances by additional facts and observations, 
will not, it is presumed, be deemed superfluous. 

Physiologists, in conducting researches relative to the reproduction of the 
limbs of spiders, seem to have limited their investigations to the legs of those 
animals ; whereas, in the experiments detailed above, the palpi and spinners, 
as well as the legs, were operated upon ; and all these parts are found to be 
renewed, and afterwards to have their dimensions enlarged at the period of 
moulting only ; it appears also that if a part of a limb be amputated, as the 
tarsus of a leg or the digital joint of a palpus, the whole is reproduced, all the 
joints of the new limb, though small, being proportionate to those of the cor- 
responding limb on the opposite side, with the exception of the digital joint 
of the palpi of male spiders when the sexual organs are not reproduced, which 
is usually somewhat modified in size and form by that circumstance. 

At the penultimate moult of male spiders the digital joints of the palpi be- 
come very tumid, in much the greater number of species, by a sudden and 
rapid advance towards development in the sexual organs, and should those 
parts be detached during the interyal which elapses between that and the 
succeeding moult, though the palpi, indicating by their organization that the 

74 REPORT — 1844. 

animal has arrived at maturity, may be reproduced, yet the sexual organs are 
always absent. (See experiments 3, 7, 13, 15.) Adult males of the species 
Lycosa ohscura, Dysdera hombergii, and Philodromus dispar have been found 
in a state of liberty with the palpi unequal in size and the smaller one en- 
tirely destitute of the sexual organs. 

When the palpi of male spiders, which had been amputated before the 
penultimate moult, are reproduced, the sexual organs, perfect in structure, are 
reproduced also (see experiments 8,10,11,14'); unexceptionable evidence 
in support of this singular fact is to be found in their reduced dimensions and 
integrity of form, but it will scarcely be denied that the original germs of 
those organs must have been removed with the detached palpi. That the 
function of the sexual organs is not in the least affected by their reproduction 
tiiere exists the most satisfactory proof. In the last of those experiments, 
having for their object the determination of the seat of the sexual organs in 
male spiders, recorded in this report, the male Tegenaria civilis, stated to have 
possessed the right palpus only when introduced to the female, is identical 
with that which was the subject of experiment 8 in the foregoing series ; 
consequently, its sexual organs had been reproduced, yet the fertility of its 
mate bore ample testimony to the unimpaired efhciency of their generative 

If experiments 6 and 16 be referred to, it will be seen that the stumps only 
of mutilated parts are occasionally produced at the following moult, and that 
the entire parts, of a small size, are sometimes restored at a subsequent 

Experiment 12 presents an extraordinary case of the stumps of the palpi 
being produced at two consecutive moults after they had suffered mutilation, 
though several legs of the same spider, mutilated at the same time, were re- 
newed at the next moult after the infliction of the injury. 

The fact, that reproduced legs, immediately antecedent to the process of 
moulting, are folded in the integument of the undetached portion of the 
mutilated limbs, is clearly established by experiments 17 and 18. 

With some spiders the duration of life does not exceed the brief space of 
twelve months, whereas it may be safely inferred from experiment 4 that 
Segestria senoculata does not even complete its several changes of integument 
and arrive at maturity in less than two years. The individual there stated 
to have had the digital joint of the left palpus detached on the 18th of May 
1839 was then about two-thirds grown, and must have been disengaged from 
the egg in the summer of the preceding year, as this species breeds in the 
months of May and June in North Wales. On the 28th of June 1840, the 
third summer of its existence, it underwent its last moult and became adult. 
Subsequent experiments made with both sexes of this spider tend to corro- 
borate the accuracy of the above conclusion. 

Variations in the colour and size of spiders of the same kind, resulting from 
differences in age, sex, food, climate, and other conditions of a less obvious 
character, as they conduce largely to the introduction of fictitious species, have 
long engaged the attention of arachnologists, while those arising from extra- 
ordinary organic modifications, in consequence, perhaps, of their less frequent 
occurrence, have been almost entirelyoverlooked. Tiie importance which cases 
of the latter description possess in relation to physiology and systematic ar- 
rangement will be best illustrated by a few examples. 

1. A supernumerary eye, situated between the two small ones constituting 
the anterior intermediate pair, has been observed in an adult female Theridion 
Jilipes. The total number of eyes possessed by this individual was nine and 
their arrangement symmetrical. 


2. An immature female Thomisus cristatus had the two lateral pairs of 
eyes only ; the four small intermediate ones were altogether wanting, not the 
slightest rudiment of them being perceptible even with the aid of a powerful 

3. A short but perfectly formed supernumex'ary tarsus, connected with the 
base of the tarsal joint of the right posterior leg on its outer side, has been 
noticed in an adult female Lycosa campestris. 

4. Deficiency of the right intermediate eye of the anterior row has been 
remarked in an adult male Lycosa cambrica. 

5. The left intermediate eye of the posterior row was perceived to be want- 
ing in an adult female Epeira inclinata, and the right intermediate eye of the 
same row was not half the usual size. 

6. An adult female Ciniflo atrox was found to be without the left inter- 
mediate eye of the posterior row. 

Y. The right intermediate eye of the posterior row in an adult female Epeira 
inclinata had not one-eighth of the natural size, being merely rudimentary. 

The particulars stated in the foregoing cases, which serve to establish the 
fact, that spiders, in common with many other animals, occasionally exhibit 
instances of anomalous structure, derive no small degree of interest from their 
novelty ; but when it is borne in mind that all the examples except one have 
reference to those important organs the eyes, important, not only as regards 
the function they perform, but also on account of the extensive use made of 
them in the classification of the Araneidea, that interest becomes greatly 

As spiders with four eyes have not yet been found, it is a matter of some 
consequence to caution observers against mistaking a mere defect in struc- 
ture, like that recorded in case 2, for such a discovery. Whether there are 
species provided with an odd number of eyes or not is at present conjectural ; 
should such exist, symmetry in the arrangement of their visual organs cer- 
tainly may be expected to obtain ; consequently, cases 4, 5 and 6, which pre- 
sent instances of an odd number of eyes disposed irregularly, would be re- 
garded at all times with suspicion ; as no such objection, however, can be 
urged against case 1, a solution of the difficulty it presents must be sought 
for in a more accurate acquaintance with the species. 

Interesting chiefly in a physiological point of view, cases 3 and 7 show that 
a liability to irregularity in structure is not limited to the eyes, and that 
those organs are subject to preternatural variations in size as well as number. 

The obscurity in which the cause of these remarkable organic modifications 
is involved, careful investigation, conducted upon sound philosophical prin- 
ciples, can alone dispel*. 

Argyroneta aquatica, Dolomedes Jimbriatus, and Lycosa piratica are known 
to descend spontaneously beneath the surface of water, the time during 
which they can respire when immersed depending upon the quantity of air 
confined by the circumambient liquid among the hairs with which they are 
clothed. There are, however, some spiders of small size, Erigone atra and 
Savignia frontata, for example, which, though they do not enter water 
voluntaril}'^, can support life in it for many days, and that without the external 
supply of air so essential to the existence of Argyroneta aquatica imder 
similar circumstances. It is probable that this property may contribute to 
their preservation through the winter, when their hybernacula are liable to 
be inundated f. 

• Annals and Magazine of Natural History, vol. xi. p. 165-168. 

t Report of the Third Meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science, 
held at Cambridge in 1833, p. 446. 

76 REPORT 1844. 

Spiders, though extremely voracious, are capable of enduring long absti- 
nence from food. A young female Theridion quadripunctatum, captured in 
August 1829, was placed in a phial and fed with flies till the 15th of October, 
in the same year, during which period it accomplished its final moult and at- 
tained maturity. It was then removed to a smaller phial, which was closely 
corked and locked up in a book-case, its supply of food being at the same 
time discontinued. In this situation it remained till the 30th of April 1831, on 
which day it died, without receiving the slightest nourishment of any descrip- 
tion. Throughout its captivity it never failed to produce a new snare when 
an old one was removed, which was frequently the case ; and it is a fact par- 
ticularly deserving of attention, that the alvine evacuations were continued, 
in minute quantities and at very distant intervals, to the termination of its ex- 

When about to deposit their eggs, spiders usually spin for their reception 
silken cccoons displaying much diversity of form, size, colour, and con- 
sistency. Those of the Lycosa have a lenticular, or spherical figure and 
compact structure, with the exception of a narrow zone of a delicate texture 
by which they are encircled. In constructing their cocoons, these spiders 
slightly connect the margins of the two compact portions, beneath which the 
thin fabric of the zone is folded. This simple contrivance afibrds an ad- 
mirable provision for the development of the young in the foetal state by an 
enlarged capacity in the cocoons consequent on the margins of the compact 
parts becoming detached by the expansive force within, the eventual libera- 
tion of the young being eflected by the rupture of the zone. 

Theridion callens fabricates a very remarkable balloon-shaped cocoon about 
one-eighth of an inch in diameter. It is composed of soft silk of a loose 
texture and pale brown colour, enclosed in an irregular network of coarse, 
dark red-brown silk ; several of the lines composing this network unite near 
the lower and smaller extremity of the cocoon, leaving intervals there through 
which the young pass when they quit it, and, being cemented together 
throughout the remainder of their extent, form a slender stem, varying from 
one-tenth to half of an inch in length, by which the cocoon is attached to 
the surface of stones and fi-agments of rock, resembling in its figure and erect 
position some of the minute plants belonging to the class Cryptogamia. The 
eggs are large, considering the small size of the spider, five or six in number, 
spherical, not agglutinated together, and of a brown colour ■\. 

An elegant vase-shaped cocoon, composed of white silk of a fine compact 
texture, and attached by a short foot-stalk to rushes, the stems of grass, 
heath, and gorse, is constructed by Agelena brimnea ; it measures about one- 
fourth of an inch in diameter, and contains from forty to fifty yellowish-white, 
spherical eggs enveloped in white silk connected with the interior of the 
cocoon contiguous to the foot-stalk. Greatly to the disadvantage of its ap- 
pearance, the entire cocoon is smeared with moist soil, which drying serves to 
protect it from the weather, and as an additional security, the extremity is 
closed and directed downwards. 

Theridion riparium fabricates a slender, conical tube of silk of a very slight 
texture, measuring from one and a half to two and a half inches in length, 
and about half an inch in diameter at its lower extremity. It is closed above, 
open below, thickly covered externally with bits of indurated earth, small 
stones, and withered leaves and flowers, which are incorporated with it, and 
is suspended perpendicularly, by lines attached to its sides and apex, in the 
irregular snare constructed by this species. In the upper part of this singular 

* Researches in Zoology, pp. 302, 303. 

f Transactions of the Linnaean Society, v3l. xviii. p. 629. 


domicile the female spins several globular cocoons of yellowish-white silk of 
a slight texture, whose mean diameter is about one-eighth of an inch, in each 
of which she deposits from twenty to sixty small spherical eggs of a pale 
yellowish-white colour, not agglutinated together. The young remain with 
the mother for a long period after quitting the cocoons, and are provided by 
her with food, which consists chiefly of ants*. 

Oonops pulcher constructs several contiguous, subglobose cocoons of white 
silk of a iine but compact texture in the crevices of rocks and walls, and 
among lichens growing on the trunks of trees ; each measures about one- 
sixteenth of an inch in diameter and usually comprises two spherical, pink 
eggs, not agglutinated together. It may be remarked, by way of contrast, that 
Ep'eira quadrata frequently deposits between nine hundred and a thousand 
spherical eggs of a yellow colour, in a globular cocoon of coarse yellow silk 
of a loose texture, measuring seven-tenths of an inch in diameter, which is 
attached to the stems of heath, gorse, and other vegetable productions in the 
vicinity of its haunts. 

Among the silken snares fabricated by spiders for the purpose of capturing 
their prey, the most elegant are those constructed with the appearance of 
geometrical precision in the form of circular nets. They are composed of an 
elastic spiral line thickly studded with minute globules of liquid gum, whose 
circumvolutions, falling within the same plane, are crossed by radii conver- 
ging towards a common centre, which is immediately surrounded by several 
circumvolutions of a short spiral line devoid of viscid globules, forming a 
station from which the toils may be superintended by their owner without 
the inconvenience of being entangled in them. As the radii are unadhesive 
and possess only a moderate share of elasticity, they must consist of a d liferent 
material from that of the viscid spiral line, which is elastic in an extraordinary 
degree. Now the viscidity of this line may be shown to depend entirely upon 
the globules with which it is studded, for if they be removed by careful ap- 
plications of the finger, a fine glossy filament remains, which is highly elastic, 
but perfectly unadhesive. As the globules, therefore, and the line on which 
they are disposed, differ so essentially from each other, and from the radii, it is 
reasonable to infer that the physical constitution of these several portions of 
the net must be dissimilar. 

An estimate of the number of viscid globules distributed on the elastic 
spiral line in a net of Epiiira apoclisa of a medium size, will convey some 
idea of the elaborate operations performed by the Epeirce in the construction 
of their snares. The mean distance between two adjacent radii, in a net of 
this species, is about seven-tenths of an inch ; if, therefore, the number 7 be 
multiplied by 20, the mean number of viscid globules which occur on one- 
tenth of an inch of the elastic spiral line, at the ordinary degree of tension, 
the product will be 140, the mean number of globules deposited on seven- 
tenths of an inch of the elastic spiral line ; this product multiplied by 24, the 
mean number of circumvolutions described by the elastic spiral line, gives 
3360, the mean number of globules contained between two radii ; which 
multiplied by 26, the mean number of radii, produces 87,360, the total 
number of viscid globules in a finished net of average dimensions. A large 
net, fourteen or sixteen inches in diameter, will be found, by a similar calcu- 
lation, to contain upwards of 120,000 viscid globules, and yet Epeira 
apoclisa will complete its snare in about forty minutes if it meet with no in- 

In the formation of their snares the Epeirce appear to be regulated solely 
by the sense of touch, as various species when confined in spacious glass jars 
* Researches in Zoology, p. 356. 

78 REPORT — 1844. 

placed in situations absolute!}' impen'ious to light construct nets which do 
not exhibit the slightest irregularity of plan or defect of structure *. 

Dr, Lister supposed that spiders are able to retract the lines they spin 
within the abdomen, and whoever minutely observes the Epeircs, when fabri- 
cating their snares, will almost be induced to entertain the same opinion. 
The viscid line produced by these spiders in their transit from one radius to 
another is sometimes drawn out to a much greater extent than is necessary 
to connect the two, yet, on approaching the point at which it is to be attached, 
it appears to re-enter the spinners, till it is reduced to the exact length re- 
quired. This optical illusion, for such it is, is occasioned by the extreme 
elasticity of the line, which may be extended greatly by the application of a 
slight force, and on its removal will contract proportionally. By this pro- 
perty the viscid spiral line is accommodated to the frequent and rapid changes 
in distance which take place among the radii M'hen agitated by Windsor other 
disturbing forces, and by it insects, which fly against the snare, are more 
completely entangled than they otherwise could be without doing extensive 
injury to its frame-work f. 

Complicated as the processes are by which these symmetrical nets are pro- 
duced, nevertheless, young spiders, acting under the influence of instinctive 
impulse, display, even in their first attempt to fabricate them, as consum- 
mate skill as the most experienced individuals. 

Although spiders are not provided with wings, and, consequently, are in- 
capable of flying, in the strict sense of the word ; yet, by the aid of their 
silken filaments, numerous species, belonging to various genera, are enabled 
to accomplish distant journeys through the atmosphere. These aerial excur- 
sions, which appear to result from an instinctive desire to migrate, are under- 
taken when the weather is bright and serene, particularly in the autumn, 
both by adult and immature individuals, and are effected in the following 
manner. After climbing to the summits of different objects, they raise 
themselves still higher by straightening the limbs ; then elevating the abdo- 
men, by bringing it from the usual horizontal position into one almost perpen- 
dicular, they emit from the spinners a small quantity of viscid fluid, which is 
drawn out into fine lines by the ascending current occasioned by the rare- 
faction of the air contiguous to the heated ground. Against these lines the 
current of rarefied air impinges, till the animals, feeling themselves acted upon 
with sufficient force, quit their hold of the objects on which they stand and 
mount aloft. 

Spiders do not always ascend into the atmosphere by a vertical movement, 
but are observed to sail through it in various directions ; and the fact admits 
of an easy explanation when the disturbing causes by which that subtile 
medium is liable to be affected are taken into consideration. A direction par- 
allel to the horizon will be given by a current of air moving in that plane ; 
a perpendicular one, by the ascent of air highly rarefied ; and directions in- 
termediate between these two will, in general, depend upon the composition 
of forces. When the horizontal and vertical currents are equal in force, the 
line of direction will describe an angle of 45° nearly with the plane of tiie 
horizon ; but when their forces are unequal, the angle formed with that plane 
will be greater or less as one current or the other predominates. 

The manner in which the lines of spiders are carried out from the spinners 
by a current of air appears to be this. As a preparatory measure, the spin- 
ning mammulae are brought into close contact, and viscid matter is emitted 

* Zoological Journal, vol. v. p. 181-188. Transactions of the Linnsean Society, vol. xvi. 
p. 477—479. Researches in Zoology, p. 253-270. 
f Researches in Zoology, pp. 267, 268. 


from the papillae ; they are then separated by a lateral motion, which ex- 
tends the viscid matter into fine filaments connecting the papillae ; on these 
filaments the current impinges, drawing them out to a length which is regu- 
lated by the will of the animal ; and on the mammulae being again brought 
together the filaments coalesce and form a compound line. 

Many intelligent naturalists entertain the opinion that spiders can forcibly 
propel or dart out lines from their spinners ; but when placed on twigs set 
upright in glass vessels with perpendicular sides containing a quantity of 
water sufiicient to immerse their bases completely, all the elforts they make 
to effect an escape uniformly prove unavailing in a still atmosphere. How- 
ever, should the individuals thus insulated be exposed to a current of air 
either naturally or artificially produced, they immediately turn the abdomen 
in the direction of the breeze, and emit from the spinners a little of their 
viscid secretion, which being carried out in a line by the current becomes 
connected with some object in the vicinity, and affords them the means of 
regaining their liberty. If due precaution be used in conducting this experi- 
ment, it clearly demonstrates that spiders are utterly incapable of darting 
lines from their spinners, as they cannot possibly escape from their confine- 
ment on the twigs in situations where the air is undisturbed, but in the agi- 
tated atmosphere of an inhabited room they accomplish their object without 
difficulty. Similar means are frequently employed by spiders in their natural 
haunts for the purposes of changing their situation and fixing the foundations 
of their snares. 

The webs named gossamer are composed of lines spun by spidei-s, which 
on being brought into contact by the mechanical action of gentle airs adhere 
together, till by continual additions they are accumulated into irregular white 
flakes and masses of considerable magnitude. Occasionally spiders may be 
found on gossamer-webs after an ascending current of rarefied air has sepa- 
rated them from the objects to which they were attached, and has raised 
them into the atmosphere ; but as they never make use of them intentionally 
in the performance of their aeronautic expeditions, it must always be regarded 
as a fortuitous circumstance *. 

On the Construction of Large Reflecting Telescopes. 
By the Earl op Rosse. 

The Council having intimated their opinion that some account of the ex- 
periments in which I have been engaged on the reflecting telescope would not 
be altogether devoid of interest, 1 will endeavour to describe as briefly as pos- 
sible the manner in which I have attempted to accomplish the object in view, 
and the principal results obtained. 

Having concluded that upon the whole there was a better prospect of 
obtaining by reflexion rather than by refraction the power which would be 
required for making any effectual progress in the re-examination of the 
nebulae, the first experiments were undertaken in the hope of obviating the 
difficulties which had previously prevented the application of the brilliant 
alloy, which may be formed of tin and copper in proper proportions, to the 
construction ol" large instruments. The manner in which the difficulty had 
been met was by adding an excessive proportion of copper to the alloy, but 
the mirror was no longer susceptible of a durable polish, and when used its 
powers declined rapidly. 

* Transactions of the Linnxan Society, vol. xv.p. 449-459. Researches in ZooIogy,p. 229-252. 

80 REPORT — 1844. 

It appeared to me, therefore, to be an object so important to obtain a re- 
fleeting surface which would reflect the greatest quantity of light, and retain 
that property little diminished for a length of time, that numerous experi- 
ments were undertaken and perseveriugly carried on. After a number of 
failures, the difficulties appeared to be so great that I constructed three spe- 
cula, where the basis of the mirror was an alloy of zinc and copper in the 
proportion of 1 zinc to S-?^ copper, which expands with changes of tempera- 
ture in the same proportion as speculum metal. This was subsequently plated 
with speculum metal, in pieces of such size as we were enabled to cast sound. 
These specula were very light and stiff', and their performance upon the 
whole satisfactory ; but they were affected by diff'raction at the joinings of the 
plates, and although very brilliant and durable, defining all objects well 
under high powers, except very large stars, still as the effect of diflfraction 
was then perceptible, they could not be considered as perfect instruments. 
In the course of the experiments carried on while these three specula were in 
progress, it was ascertained that the difficulty of casting large discs of brilliant 
speculum metal arose from the unequal contraction of the material, which in 
the first instance produced imperfections in the castings and often subsequently 
their total destruction ; and it appeared evident that if the fluid mass could be 
cooled throughout with perfect regularity, so that at every instant every 
portion should be of the same temperature, there would be no unequal con- 
traction in the progress towards solidification, nor subsequently in the trans- 
ition from a red heat to the temperature of the atmosphere. Although it 
was obvious that the process could not be managed so that the exact condi- 
tion required should be fulfilled, still by abstracting heat uniformly from one 
surface (the lower one), the temperature of the mass would be kept uniform in 
one direction, that is, horizontally ; while in the vertical direction it would 
vary in some degree as the distance from the cooling surface. These condi- 
tions being satisfied, we should likewise have a mass which would be free 
from flaws, and when cool would be free from sensible strain : nothing could be 
easier than to accomplish this approximately in practice ; it would be only 
necessary to make one surface of the mould (the lower one) of iron, of a good 
conducting material, while the remainder was of dry sand. On trial this plan 
was perfectly successful ; there was however a new, though not a very serious 
defect, which was immediately apparent ; the speculum metal was cooled so 
rapidly, that air-bubbles remained entangled between it and the iron surface, 
but the remedy immediately suggested itself ; by making the iron surface 
porous, so as to suffer the air to escape, in fact by forming it of plates of iron 
placed vertically side by side, the defect was altogether removed. It only 
then remained to secure the speculum from cooling unequally, and for that 
purpose it was sufficient to place it in an oven raised to a very low red heat, 
and there to leave it till cold, from one to three or four weeks, or perhaps 
longer, according to its size. 

The alloy which I consider the best differs but little from that employed 
by Mr. Edwards ; I omit the brass and arsenic, employing merely tin and 
copper in the atomic proportions, namely, one atom of tin to four atoms of 
copper, or by weight, 58*9 to 126*4. As it was obviously impossible to cast 
large specula in earthen crucibles, the reverberatory furnace was tried, but the 
tin oxidized so rapidly that the propoi'tions in the alloy were uncertain, and 
after some abortive trials with cast iron crucibles, it was found that when the 
crucible is cast with the mouth up, it is free from the minute pores through 
which the speculum metal would otherwise exude ; and therefore such cru- 
cibles fully answered the purpose. 

It was very obvious that the published processes for grinding and polishing 


specula, being in a great measure dependent on manual dexterity, were un- 
certain and not well-suited to large specula; accordingly, at an early period of 
these expei'iments, in 1827, a machine was contrived for the purpose which 
has subsequently been improved, and by means of it a close approximation 
to the parabolic figure can be obtained with certainty : as it has been de- 
scribed in the Philosophical Transactions for 1840, it is unnecessary to do 
more than to point out the principle on which it acts ; the speculum is made 
to revolve very sloM'ly, while the polishing tool is draAvn backwards and for- 
wards by one excentric or crank, and from side to side slowly by another. 
The polishing tool is connected with the excentrics by a ring which fits it 
loosely, so as to permit it to revolve, deriving its rotatory motion from the 
speculum, but revolving much more slowly. It is counterpoised so that it 
may be made sufficiently stiff, and yet press lightly on the speculum, the 
pressure being about one pound for every circular superficial foot. The 
motions of this machine are relatively so adjusted, that the focal length of the 
speculum during the polishing process, or towards the latter end of it, shall 
be gradually becoming slightly longer ; and the figure will depend in a great 
measure upon the rapidity with which this increase in the focal length takes 
place. It will be evident that a surface spherical originally will cease to be 
so if, while subjected to the action of the polisher, it is in a continual state of 
transition from a shorter to a longer focus ; in fact during no instant of time 
will it be actually spherical, but some curve differing a little from the sphere, 
and which may be made to approach the parabola, provided it be possible in 
practice to give effect to certain conditions. 

An immense number of experiments, where the results were carefully re- 
gistered, eventually established an empirical formula, which affords at pre- 
sent very good practical results, and may hereafter perhaps be considerably 
improved. In fact, when the stroke of the first excentric is one third the 
diameter of the speculum, and that of the second excentric is such as to pro- 
duce a lateral motion of the bar which moves the polisher, measured on the 
edge of the tank, equal to 0"27, the diameter of the speculum, (or referred to 
the centre of the polisher to 0*17,) the figure will be nearly parabolic. The 
velocity and direction of the motions which produce the necessary friction 
being adjusted in due proportion by the arrangements of the machine, and 
the temperature of the speculum being kept uniform by the water in which 
it is immersed, there remain still other conditions which are essential to 
the production of the required result. The process of polishing differs very 
essentially from that of grinding ; in the latter, the powder employed runs 
loose between two hard surfaces, and may produce scratches possibly equal 
in depth to the size of the particles ; in the polishing process the case is very 
different ; there the particles of the powder lodge in the comparatively soft 
material of which the surface of the polishing tool is formed, and as the por- 
tions projecting may bear a very small proportion to the size of the particles 
themselves, the scratches necessarily will be diminished in the same propor- 
tion. The particles are forced thus to imbed themselves, in consequence of 
the extreme accuracy of contact between the surface of the polisher and the 
speculum. But as soon as this accurate contact ceases, the polishing process 
becomes but fine grinding. It is absolutely necessary therefore to secure 
this accuracy of contact during the whole process ; if the surface of a polisher 
of considerable dimensions is covered with a thin coat of pitch of sufficient 
hardness to polish a true surface, however accurately it may fit the speculum, 
it will very soon cease to do so, and the operation will fail. The reason is 
this, that particles of the polishing powder and abraded matter will collect 
in one place more than another, and as the pitch is not elastic, close contact 

1844. G 

82 REPORT — 1844. 

throughout the surfaces will ceasp. Bj- employing a coat of pitch, thicker 
in proportion as the diameter of the speculum is greater, there will be room 
for lateral expansion, and the prominence can therefore subside and accurate 
contact still continue ; however, accuracy of figure is thus to a considerable 
extent sacrificed. By tlioroughly grooving a surface of pitch, provision may 
be made for lateral expansion contiguous to the spot where the undue col- 
lection of polishing powder may have taken place. But in practice such 
grooves are inconvenient, being constantly liable to fill up ; this evil is entirely 
obviated by grooving the polisher itself, and the smaller the portions of con- 
tinuous surface, the thinner may be the stratum of pitch. 

There is another condition which is also important, that the pitchy surface 
should be so hard as not to yield and abrade the softer portions of the metal 
faster than the harder ; when the pitchy surface is unduly soft, this defect is 
carried so far that even the structure of the metal is made apparent. While 
therefore it is essential that the surface in contact with the speculum should 
be as hard as possible consistent with its retaining the polishing powder, it is 
necessary that there should be a yielding where necessary, or contact would 
not be preserved ; both conditions can be satisfied by forming the surface of 
two layers of resinous matter of difierent degrees of hardness ; the first may 
be of common pitch adjusted to the proper consistence, by the addition of 
spirits of turpentine or rosin, and the other I prefer making of rosin, spirits 
of turpentine and wheat flour, as hard as possible consistent with its holding 
the polishing powder. The thickness of each layer need not be more than 
^\jth of an inch, provided no portion of continuous surface exceeds half an 
inch in diameter ; the hard resinous compound, after it has been thoroughly 
fused, can be reduced to powder, and thus easily applied to the polisher, and 
incorporated with the s\ibjacent layer by instantaneous exposure to flame. A 
speculum of three-feet diameter thus polished has resolved several of the 
nebulae, and in a considerable proportion of the others has shown new stars, 
or some other new feature; and by the same processes a speculum of six feet 
diameter has just been completed. 

Report on a Gas Furnace for Experiments on Vitrifaction and other 
Applicatio7is of High Heat in the Laboratory. 
By the Rev. William Vernon Harcourt, F.R.S., ^-c. 
Having commenced in 1834 some experiments on vitrifaction, the object of 
which was to determine the conditions of transparency in glass, and to com- 
pare the chemical constitution with the optical properties of difl>rent glasses, 
I was encouraged by a recommendation which is printed in the 4th volume 
of the Transactions of the British Association to pursue the subject further. 

I am not, however, prepared at present to report the progress which I have 
made in these researches, except so far as to give an account to the meeting 
of the manner in which I have endeavoured to surmount the first great diffi- 
culty attendant on such inquiries. 

In Dr. Faraday's account of the experiments made in the laboratory of the 
Royal Institution ibr the improvement of glass for optical purposes (Phil. 
Trans., 18iiO, part 1.), he has noticed the obstacles which he encountered from 
the reducing property of the gases produced by carbonaceous fuel, and the 
contrivance by which he overcame the diflSculty for the particular object 
which he had in view ; this, however, and other inconveniences from the 
smoke, the dust, and the cumbrousness of an ordinary furnace, together 
with the impossibility of regulating the application of the heat and of watch- 


ing the progress of the experiment, have combined to hinder chemists from 
multiplying observations on fusion, or examining with accuracy the phseno- 
mena of vitrifaction. 

On considering what might be the best means of obtaining a great range 
of heat for such purposes not subject to the disadvantages above mentioned, 
and of ready application and oeconomical use, it occurred to me that hydro- 
gen gas, self-condensed in a vessel sufficiently strong, and allowed to issue 
with greater or less rapidity through very fine apertures, would furnish a fuel 
and furnace to answer these requirements. 

In 1836 I expended the sum granted by the Association in executing the 
apparatus which I had thus conceived ; and the instrument which I have now 
the honour of exhibiting to the Section, and of which I propose to show the 
working, is constructed on the same principles, but somewhat reduced in size 
and altered in arrangement, so as to render it more compact and portable. 

These instruments were made at Bermondsey at the engine-factory of 
Messrs. Bryan Donkin, to whom I am indebted for many valuable sugges- 
tions, and whose name is a sufficient, warrant for the excellence of the work- 
manship, and for the care with which the sti-ength of every part of the appa- 
ratus has been ascertained. Strength is indispensable, since the principle on 
which in this instrument I depend for obtaining perfect combustion and a 
rapid accumulation of heat is the velocity of the jets, issuing under a high 
degree of compression. When I stated to the late Dr. Dalton, in 1835, the 
pressure at which I proposed to work, he expressed a doubt whether the cold 
which would be produced by the great expansion of the gas might not be 
found materially to detract from the heat ; and it does happen, either from 
this cause, or as Dr. Faraday suggests, from the effect of successive explo- 
sions, that if a strong pressure is put on at first, the jets refuse to inflame, or 
blow themselves out ; but when the object on which they are directed is once 
heated to a certain point, the intensity of the heat rises in proportion to the 
velocity of the jets. The first instrument was tested by the hydraulic press 
to a pressure of 160 atmospheres, and I have worked it when showing 80 in 
the gauge : that which is now before the Section has been tested to 60 atmo- 
spheres, and in the experiments which I shall show will not be subject to 
more than from 25 to 30. I need scarcely add that under such circumstances, 
the maximum condensation of the gas being determined by the quantity of 
materials used for its production, and the gas itself being hydrogen almost 
unmixed and consequently wholly inexplosive, these experiments are free 
from all suspicion of danger. The tightness of every part of the apparatus 
may be safely tried by a lighted taper, and if through any accidental leakage 
the gas takes fire, it is easily extinguished by shutting the stop-cock or screw- 
ing up the loose joint. 

The vessel in which the gas is generated and accumulated is a tube (see 
Plate XXIV.) of drawn iron, closed at the lower end by welding and lined with 
an internal tube of lead, of convenient height for manipulation, and hung by 
the middle on a swivel, so as to be readily reversed and emptied of its con- 
tents. On the upper end of the tube-turned conical a flanged iron cap is 
driven and screwed, and on the cap a strong brass plate is screwed and ren- 
dered air-tight by a leaden washer between it and the iron cap, which leaden 
washer is soldered to the top of the internal tube of lead, and thus prevents 
the acid penetrating between the iron tube and lead lining. In the brass 
plate is a central aperture, in the form of a deep hollow cone, inverted and 
truncated, which receives a hollow conical stopper, also of brass, ground to 
fit it, and furnished with a stop-cock and tubular head, connected by means 
of an union-joint with the rest of the apparatus. Two wedge-shaped ears 
stand out from the stopper above the conical part, and wlien the joint is to be 


84 REPORT — 1844. 

secured pass under the inclined planes of two corresponding wedges screwed 
to the brass plate. By this contrivance, due to the ingenuity of Mr. Bryan 
Donkin, jun., a quarter of a turn of the stopper suifices to secure the joint, 
which is afterwards at leisure more tightly fastened down by two additional 

The aperture in the brass plate gives admission to a colander of the same 
length as the tube, made of copper, and designed to hold the charge of zinc. 

A conducting pipe of copper tubing connects, by means of union-joints, 
the tubulated stopper with a brass stand, in which is a chamber where the ga.s 
is cleansed after having been partially dried by sponge introduced into the 
cavities of the stopper. In this chamber a glass vessel is placed which con- 
tains absorbent materials, and to the bottom of which the gas is conveyed by 
a tube. 

With the chamber are connected by similar copper tubing two supports 
for burners, the supply of gas to which is commanded by two stop- cocks 
attached to the chamber, so that they may be employed either separately or 

I have contrived various forms of burners for different purposes : that which 
is best adapted for concentrating heat is a truncated brass cone ground within 
another cone, and inscribed on its face with lines converging to the axis. But 
for the purpose of bringing a vessel to an uniform temperature, the jets of 
flame must be directed in the manner best fitted to distribute the heat : a 
fine jet of hydrogen issuing with such force as to create a strong current of 
air, and thus blow, as it were, its own bellows, produces very intense heat, a 
heat so intense that I have fused with it at high pressures hyacinths and jar- 
goons : even at the lower pressure, which I am now going to use, vessels of 
platina are liable to be melted at the extremities of the jets, whilst at the 
intervals between them the metal is far below the point of fusion. I deter- 
mined, therefore, to attempt to equalise the temperature by giving the vessels 
a rotatory motion, so that the jets of flame might act on successive points at 
successive moments ; and I arranged the jets in spirals, flat or elevated, as 
dishes and crucibles of different forms required, so that each jet should de- 
scribe a separate circle on the surface revolving before its point, and that 
those circles should be equally distributed over the surface of the vessel : the 
burners are copper tubes twisted into the required forms, and furnished with 
nipples tipped with platina, finely bored, and screwed into the tube. By this 
arrangement the currents of air pass uninterrupted, the tubes are not in 
danger of being fused, and the number of jets may be regulated by plugging 
more or fewer of the apertures within the screws. To effect the rotation, I 
adapted a watch-movement to the wires from which the crucibles depend ; 
and, at Mr. Donkin's suggestion, I use for the same purpose a light fan, which 
is moved by the heat of the burner : for low heats this does not answer so 
■well as the watch-movement, but at high temperatures it has the advantage of 
increasing the velocity of the rotation in proportion to the intensity of the heat. 

Another copper pipe, connecting by union-joints the chamber Avith agauge, 
completes the apparatus. The gauge consists of a double iron chamber con- 
taining mercury; into the upper part of the inner chamber a strong glass 
tube is secured by leaden washers and a perforated screw : the graduations 
of the tube begin with eight atmospheres and are carried to 150. 

On the present occasion I intend to employ a quantity of gas, which, if 
liberated at once, would give a pressure of about 6G atmospheres, but at the 
rate at which it is actually formed will in ten minutes give about one-third . 
of that pressure. For this purpose I have poured into the generating tube 
\0\ pints of water and f of a pint of oil of vitriol, and have allowed the mix- 
ture to cool. I now introduce the colander, into which I have put 15 ounces 


of strips of rolled zinc, and close the stop-cock. The capacity of the appa- 
ratus is such, that after being thus charged, the whole space left for the gas 
to accumulate in is nearly equal to four pints, and the volume of hydrogen 
extricated in ten minutes is in round numbers 3000 cubic inches at the press- 
ure of one atmosphere, which give in this case a pressure of 22 atmospheres 
in the gauge. 

The Section will now see, that by a greater or less opening of the stop- 
cocks a very extensive range of heat is commanded, according to the quantity 
of gas which I allow to pass, so that the platina vessels may be brought gra- 
dually or instantly from a moderate temperature to the highest white heat 
which they are capable of bearing ; and it will be observed that the whole 
surface of the crucible is heated with great uniformity when revolving within 
the helical burner. This very intense heat might be continued, with the 
present charge and burner of six jets, for nearly twenty minutes, and may be 
discontinued and resumed at pleasure ; for such is the accuracy of the fitting, 
that no material loss of gas occurs in many hours when the stop-cocks are 

Higher charges may be safely employed than I have here used, and the 
accumulation of the gas may be retarded or accelerated by varying the 
strength and volume of the charge ; but this will suffice to show the use and 
power of the instrument. The invention of new instruments is often the first 
step to the discovery of new facts and laws, and therefore I have bestowed 
both a good deal of attention, and also of expense beyond the liberal grant 
made by the Association, on this instrument, in the hope of bringing within 
the reach of chemists as full a command of high heats as of low, with such 
ceconomy of time, trouble and cost as may make it practically available. 

The actual cost of the apparatus here exhibited is enhanced by some sup- 
plementary parts, serviceable in the first construction and regulation of it, 
but not essential probably to its practical use ; and if the gauge and separate 
drying-chamber, which are of this character, be deducted, the instrument may 
be constructed at a moderate price. 

The expense of the charge which I have now used is less than sixpence; 
the trouble of charging and re-charging is less than that of lighting and re- 
lighting a fire. The only part of these operations which requires time is the 
cooling the mixture of the acid and water, a precaution advisable when a 
strong charge is used, lest the heat thus generated, added to that produced by 
the solution of the zinc, should occasion an inconvenient evolution of steam. 

With the aid of this instrument I have made various experiments on vitri- 
faction, especially on that of phosphoric glasses, into the detail of which, as 
they are still in progress, I will not at present enter. The Section will, how- 
ever, see on the table various specimens of vitrified compounds, which tend to 
illustrate some leading principles in the manufacture of glass, and with regard 
to which I shall be happy to furnish the Section with any information that 
may be desired. 

Report of the Committee for registering Earthquake Shocks in Scotland. 

The place where, as usual, these shocks have been most felt during the last 
twelve months, is Comrie in Perthshire ; thirty-seven shocks have been felt 
there during that time; but few were so violent as to produce any effects be- 
yond the neighbourhood of that town. 

The following is a list of the shocks registered at Comrie by Mr. Macfar- 
lane, post-master there, who takes charge of the instruments belonging to the 
Association : — 


REPORT — 1844. 



A The hours of the day before noon to be indicated by A, the hours after noon to be 

4 o'clock in the 
B Marking the least perceptible as 1, and a shock equal to that on Oct. 23, 1839, as 10, 

loud as shock re- 
C If the concussion be single, to be marked C ; if double, CC ; but if the second be smaller 

would indicate two shocks, the 

D To be entered C, H, or T, according as it has been a Crash, Heave, or Tremor, or two, 

would indicate a shock beginning with a slight concussion, then a considerable heave, 

the three qualities 
E The first column here is merely for entering the direction the shock appeared to the 

the Dip to be entered of course only where the 
F In like manner, in these columns the height of Barometer and Thermometer to be en- 
wind to be indicated by 1 for the gentlest current, 
G Where there is no rain-gauge the quantity of rain to be marked in general by the letters 

A B C D E F 

Day of 


Time of the 

tion in 

Instant of Shock. 

Marked by the 

"3g \li 
§1 i "! 


Sept. 1. 

' 16. 
Nov .25. 

Feb. 6. 
■ 16. 

Apr. 1. 
May 11 

July 9. 
Sept. 1. 

P 1 

A 1 

A 2 

A I 

A 1 

A 1 

H 2 

? 1 




indicated by P ; thus, 4 o'clock in the morning would be marked in the Table 4 A ; 

afternoon, 4 P. 

and intermediate degrees of intensity by intermediate numbers ; thus, one half as violent or 

ferred to, to be entered 5. 

than first (which is almost always the case) the latter to be marked with a small c ; thus C c 

second weaker than the first. 

or all ; using the small letters here too to mark the relative force of each ; thus c H t 

and ending in a slight tremor ; and C H T, one such as that of Oct. 23, 1839, where all 

were intense. 

observer to proceed from, most needed in slight shocks that do not affect the instruments ; 

instrument enables the observer to ascertain it. 

tered only by those observers who have such instruments at hand. The strength of the 

and 10 for a hm-ricane ; and a cahn, 0. 

M, much, and L, little. 

Five minutes after 

2 I 

g i 

other particulart not included in preceding list, that might be 
considered as either directly or indirectly con- 
nected with the shocks. 


D L 

The direction and dip in this case (10. 40. A) given most distinctly by spiral 
pendulum in steeple. The horizontal force one in Post-office attics ranged 
fully half an inch. Day cloudy, cold and showery. Close rain from 2 to 
4i r. ; mostly fair afterwards. Next day (28) cloudy with occasional sun. 
shine ; much thunder at 2 P., and cloudy with light rain afterwards. 

Other three slight shocks observed by some during the night between the 1st 
and 2nd ; rain in morning of 2nd ; light, cloudy, mild, moist and warm day. 

Fine harvest morning ; splendid dry fine night. 

.Morning cloudy; day also ; with occasional blinks of sunshine. 

Day dark; drizzlii)g rain occasionally. This shock observed only at Tomperran. 

Most dark and dull ; rain at night. 

Very dark morning ; much rain through the day. 

Very dark morning ; much rain through the day. 

Frosty, clear and sunshine. 

Dim and cloudy ; a fall of about 1 in. snow during the night ; a.m. sunshine ; 
p.m. overcast. 

Very dark and overcast ; after lOi sleet and snow. 

In all 8 shocks to-day. During first 5 days bright and sunny. Barometer at 
3 o'clock at 30-2 ; ext. thermometer 35. Wind gentle and S. W. all day. Spiral 
in steeple indicated 3-8ths in perpendicular heaves ; no lateral mark. Hori- 
zontal pendulum in Post-office attics indicated same amount of heaves as 
spiral in steeple ; sand in glass had fallen 2 in. since last noticed ; but part of 
this fall might have been owing to other causes, as it had not been marked 
for a month before. 

Fine morning ; fine day and night. 

Severe frost; fine clear and dry day; night overcast. 

Dull morning ; showery day ; clear night. 

Clear sharp frost. 

Dull and snowy morning ; fine clear night. 

Fine morning ; afternoon dull, inclined to rain. 

Dull fogsy morning; fine day and night. 

Beautiful morning ; showery afternoon. 

Clear, fine day ; a little rain at night. 

Clear morning ; fine day ; rain at night. 

Dull morning; showery during day. 

Cloudy morning ; clourty and sun-shining day. 

Fine day ; a little cold towards evening. This shock observed only at Tomperran. 

Fine day. 

Fine day. This shock observed only at Lawers. 

88 UEPORT — 1844. 

Mr. Macfarlane observes, regarding the shock of 25th August 1843, in a 
letter accompanying bis Register, that he had " an excellent opportunity of 
witnessing the effects of it on many persons, being at the time in the front of 
the gallery of our church, in the midst of a congregation engaged in public 
worship. Some became pale, others flushed ; some started, others trembled ; 
and the momentary perfect silence that followed the awful concussion and 
sound was really sublime. Alter witnessing this, I am more inclined than ever 
to ascribe all the various sensations experienced by many on these occasions to 
the effects of the sudden alarm rather than to those often alleged as the cause, 
such as electricity, &c. On this occasion somehow I instinctively, as it were, 
thought the concussion and peculiar sound arose to us from an immense depth 
within the earth ; and that it actually did so was afterwai'ds confirmed by the 
fact, that this shock was felt simultaneously over an area of more than 100 
square miles, and that with nearly equal intensity throughout." 

Mr. Macfarlane reports further in regard to this shock, that it moved the 
instruments at the following places, and produced on them the effects now to 
be stated : — 

Kingarth, two miles north of Comrie, inverted pendulum, had point thrown 
to three-quarters of an inch to north-west. 

Clathick, three miles east of Comrie, spiral pendulum and sand-glass ; sand 
fell two inches. 

Crieff, six miles east of Comrie, inverted pendulum, had point thrown three- 
quarters of an inch to west. 

Invergeldie, six miles north of Comrie, inverted pendulum, had point thrown 
three-quarters of an inch to south-west. 

In regard to the shock of Hth January 1844', Sir David Dundas of Duneira, 
whose house is situated about two miles W.N.W. of Comrie, writes, — " That 
shock was attended with a louder noise and a longer-continued dying-away 
rumble than many of them, and the quake was not so severe as I have expe- 
rienced, though quite enough to be very disagreeable and make one feel un- 
comfortable. Since then there has been nothing of any consequence, and I 
wish I could persuade myself that we shall never have any more." Sir David 
adds, that " the instrument in his house, a spiral pendulum, was not affected 
by this or any other shock during the year. It had not been erected at the 
date of the shock in August 1843.' 

Mr. Stewart of Ardvoirlich happened at the time of this same shock to be 
at Balquhidder, which is about seventeen miles Avest of Comrie, and he writes 
that there were " two pretty severe shocks at an interval of from half an hour 
to three-quarters of an hour, accompanied by considerable rolling noise. I 
was at the time in Balquhidder Church, and heard and felt them distinctly. 
On my return home I examined the seismometer, but no perceptible motion 
seemed to have taken place in any direction, nor was the column of sand in 
the tube in any degree displaced. No earthquakes have been felt here since, 
so far as I have heard." 

This shock of 14th January was distinctly perceived at Tyndrum, which is 
about thirty miles W.N.W. of Comrie. On that day, at one o'clock, an ex- 
traordinary subterranean noise was felt by the inhabitants of the village, and 
which was generally I'ecognized by them to be that caused by an earthquake. 
The innkeeper happened to be in bed unwell, and felt it shake as well as heard 
the rumbling sound. 

It will be observed, from the effects produced on the instruments by the' 
shock of '26th August 1843, — 1, that it was only in the village of Comrie that 
the ground had an upward movement, the movement in more distant places 


being horizontal ; 2, that at all the places above-mentioned the movement 
came from the westward, these being all more or less to the east of the hill 
from which, according to former observations, the shocks emanate. 

Had the instruments now at Duneira and Ardvoirlich been at that date 
erected, any effects on them, it might be expected, would have been in an op- 
posite direction. 

The meteorological observations have been faithfully carried on at Comrie 
under the superintendence of Mr. Macfarlane, to whose diligence and assi- 
duity the Committee are much indebted. A complete register of these obser- 
vations has been rendered to them, of which a copy is herewith sent. 

When these meteorological observations have been carried on for a few 
years, they will afford some data for ascertaining whether, as has been gene- 
rally believed, any connexion prevails between the state of the weather or 
time of the year with the number and violence of the shocks. 

No earthquake shocks have occurred in other parts of the United Kingdom 
during the last year, in so far as known to the Committee, except one on the 
12th of June 1844;. The following notices of it have been extracted from the 
newspapers : — " Earthquake. — A slight shock of an earthquake was felt at 
Stamford on Wednesday evening, 1 2th June 1844, about seven. Many per- 
sons were sensible of the tremulous motion of the earth for ten or fifteen 
seconds. It was accompanied with a noise like distant thunder, and was by 
some mistaken for that phaenomenon ; but there is no doubt that it was a con- 
vulsion of the earth. At Tinwell, Ketton, Tixover, Duddington, ClifFe, Ape- 
thorp, Wansford, CoUyweston, Easton, &c. &c., the shock was distinctly felt. 
In some of the above named villages various articles were displaced ; at a 
gentleman's house at Easton, the bell at the outer gate was rung in conse- 
quence of the vibration produced by it." — Stamford Mercury. " Earthquake 
in Huntingdonshire. Yaxley, June 14. — A most severe shock of earthquake 
was felt here on Wednesday evening last, the 12th inst., at about half-past 
seven o'clock, more particularly on the hill where my house is situate, appear- 
ing like a park of artillery passing under it, shaking it to the very founda- 
tion. Scarcely a shower of rain has fallen since the 26th of March." 

The Committee, in accordance with the suggestion in their last year's Re- 
port, and which they understood met with general approval, have placed a 
seismometer at Tyndrum, and Lord Breadalbane has given directions to his 
overseer there that it should be attended to. By means of instruments thus 
placed on all sides of the earthquaking district, and at different distances from 
it, additional data for inference will be obtained. 

Stu-ling, 23rd Sept. 1844. 

My dear Sir, — Since sending off the Earthquake Report 1 have obtained 
some additional information, which I would have introduced into it had I 
known of it before. I therefore sit down to communicate it by letter to you, in 
order that you may, if you see fit, take notice of it in presenting the Report. 

You will see from the register, that the two most severe shocks during the 
last year occurred in August 1843 and January 1844. I met yesterday and 
today a very intelligent person (Lady Moncrieff) who felt both of these 
shocks. The first she felt in Comrie House, situated within three-quarters of 
a mile of the hill, from which all the shocks in Perthshire appear to emanate. 
The noise and concussion produced by this shock alarmed her so much that 
she fell from her seat on the floor, and it was a few seconds before she re- 
covered. She was residing in Comrie House for some months last autumn, 
and she states that scarcely a day passed without her hearing either the rum- 
bling noise in the earth or the moaning in the air, produced by this mysterious 
agent, the nature of which we are so anxious to discover. The second of these 

90 REPORT — 1844. 

shocks Lady Moncrieff felt in Perth (about twenty-two miles east of Comrie) ; 
she was in church at the time, but it was not generally perceived by the con- 
gregation. I learn that this shock was felt also at Callendar, about fifteen 
miles south-west of Comrie. 

I am happy to tell you that I felt one of these earthquake shocks last night 
at 8'" 50' P.M. I was in Lawers House at the time, which is (as you know) 
about two miles east of Comrie. The noise was like that produced by the 
rumbling of a cart over a pavement beneath the house ; it continued for about 
four seconds ; it was loudest in the middle. Its progress was distinctly from 
the westward, and at a great depth below the house. There was neither un- 
dulation nor concussion. I could form no opinion, from the nature of the 
noise, what was the agent which caused it. 

This morning I met a gentleman who was to the south of Comrie (about 
two miles) when it occurred ; he perceived the course of the noise to be from 
the north. At Ardvoirlich (about eight miles west of Comrie) the same noise 
was perceived. 

The barometer was falling all yesterday afternoon, after having been for 
some days remarkably high, and before seven o'clock this morning it had 
fallen three-fourths of a tenth more. Yours very truly, 

To the Rev. Dr. Buckland. David Milne. 

Report of a Committee appointed at the Tenth Meeting of the Associa- 
tion for Experiments on Steam-Engines. Members of the Com- 
mittee -.—The Rev. Professor Moseley, M.A., F.R.S. ; Eaton 
HoDGKiNSOXj Esq., F.K.S. ; J. S. Enys, Esq., F.G.S. ; Professor 
Pole, F.G.S. f Reporter). 
Your Committee, in reporting the progress of the experiments entrusted to 
their care, have the pleasure of stating that they have succeeded in accom- 
plishing the principal object which has engaged their attention during the 
past year ; namely, to ascertain by actual experiment the velocity of the 
piston of a single-acting Cornish pumping-engine, at all points of its stroke. 

Unfortunately, however, from delays and accidents, arising from causes in- 
herent in the delicate nature of the operations required and the machine used, 
there has not been yet time to obtain the data and work out the calculations 
necessary for comparing the results of experiment with those of theory, and 
by that means eliciting the useful information which it is hoped this com- 
parison will offer to practical science. 

The velocity-measuring machine constructed by Breguet of Paris, under 
the kindly proffered direction of M. Morin, was received a few months ago. 
It is on the same principle as those with which the beautiful experiments of 
M. Morin on friction were made, and which are described minutely in the 
works of this writer (Nouvelles Experiences sur le Frottement, or Descrip- 
tion des Appareils Chronoinetriques). These may be referred to for a full 
and complete explanation of the construction and action of the machine, but 
the principle of it may be briefly explained as follows. 

A circular disc, covered with card or paper, is made to revolve with a utii- 
form motion by means of clockwork regulated by air-vanes. Plate XXV. 
Upon this disc, a revolving pencil, whose motion is caused by and corresponds 
with that of the body whose variable velocity is to be measured, describes a 
curved line : and from this curve, which results from a combination of the 
variable with the uniform motion, the velocity may be easily ascertained by 
processes and formulae adapted to the purpose. 

This beautiful and ingenious contrivance, by which spaces described in . 


the 10,000dth part of a second may be easily discerned, is the invention of 
M. Poncelet, carried into execution by M. Morin. 

On examining the machine, it was found necessary to make some few re- 
paii's of injuries it had received in carriage, and also some alterations to fit it 
for the particular purpose it was proposed to apply it to. These were done 
by Mr. Holtzapffel. 

The instrument, when put in order, was first tried at King's College, a 
variable motion being given by a small carriage made to descend an inclined 
plane. The correspondence of the velocity shown by the machine, with that 
deduced by the known laws of dynamics, was such as to give great confi- 
dence in its accuracy ; and after a few minor alterations suggested by fre- 
quent trials, it was removed to the East London Water Works, Old Ford, 
and, by the kind permission of Mr. Wicksteed, the engineer, was attached to 
the Cornish engine at work there. This was considered a very favourable 
engine to experiment upon, inasmuch as the constants involved in its work- 
ing had been so accurately ascertained by Mr. Wicksteed in his previous ex- 
periments, and so amply confirmed by the long trial of the constant indicator 
upon it by your Committee during the years 1841 and 1842. 

After several preparatory trials and adjustments, some diagrams were taken 
on the 8th of August, and the velocities calculated from these have been ex- 
pressed in the form of geometrical curves, whose abscissae represent the 
spaces passed over by the piston of the engine, and whose ordinates indicate 
the corresponding velocities at the different points of the stroke. 

Plate XXVI. shows diagrams which represent the velocities of the piston 
both in the descending and ascending strokes of the engine, or as they are tech- 
nically termed, the in-door and out-door strokes. The velocity of the in-door, 
or descending stroke of the piston, is taken from the mean of three experi- 
ments, differing very little from each other. The velocity begins from zero, 
accelerating as the piston descends, until at about four feet of the stroke it 
attains a maximum of about lO'i feet per second. This is the point where the 
pressure of the steam in the cylinder has, by expanding, become exactly equal 
to the resistance opposed to the motion of the piston ; and from this point the 
velocity gradually decreases as the steam becomes more attenuated, until the 
piston is gradually brought to rest by the exhaustion or expenditure of the whole 
of the work accumulated in the moving mass (in the shape oivis viva) during 
the early part of the stroke, while the steam power exceeded the resistance. 

The velocity of the out-door, or pumping stroke, is much less than that of 
the former, the greatest velocity being only about 3*8 ft. per sec. 

Plate XXVII. contains diagrams of the spaces and times constructed in a 
similar manner ; the abscissae of the curves representing, as in the former case, 
the spaces passed over by the piston, and the corresponding ordinates indi- 
cating the times in which those spaces are described. 

It will be seen that the whole in-door stroke is performed in about 1 1 se- 
cond, and the out-door stroke in about 4 seconds. As a check to these re- 
sults, the time occupied in the strokes was observed directly with a stop-watch, 
and was found perfectly to agree with the indications of the machine. The 
observed times were, as nearly as could be ascertained. 

In-door sti'oke 1'5 second. 

Short pause between the in-door and out-door strokes* '5 ,, 

Out-door stroke 4 „ 

Pause 2 „ 

Total 8 seconds. 

* This is not usual in the engines at work in the Cornish mines ; in most of these the 


REPORT 1844. 

The engine made 8 strokes in 63 seconds. 

The various elements of the motion of the piston of the engine are arranged 
below in a tabular form. 

In column B. are stated certain periods of time from the commencement 
of the stroke, after which periods of time the positions of the piston indicated 
in column A. are respectively attained. 

Column C. represents the approximate velocity of the piston in each cor- 
responding position. 

It will be evident that the numbers in column A. are equivalent to the 
abscissae of the curves in Plates XXVI. and XXVII., while the column B. re- 
presents the ordinates in Plate XXVII., and column C. those in Plate XXVI. 

The times are given in these tables only as far as the hundredths of a se- 
cond, and the velocities to the twentieth part of a foot per second ; but the 
delicacy of the machine enables them to be calculated, when necessary, to a 
much greater nicety. 

Tables of the Elements of the Motion of the Piston of the Cornish Pumping 

Engine at the East London Water Works, Old Ford. 

Table I. Table 11. 

- " ■ ■- - 


• A. 




Times in 

passed over 

which the 



spaces are 






Ft. per sec. 





































































passed over 

Times in 
which the 



spaces are 




Ft. per sec. 
































































A slight oscillation of the calculated velocity is found to occur on either 

equilibrium valve is opened by the plug-rod at the end of the in-door stroke, and the engine 
immediately returns. Buc in the Old Ford engine this valve is worked by a second cataract, 
and therefore a short pause is often allowed. 


side of the mean valve, which is given in the diagrams, and this particularly 
happens about the position of maximum velocity. This oscillation has its 
origin in an irregularity of the instrument. The plate which carries the card 
does not revolve with a perfectly uniform motion, the moving power being a 
spring, and the regulating power the resistance of the air ; it is demonstrable 
that any variation, however slight, in the effort of the former, must result in 
an oscillation of the plate about a certain mean velocity corresponding to 
that resistance of the air which will exactly counteract the newly-acquired 
effort of the spring. 

It is desirable to take this opportunity of acknowledging that the thanks of 
the Committee are particularly due to Mr. Wicksteed and his sub-engineer, 
Mr. Price, for the accommodation rendered at Old Ford ; to Mr. Cowper, of 
Kind's College, for his kind and able assistance in the experiments ; to Mr. 
Holtzapffel and Mr. Timme for the attention paid to the repairs and adjust- 
ments of the machine ; and to Mr. Penn, of Greenwich, for the loan of an 
excellent indicator. H. Moseley. 


J. S. Enys. 
London, April 1844. William Pole (Reporter). 

Report of the Committee to investigate the Varieties of the Human Race, 

The Committee report that copies of the arranged queries have been for- 
warded to the remotest parts of North America, in the neighbourhood of the 
Rocky Mountains, to Mexico, Guiana, and to several of the States in South 
America ; to the West Indies, to Western, Southern and Northern Africa, to 
different localities in Asia, the Indian Archipelago, and several of the Islands 
of the Pacific Ocean. They have, for the most part, been addressed to indi- 
viduals, and accompanied with communications of greater or less extent, 
urging the importance of the subject. 

Sets of queries have likewise been forwarded to scientific gentlemen, who 
have either visited races but imperfectly known, or have made ethnological 
research a part of their studies. In former years, answers have been furnished 
by travellers particularly acquainted with the sections of the human race to 
which they related. The correspondence on the subject has produced com- 
munications relating to it which have contained various points of information. 

It is a gratifying fact that ethnology is now receiving systematic attention 
in France, Germany, and the United States, and that in this country it is also 

The Ethnological Society of London, of which the commencement was 
announced at the meeting of the Association last year, is now regularly con- 
stituted, and it is greatly to be desired that mutual assistance may long con- 
tinue to advance the study, and rescue from oblivion many interesting facts, 
of which without prompt attention no record will remain. 

With the exception of the sums required to defray the bills for printing 
the queries, no demand has been made upon the grants awarded to the Com- 
mittee in former years. Strict ceconomy has been employed in the distribu- 
tion, advantage having been taken of private opportunities and other channels 
requiring no expense on the part of the Association, and numerous small sums 
have been laid out of which no account has been charged. 

Of the £15 granted last year, the sum of £7 6s. 3d. has been drawn upon 
the Treasurer to cover the expense of postage, lithography and stationery. 

Thomas Hodgkin. 


REPORT — 1844. 

Fourth Report of a Committee, consisting of H. E. Strickland, Esq.y 

Prof. Daubeny, Prof. Henslow and Prof. Lindley, appointed 

to continue their Experiments on the Vitality of Seeds. 
These experiments Iiave this year been conducted in the same manner as in 
former years, one portion of the seeds having been sown in the Botanic Gar- 
den at Oxford, a second at the Horticultural Society's Garden, Chiswick, and 
a third in Prof. Henslovv's garden at Hitcham, Suffolk, instead of the Botanic 
Garden, Cambridge, as was at first proposed. 

The Committee have this year expended 11/. Os. lOd, in the purchase of 
seeds, materials for their preservation, and incidental expenses. Seeds of 48 
additional genera have been added to the Seminarium at the Botanic Garden, 
Oxford. The Committee are indebted to Sir W.J. Hooker for a very inter- 
esting collection, consisting of 303 packets of seeds, gathei-ed at various dates 
from 1800 to 184'3. These have all been sown at Oxford, the quantity of 
each having been in most cases too small to admit of distribution. The de- 
structive effects of time upon the vitality of seeds is well exemplified by this 
collection, and the following is the general result : — 

Of 92 kinds gathered from 1800 to 1806, only 2 percent, have vegetated. 

...182 1816 ... 1823, ... 21 

... 42 in 1840 31 

The Committee beg to renew their request for similar contributions of an- 
cient seeds from all persons who may be interested in the inquiry. 

The seeds that were gathered in 1841 and sown in 1842 have also been 
resown this year. 

The following is a register of the results : — 

Nune and Date when gathered. 


9^: Hitcham, 

No. of Seeds of each 
Species which vege- 
tated at 


Time of vegetating 
in days. 

Os- Hitcham. ^hif- 
ford. wick. 

Hordeutn vulgare 


Vicia sativa 

Daucus Carota 

Cannabis sativa 

Pastinaca sativa 

Brassica Rapa 

Linum usitatissimum .. 

Lepidium sativum 

Polygonum Fagopyrura. 

Phalaris canariensis 

Brassica Napus 

Caruin Carui 

Petroselinura sativum .. 

Trifolium ?repens 

Lactuca sativa 

Brassica oleracea 

Pisum sativum 

Faba vulgaris 

Phaseolus multiflorus . . 

Triticum restivura 

Hordeum vulgare 

Avena sativa 

iEthusa cynapoides 

AntiiThinum majus 

Calendula pluvialis 







































At Oxford the 
seeds were sown 
on the 17th of 
May, on a bed 
prepared for 
them in a cold 
frame, with the 
exception of 
those usually 
sown on a hot- 
bed. These were 
sown in pots 
and placed in 
gentle heat. 

At Chiswick 
the seeds vpere 
not sown till 
late in the sea- 



No. of Seeds of each 
Species which fege- 

Time of vegetating 


tated at 

Name and Date when gathered. 

Ox- '■ 






ford, i 




1811 {continued). 

26. Collinsia heterophylla . . . 






27. Datura Stramonium 








28 Gilia achillEeifolia 








29. Lasthenia glabrata 






30. Ligusticum Levisticura. . 

31. Paeonia mixt vars 





32. Verbascum Thapsus 






33. Asphodelus luteus 








34. Arctium Lappa 




35. Angelica Archangelica... 






36. Ageratum mexicanum ... 





37. Aster tenella 













39. Bidens diversifolia 







40. Biscutella erigerifolia ... 



















43. Callistemmahortensis ... 







44. Campanula medium 








45. Centaurea depressa 








46. Cladanthus arabicus 


















49. Convolvidus major 








50. Dianthus barbatu3 








51. Echium grandiflorum ... 








52. Eucharidium concinnum. 








53. Euphorbia Lathvris 








54. Gypsophila elegans 






55. Helenium Douglasii 






56. Hebenstretia tenuifolia. 








57. Heliophila araboides ... 








58. Hesperis matronalis 








59. Hypericum hirsutum ... 




60. Kaulfussia ameUoides ... 















62. Leptosiphon androsacea 



























67. CEuanthe crocata 

68. Phytolacca decandra . . . 








70. Polemonium caeruleum. 

71 . Rumex obtusifoliimi 








72. Silene inflata 









73. SmjTuium Olusatrum .. 

74. Schizanthus pinnatus .. 








75. Tallinum ciliatum 









76. Tigridia Pavouia 

77. Valeriana officinalis 


78. Viola lutea vars 









79. Xeranthemum annuum. 

80, Zinnia multiflora 

150 1 



96 REPORT — 1844. 

The following seeds, preserved in waxed cloth, were also resown;— 

Name and Date when gathered. 


81. Hordeum vulgare.. 

82. Avena sativa 

83. Triticum aestivum 

84. Vicia sativa 

85. Brassica oleracea . 

86. Triticum iestivura. 

100 90 

100 05 

100 65 

50 41 

50 20 

100 58 

87. Lasthenia glabrata I 200 100 


No. of Seeds of each 
Species which vege- 
tated at 

P^: Hitcham. FW»- 
ford. wick 


Time of vegetating 
in days. 

Ox- Hitchara. ^his- 
ford. wick 



"1 Preserved in 
J open jars. 

Of the 303 packets contributed by Sir W. J. Hooker, 
32 kinds were gathered in 1800. None of which have yet vegetated. 







Of these 6 have failed. 
One kind only has vegetated. 
This has not vegetated. 
These have all failed. 

This has also failed. 

Of these 8 have vegetated. 

.. 7 

. . 7 
None of these have vegetated. 
Of these 4 only have vegetated. 

.. 13 

The whole of these seeds were counted and sown on a moderate hot-bed, 
devoted entirely to them. They were, however, sown rather late in the sea- 
son, so that in all probability many more of them will yet vegetate. 

The following is a list of the seeds from Sir W. J. Hooker, and the results 
of the experiments upon them : — 

Name and Date. 


1. Aconitum .... 

2. Agrostemma . 

3. Alyssum 

4. Do 

5. Anthericum . 

6. Aquilegia .... 

7. Clemati.'s 

8. Cynoglossum . 

9. Dial) thus .... 

10. Digitalis 

11. Gypsophila . 

12. Heracleum.... 

13. Isatis 






Name and Date. 



Laserpitium . 








Saxifraga .... 





Sisyrinchium . 

















Name and Date. 

1800 (continued) 

28. Sisyrinchium , 

29. Stachys , 

30. Statice 

31. Teucrium 

32. Trollius 


33. Campanula 

34. Colutea 

33. Hyssopus 

36. Iris 

37. Laserpitium 

38. CEnanthe 

39. Scandix 


40. Actsea 

41. Al5'ssum 

42. Centaurea , 

43. Chelone , 

44. Chenopodium .. 

45. Coronilla 

46. Cucubalus , 

47. Galega , 

48. Gentiana , 

49. Hyssopus 

50. Laserpitium 

51. Myosotis , 

62. Polemonium , 

53. Potentilla 

54. Prunella 

55. Do 

56. Ranunculus , 

57. Sophora 

58. Teucrium 

59. Thalictmm 

60. Trifolium 


61. Veronica 


62. Coronilla 

63. Dictamnus 

64. Digitalis 

65. Matricaria 

66. Papaver 

67. Polemonium 

68. Salvia 

69. Securidaca 

70. Sisyrinchium 

71. Sophora 

72. Uvularia , 

73. Viola 


74. Dianthus 

75. Echiura 

76. Othonna , 






















. 25 









Name and Date, 


77. Agrostemma ., 

78. Aquilegia 

79. Argemone 

80. Brownea 

81. Campanula ., 

82. Gentiana 

83. Do 

84. Globularia 

83. Lychnis 

86. Melanthium .. 

87. Pentstemon .. 

88. Polemonium .. 
89- Sanicula 

90. Scrophularia ., 

91. Silene , 

92. Spiraea 


93. Coreopsis 


94. iEschynomene 

95. Bauhinia 

96. Do 

97. Csesalpinia..... 

98. Clitoria 

99. Corchorus 

100. Crotalaria 

101. Dolichos 

102. Elephantopus.. 

103. Glycine 

104. Hedvsarum .. 

105. Do. 

106. Hibiscus , 

107. Justicia 

108. Momordica 

109. Poinciana 

110. Ruellia 

111. Sesamum ...., 

112. Sesbania , 

113. Spermacoce .. 

114. Tallinum 

115. Tamarindus .. 

116. Triumfetta 


117. .(Eschynomene 

118. Do. 

119. Arabis 

120. Banisteria .... 

121. Bauhinia 

122. Cassia 

123. Do 

124. Do 

125. Do 

126. Clitoria 

127. Do 







































REPORT — 1844. 

Name and Date. 





1818 (continued). 













































Do , 


Anthocercis , 


Callistachys , 

Callistemon , 






No. i^o- 
sown. I v^?®* 










































Name and Date. 

No. No. 







Cryptandra .... 




Elichrysum .... 

Do , 














Metrosideros ... 


Ozothamnus ... 
Polygonum ... 
Prostanthera ... 









Cheiranthus ... 




Glossostylis ... 
Gnaphalium ... 












Name and Date. 

1840 (continued). 

235. Lobelia 

236. Mesembryanthemum 
237- Mimosa 

238. Do 

239. Pelargonium 

240. Do. 

241. Phylica , 

242. Do 

243. Podalyria 

244. Do 

245. Protsea 

246. Psoralea , 

247. Do , 

248. Pharmaceum 

249. Rhus 

250. Saururia 

251. Sebaea 

252. Senecio 

253. Seriphium 

254. Silene 

255. Sutherlandia 

256. Trichocephalum 


257. Abroma 

258. Anacardium 

259. Asclepias 

260. Bermudas Cedar ... 

261. Bixa 

262. Brunsfelsia 

263. Cassia 

264. Do 

265. Do 

266. Chrysobalanus 

267. Convallaria 

268. Clitoria 





































Name and Date. 

269. Clitoria 

270. Do 

271. Do 

272. Do 

273. Crotalaria 

274. Deutzia 

275. Echites 

276. Do 

277. Erj'thrina 

278. Eugenia 

279. Eupatorium .... 

280. Hibiscus 

281. Gesneria 

282. Ipomaea 

283. Do 

284. Do 

285. Jatropha , 

286. Justicia 

287- Linum , 

288. Lisianthus 

289. Do , 

290. Melastoma , 

291. Poinciana 

292. Psychotria , 

293. Do 

294. Ruellia , 

295. Sapindus , 

296. Senecio 

297. Sida 

298. Thrinax 

299. Xanthoxvlon ..., 
No Date. 

300. Diosma 

301. Stachytarphetta- 

302. No name , 

303. No name 









































Of the seeds sown at Oxford in 1843, the following have vegetated since 
the Report for that year was submitted : — 

No. sown. No. vegetated. 

Juniperus communis 100 .... 28 

Ilex Aquifolia 100 2 

Liriodendron Tulipiferum. ... 50 .... 1 

Cotoueaster rotundifolia .... 20 .... 2 

Crataegus macracantha 50 .... 1 

„ punctata 50 .... 9 

W. H. Baxter, Curator. H. E. Strickland. 

C. B. Daubeny. 


100 REPORf — 1844. 

On the Consumption of Fuel and the Prevention of Smoke. 
By William Fairbairn, Esq. 
There is perhaps no subject so difficult, and none so full of perplexities, as 
that of the management of a furnace and the prevention of smoke. I have 
approached this inquiry with considerable diffidence, and after repeated at- 
tempts at definite conclusions, have more than once been forced to abandon 
the investigation as inconclusive and unsatisfactory. These views do not 
arise from any defect in our acquaintance with the laws which govern per- 
fect combustion, the oeconomy of fuel and the consumption of smoke. They 
chiefly arise from the constant change of temperature, the variable nature of 
the volatile products, the want of system, and the irregularity which attends 
the management of the furnace. Habits of oeconomy and attention to a few 
simple and effective rules are either entirely neglected or not enforced. 
It must appear obvious to every observer, that much has yet to be done, 
and much may be accomplished, provided the necessary precautions are 
taken, first to establish, and next to carry out a comprehensive and well- 
organized system of operations. If this were accomplished, and the manage- 
ment of the furnace consigned to men of intelligence properly trained to their 
respective duties, all these difficulties would vanish, and the public might 
not only look forward with confidence to a clear atmosphere in the manu- 
facturing towns ; but the proprietors of steam-engines would be more than 
compensated by the saving of fuel, which an improved system of management 
and a sounder principle of operation would ensure- Under the hope of the 
attainment of these objects, I shall endeavour to show, from a series of ac- 
curately-conducted experiments, that the prevention of smoke, and the per- 
fect combustionof fuel, are synonymous, and completely within the reach of 
all those who choose to adopt measures calculated for the suppression of 
the one and the improvement of the other. 

On a former occasion I had the honour of presenting to the British Asso- 
ciation an inquiry into the merits of Mr. C. W. Williams's Argand furnace 
compared with those of the usual construction. On that occasion it was 
found, from an average of a series of experiments, that the saving of fuel (in- 
clusive of the absence of smoke) was in the ratio of 292 to 300, or as 1 : 1039, 
being at the rate of 4 per cent, in favour of Mr, Williams's plan. Since then 
a considerable number of experiments have been made by Mr. Houldsworth, 
Mr. Williams and others ; and having occasion in the course of this inquiry 
to refer to these researches, it will be unnecessary for the present to notice 
them further than to observe, that they have been made with great care, 
and present some curious and interesting phsenomena in the further develop- 
ment of this subject. 

The complex nature of the investigation has rendered it necessary to divide 
the subject into sections, for the purpose of observing, not only the relative 
tendencies and connexion of each, but to determine, by a series of compara- 
tive results, the law on which perfect combustion is founded, and its practical 
appHcation ensured. j 

Keeping these objects in view, the heads of inquiry will be — 

I. The analysis or constituents of coal and other fuels. 

II. The relative proportions of the furnace, and forms of boilers. 

III. The temperature of the furnace and surrounding flues. 

IV. The oeconomy of fuel, concentration of heat, and prevention of smoke 
Lastly. General summary of results, 

I. The Constituents of Coal and other Fuels. ' H 

The first practical inquiries into the nature and constituents of coal, are i 



probably those of Dr. Thomson and Mr. Mushet; several others have inves- 
tigated their chemical composition, but the discrepancies which exist in the 
varied forms of analysis render them of little value when applied to the useful 
arts. Dr Thomson examined four distinct species of coal, of which the 
following are the results : — 



Carbon. Hydrogen. 



Caking coal 


75-28 4-18 
75-00 6-25 
74-45 12-40 
64-72 21-56 








Cherry coal 

Cannel coal 

Dr. Ure also supplies an analysis of splint and cannel coal, which differ 
from those experimented upon by Dr. Thomson, as follows : — 


Splint coal.. 
Cannel coal 









The chief difference between the experiments seems to consist in the in- 
creased quantity of hydrogen in Dr. Thomson's cannel coal, and the total 
absence of oxygen, which in Dr. Ure's specimens were found in excess. 

The next authority is Mr. Mushet, who analysed nearly the whole of the 
Welsh coals, and some others, of which the following are selected, viz. 














Derbvshii'e furnace coal ... 
Derbyshire cannel coal 

Again, we have some of the American anthracites with upwards of 90 per 
cent, of carbon and 3-6 of volatile matter, which correspond with nearly all 
the other descriptions of anthracites as given by Mr. Mushet, and more 
recently by Dr. Kane in his excellent work ' On the Industrial Resources of 

In addition to the above, Dr. Fife has given some valuable experiments on 
coal, wherein he does not materially differ in the bituminous qualities from 
those of Mr. Mushet. The results of Dr. Fife's experiments were found to 
be in the bituminous and anthracite kinds. 








It will be observed from these experiments that considerable differences 
exist as to the quantity of carbon contained in each sort, and provided it be 

102 REPORT — 1844. 

correct that the heating power of any description of fuel be a proportional of 
the quantity of carbon it contains ; it then follows that the anthracite must 
be greatly superior to the bituminous qualities, which yield little more than 
one-half the quantity. Considerable difficulty is however encountered in the 
combustion of the anthracite coal, as intense heat is not only an element, 
but time, and a large quantity of oxygen are absolutely necessary to volatilize 
its products. It has been known to pass twice through an iron smelting 
furnace, and subjected for upwards of forty hours to the temperature of 
melting iron, without being affected beyond theexteriorsurface, having been 
calcined to a depth of not more than three-fourths of an inch. Such however 
is the obduracy of its character, that intense heat makes little or no impres- 
sion upon it. To burn anthracite coal effectually, and to extract the whole 
of its volatile products, it must be broken into small pieces and thrown upon 
a furnace having a large supply of oxygen passing continually through it. 

In the combustion of bituminous coal the operation is totally different, 
being partly friable, and splitting into fragments as the gases are evolved ; 
hence arises the superior value of that description of fuel in almost every 
branch of the industrial arts. 

The Newcastle, and the best qualities of the Durham coal, are exceptions 
to most others of the bituminous kind ; ttiey contain a much greater quan- 
tity of carbon, and are thus better fitted for the furnace. From some accu- 
rate experiments by Mr. Richardson they are found to contain — 

Carbon 8.5*613-n 

Hydrogen 5205 I Specific gravity 

Azote and oxygen . . 7-226 f 1-278. 

Ashes 1-956 J 

The Lancashire coals approach nearer to the Newcastle and Durham than 
most others ; and, taking the mean of some recent experiments, they con- 
tain, — 

Carbon 82-95 

Hydrogen 5*86 

Azote and oxygen 7*93 

Ashes 3-26 

The specific gravity of the Lancashire coal is rather more than that of the 
Newcastle coal, but in other respects their constituents are much alike, with 
the exception of a greater proportion of ashes in the former than is found m 
the finer qualities of the latter. r r i i » 

Dr. Kane, in his recent work on the ' Industrial Resources of Ireland 
(already alluded to), has given some valuable information on the properties 
of the Irish anthracites and other coals found in different districts of the 
country. He also ascertained the value of the different beds of lignite which 
retained their original structure of wood, which burned with a brilliant light, 
and left a black dense charcoal. 

The constituents of two specimens analysed by Dr. Kane, gave, — 

I. 11. 

Volatile matter 57*70 5370 

Pure charcoal 33-66 30-09 j 

Ashes 8-64 16-21 ] 

100- 100- 

From the above it would appear that the ceconomic value of lignite is about- 


two-thirds of an average quality of good coal ; and comparing these with 
other results obtained from similar lignites, two-thirds may fairly be taken 
as the calorific value of this description of fuel. Dr. Kane further examined 
a great variety of turf, and amongst others those prepared by Mr. C. W. 
Williams from the bogs of Cappage, Kilbeggan, Kilbaken, &c. ; the elemen- 
tary products of which are, according to Dr. Kane, as follows : — 

Carbon 51*05 

Hydrogen. . . . 6'85 

Oxygen 39-55 

Ashes ^2-55 














It will be unnecessary to exemplify a greater variety of fuels, such as the 
different kinds of wood used in America, Russia, and different parts of the 
continent. In this country timber is seldom if ever used ; and taking the 
comparative merits of the fuels already enumerated, it will be found (in as- 
suming the quality of carbon contained in each as the measure of their re- 
spective values) that the Welsh furnace coal and the Newcastle and Lanca- 
shire coals stand pre-eminent in the order of their heating powers, either as 
regards their application to the furnace or to the ordinary purposes of domestic 

The American anthracites, which in some cases contain upwards of 90 
per cent, of carbon, are extensively used in that country; and assuming the 
mean 91*4 of Professor Johnston's experiments to be correct, and calling it at 
1000, we then have an approximate value of the different fuels experimented 
upon, and in general use in this country. 

Table of Comparative Results, showing the calorific and ceconomic Value 
of different kinds of Fuel. 





American anthracite coal 





Welsh anthracite coal 








Welsh furnace coal 

Newcastle coal 

Lancashire coal 

Welsh slaty coal 

Scotch caking coal 

Scotch cherry coal 

r Scotch splint, 75-00 1 ,, _„ „. 
i Scotch sjlint, 70-90 1^^''"' 72-95... 

r Scotch cannel, 64-72 \ , , ^a n 
i Scotch cannel, 72-22 1 *^«^"' ^^^^ - 
Derbyshire furnace coal 

In the above table the oeconomic value is assumed to be a proportional of the 
quantity of carbon contained respectively in each sort of coal, and provided 
the lignites and turfs are excepted, the others may safely be taken as nearly 
the correct value of the principal mineral fuels of the kingdom. 

II. The relative Proportions of the Furnaces, and the Forms of Boilers. 
On this part of the subject there are several points worthy of attention ; 
namely, the proportions of the furnaces of stationary boilers of different con- 
structions, the dimensions and position of those with exterior and interior 


REPORT — 1844. 

fires, and the principle of form which approaches the nearest to a maximum 
calorific effect. 

It is obvious that the hemispherical and waggon-shaped boilers are the 
best calculated to ensure abundance ofspace ; and the furnace being detached 
and entirely clear of the boilers, a discretionary power is thus vested in every 
person choosing to experiment as to the length, breadth, or height of the 
hearth plate and bars which contain the fuel. Hence arise the anomalies 
which exist, and the innumerable theories which are advocated in every 
direction for improved furnaces and perfect combustion. 

These discrepancies create great perplexities; and as much depends upon 
the management of the fire, and the will as well as skill of the engineer, 
it is next to impossible from such a mass of conflicting evidence to deduce 
anything like a correct proportional of the area of the grate-bar, and the re- 
cipient surface. 

From a careful examination of some of the best-constructed boilers and 
furnaces in Manchester, the following results were obtained : — 

Area of 




Ratio of 

No. of 








bars in 




to heating 


in feet. 

in feet. 

in feet. 





In the first six boilers the external 







flues could not be measured. 






1 : 12-7 






1 : 12-0 






1 : 10-8 






1 : 8-9 







The ratio of grate-bar to absorbing surface is therefore as I : ITl, which 
taken from fifteen different boilers of the best construction, and worked with 
considerable skill, gives a fair average of the proportions of the furnace and 
flue surface of each. Now, on comparing the above with the boilers at work 
in Cornwall, it will be found that their relative proportions are as 1 to 2.5 ; 
the Cornish boilers presenting from two and a half, and in some instances 
three times the surface exposed to the action of the fire, in the ratio of the 
furnace to the flue as a recipient of heat. Taking the disparities as thus 
exhibited, it must appear evident that exceedingly defective proportions 
must somewhere exist, otherwise the anomalous comparison of a small fire 
and a large absorbent surface could not be maintained, unless the former 
practice of large fires and limited flue surface had been found injurious and 
expensive. That a great waste of valuable fuel is the con.sequence of these 
defective proportions is abundantly manifest from the results obtained in the 
quantity of water evaporated by a pound of coals in each. For example, 
1 lb. of good coal will evaporate in the Cornish boiler about 11 1 lbs. of water, 
and the utmost that the best waggon-shaped boiler has been known to ac- 
complish is 8-7 lbs. of water to the pound of coal. Hence the advantage of 
a small furnace and large flue surface, united however to abundance of boiler 
space, in order to attain a maximum effect by a slow and progressive rate of 
combustion. From the facts thus recorded, and the returns regularly made 
of the performances of the Cornish engines and boilers, it will no longer ad- 
mit of doubt as to the superiority of the practice which exists in one country 
as compared with that in the other. Persons unacquainted with the subject 
have attributed the saving to the engine; but that doctrine, although in some 
degree correct, is no longer tenable, as experiments, and the monthly re- 


turns, unite in proving that part of the ceconomy is due to the boiler ; and 
the proportion of flue surface on the Cornish construction being so much 
greater, we reasonably infer that the recipient surface of the hemispherical 
and waggon-boilers is insufficient for the amount of fire-bar surface acting 
upon it. 

These observations have in a great measure been corroborated by the in- 
troduction into the Lancashire districts of the cylindrical form with a large 
circular flue, extending the whole length of the boiler. In this flue the fur- 
nace is placed, and being confined within certain limits it no longer admits 
of disproportionate enlargement, but from the very nature of its construction 
forces old plans and old prejudices to yield to positive improvement. 

The effect of the change is a progressive and improved ceconomy in the 
consumption of coal, with a larger extent of flue surface, and, what is pro- 
bably of equal value, a stronger and much more perfect boiler. 

Irrespective of the changes of form and management of boilers which are 
in progress, it may be proper to notice a still further improvement in con- 
struction which has recently taken place, and where a still greater ceconomy 
is effected. This is a mean between the Cornish single flue boiler and the 
tubular boiler; it is perfectly cylindrical, and contains two circular flues, 
varying from 2 feet 6 inches to 2 feet 9 inches diameter, extending through- 
out its whole length, as represented and explained in another place in draw- 
ings which are annexed. Towards the front end the flues are made slightly 
elliptical, in order to receive the furnace grate-bars, hearth-plates, &c., to 
give sufficient space over the fire, and to admit a free current of air under 
the ash-pit. On this plan it will be observed that each furnace is surrounded 
by water in every direction, with large intermediate spaces to allow a free 
circulation of the water, as the globules of heat rise from the radiant surface 
over the fires and the other intensely heated parts of the flues. Another ad- 
vantage is the position of the i-eceptacle for the sedimentary deposits, which 
do not take place over the furnace, as in the old construction, but in the lower 
region of the boiler, where the temperature is lowest, thus affording greater 
security from incrustation and other causes of an injurious tendency. 

On the evaporative powers of boilers, it has already been shown, that the 
process to be conducted with ceconomy depends upon one of two causes, or 
both J first, on the due and perfect proportions of the furnace; secondly, 
which is more probable, on the quantity of flue surface exposed to the action 
of heat : no doubt they are both important agents in the procuration and 
generating of steam, but the recipient surface is so important, that the mea- 
sure of all boilers as to their ceconomy and efficiency in a great degree de- 
pends upon the enlargement of those important parts. Taking, therefore, 
the amount of the flue surface in a boiler exposed to the passing currents of 
heat as a criterion of its ceconomic value, we shall then have according to 
computation a summary of comparison as follows: — 



Description of boiler. 

Cubic ^If^ °/ 
contents ^'?^^'^. 
in fp»t surface in 
"• ^^*'- feet. 

Ratio of the 
area of heating 

surface to 
cubic contents. 



Old hemispherical hoiler 




1 : 3-28 
1 : 3-26 
1 : 206 
1 • .S-JiO 

Common waggon-hoiler, mthout middle flue.... 
Waggon hoiler, with middle flue 

Cylindrical hoiler, without middle flue 

Cylindrical boiler, with middle flue 

Cyhndrical boiler, with eight ten-inch iron tubes 
Improved boiler, with two middle flues 

579 360 1 : 1-65 
605 1 567 1 : 1-06 
573 .'i48 1 ■ 1 01 


106 REPORT — 1844. 

On a comparison of the above table, it will be seen that the generative 
powers of a boiler do not depend upon its cubic contents, nor yet upon the 
quantity of water it contains, but upon the area of flue surface exposed to 
the action of heat ; and that the nearer the area of the flue surface approaches 
the cubic contents, the greater the ceconomy and more perfect the boiler. 

This has been proved by experiment, and also by practice in the use of 
No. 6 and 7 boilers, where the generative powers have been much increased, 
and where they approach nearer to the maximum than any other, excepting 
probably those with a number of small tubes, such as the locomotive, and 
the present construction of marine-boilers. These latter are however not so 
well adapted for stationary purposes, nor yet are they calculated for the at- 
tainment of other objects contemplated in this report. 

It has already been stated that the relative areas of fire-grate and fine 
surface, taken from a series of observations, are as 1 to 11*, and in the 
average of Cornish boilers as 1 to 25. Now, if we take the mean of these 
two, and fix the ratio at 1 to 18, we shall have a near approximation to a 
maximum eft'ect; and, for general practice, it will be found that such a pro- 
portion will better serve the interests of the public, and of parties employing 
steam-boilers, than the extreme of 1 to 25, or 1 to 30, where a great increase 
of boiler power must be the result. In many situations, such as the large 
manufacturing towns, this cannot be accomplished, and to enforce such a 
regulation by legislative or municipal enactments would be, to say the least, 
inexpedient and oppressive. Taking, therefore, the experiments, observa- 
tions and other circumstances bearing upon these points into consideration, 
it will appear that the circular boiler, with an enlarged and extended flue 
surface, and accurately proportioned furnaces of about 1 to 18, is the best 
calculated under all circumstances for the ceconomy of fuel, and those objects 
which have yet to be considered. 

III. The Temperature of the Furnace and the surrounding Flues. 

It is a difficulty of no ordinary description to ascertain with sufficient ac- 
curacy the temperature of a furnace. In fact every fire and every furnace is 
continually changing its temperature, as well as the nature of the volatile pro- 
ducts as they pass off during the process of combustion. When a furnace is 
charged with a fresh supply of fuel, its temperature is lowered, and that from 
two causes : first, by the absorption of heat which the cold fuel takes up when 
thrown upon the fire ; and, secondly, by a rush of cold air through the open 
door of the furnace. Attempts have been made to remedy these evils by 
the aid of machinery and continuous firing, but taking the whole of the exist- 
ing schemes into account, and bestowing upon them the most favourable 
consideration, it is questionable whether they are at all equal (either as re- 
gards efficiency or ceconomy) to the usual way of working the fires by hand. 
I am persuaded the latter plan is the best ; and provided a class of careful 
men were trained to certain fixed and determined regulations, and paid, not 
in the ratio of the quantity of coals shoveled on the fire, but in proportion to 
the saving effected, we should not then have occasion for the aid of machinery 
as an apology for ignorance. 

Operations of this kind require but a small portion of physical strength in 
supplying a furnace with fuel (which a machine can do), but some measure of 
intelligence is necessary to watch over and assist nature in the development 
of those laws which regulate as well as govern the process of combustion. 

* Since the above was written, I have received from my friend Mr. Andrew Murray of tlie 
Royal Dockyard, Woolwich, a series of experimental researches, some of which will be found 
at the close of the report. 


Viewing the subject in this light, it will not be uninteresting if we attempt 
to exhibit some of the important and exceedingly curious changes which take 
place in the ordinary process of heating a steam-engine boiler. 

For these experiments we are indebted to Mr. Henry Houldsworth of 
Manchester ; and, having been present at several of the experiments, 1 can 
vouch for the accuracy with which they were conducted, and for the very 
satisfactory and important results deduced therefrom. 

In giving an account of Mr. Houldsworth's experiments, it will be neces- 
sary to describe the instrument by which they were made, and also to show 
the methods adopted for indicating the temperature, and the changes which 
take place in the surrounding flues. 

The apparatus consists of a simple pyrometer, with a small bar of copper 

t or iron (a in the following sketch) fixed at the extreme end of the boiler, 

and projecting through the brick-work in front, where it is jointed to the arm 

of an index lever b, to which it gives motion when it expands or contracts 

by the heat of the flue. 



o 1 § 1 1 

] f 



• f i 

JSoiler < 



■ =— ; — ■ — =— = 

\\ ^^ 

■1 1 1 1 1 1 i 

- 1 . , 1 1 1 1 1 

1 1 II 1 II 


1 lilt II. 

\ h 

[1 1 1 _ 1 1 1. 

r 1 i_ 1 1 LI 

[ .J 111 1 1 

1 - 1 > 1 I 11 

1 1 f I I t f 

\\ Oi 

1 1 - 1 1 1 11/ 

1 ■) .11 

' ' „J L_^ L_jJ 


J i~_LJa.^' •' ' J^-UJ ' \ 

The instrument being thus prepared, and the bar supported by iron pegs 
driven into the side walls of the flue, the lever (which is kept tight upon the 
bar at the point e by means of a small weight over the pulley at d) is at- 
tached and motion ensues. The long arm of the lever at d gives motion to 
the sliding rod and pencil^, and by thus pressing on the periphery of a slowly 
revolving cylinder, a line is inscribed corresponding with the measurements 
of the long arm of the lever, and indicating the variable degrees of tempera- 
ture by the expansion and contraction of the bar. Upon the cylinder is fixed 
a sheet of paper, on which a daily record of the temperature becomes in- 
scribed, and on which are exhibited the change as well as the intensity of 
heat in the flues at every moment of time. In using this instrument it has 
been usual to fix it at the medium temperature of 1000°, which it will be 
observed is an assumed degree of the intensity of heat, but a sufficiently near 
approximation to the actual temperature for the purpose of ascertaining the 
variations which take place in all the different stages of combustion conse- 

108 REPORT— 1844. 

quent upon the acts of cliarging, stirring and raking the fires. These are 
exemplified by the annexed diagrams, No. XII. and No. XXX. (Plates 

On a careful examination of the diagrams, it will be found that the first 
was traced without any admixture of air, except that taken through the 
grate-bars ; the other was inscribed with an opening for the admission of air 
through a diffusing plate behind the bridge, as recommended by Mr. C. W. 
Williams. The latter, No. XXX., presents very different figures : the maxi- 
mum and minimum points of temperature being much wider apart in the one 
than the other, as also in the fluctuations which indicate a much higher tem- 
perature, reaching as high as 1400°, and seldom descending lower than 1000°, 
giving the mean of 1160°. 

Now, on comparing No. XXX. with No. XII., where no air is admitted, 
it will be found that the whole of the tracings exhibit a descending tempe- 
rature, seldom rising above 1100°, and often descending below 900°, the 
mean of which is 975°. This depression indicates a defective state in the 
process, and although a greater quantity of coal was consumed, (2000 lbs. 
in 396 minutes in the No. XXX. experiment, and 1840 lbs. in 406 minutes 
in No. XII.,) yet the disparity is too great when the difference of tempera- 
ture and loss of heat are taken into consideration. As a further proof of the 
imperfections of No. XII. diagram, it is only necessary to compare the quan- 
tities of water evaporated in each, in order to ascertain the difference, where 
in No. XII. experiment 50.5lbs. of water are evaporated to the pound of coal, 
and in No. XXX. one-half more, or 7*7 lbs. is the result. 

Taking the results thus indicated, it will appear evident that the admis- 
sion of a certain quantity of atmospheric air behind the bridge operates most 
advantageously, inasmuch as it combines with its constituents in due propor- 
tions, and by these means the gases are inflamed under circumstances favour- 
able to the extraction of heat and consumption of smoke. The whole pro- 
cess is therefore distinguishable by the fact of one diagram presenting a 
decreasing temperature when air is not admitted, and the other an increasing 
column when it is introduced. If no air is admitted, except through the 
grate-bars, and there happens to be a compact charge in the furnace, the 
consequence is that the gases pass through the flues unconsumed, and ac- 
companied with a dark volume of smoke which is invariably present on such 

It will not be necessar}^ in this instance further to increase the number of 
diagrams, as No. XII., which exhibits the variations and results of the in- 
tensity of heat when air is not admitted; and No. XXX. (with an aperture 
of fort3'-five square inches constantly open) will be found encouraging 
features for its admission in duly regulated proportions. These two diagrams 
will therefore sufficiently explain the varied changes of temperature which 
exist, and as all the other thirty are (with occasional deviations) nearly alike, 
the following table of results will probably answer the same purpose as if 
the whole were given in detail. 


Table of Results, 

Selected from thirty Experiments obtained by Mr. Houldsworth's Pyrometer, 
indicating the mean temperature of the flues in a steam-engine boiler, and 
the effects produced by the admission of air through regulated and perma- 
nent apparatus behind the bridge. 

No. of 


as market! 

on the 

Description of 
coal used. 

Aperture for 
the admission 

of air in 
square inches. 

Coals burnt 
per hour. 

Water Mean tem- 
evaporated perature 
by 1 lb. of in the 
coal in lbs. front flue. 

Relative value 

in the 
ratio of water 


13 and 28. 
9, 10, 11. 

7 and 8. 

15 to 22. 



25 to 29. 


Clifton !„„,„ 
Oldham l"^^^"-" 

No air. 

















100 : 000 

100: 87-1 


100 : 106-2 
100 1 109-6 
100 : 124-0 
100 : 133-6 










/Mixed, half of 1 
l_ each sort. J 

r Regulated"! 

\ by hand. J 







By comparing the results as given above, it will be found that in taking 
the quantity of water evaporated by 1 lb. of coal as the measure of oeconoraic 
value, the mean of nearly the whole experiments (excepting only Nos. 12, 
13 and 28, where air is not admitted) is as 100 to 112-65, or about 12^ 
per cent, in favour of a regulated and continuous supply of air. Taking, 
however, the mean of experiments, 25 to 29, and comparing it with some of 
the others, it will be observed that a much higher duty is obtained j and 
having accomplished a maximum, there appears no reason for doubting why 
it should not be continued, and still further advantages secured by a judicious 
arrangement of the furnace for the admission of oxygen to the uninflamed 
gases, which under other circumstances would make their escape into the 
atmosphere unconsumed. In furnishing this supply it is not absolutely ne- 
cessary to administer it immediately behind the bridge, as the same quantity 
of air taken through the grate-bars, or in at the furnace-doors, would nearly 
effect the same purpose, not only as regards the quantity of heat evolved, 
but also as respects the transparency of the gases and the consequent dis- 
appearance of smoke. 

Mr. Houldsworth estimates the advantages gained by the admission of 
air (when properly regulated) at 35 per cent., and when passed through a 
fixed aperture of 43 square inches, at 34< per cent. This is a near approxi- 
mation to the mean of five experiments, which, according to the preceding 
table, gives SSi per cent., which probably approaches as near the maximum 
as can be expected under all the changes and vicissitudes which take place 
in general practice. 

On a cursory view of the subject, it is obvious that the quantity of air ne- 
cessary to be admitted will greatly depend upon the nature and quality of 
the fuel used. In a light burning fuel, such as splint and cannel coal, less 
air will be required, as the charge burns freely with clear spaces between the 
grate-bars, and attended by less risk of cementation than the caking coal, 
which in some cases completely seals the openings, and thus deprives the 
fuel of that quantity of air necessary for its combustion; under such circum- 
stances a permanent opening will be found exceedingly efficacious, and that 

110 REPORT — 1844. , 

more particularly when the heat vitrifies the earthy particles of the coal, and 
forms clinkers on the top of the grate-bars. In the use of this description 
of fuel the permanent apertures are of great value. 

IV. The (Economy of Fuel, Concentration of Heat, and Prevention of Smoke. 

Irrespective of the intensity of heat, form of boilers, and quality of fuel, 
there are other conditions connected with the phaenomena of combustion 
which require attentive consideration before that process can be called per- 
fect, or before ceconomy or the prevention of smoke can be attained. It is 
perfectly clear, that although we may possess abundance of excellent fuel, 
and a perfect knowledge of all the elements necessary for its combustion, 
yet we are still far short of attaining our object, unless a regard to ceconomy 
is strictly kept in view. A manufacturer may have well-proportioned boilers, 
excellent furnaces, and good fuel ; but with all these advantages he will not 
succeed, unless the whole of the elements at his command are properly and 
oeconomically combined, and that upon fixed laws already determined for his 
guidance. Count Rumford, in his admirable Essays on the CEconomy of Heat, 
truly observes, that " no subject of philosophical inquiry within the limits of 
human investigation is more calculated to excite admiration and to awaken 
curiosity than fire, and there is certainly none more extensively useful to man- 
kind. It is owing, no doubt, to our being acquainted with it from our in- 
fancy that we are not more struck with its appearance, and more sensible of 
the benefits we derive from it. Almost every comfort and convenience which 
man by his ingenuity procures for himself is obtained by its assistance, and 
he is not more distinguished from the brute creation by the use of speech, 
than by his power over that wonderful agent." 

Such was the opinion of one of the most eminent philosophers of his time, 
and such were the pertinency of his remarks and the depth of his researches, 
that had he lived in the present instead of the close of the last century, he 
would not only have extended and enlarged our views on the management 
and ceconomy of heat, but he would have expressed astonishment at the in- 
crease, the immense extent of expenditure, and the lavish and culpable waste 
of fuel by which we are surrounded on every side. It is true we have some 
exceptions, such as those in Cornwall and some parts of the continent, where 
fuel is expensive; but taking the aggregate, it might be said, without fear of 
contradiction, that if one-half of the fuel now used were properly applied, it 
would perform the same service, and afford the same comforts as we now 
derive from the whole of our mineral products. This is a great reflection 
upon the philosophy as well as the ceconomy of the age, and I think it can 
be shown that one-half the fuel now wasted might be saved with great ad- 
vantage to individuals, and with increased benefit as well as comfort to the 
public. The wasteful expenditure which exists does not arise so much from 
ignorance as from prejudice and a close adherence to old and imperfect 
customs. We all, more or less, venerate the works of antiquity, but unfor- 
tunately we forget to draw the distinction between what is really ancient and 
sound in principle and what is imperfect in practice. Hence follows a blind 
adherence to established usage, and the consequent propagation of all the 
defects as well as the perfections of the system. Now this state of things 
should not exist, as we have the experiments of Watt, Rumford, Davy, 
Parkes, and many others before us, and adding to these the excellent treatise 
of iMr. C. W. Williams on the combustion of coal and prevention of smoke, 
we are enabled by these means to establish a sound and much more perfect 
as well as oeconomical system of combustion. Keeping these objects in view, 
we shall endeavour to determine some fixed principle on which may be 
founded the prevention of smoke, concentration of heat, and (gconomy of fuel. 


It is well known that in practical operations there is no combustion without 
oxygen as its supporter, and as that important element cannot be procured 
for general purposes without the other constituents of atmospheric air, it 
follows, that in order to effect combustion, a regular supply of this compound 
must be constantly at command. Now it is not the facility, but the control 
and regulation of the supply of air which requires attention, and on this point 
of the inquiry we must refer to the researches of Mr.C.W. Williams, where, in 
speaking of " gaseous combinations," he shows that much depends upon the 
conditions and proportions in which the gases evolved during the process of 
combustion combine with the oxygen of the air. And in order to effect this, 
it is necessary for those entrusted with the management of furnaces to know 
the " equivalents " or definite proportions under which these combinations 
take place. On this head it will be sufficient to observe, that the principal 
gases evolved from coal in a state of combustion are carburetted hydrogen, 
bicarburetted hydrogen, and some others, such as carbonic acid gas, carbonic 
oxide, &c., the properties of which it is not requisite on this occasion to in- 
vestigate, but to confine the inquiry to the union of carburetted hydrogen, 
bi- carburetted hydrogen, and atmospheric air. Following, therefore, the 
Daltonian theory, it will be found that the constituents of one atom of car- 
buretted hydrogen consist of the following symbols, each representing an 
atom, and the figures the weight : — 

Carburetted hydrogen. 

I Hydrogen. | 
\ // Carbon. \ 

Carburetted hydrogen is therefore composed of 2 hydrogen and 1 carbon 
= 1 carburetted hydrogen. In weight 2 hydrogen + 6 carbon = 8 carbu- 
retted hydrogen. The constituents of bi-carburetted hydrogen are 2 hy- 
drogen and 2 carbon = 1 bi-carburetted hydrogen. In weight, 2 hydrogen 
and 12 carbon, or 2 -|- 12 = 14 bi-carburetted hydrogen. 

These are the two principal gases which require attention, and as the 
oxygen of the air is an element that cannot be dispensed with, the object of 
our next inquiry will be into the quantity and constituents of atmospheric air. 

According to the best authorities atmospheric air is found in the propor- 
tion of 1 oxygen and 2 nitrogen, or according to Mr. Williams (adopting the 
figures as representing the weights as before), — 

Atmospheric Air.^ 


REPORT 1844. 

Having thus ascertained the constituents and equivalents in which the 
combustible and incombustible gases combine, it will easily be determined 
what quantity of atmospheric air will be necessary to support and effect 
perfect combustion of the fuel of which the above are constituents. For 
this purpose it will be observed that a very considerable quantity of air must 
be brought in contact with the incandescent fuel before the process of com- 
bustion can be effected, and having already determined the constituents of 
each, we must next determine the quantity of air required for the purpose of 
supporting the entire combustion of the gases without producing a diminu- 
tion of the temperature in the process. 

On this part of the subject several able authorities may be quoted ; but 
taking that of Professor Brande (as given by Mr. Williams), the following 
diagram indicates the relative weights of the atoms both before and after 
combustion : — 




« a 

8 "" 



Atoms. Weight 

I Carbon . . 6 
1 Hydrogen 1 
1 Hydrogen 1 

1 Oxygen , 
1 Oxygen , 
1 Oxygen , 
1 Oxygen , 
^8 Nitrogen , 


Products of 

12 Carbonic acid. 
9 Steam. 
9 Steam. 

112 / Uncombined 
\ nitrogen. 


Again, for the defiant gas, or bi-carburetted hydrogen, we have — 



216 S< 

Atoms. Weight 

1 Carbon . . 6_ 
1 Carbon . . 6 
1 Hydrogen 
1 Hydrogen 

1 Oxygen . 

1 Oxygen . 

1 Oxygen . 

1 Oxygen . 

1 Oxygen . 

1 Oxygen . 

12 Nitrogen . 


Products of 

_22 Carbonic acid. 
22 Carbonic acid. 
9 Steam. 
9 Steam. 

/ Uncombined 

From the above it must appear obvious that in every instance of combus- 
tion the nitrogen or azotic gas (which forms so great a proportion of atmo- 
spheric air) is double the volume and three and a half times the weight of 
the oxygen, and being in itself incombustible, is absolutely of rio use either 
as a combustible or supporter of combustion ; on the contrary, it is exceed- 
ingly injurious, as not combining with the other gases; it reduces the tempe- 
rature, and thus deprives the fuel of a great portion of its heat, which other? 
wise would (as in the case of the Bude light) have given much greater in- 


tensity of Iieat and greater brilliancy in its illuminating powers. Finding it 
however impossible to separate the nitrogen from the oxygen of the air (for 
general purposes), we must take the mixture as it is, and instead of using 
1 atom of oxygen, we must take 2 of nitrogen along with it, and as 4; atoms of 
oxygen and 8 of nitrogen are required for the saturation of 1 atom of car- 
buretted hydrogen, it follows that four times the quantity of air in volume 
and 144' of weight will be necessary for that purpose. Again, for the satu- 
ration of 1 atom of bi-carburetted hydrogen, 6 atoms of oxygen and 12 of ni- 
trogen, in weight 216, are wanted, which, added to the previous quantity in 
combination with the carburetted hydrogen, the whole supply of air will there- 
fore be 4 + 6 = 10 volumes of atmospheric air to one of coal-gas. Ten to one 
is therefore the true proportion of atmospheric air required for attaining per- 
fect combustion, and for reducing the gases to their ultimate products of car- 
bonic acid and water. 

Having determined the conditions and relative proportions of the gases 
and their supporters in a state of perfect combustion, it will be seen that in 
order to ensure ceconomy and efiect in the combustion of fuel, a large 
and copious supply of air must be admitted to the furnace, and that in the 
ratio of 10 volumes of air to 1 of coal-gas. It is difficult to determine the 
exact quantities evolved from every description of fuel, and probably equally 
so to supply its equivalent of air; but in order to attain certainty in this 
respect, let the openings be made sufficiently large, and by a little attention 
to the quality of the fuel and quantity of air required for its combustion, 
the apertures may be contracted till such time as a mean average and a close 
approximation to the maximum effect are obtained. 

The concentration of heat is a consideration of much importance in the 
ceconomy of the steam-engine and the industrial arts; and as much depends 
upon its preservation, it may be useful in this place to direct attention to a 
few self-evident facts, which if properly attended to will lead to considerable 
saving in the use and application of heat. 

It cannot be doubted, that after having applied the rules, conditions and 
proportions requisite for the creation of heat, the whole of our knowledge 
may become obsolete unless the heat thus generated be closely preserved, 
and if I may use the expression, kept xxiarm. It would be worse than useless 
to study oeconomy in one department, so long as a lavish expenditure goes 
on in another ; and having once acquired a given (juantity of heat, the next 
thing to be done is to retain and prevent its escape. Caloric is a body which 
radiates in all directions, and unless surrounded with warm clothing, or non- 
conducting substances, it is sure to disappear ; and although tightly bottled 
up, it sets at defiance the closest and hardest metals, and frequently escapes 
through the pores of the thickest iron and steel. Unlike gases and fluids, 
such as air and water, it is only kept within bounds by an envelope of soft 
wool or pounded charcoal, and the highest temperature of heat may some- 
times be retained by a solid compact mass of lime and baked clay. This is 
strongly exemplified in the construction of ovens and furnaces, which, taken 
as a rule, will establish the principle on which heat can be preserved without 
diminution till it is used. For this purpose we should recommend the flues 
and furnaces of boilers, and other fires, to be closely encased with good 
building material adapted for the retention of heat, and all steam-boilers to 
be well-covered and clothed, so as to prevent (as much as possible) the 
escape of heat in that direction ; and for steam-engines, that all the steam 
pipes, cylinders, &c. siiould he closely enveloped in a thick coating of felt, 
canvas or wood, and afterwards well-painted. These precautions being taken, 
the effects will soon become visible in a saving of 15 to 20 per cent, of fuel, 
18-M. I 

114 REl'ORT 1844. 

On the Prevention of Smoke. — The ultimatum of this inquiry is twofold; 
first the combustion of fuel, and secondly the prevention of smoke. In the 
preceding investigation we have endeavoured to establish the laws which 
regulate and govern the combustion of fuel, and in that attempt we have also 
endeavoured to show the difference between perfect and imperfect combustion. 
Now perfect combustion is the prevention of smoke, and whenever smoke 
makes its appearance we may reasonably infer that imperfect combustion, 
and probably want of attention to a few simple rules is the cause. We have 
already inculcated these rules, and shown from well-known chemical facts, 
that 1 atom of coal-gas requires 10 atoms of atmospheric air for its complete 
combustion ; when that quantity is at its maximum or in excess there is no smoke, 
ivhcn it is dyferent smoke is invariably present. It therefore follows, that in 
order to render the residue of the products of combustion transparent, or 
" smokeless," a supply of air amounting to ten times that of the gases evolved 
must be admitted. Should it exceed that quantity the effect will not be 
smoke, but an additional expenditure of fuel to supply the loss of heat which 
this excess of air would require for absorption, rarefaction, &c. Hence the 
necessity which exists for power to regulate the admission, if not the exact, 
at least an approximate quantity of air. On the other hand, should the supply 
be deficient in quantity (which is often the case), a dense volume of smoke is 
then visible, accompanied with all the defects and annoyances of imperfect 

The variable changes which accompany perfect and imperfect combustion 
are not only visible, but may be proved by experiment. Let any person 
apply his hand to the tube of an Argand gas-burner, and he will find that the 
instant the aperture is partially closed the flame immediately becomes elon- 
gated; and instead of a clear brilliant light, a dull red flame, with a dark 
volume of smoke, is the result. This shows the effect of a diminished supply 
of air ; and the same may be applied to a steam-engine furnace, when imper- 
fectly supplied with oxygen, when the gases pass off in opake volumes un- 
consumed, and where a considerable portion of heat is entirely lost from that 
cause. It has been stated that we cannot have fire without smoke ; but this 
is not the case in steam-boilers, as a well-constructed furnace properly ma- 
naged furnishes many examples where bituminous coal is consumed in large 
quantities and with little if any appearance of smoke. If coal were double 
the price, it is more than probable that a great improvement would shortly 
present itself, and that not exclusively in the suppression of the smoke nui- 
sance, but in a further extension of those duties wherein ceconomy becomes 
a leading feature in the attainment of these objects. It is therefore futile to 
urge difficulties which have already been overcome, and where in many in- 
stances " the prevention of smoke " is accomplished with perfect ease, and 
with great benefit to the parties concerned. In attempting the total sup- 
pression of this nuisance, two important considerations require to be attended 
to as essential ; the first of which is abundance of boiler space, and the second 
a siifficient supply of air. For the last of these we have already given suffi- 
cient instructions for its admission; and for the first we could not furnish a 
better rule for the capacity and power of boilers than that which applies to 
the steam-engine, namely that of raising 33,000lbs. one foot high in a minute. 
For example, suppose a steam-engine of 50 horse nominal power to be 
worked according to the indicator up to 80 horse, which taken at 3;:),000 lbs. one 
foot high in a minute, we have then to calculate, from data already given, the 
size of boilers required. Using these precautions, and never loading the steam- 
engine beyond its nominal power without enlarging the boilers in proportion, 
the effects will be an almost total suppression of smoke and a saving of fuel. 


To all those practically acquainted with the subject, it is well known that 
a boiler of limited capacity, when overworked, must he forced, and this forcing 
is the gangrene which corrupts and fosters the whole system of operations. 
Under such circumstances perfect combustion is out of the question, and 
any attempt at ceconomy is, as heretofore, a complete failure. I have been 
the more particular on these points from having witnessed innumerable 
errors and mistakes in this respect, and it cannot be too forcibly impressed 
upon the minds of the public, that a large boiler is one of the essentials 
absolutely necessary for the acquirements already insisted upon. 


Fig. 2. 



Figs. 1 and 2 represent a plan and longitudinal section of the boiler with 
double flues and double furnaces, and figs. 3 and ^ a transverse section and 


116 REPORT 1844. 

end view. In these representations it will be seen that the gases emitted 
from the furnaces a, a x are conducted along the internal tubes into the re- 
turn flue b. From b they cross under the boiler below the ash-pit into the 
flue c, and from thence along the opposite side of the boiler into the main 
flue d, which communicates with the chimney. From this description it will 
be observed that the gases do not unite until they have reached ee at the 
end of the boiler. At this point a change immediately takes place in the 
gaseous products, and that from one of two causes, as follows. Suppose the 
furnace a x to be newly fired, and the fuel in it in a perfectly incandes- 
cent state ; it then follows that the gases passing from a will not only be 
different in their constituents to those from a x, but they are at a much 
higher temperature; and both furnaces having received air as a constant 
quantity through the fixed apertures j^, it will be seen that in the event of 
a surcharge of air on one side, and a diminished supply on the other, that 
their extremes are neutralized by the excess of oxygen thus introduced and 
the increased temperature which effects ignition at the point e, where combi- 
nation takes place. All that is therefore necessary is to replenish the fires 
alternately every 20 minutes in order to effect the combustion of the gases 
without the least appearance of smoke. These and the increased recipient 
surface are the leading properties of this boiler, which, compared with others 
having single flues, is found to be greatly superior either as regards the com- 
bustion or ceconomy of fuel. 

General Summary of Results. 

Inbrieflyrecapitulatingthe experiments, observations and results obtained, 
it will be seen that in the procurement and employment of heat, a number of 
important matters have to be considered. 

First, the quality and properties of the fuel used. 

Secondly, its treatment in the furnace, and the supply of air requisite for 
its combustion. 

Thirdly, the form of boilers, and the extent of their absorbent surfaces. 

Fourthly, the concentration and ceconomy of heat. And 

Lastly, the prevention of smoke. 

These have been treated upon in their respective order, and all that now 
remains is to collect them into form, and draw such conclusions as will 
enable practical men to understand and apply the means necessary for their 

From what has been stated, and from the many facts collected and expe- 
riments made, it will appear conclusive that a much better and more com- 
prehensive system of combustion can be accomplished ; and by attention to 
the following results, great and important advantages may be obtained. 

Amongst the varied species of fuel enumerated in the foregoing experi- 
ments, there will be found ten different sorts of coal, each exhibiting its 
peculiar properties and compounds. For the sake of brevity and deduction, 
these may be divided into three kinds, namely the anthracite, the bituminous 
and splint qualities. Of the anthracite we have little experience beyond a 
knowledge of its properties and the absence of smoke. It is a coal which 
requires a large supply of oxygen for its combustion, and instead of the 
furnace usually employed for the consumption of the bituminous kind, it 
would require one possessing the power of a reverberatory or a strong blast 
acting upon it, and that under circumstances of a minute division of its parts. 

The bituminous kind is however what we have most to do with, and on . 
reference to its constituents, it will be seen that a specific quantity of atmo- 
spheric air is absolutely necessary for its combustion, amounting, as already 


Stated, to 10 times the volume of gases it contains. Now, from a number of 
well-conducted experiments on the waggon-shaped, and the improved boilers 
with double flues, it was ascertained that the following proportions of per- 
manent openings for the admission of air behind the fire-bridge were the 
nearest approach to perfect combustion*. 

Summary of Results obtained from 17 Experiments with fixed apertures for 
the admission of air behind the bridge of two 40-horse power Boilers. 

Description of Boilers and num- 
ber of Experiments made. 

Power of Boilers 
in horses. 

Area of grate- 
bars in feet. 

Area of perma- 
nent apertra'e in 
square inches. 

Number of 
square inches of 
aperture to 
every foot of 

Waggon-boiler, mean of"! 

10 experiments J 

Double furnace boiler,! 

mean of 7 experiments. J 











It therefore appears that about 26 square feet, and 32^ inches of perma- 
nent aperture for the admission of air, is the mean of the old and improved 

This proportion must not however be taken as a criterion for every boiler, 
as much depends upon the principle on which they are constructed, and it 
will be safer to adopt the mean results of the experiments as shown in the 
table, than to apply them without exception to every description of boiler 
and furnace. Taking therefore the mean of the whole experiments, we may 
safely administer the following supply of air behind the bridge. 

For cylindrical waggon-shaped and every description of boiler of the usual 
construction, give permanent opening for the admission of air of 1^ square 
inch to every square foot of grate-bar ; and for every square foot of grate-bar 
surface in the double furnace and double-flued boiler, give half a square inch, 
or '5 for the same purpose. 

Practically considered, this will be found a near approximation to the 
correct quantity of air required for the support of effective combustion in 
each, and provided necessary attention is paid to considerations involving 
the consumption of bituminous coal, of different kinds, we may reasonably in- 
fer a greatly improved process in the use and absorption of our mineral fuels. 
In the combustion of splint and slaty coal, a different treatment will be 
required as respects either the anthracite and the bituminous kinds ; the one 
is obdurate and hard, the other is compact, and in some instances liquefies 
like pitch. Now the splint and slaty specimens burn open and rapid, and 
therefore require less air, exclusive of what is taken through the grate-bars. 

* It is due to Mr. John Wakefield (formerly of Manchester, now of Farnworth near Bolton) 
to state, that he was amongst the first who turned his attention to the admission of air at the 
biidge, behind the furnace, for the purpose of consuming the smolie as it escaped into the 
flues. His first furnace was constructed on a plan of his own, having a hollow bridge closed 
at the top, and thus rendering it an air-chamber connected with openings on each side of the 
furnace. On this plan the air w.ts heated by the passing currents, and by a communication 
from the air-chamber to an opening in the arch-plate over the furnace door, tlie air thus rare- 
fied was forced downwards, by the form of tlie opening in the plate, direct upon the fire. A 
variety of other scliemes were tried by Mr. Wakefield, some of them successfully ; and it is only 
justice to that gentleman to state, that a considerable portion of his life was devoted to im- 
provements in steam-boiler furnaces, and the abatement of a nuisance wliich at that period 
(nearly thirty years ago) was justly complained of. 

118 REPORT 1844. 

In some cases it may however be necessary to overtake and effect the ig- 
nition of such gases as may escape over the bridge unconsuraed, and for this 
purpose, in some descriptions of hght coal, it may be desirable to admit 
about half the quantity of air used in the combustion of the bituminous kinds. 

The ultimate results are, therefore, — 

A perfect knowledge of the properties of the fuel used, and judicious 
management in working the fires. 

An increase in the area of recipient surface of the boiler in the ratio of 
the furnace as 1 to 18, or what is the same thing, a reduction of the grate- 
bar surface to that proportion. 

A constant supply of air (through a fixed aperture) of 1^ square inch to 
every foot of grate-bar in common boilers, when burning bituminous coal j 
and half that area when using splint coal. These openings should however 
be regulated in the first instance by hand, until the mean or maximum effect 
in reference to the fuel is obtained. 

A complete covering of felt, or some other non-conducting substance, to 
be applied to the exterior parts of the boiler, and the flues to be well-pro- 
tected on all sides from the external air. 

On a strict observance of these rules will depend the question of smoke or 
no smoke, and also whether an important oeconomy in the use of fuel shall 
or shall not be effected. We are assured, from the experimental facts already 
recorded, that both these objects can be accomplished, and it rests with the 
community to determine how far they shall be carried into effect. 

At the time of entering upon this investigation, it was my intention to 
have confined it within exceedingly narrow limits : it was however found to in- 
crease in interest as I advanced ; and from the nature of the subject, and 
the number of considerations connected therewith, I became involved in a 
long and important inquiry ; an inquiry progressively developing new fea- 
tures, and admitting of no curtailment except only in such matters as did 
not directly bear upon the subject. As it is, I fear I have but imperfectly 
discharged the duty entrusted to my care : it is however done honestly ; 
and trusting to future developments in the hands of superior writers, I close 
the report under the impression that the preceding investigations may direct 
public attention to the extension of our knowledge and improvement of our 
practice in the combustion of fuel and the prevention of smoke. 

Manchester, Nov. 30, 1844. 

Note by Mr. Fairbairn, beirig an Appendix to the preceding Report. 

During the progress or about the close of the above report, I found that 
my friend and former pupil Mr. A. Murray had communicated a paper on 
a similar subject to the Institution of Civil Engineers, entitled " The Con- 
struction and proper Proportion of Boilers for the Generation of Steam." 

Mr. Murray has had many opportunities of judging of the best forms and 
proportions of marine boilers, and, from the facilities afforded in his profes- 
sional avocations at the Royal Dockyard, Woolwich, I am induced to quote 
a iew of his observations relative to the area of the flue, bridge, chimney, 
&c., which have in some degree been omitted in the preceding report. In 
treating of the quantity of air entering into combination with the volatile 
products of pit coal, Mr. Murray states, that " The quantity of air chemi- 
cally required for the combustion of 1 lb. of coal has been shown to be 
150*35 cubic feet, of which 44'64' enter into combination with the gases, 
and 105'7l with the solid portion of the coal. From the chemical changes 


which take place in the combination of the hydrogen with oxygen, the bulk 
of the products is found to be to the bulk of the atmospheric air required 
to furnish the oxygen, as 10 is to 11. The amount is therefore 49- 104. This 
is without taking into account the augmentation of the bulk due to the 
increase of the temperature. In the combination which takes place be- 
tween the carbon and the oxygen, the resultant gases (carbonic acid gas and 
nitrogen gas) are of exactly the same bulk as the amount of air, that is, 
105"71 cubic feet, exclusive, as before, of the augmentation of bulk from the 
increase of temperature. The total amount of the products of combustion 
in a cool state would therefore be 49"104.< + 105"71 = 154'"8I4 cubic feet. 

" The general temperature of a furnace has not been very satisfiictorily as- 
certained, but it may be stated at about 1000^ Fahrenheit, and at this tem- 
perature the products of combustion would be increased, according to the 
laws of the expansion of aeriform bodies, to about three times their original 
bulk. The bulk, therefore, of the products of combustion which must pass 
off must be 151"S14 x 3 = ^S-i-^i-^ cubic feet. At a velocity of 36 feet per 
second*, the area, to allow this quantity to pass off in an hour, is '516 square 
inch. In a furnace in which 13 lbs. of coal are burnt on a square foot of 
grate per hour, the area to every foot of grate would be "516 x 13 =6"708 
square inches ; and the proportion to each foot of grate, if tlie rate of com- 
bustion be higher or lower than 13 lbs., may be found in the same way. 

" This area having been obtained, on the supposition that no more air is 
admitted than the quantity chemically required, and that the combustion is 
complete and perfect in the furnace, it is evident that this area must be much 
increased in practice where we know these conditions are not fulfilled, but 
that a large surplus quantity of air is always admitted. A limit is thus found 
for the area over the bridge, or the area of the flue immediately behind the 
furnace, below which it must not be decreased, or the due quantity could 
not pass off, and consequently the due quantity of air could not enter, and 
the combustion would be proportionally imperfect. It will be found ad- 
vantageous in practice to make the area 2 square inches instead of '5 16 square 
inch. The imperfection of the combustion in any furnace, when it is less 
than 1'5 square inch, will be rendered very apparent by the quantity of 
carbon which will rise unconsumed along with the hydrogen gas, and show 
itself in a dense black smoke on issuing from the chimney. This would give 
26 square inches of area over the bridge to every square foot of grate, in a 
furnace in which the rate of combustion is 1 ^ lbs. of coal on each square foot 
per hour, and so in proportion for any rate. Taking this area as the pro- 
portion for the products of combustion immediately on their leaving the 
furnace, it may be gradually reduced, as it approaches the chimney, on ac- 
count of the reduction in the temperature, and consequently in the bulk of 
the gases. Care must however be taken that the flues are nowhere so con- 
tracted, nor so constructed, as to cause, by awkward bends, or in any other 
way, any obstruction to the draught, otherwise similar bad consequences will 

From this statement it would appear, that 26 square inches of area over 
the bridge is about the correct proportion for the combustion of 13 lbs. of 
coal per hour on each square foot of grate-bar. Now these proportions are 
rather more than is given in stationary boilers; as the mean of a number of 
experiments, taken where the combustion was most perfect, gave about 18 
square inches over the bridge, and about 28 square inches as the area of the 
flues to every square foot of grate-bar. 

* See Dr. Ure's experiments, reail before the Royal Society, June 1836. 

120 REPORT — 1844. 

These data may rot at first sight appear important ; they are however of 
great value in practice, as the ceconomy of the fuel and the efficiency of the 
furnace in a great measure depend upon the lieight of the bridge behind, 
which operates as a rctarder of the currents in the same way as the damper 
is used for checking the draught of the chimney in the flues. 

Mr. Murray further treats of the temperature of the furnace, flues, &c., 
but these points having already been experimented upon and fully discussed 
in the report, it will not be necessary to notice them in this place. 

William Fairbairn. 

Report concerning the Observatory of the British Association, at Kew, 

from August the 1st, 1843, to July the ^\st, 1844. 

By Francis Ronalds, Esq., F.R.S. 

In August of last year (1843) I drew up a short account of the electrical 
observatory here, as fitted up and supplied with ins^trunients under my direc- 
tion, and principally in accordance with a plan which I Lad in November 
1842 stated to Professor Wheatstone, 

That account was annexed to a journal of about one month's electrical ob- 
servations made therewith, and the meteorological journal commencing in 
October 1842. 

From August 1843 to the present time a similar electrical journal has been 
maintained with all the attention to accuracy which our ways and means have 
permitted, and it has been presented to the Association in a condensed tabu- 
lar form embodied with the other meteorological observations made here. 

But as the above-mentioned statement may be deemed not quite sufficient 
for a due appreciation of the circumstances under which our journal has been 
kept, as I have since made a few variations in and additions to the collection 
of instruments, given to the journal a different form*, and instituted a few 
test and other experiments, it seems expedient to comprise in this report, 
first, a short description of the building itself, and of the whole meteorological 
apparatus employed; secondly, some necessary explanations, and a specimen 
of the journal ; thirdly, a brief statement relative to all the experiments (of 
ani/ moment) which have been made. 

I. Description of the Observatorg and of Instruments used for the Observations. 

The Building. 

The position, form, Sfc. of the structure (Plate XXX. fig. 1), are certainly 
very favourable to electrical meteorology. It was erected for His Ma,jesty 
George 111. by Sir William Chambers, in about the year 1768, in the old 
Deer Park, Richmond, upon a promontory formed by a flexure of the river, 
its least distance from which is 924 feet. The nearest trees (elms) are about 
13 feet lower than the top of the conductor. Some elms more distant average 
about 13 feet lower, and the trees of various kinds, as elm, beech, poplar, &c., 
on the bank of the river, about 8 feet lower. Innumerable high trees exist in 
the royal pleasure-grounds, the nearest being about half a mile distant. 

The height of the top of the conductor above the level of the sea is about 
feet; above the river, at low Avater, about 83 feet, and above the top of 
the dome 16 feet. 

* As nearly like the Astronomer Royal's as possible. 


The neighbourhood of the river and the rather marshy state of the land 
near the building cause sometimes very dense and interesting fogs*. 

The foundation is of an extremely solid and costly kind. The basement, 
partly sunk in an artificial mound, is occupied by Mr. Galloway's family and 
that of Mr. Cripps f- 

The principal entrance is by a flight of stone steps, on the north side, into 
a fine hall equal to and corresponding with the apartment A. B is a room 
which was built for the great mural quadrant, and has shutters, 6' IP, in the 
roof, &c., and in the meridian of the two obelisks near the river. [The 
northern window of this apartment is used for the exposure of thermometers 
and hygrometers.] The other wing (C) consists of the (former) transit-in- 
strument-room, with its sliding shutters, a small apartment for an azimuth 
instrument, and part of a circular staircase. The north upper room, like and 
equal to D, is to be used as a bed-room. D is appropriated as a sort of 
laboratory, library, study, experimental room, &c. The central rooms (A, D, 
&c.) are entirely lined with glass cases, which formerly contained philosophi- 
cal instruments, objects of natural history, &o. (many of the cases now sub- 
ject to dry rot, but still may prove very convenient), and all the rooms are 
provided with stoves. The flat leaden roof of the front and back rooms (D) is 
surrounded by a balustrade, &c. It is entered upon by convenient stairs and 
a door, and serves admirably for viewing the sky, and for the reception of 
some instruments, &c. The smoke of the chimneys is sometimes annoying, 
and perhaps a little detrimental ; but I think that the smoke and the hot air 
scarcely ever rise so high as to interfere with the electrical indications of the 
principal conductor ; an almost imperceptible breath of wind carries them 
away horizontally. 

The small equatorial apartment (E) is composed chiefly of wood covered 
externally by sheet copper ; it is erected partly upon an extremely solid wall 
extending from the foundation of the whole building. The dome (e) was 
moveable round its axis by means of beautiful, but now scarcely efficient, 
internal rack-work, &c. It had above, the usual opening with sliding shut- 
ters, and below, a kind of door, corresponding with them and opening upon 
the plinths {/)% : this room is now our principal 

Electrical observatory, which has been thus adapted and furnished. [The 
parts of fig. 2 in diagonal shading represent a sectional plane cutting the axis 
of the dome ; the other parts are in projection.] 

Through the centre of the dome A A A has been cut a circular aperture, 
and in that is fitted a smooth mahogany varnished cylinder, a* a'. B B is a 
window, the frame of which formerly carried the sliding shutter ; and g (fig. 1 ) 
are steps by which the top of the dome may be reached. 

G G G, fig. 2, is a strong cylindrical pedestal (the upper part of which be- 
comes a warm and dry closet for little electrical articles). G' G' is a stage 
surrounding G, upon which the observer mounts by the steps G^ 

C C C (fig. 2) and h (fig. 1 ) is the safety conductor, composed of a leaden 
strap soldered to the leaden roof of the lower apartments, which roof is con- 
nected by various little straps and solderings with leaden pipes (A^^', fig. 1), 
in good conducting communication with the drains, pond, &c. 

* Electric signs are usually higher upon bridges than elsewhere, all other things being 
equal in serene weather, and fogs present remarkable electric phsenomena. 

t An apartment, of which X is the window, was frequently used by His Majesty as a 
turning-room. We want the lathe very much. 

X It may be as convenient to other observers as to Mr. Galloway and myself to know, that 
these sloping plinths or steps are in frosty weather very dangerous. 

122 REPORT — 1844. 

The Principal Conductor, &c. 

The principal conductor, DD (fig. 2), and H (fig.]), is a conical tube of 
thin copper 16 feet high. E E (fig. 2) is a strong brass tube into which D D 
is firmly secured, and enters about 3^ inches, but is removeable at pleasure. 
F F is a well-annealed hollow glass pillar, whose lower end is trumpet-shaped 
and ground flat; it rests upon the centre of the pedestal G G G, where it is 
firmly secured by eight bolts,y',y, &-c., passing through a strong wooden 
collar, y^, and the table of G. This pillar, with its high conductor, has re- 
sisted gales which were strong enough to blow down large trees in the neigh- 
bourhood ; a certain degree of flexibility in the conductor diminishes the 
danger of the glass breaking considerably- A collar of thick leather is 
planted between F and the table, and some strips of leather are interposed 
between the excavated interior of the collar and the trumpet-shaped part of 
F (as seen in the plan annexed). 

H (fig. 2) is a spherical ring fitted on the brass cap of F, and carrying 
III, which are three of four arms at right angles with each other. I (Plate 
XXXII. fig. 3) is a section of one of them, and of the ring H, to which it is 
firmly attached by means of a strong iron screw R, and the plug S. K is a 
ball fixed on the other end by means of a screw, L passing through its neck 
and a plug M. N is a cylindrical plug sliding accurately into K, and furnish- 
ed with a screw w\ which passes through a stopper O into a clamping-ball P. 
K and N are perforated to fit the sliding arm Q. 

It is evident that by these means Q can be adjusted to any angle, with, and 
its ends to any required height, from the table of G G G ; also that it can be 
very firmly secured without being galled. 

K (fig. 2) is a little lamp for warming F F appropriately, /i' its chimney of 
copper, closed above, passing through the table of G and entering, but not 
touching, F. 

By this arrangement the lower part of F is generally warmed too much 
and the upper too little ; but the pillar F being conical, <S:c., some zone always 
exists between the two ends, which is in the best state of temperature for 
electrical insulation*. 

L is a pair of finely pointed platinum wires soldered to D. 

M is Volta's small lantern, fitted to a ring m^, from which it can easily be 
withdrawn when lowered by a person mounting the steps on the dome, »r its 
lamp ; w^ is a ring or tube sliding freely on D, and attached to M, &c. ; 
m^ is a silken line fastened to m^, passing over a pulley (from which it cannot 
escape) at wi', descending the interior of D and E, and winding upon a reel 
contained in the ball m®, worked by a winch, for the purpose of raising 
and lowering M. 

N is an inverted copper dish or parapluie, with a smooth ring on its edge, 
fitted by a collar and stays on E, and (of course) insulated by F : its least 
distance from a} is 3 inches. 

One of the chief objects of this arrangement is to insulate the active parts 
of all the electrometers and the conductor itself by a common insulator, viz. 
the glass pillar F. The cord being contained in the tubular rod, cannot dis- 
sipate electricity from its fibres, and everything is well-rounded. 

* Mr. Read imagined (vide his ' Summary View,' &c. p. 105) "that if the insulation of 
his rod could be constantly kept in due temperature, it would always be electrified; but that 
that could not be done without the aid of common fire, which in so large an apparatus would 
be very difficult." 

I believe we may safely affirm, that with the exception of a few hours of drizzling weather 
sometimes, and on occasions when our conductor has been touched, our rod has been every 
day, and all day, sensibly electrified since the moment of its erection (in June 1813). 


Electrometers, &c. 
The voltaic electrometers, which we used at first for the observations, were 
Volta's No. 1, or standard, O, fig. 2, and his second P, so modified that the 
straws suspended within square glass bottles with metallic bases, &c. were 
not suspended from the bottles themselves ; but finding it difficult to avoid 
parallax and distortion by uneven glass, &c., I have endeavoured to improve 
these electrometers, and since the 16th of June we have used the following 
form, having first taken special pains to render the new instruments as nearly- 
accordant with the old as possible (vide Experiments, post\ 

P (fig. 4) is a front view and O (fig. 5) a side view of a brass case (instead 
of a bottle) exactly 2 English inches wide internallj^ and furnished with 
plates of thin plate glass fixed by brass plates, &c. to its front and back : the 
back plate is ground to semi-transparency. The radius of the ivory scale p 
is equal to the length of the pair of straws Q ii. e.) 2 Paris inches, and the 
scale is graduated "in half Paris lines. The scale of No. 1 counts single de- 
grees, and each degree of No. 2 corresponds with five of No. 1. 

The straws are suspended by hooks of fine copper wire inserted into their 
hollows and passing freely through holes in the flattened ends of the wire R, 
at the distance of half a line from each other. R passes through a glass tube 
S, covered with sealing-wax by heating the tube (not by spirit varnish). T is 
a cover cemented upon S, and, when the instrument is not in use, closing P. 
U is a ring to which R and S are attached, and V (fig. 5) is a knife-edged 
piece of steel riveted into a slit in U*. 

The base ( W X Y) of the instrument consists of three parts. W is a cylinder 
with a kind of flange, w^, and is screwed firmly down upon a circular plate X. 
Y is a stout ring turning with friction about the smaller part of W, and X is 
secured firmly on the table of G by a bolt, screw-washer and nut Z, the bolt 
passing through a hole in G much larger than itself. The lower part, or 
plinth of P, has a shallow cavity beneath into which id^ fits easily. 

A is a tubular arm attached to Y, and carrying a steel wire B, which sup- 
ports an eye-piece C ; this can be adjusted and fixed at the required height 
from Y, in the same manner as Q (fig. 3). The distance of C from P, .when 
in use, is one English foot. 

R R (fig. 6) is a horizontal tubular arm fixed upon one of the vertical arms 
Q (fig. 3), and S S (fig. 6) are two little tubes witii stoppers which slide into 
R and turn on their common axis ; s' s^ are notches cut down to the diameter 
of S S, and the horizontal parts of V (vide fig. 5) fit these notches. 

Hence it is obvious, that when the adjustments have been made, an elec- 
trometer-case can be properly placed upon its base W, &c., and the straws 
Q, &c. suspended from S at exactly their proper height, without destroying 
the insulation of the warmed glass pillar (for it is necessary to handle P only), 
that U, &c. will then hang with sufficient freedom without liability to turn on 
their axis, and that C can be brought to exactly its proper position for noting 
the degrees onjo>, indicated by the divergence of Q. In like manner O can 
be removed and closed (as shown in the side view, fig. 5) without destroying 
the insulation, and finally, the whole of PX, &c. can be adjusted to make 
the straws accord with the zero point of />' (when unelectrified) and firmly 
fixed there f. I will not enter upon further particulars concerning the man- 
ner of using the sight-piece C in estimating fractions of degrees. 

* Cleverly suggested to me by Mr. Robert Murray. 

t The Astronomer Royal has improved the manner of placing and displacing these elec- 
trometers at Greemvich. 

124 REPORT — 1844. 

C C C is a strap of copper pressed under the washers at Z Z, and in good 
conducting contact with the strap of lead C (fig. 2)*. 

The Henley electrometer (figs 7 and 8) is also constructed in conformity 
with Volta's improvements f. 

The brass piece A is cylindrical below and flat above ; on each of the 
smaller sides of the upper part is affixed a semicircular plate of ivory BB ; 
through these the shanks of two little balls (CC) are screwed, which are drilled 
to receive fine steel pivots, carrying a little ball, into which the index (or 
pendulum) D is inserted : D terminates with a pith-ball E. The scale is 
divided into degrees of the circle : each degree should correspond with 
degrees of the Volta No. 2, and consequently with degrees of the No. 1 (or 
standard) ; every part is carefully rounded and smoothed. 

It is supported by a piece of tube F passing through a clamping-ball and 
plug G, and that ball is affixed to one of the cross arms Q (vide fig. 3); the zero 
of the scale can be therefore accurately adjusted to coincide veith the pen- 
dulum when unelectrified, and this can be made to rise in a plane cutting the 
axis of the conductor, &c. with the back of the instrument A turned towards 
the conductor, &c. ; these are two essential conditions. 

This electrometer has seldom been observed until the Volta No. 2 had risen 
beyond 90" (in terms of the first, i.e. 18 lines x 5); and since the uncertainty 
and difficulty of measuring the higher tensions increase in a rapid ratio with 
the increments of tension, owing to unavoidable and sometimes almost im- 
perceptible " spirtings" and particularly to the falling of rain from the dish 
or funnel N (fig. 2), proportionably less confidence must, of course, be placed 
in our notations of such tensions by means of this instrument J. 

It also requires, according to Volta, De Luc, &c., small corrections for all 
degrees below the 15th and above the 3.5th, which have not been made in 
our Journal §. 

A galvanometer by M. Gourjon, S (fig. 2), which Professor Wheatstone 
has placed on our table, will, I hope, prove the nucleus of a very valuable 
assemblage of new facts. In low intensities we have not yet been able to 
apply this instrument successfully, but in higher tensions the needles have been 
strongly affected. 

The galvanometer in some improved form should perhaps supply that great 
desideratum in atmospheric electricity, a means of noting the dynamic effects 
which are perhaps coincident, if not identical, with the property discovered 
by Beccaria, and called by him " frequency," a property of great importance 
possibly considered in relation with the various opinions and theories which 
have been or still are entertained concerning the natural agency of atmo- 
spheric electricity, in vegetation, animal life, the magnetism of the earth, 
the aurora, &c. 

Should we be enabled to prosecute these inquiries in the manner which 
the Professor lias most ingeniously contemplated, or by means of a much 
more extensive collecting apparatus than the single lamp, &c., I hope that 
we shall do some good in this way. 

* The Cavalier' Aniici has (on visiting the observatory), in a very kind and flattering man- 
ner, expressed his conviction that if Volta (his friend) could now see these improvements 
upon his electrometers and their application, he would be much pleased. 

+ Vide Opere del Volta, torn i. parte 2. p. 33 et seq. 

X The oscillations of the index between the 30th and 35th degi-ees, sometimes during a 
heavy shower, plainly show that the electricity of the conductor is washed off, as it were, as 
fast as brought. 

§ I have strong hopes that our principal use of all these electrometers will i)e that of com- 
paring them with one torsion electrometer, alluded to in my former communication. 



The discharger (fig. 9), also our " safety valve," is perhaps an improve- 
ment upon Lane's electrometer. 

The length of the spark is measured by means of a long index R, which 
exhibits the distance of two balls, S and S', from each other on a multiplying 
scale T, S being attached to a rod V, which is raised and lowered by means 
of a glass lever W, forked piece X, &c. ; V slides accurately through the base Y 
and the piece A. The bolt, &c. (Z), which is in intimate metallic connec- 
tion with the safety conductor C, clamps the whole down to the table in 
the same manner as that in which the voltaic electrometers are fixed. 

Each division of the scale represents an exact twentieth of an inch in the 
length of the spark. The actual cord of each division is about a tenth. The 
divisions are, of course, not perfectly equal to each other : they serve very 
well to estimate to fortieths, or less. 

We observe a tolerably near approximation to coincidence between the 
lengths of sparks as measured by this instrument and the degrees of tension 
exhibited by the Henley. 

A Bennetts gold-leaf electroscope, in form a little differing from fig. 10, 
has been sometimes used for discovering the length of time which has elapsed 
between the alternations in kind- of electricity during rain, &c., and verg rarely 
for ascertaining whether our conductor was charged or not on other occa- 

A wire A, terminating below in a pair of forceps, carrying the paper by 
which the leaves are suspended (in Bennet's manner nearly), passes through 
a glass stopper B, which is ground into a long-necked bottle C, with a me- 
tallic base D, and a strip of brass (E) is bent and screwed to the inside of D. 
The neck of C is well-covered with sealing-wax by heating both inside and 

If required, this instrument can be suspended from an arm, as R (fig. 6), 
and a chain hooked on a ring in its base, but here we depart from the prin- 
ciple of uniform insulation, and therefore seldom use a Bennet's electroscope 
in this manner, but merely touch the conductor with it. 


The distinguisher, which we have found most convenient for ascertaining 
the kind of electricity possessed by the conductor, &c. at any given time, 
and in all tensions except the verv lowest, is of the sort represented by 
fig. 11. 

A is a wire connected with a brass tube which forms the interior coating of 
a very thin glass tube C. B is an exterior coating of the same kind, and these 
two coatings are at about three-fourths of an inch distant from each extremity 
of this little Leyden jar. The intervals D C and B C are coated with melted 
sealing-wax inside and out. A thus prepared is inserted through a stopper, 

* In measuring low intensities, and particularly small quantities of electricity, the mode of 
insulation called ' Singer's ' is sometimes very objectionable, for this reason ; the wire (as A) 
carrying the gold leaves, or other pendulums, becomes partly the interior coating of a charged 
glass cylinder, and part of the cap of the instrument becomes the exterior coating ; the con- 
tact of the electrometer with the l)ody whose electric tension is to be ascertained, lowers 
consequently, and sometimes materially, the tension of that body itself. The charge received 
by such an instrument is retained well, principally by reason of these associated metallic 
coatings, &c., and it seems to lose electricity more slowly than it does, because it has more 
to lose than it seems to have. 

t The principal conductor, its appendages and instruments in the electrical observatory, 
hitherto described, were chiefly executed by Mr. Newman of Regent Street, and do him very 
great credit. 

126 REPORT — 1844. 

fitted to a bottle D with metallic base, and is provided with a pair of gold 
leaves rather too short to reach the sides of the bottle, the neck of which, 
both inside and out, is also coated with sealing-wax as usual. 

This distinguisher is charged every morning negativelj', and never fails to 
retain a good charge for the twenty-four hours. It is conveniently placed 
upon a bracket, a few feet distant from the conductor, &c., to which when 
used it is approached by hand, to some distance proportionate to the height 
of the charge. If the charge is positive, the leaves of course collapse more 
or less, but open again when withdrawn ; and if it be negative, the divergence 
increases, &c. 

Perhaps this mode of distinguishing is preferable to Beccaria's method of 
the star and brush, or even to that of the dry electric column, &c., for the 
operation can be performed without ihe least danger of lowering the tension 
of the conductor or injuring the gold leaves, let the height of the charge 
be what it may *. 


Ah electrograph (fig. 12), of the kind proposed first I believe by Laii- 
drlani and afterward by Bennet and Gersdof (but of which no particulars 
seem to have been published before 1823 1)> has also been used, but not ex- 
tensively, for reasons M-hich will be hereafter explained. 

A is a plate of tin coated with a thin layer of shell-lac, &c., as carefully as 
possible deprived of air-bubbles, flaws and inequalities. B is a case con- 
taining a time-piece moved by the weight C. D is part of a triangular little 
frame fitted to the hour arbour of the time-piece and supporting A. E F is 
a bent lever whose fulcrum is at e', below its centre of gravity : the part F is 
of coated glass. G is a ball through a groove of which E F passes, and G 
is supported by a cross arm of the conductor. 

When this instrument was used, the end E was allowed to rest with very 
little pressure upon A, which being carried round by the clock became elec- 
trified in the line and neighbourhood of its contact with E to an intensity 
proportional to the charge of the conductor. After having been allowed to 
perform a full revolution, or any given part of one, under these circum- 
stances, A was removed from D and well-powdered with chalk, projected 
upon it from a lump rubbed upon a hard brush. The powder, of course, as in 
Lichtenbourg's figures, adhered almost exclusively to the parts which had been 
more or less electrified by and in the neighbourhood of E ; and a figure was 
produced, of which a calotypic image, kindly executed for me by Mr. Collen, 
by means of his camera obscura, Sec, is preserved as a specimen. Many such 
images could be produced in a few fine hours from A, and thus a sort of 
pictorial register of atmospheric electricity (of serene weather at least) be 
circulated amongst meteorologists, care being taken of course to note the 
time of putting on and taking off the resinous plate. 

That figure was made contemporaneously with hourly observations of the 
voltaic electrometers. The plate, after the powdering, was placed upon a 
circular paper, divided as the hours of a dial, and the intensities (as 35°, 25'^ 
16", <S:c.) were marked against the appropriate hour, by which it may be 
seen that, excepting at the hour of six, the breadth of the line or figure cor- 
responds pretty nearly with those intensities. 

* Indeed I do not know whether some some such contrivance might not he applied to 
measure as well as distinguish the charge of the rod ; particulariy if the insulation of the 
gold leaves were preserved hy means of chloride of calcium in a manner hereafter to he 
spolicn of, the distance from the rod heing made the measure of tension. 

t Vide Descriptions of an Electric Telegraph, &c., p. 47. 


Mr. CoUen's photographic impression of a one-hour plate, which was fixed 
upon the minute arbour of the clock, is also preserved*. 

A Leyden jar, of about -tO inches coating, has been sometimes used for 
receiving the charges from the rod, and the number of discharges up to the 
maximum tension of the rod in a given time has furnished a better estimate 
(in very high tensions and quantities) of frequency, than we at present other- 
wise arrive at perhaps. 

A PAIR OF BELLS has been sometimes applied to the conductor in the usual 
way, but they are too small to give us due notice below of high charges. 

An Argand lamp is burned at about 3 feet from the conductor in the 
evening, for lighting the electrometers, &c., and a little chimney placed above 
it, and opening outside the dome to prevent hot air and vapour from ap- 
proaching the conductor, or anything connected therewith. 

A SMALL Joyce's stove, containing a little burning charcoal at night, is 
generally suspended in the dome for keeping eveiything dry. 

Great care is requisite, and diligently observed by Mr. Gallowaj', to guard 
as much as possible the whole apparatus from dust. He uses occasionally 
soft camels'-hair brushes. 

I believe that every article which has been used, more or less constantly, 
for the electric observations of the tables, has now been shortly described. 

I placed A condenser in the room, but we have not used it. I think that 
Volta's objections to the employment of such instruments in comparative ex- 
periments are founded in sound reason and experience. 


T/ie mountain barometer, lent by Colonel Sabine until we can afford the 
expense of a standard instrument, has been used since the commencement of 
the observations here ; it is by Newman ; the graduated scale is divided to 
0"05 of an inch ; the vernier subdivides the scale divisions to 0*05, and is 
moved bj' a slow screw. 

The particulars given, for corrections, are as follows : — 

Capacity 1*5.5 

Neutral point SQ'TG^ 

Capillary action +0*043 

Temperature 55° 

It is freely suspended by a ring in the mural quadrant-room B (fig. 1), 
near the north window. It has been compared with the barometer of the 
Royal Society, and the comparison is recorded there. 

The observations are set down without corrections of any kind. 
A centigrade barometer hangs freely in the dome, but we use it for casual 
observations merely, and seldom. 


The thermometer which we call our standard, by Newman, is mercurial, 
and divided to 0'5 ; it has not been compared with others. It is fixed at the 
outside of the north window of the apartment B (fig. 1). 

The maximum thermometer is mercurial ; it is made by Newman, is 
divided to 0"1, and the index is of blue steel. It is placed outside the north 
window of the room B (fig. 1), near the standard thermometer. 

The minimum spirit thermometer, by Newman, is divided to 0"1, and the 
index is of black glass ; its position is nearly the same as that of the maximum 
thermometer, i. e. on the opposite side of the same window. 

* This kind of graphic exhihition is perhaps more pleasing but less useful than other modes 
of registration -which we hope to accomplish. The tsedium and difficulties of bringing the 
resinous coating to a uniformly fit state for receiving the electrical dra^ving are not incon- 

128 REPORT — 1844. 


The wet-bulb thermometer of Masons hygrometer is mercurial : its scale 
is divided to 0"1. The difference between this wet thermometer and the dry, 
as set down in our observations, is derived from a comparison of it with our 
standard thermometer. This hj'grometer has been placed outside of the 
same window, near tlie standard thermometer, about an hour before every 

Tlie thermometer inclosed in one of tiie bulbs of the Daniell hygrometer 
is also mercurial, and its scale divided into 0*1. The difference between the 
dew-point and tiie dry tliermonieter, as set down in our tables, is also derived 
from a comparison of this thermometer with our standard thermometer. We 
found that the exterior tiiermometer varied from the standard sometimes 1^°. 
This excellent iiygrometer is used at the same open window. 

The Saussure hygrometer is of the six-haired kind, made by Richer of 
Paris. A system of levers is employed, by means of which the effect upon the 
index is the mean result of all the expansions and contractions of tiie hairs. 
It has the advantage of great strength, at least, l)ut is slow and is much less 
to be depended upon than the Daniell. Before the observation it is exposed 
for about an hour outside the same north window of the room B (fig. 1). 

Rain and Vapour Gauge. 
This is, I believe, a new instrument. It indicates a mean result arising 
from the quantity of water which may have fallen between any two given 
periods, minus tlie quantity of vapour wliicli has risen in the same time (and, 
of course, vice versa) on and from a circular plane of one foot diameter. 

A A (fig. 16), Plate XXXI. is a cylindrical vessel of zinc whose internal 
diameter is one foot. 

B is anotlier cylindrical vessel attached to A, and communicating by a 
little pipe 6 with it. C (vide dotted lines) is a glass vessel standing in B, and 
having a small perforation near its foot. D D is a circular plate of brass 
firmly screwed to a cap C, and d} d^ is a copper plate attached to the cap of 
C also. E and F are cocks fixed upon D at a distance of about three-quarters 
of an inch from each other. G is a pulley upon an arbour, which runs in 
centres opposite to each other in the supports E and F ; the centres are 
jewelled, and the carefully turned pivots of the arbour are of platinum. H is 
an index carried by G, and 1 1 1 is the scale secured upon F. K is a silken 
thread passing round a groove in G, descending through a hole in D, and 
suspending a light copper covered dish L. JM is another silken thread pass- 
ing in the contrary direction round another groove in G, and suspending a 
weight N, which is somewhat lighter. Lastly, P is a glass shade placed upon 

This arrangement embraces a manifest application of the principle of the 
wheel barometer. If a quantity of water is poured into A, exactly sufficient 
to bring the index H to a given point, and if afterwards any addition to that 
quantity of water should be made by rain, the index will point out the in- 
crease upon the multiplying scale I; or if any diminution of that quantity 
should be occasioned by evaporation, the loss will also be pointed out by 
the motion of the index in the contrary direction. 

We have always therefore brought the imlex to zero by addition to or 
subtraction from the water in A at sun-sct, and have observed at that hour 
the mean results of deposition and evaporation for the preceding twenty-four 
hours. A little reservoir is placed near it with a pipe and cock for supply- 
ing water conveniently. This instrument is fixed upon a stand at about two 
feet above the leaden roof (fig. 1), but M'ould be much more properly situated 


if the cylinders A and B were sunk into the neighbouring earth, and I hope 
that we may at some future time be allowed a very little space for this 
purpose *. 

The use of the plate rf' rf' and of the glass shade P, is to exclude rain from 
B, and for protection. 

The platinum pivots and jewelled holes effectually prevent the inconveni- 
ences of oxidation, &c., and the instrument performs its office with great 
delicacy and fidelity- 

If it were required to be used occasionally as a rain-gauge ovAj, a funnel 
might be fitted upon A ; if for a vapour-gauge only, the whole might be pro- 
tected from rain by a sort of roof or covering placed at some feet above it. 


Our wind-vane, fig. 17, Plate XXXI., is rather more convenient and accurate 
than a common weather-cock. A is a small brass tube at whose upper end is 
fixed a hard steel cap with a conical cavity, which turns upon the hard steel 
point of a little rod screwed into a brass cap B, and B is fixed upon a pole C ; 
S N is a very light tin hoop, having the points of the compass painted upon 
it, and attached by arms to A, therefore it is carried round by A ; D is an 
index formed of a bent wire attached to B ; E is the vane fixed to A and 
counterpoised by F. 

This instrument is so placed, that the point of D, and whatever letter 
painted on S N stands above it, are always in the plane of the observer's eye 
viewing it through the window B of fig. 2. 


Lind's anemometer, as usually made by Watkins and Hill, has been con- 
sulted, but is so very much less sensible than is necessary, (for the liglitest 
zephyr is as important, at least, as the stiffest breeze to electrical meteorology,) 
that we Avere induced to try 

M. Guyofs, but with no better success ; I was therefore driven to the ne- 
cessity of inventing a somewhat rude but far more efiicient expedient, which 
we call our 

Balance anemometer. — This turns with a weight of ten grains (or less), and 
can be made to carry as many pounds (or more). A (fig. 15) is a light feather- 
edged deal board exactly 1 foot square ; B is a cross formed by two pieces 
of wood and carrying A at 6'; a leaden counterpoise C, at V'; a little arm, 
hook and scale-dish D, at h^; and a counterpoise thereto at bK B is sup- 
ported by nicely-turned brass pivots running in two little pieces of glass tube 
attached to the supports E E, which are firmly secured upon a large base F ; G 
is a kind of sentry-box f, with a projecting roof for protecting D B, &c. from 
the wind ; H is a little vane, and I a pin thrust through E E and the arm b-, 
M'hen the instrument is not in use. The whole has a coat of hard white 

The application of this mechanism is obvious. When tiie flat front of A is 
placed at right angles with the direction of the wind (Z), which can be done 
with tolerable accuracy by the help of H, D rises with weights placed in the 
dish proportional to the force of the wind acting upon the square foot A. 
We measure by grains. 

Great improvements as to making it self-adjustable to the direction of the 

* It might then, perhaps, indicate more accurately a certain relation to the amount in 
excess in evaporation, &c. from an aqueous surface on the earth. It should perhaps be 
made to float upon such a surface in a little boat or buoy. 

t The inveiition of Sergeant Gallowav, who made nearly the whole instrument. 
18M. ■ K 

130 REPORT — 1844. 

wind observable out of doors, without going out, &c. will occur to every- 

It lias been placed upon any part of the balustrade (fig. 1), which may 
have been freely exposed to the wind at the time of observation. 

II. Explanation and Remarks concerning the Journal, Sfc. 

In column A the letters " S R" and " S S" designate sunrise and sunset. 

In column B, " P" means positive charge, and " N" negative charge of the 

In column C, the four regular electrical observations of the day, viz. at 
sunrise, at 9 a.m., at 3 p.m., and at sunset, are put down. 

In columns D, E, F are contained the designations of the electrometers 
by which each observation was made. V stands for Volta's, H for Henley's, 
and D for the discharger. The figures preceding D are fractions, &c. of an 

In column E is contained the minimum and maximum charges derived 
from observations made, generally, every hour between sunrise and meridian. 
N.B. The early morning charges before sunrise (usually low) are not taken 
into account. 

In column G is contained the minimum and maximum charges derived 
irom, generally, hourly observations between meridian and about 10 p. m., the 
nightly charges after 10 not being taken into account. 

In column I is contained, sometimes, a few very rough intimations of the 
rate at which the charge of the conductor rises to a maximum after it has 
been touched. 

Column K was intended for the deviations of the electro-magnetic needle, 
but the galvanometer is not yet fitted for such notations regularly. 

Column L should contain notices of the side of the card to which the 
needle moves. 

In column M, a few indications of the number of storms occurring in the 
course of a day are sometimes set down. 

In column N is pointed out (by the letter S) such days as generally occur 
when the positive charge rises after sunrise, falls early in the afternoon, and 
rises again in the evening, accompanied by what is commonly understood by 
the term " fine weather ;" but there are exceptions to this (rather vague) 
definition which I believe require some habit and an acquaintance with the 
observations of Monier, and others, particularly Beccaria, to appreciate. 

Columns O, P, Q require no explanation. The dry thermometer is our 

In column R the observations are not copied after the 31st Dec. 1843. 
They were too anomalous to be of any possible use. 

In columns S and T many anomalies are to be found. 

In column U is contained (under E) the amount of evaporation in excess 
of rain from sunset to sunset; the degrees measure hundredths of an inch in 
the height of the water contained in A and B, fig. 16, Plate XXXI. 

In column V is contained (under R) the excess of rain above evaporation 
for the same period. 

In the column W, the direction of the wind, as shown by the vane on the 
dome, is marked. 

In column X, the maximum pressure of the wind from sunrise to sunset is 
noted from the 1st of August 1843 to the 9th of February 1844. After this 

* Dr. Robinson of Armagh suggests the employment of a chain of links, &c. winding upon 
R reel, for saving time and trouble in placing the weights in the dish. ^ 


date the pressure is set down at the hours of 9 and 15. [The frequent re- 
eurreuce of the proves the great insensibility of the Lind anemometer.] 

In column Y the forces of wind acting upon the balance-anemometer are in 
grain weights. 

In column Z the changes of the moon are placed opposite to the nearest 
hours (which had been previously written for other purposes) to those at 
which they occurred. 

Under the title " General Remarks and Occasional Observations," Mr. 
Galloway's nomenclature of atmospheric appearances is pretty closely adhered 
to. It will not always be found strictly logical and consistent, but I could 
not improve it without risk of damaging the general sense. When we came 
to the 7th of Nov. 1843, it seemed better to copy his notes from the book, 
in which they were originally set down, than to take his general accounts 
compiled from that book and from memory the next morning. 

A few words should be here devoted to the observer, &c. 

The observations of all kinds were made almost exclusively by Mr. Gallo- 
waj', whose notes were first written, some on papers prepared for the pur- 
pose, and kept in the quadrant-room below ; others in the above-mentioned 
book, kept in the electrical observatory, and more frequently inspected. 

I am quite satisfied that he has executed his task better than could have 
been expected ; but must add emphatically, that had our habits and qualifi- 
cations been always adequate to the attainment of extreme accuracy, our in- 
struments and other means would have been far from being so. 

In short, although the electrical part of the journal (even under these cir- 
cumstances) is more complete and accurate than any such hitherto recorded, 
yet this year's work {i.e. from the 1st of August 1843 to the 31st of July 
1844) must, in spite of all our efforts, be considered upon the whole, and 
principally, as educational and experimental. 

The form of the Journal is copied as closely as circumstances of space, &c. 
would permit, from the Astronomer Royal's admirable Tables of " Ordinary/ 
Meteorological Observations" at the Greenwich Royal Observatory. 


132 REPORT — 1844. 

Specimen of Electro-Meteorological Obsej-vations, 






Day and Hour. 




a B 





















5 to 


1844. d h m 
July 28. SR. 


„ 15 




„ 16 


July 29. SR. 


„ 15 
„ 12 
„ 14 
„ 22 

July 30. SR. 
„ 90 

„ 15 

„ 10 

„ 16 
„ 15 25 

July 31. SR. 


„ 15 




„ 15 

„ 15 40 

t> )» » 














































































12 V. 
























at the Kew Observatory, in the Year 1844. 




I." H 
-a 2 

S s 



















W X 

July 28. 
At SR. fine, but cloudy.— From 5 to 16 fine, cloudy, with sunshine. — At )7 
and 18 fine, but cloudy.— At 19 dull and cloudy.— At SS. light rain.— At 
21 and 22 dull and cloudy. 

July 29. 

At SR. dull and cloudy.— At 5 lij;ht rain. — At 6 and 7 dull and cloudy. — At 
8 fine, but cloudy. — From 9 to 19 fine, but cloudy, with sunshine. — At SS, 
fine, but cloudy. — At 21 and 2r45 clear and starlight. 

July 30. 

From SR. to 8 fine, but cloudy. — At 9 fine, but cloudy, with svmshine.— At 
10 heavy drops of rain. — At 11 and 12 dull and cloudy. — At 13 fine, but 
cloudy. — At 14 dull and cloudy. — At 16 and 17 fine, but cloudy, \vith sun- 
shine. — At 18 heavy rain. — At 19 fine, but cloudy. — At SS. and 21 dull 
and cloudy. 

Between the observations of 15 and 16 a storm occurred. (Vide Storm 
papers. No. 4.) 

July 31. 

At SR. and 5 fine, but cloudy.— At 6 fine, but cloudy, with sunshine. — At 7 
fine, but cloudy. — At 8 and 9 fine, but cloudy, with sunshine. — At 10 fine, 
but cloudy. — At 11 light rain. — At 12, 13 and 14 fine, butcloudy. — At 15 
lightrain. — At 1 6 fine, but cloudy, with sunshine. — At 17fine,but cloudy. — 
At 18 and 19 fine, but cloudy, with sunshine. — At SS. and 21 fine, but 

Between the observations of 16 and 17 a storm occurred. (Vide Storm 
papers, No. 5.) 


REPORT — 1844. 
Specimens of Storm Papers. 


No. 1. 

Time. Electricity. 

Incidents and Be- \\:ijici, 

JH. Dull and cloudy. 
H. Rain beginning 

5 |H. Raiu increasing, 
H.llain heavy 
H.] Id. 

,H.|Storm, Squalls, 
17 53lN.'30 H.jVery heavy rain, 
Sudden collapse 
Heavy rain. Col- 

Id. Flash 

Id. Sparks fre 



18 lN.!40'"H.Id 





No. 3. 

„. ^, ^ ■ •.. Incidents and Ke- 

Tmie. Electricity. marks. 


h n 

15 20 

18 5N.60 

18 12 N. g. 




19 50N. 5 



Id. Current 


Id. 5 charges of 

jar in 40" 

Heavy rain 

Id. Flash, Col 


Heavy rain 





Id. 8 charges per 
minute . 

Rain lighter.. 


Rain heavier 
Rain nearly 

ceased — 
Rain ceased.., 












15 21, P. 

15 22N, 
15 23 N 
15 30N 
15 35lN. 

15 37N.40 
15 40'n.50 

15 45JN.'50 
15 49 P. 50 

15 55 P. 45 

16 OP. 45 
16 47 P. 10 

Flash, Thunder 

Id Id. 

Large hail stones W.N.W 

Hail heavy Id. 

Hail very heavy . Id. 

Flash, Hail still 

Flash, id. id... 

Rain not so heavy 

H. Id. heavier 

H.lld. lighter 

Id. little 

Id. much hghter. 

Fine but cloudy 
with sunshine. 




Sometimes du- 
ring this storm 
when flashes oc- 
curred, streams of 
fire passed be 
tweenthe balls of 
the discharger, 
two. The noise 
resembled that of 
the violent rend 
ing of paper, but 
was much louder 

No. 4. 

15 25 
15 35 
15 36 
15 39 
15 40 
15 41 
15 46 
15 47 
15 49 
15 51 

15 56 P. 

D. 'Heavy rain. 










Rain lighter.. 
Fine with sun- 













III. Experiments made at the Kew Observatory in 1 843 and 1 S^^. 
I sincerely hope that we have not wasted much of the sum granted for the 
support of this establishment at the last meeting of the Association, in endea- 
vouring to prosecute what we conceive to be one of its chief objects. Some 
of the experiments (here selected from a large collection) were absolutelj'- 
necessary (to authenticity), others yet imperfect may possibly become com- 
plete and useful, as they may be further pursued, and some are or may be- 
come completely useless. None of them are comprised in the many trials 
which were made previously and more or less subservient to the construction 
of the principal conductor and its appendages, or to the several improve- 
ments already described of other instruments employed in the observations. 
They may perhaps, in conjunction with the Journal, <S:c., serve at least to 
show that sufficient precautions have not hitherto been taken for conducting 
electro-atmospheric observations to even approximative comparability/, and 
may possibly tend to induce far more able inquirers to favour us with whole- 
some advice and assistance. In fact this result has already been in some 
measure obtained in the instance of our zealous and able friend Dr. Robinson, 
and several very eminent professors. 

1. Comparison of Voltaic Electrometers. 

Two glass pillars (called a and b), similar to F (fig. 2), were mounted, 
with their collars, &c., upon a broad wooden shelf in the recess of the southern 
window of the southern room D (fig. 1) ; each was provided with its warm- 
ing-lamp, chimney, &c., and an arm projecting horizontally from the cap, 
which arms supported the pairs of straws, &c. of the voltaic electrometers 
to be compared (as in fig. 4), and the caps Avere placed in good conducting 
communication by a wire. The electrometers, &c. were charged (by an elec- 
trophorus) as highly as they could be without causing the straws to strike 
the sides, and their divergences were not noted down until the straws had 
somewhat collapsed. The electrometers A and C are of Volta's first or stand- 
ard kind ; B and D of his second kind. 

Insulator a. Insulator b. 

Time. Electrometer A. Electrometer C. 

Feb.l 20° 20° 

15 14-5 

10 10 

5-25 5 

Electrometer B. Electrometer D. 

Feb.3 90 90 

80 80 

67-5 70 

47-5 50 

27-5 30 

17-5 20 

Electrometer A. Electrometer C. 

Feb.6. 13h48m 20 20 

16-5 16 

10-5 10 

This experiment (or set of experiments) suffices to show, that our ordinary 
voltaic electrometers possess a tolerable approximation to comparability. [It 
is difficult to estimate a much smaller quantity than 2°*5 of the electrometers 
B and D, or half a degree of A and B.] 

2. Comparative insulating Powers of two Insulators. 
All things remaining as in experiment I, the electrometers were charged, 
and after time had been given them to fall a little, the caps of the insulators, 
a and b, were contemporaneously deprived of conducting communication by 

136 REPORT — 1844. 

withdrawing the iinitii)g wire by means of a glass handle attached to its cen- 
tral part. 

Insulator a. Insulator b. 

Electrometer B. Electrometer D. 

reb.3 67-5° 70° 

47-J 50 

27-^ 30 

New charge. 

77-5 80 

57-5 60 

37-5 40 

The window was now opened and a board was fitted into the frame (of the 
sash), having two apertures of about 5 inches diameter, situated a little higher 
than the caps. 

Insulator a. Insulator b. 

Time. Electrometer A. Electrometer C. 

Feb.6. 14h38m 20° 20° 

14-25 14 

9-5 6 

The apertures of the window-board were diminished to 2| inches diameter, 
and the lamp of the insulator b raised a little. A double wick was used in it. 

Insulator a. Insulator*. 

Time. Electrometer A. Electrometer C. 

Feb.9. 14hl5m 205° 20° 

14 14 

5-5 5 

New charge. 

20 20 

5-5 5-5 

The board was removed and the window closed. Both the lamps were 
used with double wicks and their chimneys attached to a lower board or shelf 
(as in fig. 3), in order to prevent more effectually any hot air with steam 
(arising from the combustion) from reaching the caps, <S:c. 

Insulator a. Insulator *. 
Time. Electrometer A. Electrometer C. 
Feb. 14. Uhlm 19° 19° 

10 11 

6 5 

The window was again opened and the board with the smaller holes used. 

Insulator a. Insulator*. 

Time. Electrometer A. Electrometer C. 

Feb. 15. lOhlSm 20° 20° 

6 5 

Electrometer B. Electrometer D. 

80 80 

60 60 

25 25 

10 10 

Here we have also a very fair approach to comparability. 

3. Comparison of three Insulators. 

The insulators a and b remaining as in experiment 2, and the window 
being closed, a third insulator (c) was attached by its collar, <Src. (as usual) 
to a round table placed near to the others, with its chimney-lamp, &c., but 
no lower shelf wan used. The electrometer E used with C had been found to 
accord very nearly with A and C. A fire burned in the stove of the room. 


9li 20m 

Insulator a. 
Electrometer A. 

Insulator b. 

Electrometer C. 


Insulator c. 
Electrometer E 





New charge. 







The insulator c, with its table, &c. removed into the north room, without 
any fire in the stove. 


Elect. A. 

Insu). b. 
Elect. C. 

Insul. c. 
Elect. E. 

in S. Room. 


Feb. 25. 

h m 
14 5 









„ 26. 

9 15 






„ 26. 

13 2 






Mar, 7. 

14 17 







„ 8. 

11 43 






„ 10. 

9 20 






„ 14. 

14 45 






It appears from these observations that very little difference arises in the 
insulating powers of our warmed glass pillars, from the circumstance of their 
being placed in an atmosphere a little more or less humid and cold. 

4. Comparison of two united with two single Insulators. 

In the united state of the insulators a and b, in these experiments every- 
thing was disposed as in experiment 1. 

In their single state the uniting wire was withdrawn in the manner stated 
in experiment 2. 

Insul. a. 

Insul. b. 



Elect. A. 

Elect. C. 


Loss in Time. 

h m 


h m 

Aug. 31. 

11 21 




13 22 





> united. 

13 35 


15 35 




i- single. 

Sept. 11. 

14 5 



15 25 



> united. 

14 30 



1 20 

15 29 



16 52 



>• single. 

15 33 



i 23 

10 6 



11 3 



> united. 

10 25 



1 24 

11 34 



13 25 



• •■ 

> single. 

11 37 



1 51 

13 30 



15 17 



> single. 

13 34 



1 37 

15 13 



17 44 



>• united. 

15 45 



2 31 

138 REPORT — 1844. 

From this 4th set of experiments, it would seem that two warmed insula- 
tors retained the charge as well as one ; and that therefore in the same situ- 
ation each insulated '■'^ perfectly " using this expression in Coulomb's sense. 
But circumstances may arise in applying this kind of test to render the con- 
clusion defective. The two cajjs, &c. (having greater capacity and quantity) 
should retain the charge better than one, &c. 

It is evident that certain mysterious conditions of the ambient air interfere 
sometimes with our operations of this nature, and (as Sir David Brewster 
justly remarks) experiments should be undertaken to find them out*. 

5. Experiments on Insulation by means of Chloride of Calcium. 

The object of these experiments was to ascertain how far it might be prac- 
ticable to construct electrometers which should lose the lower and more usual 
charges, received from the principal conductor, at given periods, in some near 
approximation to constant rates, yet not lower the tension of the conductor 
materially, on contact with it. For it is necessary to a more exact prosecu- 
tion of our inquiries, that the true electrical state of the conductor, as regards 
both tension and kind, should be known at certain intervals of the night more 
accurately than it can be by means of the resinous electrograph described 
at p. 126' 

In order to procure the greatest possible constancy of loss, it was (ob- 
viously) very desirable to obtain the greatest possible retention, and for this 
purpose non-conducting or semi-conducting laminae, coated on both faces 
with good (or better) conductors, naturally presented themselves as being 
capable of retaining low charges for very great lengths of time. But these 
require, proportionably, much larger doses of electricity to produce equal 
effects on tension electrometers than simple conductors (not thus " compen- 
sated"), and would, consequently, lower the tension of the principal conductor 
materially at the time of I'eceiving their charge from it. 

In endeavouring to discover the best means of retaining a small quantity 
of tension (" frictional") (y) electricity a long time, I first employed receivers, 
air-tight and of various dimensions, containing vertical rods of glass (cut from 
the same piece) about 3| inches long and a ^ of an inch in diameter. They 
carried horizontal brass wires from which were suspended pairs of natural 
voltaic straws (as in fig. 4), and were coated with the best engravers hard 
sealing-wax, applied by heating the glass sufficiently to melt the wax (not by 
spirit varnish, which is far less effective). The receivers also contained 
each 2 or 3 ounces of chloride of calcium (below). The electrometers were 
charged (by an electrophorus) after lifting the receiver up from the flat 
glass plate on which they were placed (with a little oil in the joint). 

These experiments proved that an electrometer originally charged to about 
one inch divergence of Volta's No. 1, or standard pair, would retain for the 
space of from 114< to 124 hours (by the above means), some remainder of its 
charge t; also that small receivers were better than large, &c. 

But it soon appeared that after the straws had been for two or three days 
exposed to the action of the chloride, tlvey became insulating in a very incon- 
venient degree, for when the wires supporting them were touched (continu- 

* Vide Encyclopaedia Britannica, vol. viii. p. 589, seventh ed. 

1st. Wliat relation has the actual quantity of " dry steam," in a given measure of air, to 
the insulating power of that atmosphere ? 

2nd. What relation has the temperature of such an atmosphere with its insulating power ? 

3rd. In what degree is insulation influenced by the density of the atmosphere ? 

4th. Has oxygen gas and dry steam a different insulating power from nitrogen, &c. ? 

The solution of this query would not serve our purposes perhaps. 

t An uncoated rod retained some remainder for 102 hours. Had the receivers been j)er- 
fectly air-tight perhaps this would have insulated as well as the others. 


ously) they would not collapse for five or ten minutes ; and after these 
supporting wires had been charged, the straws continued slowly to increase 
in divergence during an hour or more sometimes*. This was proved by 
comparing them with natural undried straws. 

I therefore tried many experiments upon straws gilded in various ways, 
but even these did not appear to afford such complete freedom from the 
above-mentioned defect as was required. 

Passing over many details (tedious but not instructive perhaps), I will now 
describe shortly the apparatus, &c. which I call my registering (or night) 
electrometers, the results of many trials. 

Three receivers, 5\ inches high and 4 inches diameter, were fitted air-tight 
to ground brass plates at their bases and necks. In these tlie electrometers, 
supported as before, could be charged by means of moveable and insulated 
wires, without interfering with the air-tightness of the receivers, and they 
contained a rather larger quantity of the chloride. 

In lieu of the straw electrometers recourse was had to a modification of ray 
old instruments of fine wires f, very accurately straightened, and in order to 
prevent as much as possible dissipation, without materially increasing their 
weight, minute globules of gum-arabic were applied at their extremities, 
whilst they were electrified for the occasion. 

A scale which could be read in terms of the standard voltaic electro- 
meter was thus prepared : a slip of ivory was properly cut (to the radius of 
the wires) and fixed at one extremity of a ruler one foot long ; the other end 
of the ruler carried a sight-piece, like C (fig. 5) ; this ruler was held in the 
hand, and the scale-end made to touch the receivers when used. The gradu- 
ation was easily effected (not in exactly equal divisions of course) by mark- 
ing on the scale (before engraving) the degrees of divergence of the wires, 
as seen through the sight, which corresponded with the divergences of the 
ordinary standard electrometer, placed in good conducting contact with these 
wire electrometers. 

In order to compare these registers with each other and with the standard, 
the moveable insulated wires and the standard were placed in contact with 
an insulated horizontal wire, so that they might be all charged simultaneously ; 
then their contact with the horizontal wire was suddenly broken, and at the 
same moment the contact of the moveable wires with the electrometric wires. 

The following Table on the next page exhibits a specimen of the perform- 
ance of these registers, called C, D, and E. 

If a quarter of a degree of this scale be added for every hour which may 
elapse betwen the time at which any one of these registers was charged, and 
the time at which it is read, up to the 45th degree, we may perhaps be tole- 
rably sure of knowing what the charge was within something less than a 
tenth of a degree (and this is a quantity which cannot be appreciated by any 
observation of a voltaic electrometer). 

After the 45th degree (upwards) the loss per hour begins to increase in a 
much more rapid rate, and after the 90th uncertainty prevails, because spirt- 
ings "spruzamenti" begin, as Volta found in his electrometers. 

However, the nightly charges of our conductor (after 10 p.m.) in serene 
weather seldom exceed 45 degrees. 

New experiments must be made on this subject. In the mean time we 
apply these instruments to the purpose intended, and hope to improve our 
journal thereby. The particular mode of application and a more detailed 

* We have observed the same land of effect (in much'smaller degree) in the electrometers 
(exposed to the open air) in the observatory in very dry weather, 
t Vide Descriptions of an Electrical Telegraph, &c.,"l823, p. 33. 


REPORT — 1844. 

account of them will perhaps be a subject for report when the observations 
made with them are i-ecorded. 

A sort of minute Leyden jar, mounted in the chloride as above, retained a 
remainder of a low charge 15 days, but it lowered the tension of the con- 
ductor from 2 to 5 degrees, and more accordingly as the electricity of the air 
was frequent or slotv. 






Loss of 

the 3 per 




Loss per 


Loss per 


Loss per 

June 15. 





4 20 

6 50 

12 41 

16 29 









11 45 
16 30 











4 47 
10 7 
17 44 












6 23 
15 10 



13 55 
20 20 

4 15 
13 23 





8 10 
18 40 


7 45 
16 57 


4 45 


15 20 

13 45 




15 17 


7 20 


4 6 


5 30 


4 45 


11 45 
20 30 

13 30 








14 17 




6. Experiments on Induction, &c. by Atmospheric Electricity. 

Professor Wheatstone has several times repeated, in a very striking and 
pleasing manner, the experiments of Herr Erman and M. Peltier, &c. rela- 
tive to this subject, and such kinds of operations have never failed when 
tried upon the flat roof, and in fine or appropriate weather. 

The electroscope used was of Bennet's kind but square, and the conductor 
about 15 inches high, with a hollow copper ball on its summit of 3 inches dia- 

I have also occasionally substituted a " solfcmello" (following Volta) for the 
ball, in order to exhibit the difference between electrisation by induction and 

In the fiirst case, after the electrometer has been touched in its high position, 
the leaves do not (of course) diverge again until absorption takes place, after 
the lapse of a considerable length of time, and when the insulation is ex- 
tremely good. In the second case they instantly begin to diverge, and attain 
to a greater divergence than by induction, all else being equal. 

Small gold leaves being very liable to derangement, &c,, and being less 
applicable to a scale-measurement than straws, I have constructed a pair of 
voltaic electrometers for these experiments (and others requiring portability), 
similar to those of figs. 4 and 5, excepting that the cover T is screwed upon 
the case, and a very light conical-jointed tube about 3 feet 3 inches long can 
be screwed upon the wire, which supports the straws, and either a hollow light 
ball or a solfanello can be fixed on the top of it. The glass tube S is longer 



and stronger, and protected from rain, dust, &c. by a cap. This pair of elec- 
trometers fits into a case and the conductor into a walking-stick. The con- 
ductor might be jointed and its length increased with great advantage. 

7. Experiments on Frequency of Atmospheric Electricity. 

By these terms is understood the rate at which a new charge rises to its 
maximum, after a former charge of an atmospheric insulated conductor has 
been destroyed. 

The old experiments of Beccaria on this property appear to me to have 
been much less attended to than they should have been. It seems to form a 
sort of link between natural high-tensioned (frictional) electricity, and gal- 
vanic, or Voltaic or (Erstedic electricity (electro-magnetism). 

We have as yet merely instituted a few very rough observations of this 
kind, not having obtained opportunities for prosecuting the inquiry in a 
satisfactory manner. 

The apparatus employed consists partly of that described at p. 135. The 
two insulators (a and b) were carefully compared as to insulating power. 
An arm (of wood, which is not a proper material) projected from the cap of 
each, outside of the window of the room D (fig. 1), and to these arms were 
firmly lashed two exactly equal copper conical tube-conductors, carrying 
small and equal lanterns on their summits. 

After abundant time had been given for these conductors to attain their 
maxima charges, one only was discharged, and the time which elapsed before 
that one acquired a new charge equal to the charge of the other is my mea- 
sure of " frequency." 



May 6. 
May 8. 
May 9. 

May 16. 




20 21 

21 32 


2 15 
13 35 

21 46 


20 30 
20 45 



2 45 

19 51 


13 25 

20 45 



20 55 



[-Fine clear evening succeeding a fine day. 

/The evening fine and starlight, but some- 
\ what cloudy. 

The weather dull and overcast. 
J At 20'» dull and cloudy; at 21" clear and 
\ starlight. 

/At 21" dull and overcast. The day had 
I been fine but rather cloudy. 

These few and imperfect observations serve to prove little more than that 
at different times and under different circumstances (of vveather, &c.) very 
greed differences in the relations of tension to frequency occur*. Fogs and 
heavy dews have always great frequency. 

8. Fluvio Electrometer. 
We are fully convinced that a hard shower of rain, &rc. as frequently robs 
our conductor of large doses of electricity as that it brings them. 

* The first maximum charges, viz. 10° of these lower rods on the 8th of May at 18" 55"° 
was greater by one degree than the charge at the same moment of the high conductor on the 
dome, but after the destruction of the first charge they never rose again to the same height 
as that of the high conductor by 5 degrees. On the 16th of May, at about 18" 55"", the lower 
rods at the time of their first charge exhibited a tension equal to that of the high rod, and 
the maximum charges afterwards were at 20" 55™ 13 degrees lower. These singular facts 
might possibly be accounted for on principles by which I would explain the experiments of 
Erman, but shall forbear from theorising here. 

142 REPORT — 1844. 

A copper dish (vide fig. 1 .) of 3 feet 6 inches diameter and about 6 inches 
deep, quite smooth and with a Mcll-rounded ring on its edge, lias therefore 
been very recently mounted upon one of our usual insulators, and we hope to 
observe some circumstances worth notice with this apparatus w hen we have 
time to pursue investigations of this kind. 

9. Storm Clock. 

It has been remarked in our MS. Journal that the difficulty of noting 
down the various and transient phaenomena of a storm is too great for any 
single observer to overcome without eissistance. 

I have therefore projected a time-piece carrying an index down a long 
page of paper in half-an- hour, by which means, in lieu of having first to read 
the times by our chronometer and then to set them down, erroneously per- 
haps (in the hurry of the moment), the observer will have only to record the 
events as fast as they occur (nearly) opposite to the point of the index, if he 
can (for even this will be sometimes too much for one person to accomplish : 
Beccaria employed several observers frequently on such occasions). 

This instrument is in progress. 

10. New Coulomb Electrometer. 

Tn my " plan," &c. sent to INIr. Wheatstoue in November 1 84'2, is described 
a proposed modification of Coulomb's electrometer, which seemed to possess 
great advantages for atmospheric electricity, and I constructed a rough kind 
of model which clearly showed that the project was feasible. 

The principle consists in suspending a conducting moveable needle in lieu 
of the usual insulating needle, by a torsion toire, or by a pair of torsion wires 
(instead of INIr. Snow Harris's silken threads) in such manner as to be always 
in perfect conducting communication with a. fixed conducting needle. 

A drawing for a complete instrument of this kind was placed in the instru- 
ment-maker's hands in May. It is now nearly finished. 

11. Spring Anemometer. 
In order to know something about the force of the wind by simple inspec- 
tion and without leaving the observatory, we have fitted a little slider to the 
part (A) elongated of fig. 17, which slider is made to rise or fall by the action 
of the wind on a set of flyers situated on the top of the wind vane, and by a 
spiral (volute) spring, &c. ; but this arrangement is not yet complete. 

Kew Observatory, Sept.25th, 1844. 


Si:Fth Report of the Committee, consisting of Sir J. Herschel, the 
Master of Trinity College, Cambridge, the Dean of Ely, 
Dr. Lloyd and Colonel Sabine, appointed to conduct the co- 
operation of the British Association in the system of Simulta- 
neous Magnetical and Meteorological Observations. 

In the arrangement of the subjects of this report, the plan of former reports 
having been found convenient will be adhered to ; — and first respecting the 

Antarctic Expedition. 

The return of the Expedition, which took place very shortly after the 
meeting of 1843, has closed this branch of our report in a manner the most 
highly gratifying, whether we regard the magnitude and geographical interest 
of its discoveries, the vast harvest of magnetic and meteorological obser- 
vations it has secured, the extent of ocean traversed, and the consequent 
importance of the data it has furnished towards the completion of the mag- 
netic survey of the globe in its most difficult points; or, lastly, the triumph 
of skill, conduct and perseverance on the part of the Commander of the Ex- 
pedition, and every one concerned in it, which have under Providence been 
the means of conducting so arduous and prolonged a struggle with every 
material obstacle to a glorious and happy conclusion. 

The results of the magnetic observations made during the second year of 
the operations of this Expedition Avill shortly appear under the form of a 
' Sixth series of Contributions to Terrestrial Magnetism,' by Colonel Sabine, 
already printed for the Second Part of the Transactions of the Royal Society 
for the current year. During this period, the ships, setting out from Hobart 
Town and visiting Sydney and New Zealand in their progress, explored a 
second time the great Icy Barrier in lat. 78° south, which had stopped them 
in the former year, and which again resisted their efforts either to penetrate 
it or to turn its eastern extremity. Quitting it at length and keeping nearly 
on the 60th parallel of south latitude, they crossed the whole breadth of the 
South Pacific to the Falkland Islands, where the observations of that season 
terminate. Those of the last year of the Expedition not having yet been 
placed in his hands, Colonel Sabine has forborne to anticipate the principal 
part of the conclusions suggested by the materials thus brought under dis- 
cussion, until supported by a complete and general review of their whole 
mass. There are, however, some points of prominent interest which have 
emerged from the discussion of the first two years' observations which ought 
not to be passed over in silence. 

In the first place, Colonel Sabine considers it to have been rendered almost 
certain, that in the two ships employed in the Expedition, and probably there- 
fore in all ordinary sailing vessels, there is little or no appreciable amount of 
permanent magnetic polarity (though in steamers or iron ships the ease may 
be otherwise), but that the lohole of the transient polarity induced in the iron 
by the earth's action at any given moment and locality is not instantaneously 
destroyed and exchanged for a new magnetic state on a change of geogra- 
phical place or angular position, though the greater part of it is so. A 
residual polarity lingers as it were in the iron of the ship and fades out more 
slowly, so that the vessel carries with it into every new point of its course 
some trace and impress of the terrestrial magnetism of those which it has 
left. This consideration, joined to the converse proposition, which it renders 
exceedinglj^ probable (viz. that tlie magnetism which thus requires time for 
its destruction is also not instantaneously developed), would render the pro- 
blem of deducing rigorous results from observationa made during voyages a 

144 REPORT— 1844.* 

very difficult one, were it not that the portion of magnetic power which thus 
lingers in the iron is extremely small compared with that which obeys the 
laws of soft iron in its instantaneous generation and destruction. 

Another conclusion of a very general and positive character respects the 
forms of the magnetic lines in the southern hemisphere, especially those of 
declination. From the assemblage and projection of all the observations of 
this element, Colonel Sabine is led to the conclusion that the system of mag- 
netic ovals in the southern hemisphere is really a double one, completelj' 
analogous to that which prevails in the northern ; so that the two hemispheres 
do actually possess, with respect to each other, a converse or complementary 
character indicative of a certain symmetry in the disposal of the magnetic 
forces or in the action of their causes. 

The situation of the Isogonic lines of the South Pacific at the present epoch, 
as deduced from these observations, and brought into comparison with the 
best evidence we possess of the situation of corresponding parts of the same 
lines, or which comes to the same thing, of lines cutting several of them con- 
tinuously at right angles, fully corroborates and bears out another general 
proposition, viz. that the march of the magnetic phsenomena in this region of 
the globe is steady, rapid, and in a westerly directio7i. 

In projecting the lines of equal intensity deduced from the Antarctic ob- 
servations, Colonel Sabine has been led to compare them with those theore- 
tically deduced by the numerical interpretation of Gauss's formulae. The 
most important distinction between M. Gauss's isodynamic and those result- 
ing from observation is, that Gauss's are nearly circular curves round a single 
centre, whereas those of observation appear to be two distinct systems of 
curves. In the northern hemisphere the two systems are separated; in the 
southern, tiie progress of secular change appears to have brought them to 
run into each other, producing, by the conjunction of two ovals, one very 
lengthened oval, in which however the trace of the double curvature is still 
recognizable. The two foci in the south appear to have nearly the same 
values as those in the north. 

British Colonial Magnetical and Meteorological Observatories. 

The volume of the observations made at the observatory at Toronto in 
Canada, from its commencement to the end of 1S42, has been for some time 
in the press, and will be distributed at home and abroad in the course of the 
winter. The volumes containing the observations at Van Diemen's Island, 
the Cape of Good Hope and St. Helena to the same period, are in a very 
forward state of preparation, and will be printed and circulated with no other 
delay than such as may arise in the printing and engraving such voluminous 
works. The volume for Toronto will include the comparison of the simul- 
taneous observations made in the group of stations on the North American 
continent. The Van Diemen Island volume will compare the observations 
at Hobarton with those of the Antarctic Expedition at many points of the 
southern hemisphere, the two together representing the magnetic phaenomena 
which occurred over a considerable portion of that hemisphere, on tlie pre- 
scribed days and instants when the observers in Europe, Asia and America 
were recording, each at his own station. Witii St. Helena and the Cape of 
Good Hope will be grouped the obser%'ations made on the same system and 
with the same instruments by the French observers at Algiers, which have 
been supplied for that purpose by the kind intervention of M. Arago. Cadiz, 
from whence observations are also expected, ranks also with this group, which 
may be viewed as representing the portion of our western hemisphere inter- 
mediate between the Falkland Islands and Cape Horn (where the Antarctic 


Expedition passed several months), and the North American group collected 
in the Toronto volume, as well as the European group collected in the 
' Resultate ' of MM. Gauss and Weber. 

So much is yet prospective in regard to publication, that comparatively 
little can be at present ventured in regard to conclusions. The only portion 
of the observations which is yet before the public, viz. observations on days 
of unusual magnetic disturbance 1840, 1841, does however afford some con- 
clusions which may be taken as an earnest of the fuller harvest. The most 
important of these is the fact, shown in the preface of that volume, of the 
universality of the disturbances of the higher order. The establishment of 
so important a general law, on evidence which may be considered to have 
placed it beyond a question, is a happy augury of what may be expected 
from a combined system of observation, of which it is the first fruits. 

Further, it was shown from the observations in that volume, that though 
these great disturbances are universal in their occurrence, yet their magni- 
tude is clearly modified by season and by other local causes ; so that for 
example, while the northern and southern hemisphere participate in every 
great disturbance, the influence of summer in the one and winter in the other 
is clearly traceable. 

There are also facts stated in regard to the periodical march of the mag- 
netic elements at Toronto and Hobarton, valuable in themselves, but yet more 
so in the evidence they afford of the exact determinations which will be every- 
where accomplished in this branch of the phaenomena. 

Another conclusion has also been drawn in regard to the great disturbances, 
Avhich will have a more full development in the Toronto volume. It has been 
shown that the effects, as manifested by the movement of the magnetic instru- 
ments at all places of observation, of a disturbance taking place in all parts of 
the earth at the same time, were not the same, — thus limiting the distance 
of the superimposed force which produces disturbances coinstant in respect to 
time, but differing in respect to direction and intensity, at stations remote from 
each other. The mode of computing the direction and amount of the super- 
imposed disturbing force from the observations at a single station is also 

In the Toronto volume, the term observations of the three American ob- 
sei'vatories for the three years ending in December 1842, all showing the 
closest harmony with each other, are compared with those at Prague, taken 
as a type of the European group : the comparison exhibits frequent unequi- 
vocal evidence of connexion in many of the larger irregular movements. In 
such case the simultaneous movements in Europe and America take place 
sometimes in the same direction, as by a force operating upon both conti- 
nents from the same quarter ; and sometimes the European and American 
movements are in opposite directions, as by a force operating intermediately 
between the two continents. It is obvious that, if the observations were m- 
stantaneous as well as simultaneous, the locality of the disturbing force might 
be immediately deducible. Without, however, going further into anticipation 
of what may hereafter be concluded from observations not yet before the pu- 
blic, there is ground, in what is already known concerning them, for expressing 
the hope that important conclusions will be drawn in respect to the locality 
of the disturbing causes, especially when the observations made with the most 
recent magnetometers, constructed to exhibit instantaneous effects, shall come 
to be considered. In our present ignorance of the nature of the causes of 
these phaenomena, we are surely advancing in the proper, legitimate and phi- 
losophical mode of ascending to them by this careful study of their effects. 

In meteorology, a system of careful observation with compared instru- 
1844. L 

146 REPORT — 1844. 

raents steadily maintained at every hour of the day and night could not fail 
to accomplish the solution of many problems in vain attempted by a large 
expenditure of desultory labour. The mean quantities, the diurnal and an- 
nual variations of the temperature, pressure of the gaseous atmosphere, and 
tension of the aqueous vapour, with their many concurrent circumstances of 
wind and weather, must be determined with no remaining uncertainty for 
each station, if the system be continued in operation for a sufficient time. 
The definite and conclusive character of the meteorological results obtained 
by the system of observation which we have adopted, appears to be strongly 
in favour of the extension of the system. By the comparison of such defi- 
nite conclusions obtained in different parts of the world, by their points of 
agreement and of difference, reasonable expectations may be cherished that we 
shall speedily be enabled to advance the science of meteorology to a degree 
unexpected at the commencement of these operations. That the spirit to ac- 
complish this is alive, and that an organization has now been established and 
is recognised, by which a proper direction and guidance may be supplied to 
that which individual zeal is desirous to effect, will appear from a considera- 
tion of what has passed Avith respect to the establishment of observatories in 
Ceylon, Newfoundland and elsewhere. 

New Series of Observations at Fixed Stations proposed or recently commenced. 

As regards the first of the above-named stations (Ceylon), a proposal Avas 
submitted in April of the current year to the Governor of that colony by 
Captain Pickering of the Royal Artillery, and Dr. Templeton, Assistant- 
surgeon R.A. (the former of whom had been instructed in the nature of the 
observations and the use of the instruments at Woolwich), for the establish- 
ment of a magnetic and meteorological observatory at Columbo in that 
island, a station of obvious interest and importance. The proposal was most 
favourably received by His Excellency, who recommended it to the favourable 
consideration of the Secretary of State for the Colonies, with the additional 
suggestion of an astronomical observatory, declaring his readiness, if approved, 
to devote to it local funds adequate to its maintenance in activity, if once esta- 
blished and furnished with instruments. The subject is at present under the 
consideration of government, and a subject of official correspondence ; and 
in case of a favourable issue, the Royal Society have been applied to for the 
loan of the magnetometers prepared at the cost of the Wollaston fund for the 
Hammerfest Observatory, which have never been claimed by the Nor- 
wegian government, and which station is for the present to be regarded as in 

A similar arrangement is in progress for Newfoundland, and indeed more 
advanced, the magnetical and meteorological instruments having been sent 
there, with a company of artillery proceeding on their tour of service, one of 
the officers of which, Lieut. Brittingham, has been instructed in their use, and 
will remain at that very important station probably for some years. Some 
small expenditure for instruments may possibly have to be defrayed from the 
grant of the Association to this Committee at a future stage of the business. 

During the printing of this report a prospect has been opened, through the 
intervention of Sir William Colebrooke, Governor of New Brunswick, seconded 
by the representations of Capt.Owen, R.N., of the establishment of an observa- 
tory at Frederictown in that colony, a station remarkable for its brilliant aurora 
borealis, of which we hope to have further mention to make in a future report. 

Arrangements are also in progress, and with good prospect, for a meteoro- 
logical and in part magnetical station at the Azores. 

The German apparatus belonging to the British Association has been 


altered in some respects to give it a degree of efficiency which it had not 
before, and has been sent to Dr. Locke at Cincinnati, who has acknowledged 
its receipt, which will in future be another station for the term observations. 

Magnetic Surveys and Itinerant Observations in progress, or about to be 

North American Survey. — The great interest which attaches to the survey 
of the difficult and inhospitable country undertaken by Lieutenant Lefroy, 
will render a sketch of his proceedings, so far as they are at present known, 
especially acceptable. By letters written by him from York Fort in the 
autumn, 'it appears that he had proceeded thence from the Lac de la Pluie, a 
distance of about 500 miles, in the direct course towards the point of perpen- 
dicular dip, during the whole of which journey he had found the total inten- 
sity to diminish progressively. Later accounts have been very recently 
received from him from Athabasca, where he was to pass the winter, and 
whence he originally contemplated retracing his steps by a more inland route 
to the lake above-mentioned on his way to Red River. 

At the date of those accounts Mr. Lefroy is making hourly observations 
throughout the twenty-four hours, with one assistant, observing the changes 
of the declination, the horizontal force, and the inclination, i. e. the declina- 
tion and bifilar magnetometers, and the induction inclinometer. He will pro- 
bably complete four or perhaps five months' hourly observations before 
leaving Athabasca. After leaving, he says, 

" My plan is to go down to Mackenzie River in March on snow shoes ; 
when there, there are two prospects, one is to return in May to Slave Lake, 
and thence come here by the very first navigation, the other to Great Bear 
Lake, and return with the Mackenzie River barges, which do not leave Fort 
Simpson until near July. In either case the next step is to ascend Peace 
River and cross by Lesser Slave .Lake, &c. to the Saskatchawan ; but if I 
take the latter course I cannot expect to reach Red River before the very 
end of September, which will endanger my return to Canada by open water, 
and wholly preclude the idea of returning by Moose Factory. The latter is 
not of much consequence, as if I return to this country it will be perfectly 
easy to go by Moose and yet reach Lake Winnipeg in time for everything. 
A little therefore will depend upon the seasons ; if the spring promises to be 
a very early one and allows the Mackenzie River boats to come off before 
their usual time, I shall perhaps venture on the latter ; at present I am most 
inclined to the former. In either case I shall get a few weeks' transportable 
observations in a more northern latitude, which is desirable." 

Arrived at Red River, he will find instructions to observe, if possible, the 
decrement of magnetic intensity from its maximum in the Rainy Lake in a 
westward direction, thus completing a system of lines radiating out from the 
maximum in the northern, eastern and western directions (the eastern line 
being already secured). Dr. Locke's observations, which are now printing 
at Philadelphia, will furnish the fourth line. The full development of these 
important features, which will establish in a very approximate manner the 
central point of the isodynaraic ovals in this quarter, must await the assem- 
blage and discussion of the whole mass of materials in process of collection*. 

* While this report is passing through the press, a letter, dated 22nd Nov., addressed by 
Lieut. Lefroy to Capt. Sabine, announces his safe return to Toronto, having completed his 
survey from the Slave Lake by Assiiiiboiu, Edmonton, down the Saskatcba\ran River to 
Carlton and Cumberland, and thence by Norway House, Fort William, Sault S'" Marie and 
Penetanguishene, to his entire satisfaction. A maximum of intensity occurs near the lake 
of the woods. 


148 REPORT — 1844. 

Completion of the Antarctic Survei/. 

The contributions of the officers of the Surveying Expeditions in the Hy- 
drographical department of the Admiralty have already done the greater 
portion, and promise to leave nothing to be desired in respect to that part of 
the ocean comprised between tiie Equator and the 50th degree of south lati- 
tude ; so that it might at all events have been confidently expected that in a 
year or two fi'om the present time the sole remaining desideratum of import- 
ance unprovided for would be that part of the higher parallels not traversed 
by the Antarctic Expedition, viz. the region comprised between the meridian 
of Greenwich and the 1 30th degree of east longitude, and extending southward 
to the edge of the ice. The survey of this portion of the Antarctic ocean, 
however, has been undertaken by Lieutenant Clerk, R.A., of the Ordnance 
Magnetic Observatory at the Cape, who has zealously volunteered his ser- 
vices to that effect, and at the instance of the Royal Society has been liberally 
furnished by the Admiralty with the nautical means of executing his de- 
sign, a vessel having been taken up and placed at his disposal for that express 
purpose *. 

Proposed Survey of the Eastern Archipelago and China Seas. 

Animated by a kindred spirit. Lieutenant Elliott, superintendent of the 
East India Company's magnetic and meteorological observatory at Singapore, 
has volunteered a survey of the Malayan Archipelago, proposing to visit 
Malacca, Penang, the Tenasserim Province and Sumatra, to undertake a 
minute survey of Java, to procure determinations in Timor and Borneo, to 
attempt the Philippines, and to observe at all the open ports in China. The 
especial importance of such a series of observations need hardly be insisted 
on ; and although the East India Company have not felt themselves (in this 
single instance) justified in complying with the suggestion, no doubt for 
reasons of the most valid nature, and arising probably out of the peculiar 
political relations of some of the countries proposed to be visited, your Com- 
mittee have considered that they would not be doing justice to the energj^ 
and devotion of Lieutenant Elliott, or to his discernment of what would be 
scientifically desirable, in originating the proposition, were they to forbear 
making mention of it in this report. 

Continental Surveys — Austria, Siceden, ^c. 

During the last summer, M. Kreil, director of the magnetic observatory at 
Prague, travelled over a considerable part of Bohemia, making geographical 
and magnetical determinations at many points, an account of which will be 
found in the sixth delivery (heft) of Lamont's ' Annalen.' The same distin- 
guished observer has more recently applied to the Emperor of Austria for the 
authority and means to travel over and execute a magnetic survey of the whole 
empire of Austria, an application which His Majesty has liberally acceded to, 
and granted the requisite funds, so that in a few years we may hope to be put 
in possession of a survey of that great monarchy, equalling or excelling what 
has been done for any other great portion of the European continent. 

M. Angstrom, astronomer of Upsala in Sweden, leaving Munich in the 
early part of the season, is understood to have undertaken a series of obser- 
vations with a magnetic theodolite at all the principal stations on his return 
to Upsala. And M. Lamont proposes to connect his own observatory at 

* The Pagoda barque, 360 tons, has been chartered l)y government for this service, 
luainied with forty men, under Lieut. Marshall, to sail the first week in November. (Note 
added during the printing.) 


Munich with London by a similar chain of observations of the magnetic 
constants at Stuttgard, Tubingen, Heidelberg, Manheim, Mayence, Cologne, 
Aix la Chapelle, Brussels and other places. 

Itinerant Observations not in the nature of Formal Survei/s, Naval Observa- 
tories, and other Local Determinations. 

Portable magnetometers, accompanied with Lieutenant Riddell's instruc- 
tions for their use, have been sent not only to the fixed observatories, but also 
to Sir E. Belcher in China, Captain Blackwood in Torres Straits, Captain 
Graves at Malta, Captain Barnett at Bermuda, Captain Otter on the north 
coast of Scotland, and Captain Bayfield in the St. Lawrence. Two sets have 
also been ordered for the American Coast Survey, the one to be used by Prof. 
Bache, the other by Prof. Renwick. The officers of the Royal Artillery at 
Newfoundland are also similarly provided. In all these cases, the instruments, 
previous to their despatch, have been carefully examined at Woolwich, and in 
several instances the constants of temperature, &c. determined for each mag- 
net, and a proper supply of blank forms for the entry and work of the obser- 
vations adjoined. And we have reason to expect that term observations and 
absolute determinations will be received from all the quarters above enu- 
merated. Valuable contributions of this nature from Captains Blackwood, 
Belcher and Otter have already come to hand. 

Publications relating to Terrestrial Magnetism. 

Among the more generally useful and practically important publications 
relating to this science, must be considered the elaborate and admirably ar- 
ranged and digested work of Lieutenant Riddell above alluded to, entitled 
" Magnetical Instructions for the use of Portable Instruments adapted for 
Magnetic Surveys and Portable Observatories." Full and complete instruc- 
tions of this nature, adapted to the species of instruments now become of 
universal or nearly universal employment, whether intended for differential 
observations or absolute determinations at fixed stations, or for magnetic sur- 
veys and other local operations, had long been greatly wanted ; and in fact 
great inconvenience had been experienced, on all hands, owing to the want 
of an authentic digest of the kind adapted to the present advanced state of 
the subject. It was reasonable to expect that, in a subject so new as mag- 
netism, some of the instruments and methods by which the investigation was 
in the first instance proposed to be carried on, should have proved inadequate 
to their purposes. Such has been found to be the case, particularly in refer- 
ence to that highly important branch of the inquiry, the secular changes. 
The indisputable evidence of inadequacy, the contrivance of instruments or 
methods to be substituted, the execution of those instruments, their trial and 
proof, and their subsequent transmission to the stations with full directions 
for their use, is all a work of time, and pro tanto has tended to diminish the 
period for which the observatories can be considered to have been thoroughly 
effective for their proposed objects ; all this has proved an anxious as well as 
very laborious part of the occupation of the Ordnance establishment, of which 
the strength was calculated solely for the duties of reduction and publica- 
tion. There being no head-quarter observatory, where such questions would 
be examined and deficiencies supplied, a large portion of the attention of that 
establishment has been necessarily occupied in this work. The work in ques- 
tion will show the labour that this has occasioned ; it occupied indeed, almost 
exclusively, for more than a twelvemonth, the thoughts and time of Lieutenant 
Riddell, Assistant Superintendent, whose previous employment as director of 

160 REPORT— 1844. 

the Toronto observatory, for the first year of its establishment, gave him a 
peculiar qualification for the task. It is satisfactory, however, to be assured, 
by the results which are daily arriving from the observatories, that it has 
been time well-bestowed, and we may pretty confidently say that assured secu- 
lar determinations will date from the commencement of the present year at 
all the observatories under the Ordnance superintendence. One consequence, 
which may fairly be attributed to this work, and to tlie facilities thereby 
afforded for the acquisition of a perfect knowledge of the processes, has been 
the great increased demand for magnetic instruments since its publication, 
which exceed the power of the opticians chiefly conversant with their con- 
struction to meet. 

The valuable ' Annalen fur Meteorologie Erdmagnetismus,' &c., published 
by Dr. Lamont, is continued, and the sixth and seventh numbers (for 184S) 
have reached the Committee. They contain the magnetic term observations 
for 1842, observed at Milan, Munich, Prague and Kremsmiinster ; M. 
Weise's observations at Cracow for 1841 and 1842; the result of M. Kreil's 
magnetic determinations in Bohemia, already mentioned ; the magnetic per- 
turbations observed at Munich in 1842, and a vast collection of valuable 
meteorological contributions from all parts of Europe, of which the great 
length to which this report would thereby be extended alone prevents us 
from presenting an analysis. 

The publication of the Russian observations, whether magnetic or meteo- 
rological, at the stations Petersburgh, Catherinenbourg, Bogoslawsk, Lougan, 
Zlaouste, Barnaoul, Nertchinsk, Kasan and Pekin, is complete up to the 
end of the year 1841, and forms indeed a magnificent contribution to the 
sum of science, worthy in every way of the greatness of the empire which 
has produced it, and reflecting the highest credit on the indefatigable exer- 
tions of M. Kupff'er, the superintendent of the Russian observatories. The 
observations from Pekin are meteorological only, and are of course of great 
interest, though affected in some points (especially in what relates to the 
march of the hygrometer) by the social peculiarities of so vast a metropolis, 
such as the practice of copiously watering its streets in the summer, &c. 

The third and fourth volume of the magnetic and meteorological obser- 
vations at the Prague observatory, under M. Kreil, has also appeared, and 
has been received by your Committee. The meteorological observations in 
these volumes, as well as those in Lamont's 'Annalen,' and the records of the 
Russian observatories for several years, are at present undergoing collation by 
Mr. Birt, with a view to the tracing the progress of remarkable atmospheric 
waves, in a mode presently to be more particularly referred to. 

The 'Annals of the RoyalObservatory of Brussels,' vol.ii. recently published 
under the direction of M. Quetelet, is a most valuable contribution to 
meteorological science, containing the assemblage of such observations for 
the years 1837 to 1840 inclusive, in detail for Brussels and in summary for 
Alost and Ghent, together with determinations of the magnetic declination 
and dip for the same period, those of the declination for 1840 being diurnal, 
at four hours daily. The magnetic term observations for 1842, observed at 
Brussels, are printed in the 15th and 16th volumes of the 'Memoirs of the 
Royal Academy of Brussels.' These volumes contain also the meteorologi- 
cal horary observations made at the sunniier solstice and both equinoxes of 
1842, at no less than forty-two principal European stations, in continuation 
of the series of equinoxial and solstitial observations, in which M. Quetelet 
has taken an especial interest. Tliese interesting and important observations 
have subsequently, by the praisewortiiy exertions of M. Quetelet, seconded 


by the zeal and interest of his numerous correspondents, been extended to 
no fewer than eighty stations. Their publication has been continued or pro- 
vided for up to the end of 1843, but owing to some difficulties which have 
unfortunately since interfered and which are understood to have thrown a 
serious obstacle in the way of their future publication by the Academy, it is 
greatly to be feared that the course of this series of valuable records may be 
suspended or abandoned, to the great regret of every meteorologist. 

The magnetic and meteorological observations made at the Royal Obser- 
vatory at Greenwich, under the direction of the Astronomer Royal, during 
the years 1840 and 1841, have been printed by order of the Admiralty, in 
full detail, uniformly with the astronomical observations made at that great 
national establishment, but in a distinct volume, and it is understood that the 
subsequent observations will be presented to the public in a like liberal form. 
The volume is prefaced with a valuable introduction from the pen of the 
Astronomer Royal, describing every part of the apparatus and the mode of 
using it. One important characteristic of this station, as it now exists, is the 
apparatus for observing the atmospheric electricity, a department of meteo- 
rology of equal importance and difficulty, and which has hitherto been very 
inadequately studied. 

The diminution of magnetism in steel needles by time as well as by tempera- 
ture, has been made the subject of a short but valuable treatise by Professor 
Hansteen, ' De Mutationibus quas subit Momentum Virgae Magneticae 
partim ob Temporis partim ob Temperaturse Mutationes,' which, although 
printed in 1842, has only come to our knowledge since the date of our last 
report. The inquiry into the temperature corrections, being matter o{ expe- 
riment, is easy in comparison with that of the changes effected by time, which 
are matter of pure observation, and partake therefore of all the disadvantages 
which affect purely observational sciences. The conclusion which Professor 
Hansteen draws relative to this part of the subject is, that the decrements of 
intensity/ form a geometrical series when the time increases arithmetically, and 
that the magnetic moment continually approaches to a fixed limit, to attain which 
of course an infinite time is necessary, but which, practically speaking, would 
appear to have been approached with a higher degree of approximation, at 
least for the great majority of cases (seven out of nine) which have formed 
the basis of Professor Hansteen's conclusions within two or three years from 
the epoch of their magnetization, and in some instances much more speedily, 
according to the hardness of the steel and other causes. 

Dr. Lamont, director of the observatory at Munich, has published a 
summary of the results of the observations made at that station during the 
years 1840, 1841, and 1842. Of these, the declinations previous to June 
1841, and the intensities previous to November in that year, are regarded by 
him as of inferior value to those subsequent to those respective epochs. The 
daily fluctuations of the declination and of the horizontal intensity, deduced 
from the assemblage of the monthly means obtained during the available 
portions of these years, and of the mean declination from 10 to 10 days 
during the whole period (which he considers to be unaffected by those causes 
of uncertainty which affect the hourly observations during the earlier por- 
tion of it), are tabulated and graphically projected. In the projection of the 
daily fluctuations of the declination, the double diurnal maximum and mini- 
mum as well as the periodically varying influence of temperature in summer 
and winter are strikingly apparent. In that of the intensity the morning 
minimum is the most conspicuous feature, and though the summer and winter 
inequalities are also perfectly distinct, the daily course of the curves, as Dr. 

152 REPORT — 1844. 

Lamont justly remarks, is affected with undulations which can hardly be re- 
ferred to the direct action of the solar heat. The course of the mean decli- 
nations exhibits a continual and tolerably though not quite uniform decrease 
of about 7' per annum, but without any indication of regular periodical fluc- 
tuation, either annual or otherwise. 

The 'Annales de Cliemie' (vol.x. 3rd series) also contains a similar summary, 
not accompanied however by graphical projections, by M. Aime, of the re- 
sults of nineteen months' consecutive magnetic observations made by him at 
Algiers, from June IS^-l to Dec. IS^S inclusive. These exhibit, as respects 
the declination, only one diurnal minimum, varying in epoch with the season 
from 7*^ to 8^ 30'" a.m., and a single maximum varying also in epoch, but 
contrarywise with the season, from 2^ p.m. to noon. The fluctuation is 
nearly double in summer as comnared with its amount in winter. The cor- 
respondence of the march of this element with the temperature has appeared 
to M. Aime so exact, that he suggests the observation of it continuously on 
the occasion of solar eclipses as an object of especial interest. 

The present change of declination at Algiers appears to be about 24-'> 
decreasing. By some observations reported by M. Aime as having been 
made in 1832 and 1833 by Captain Berard, the needle may be presumed to 
have attained its maximum westerly declination about that epoch. The in- 
clination diminishes at Algiers at the rate of about 6' annually. 

Meteorological Department. — Discussio7i of Meteorological Observations. 

At the last meeting of the British Association, Sir J. Herschel, acting as a 
committee for the reduction and discussion of the meteorological term obser- 
vations for 1835-38, reported among other matter, that by the aid of these 
observations it had proved practicable, in specified instances, to trace the 
progress and to assign the magnitude, direction and velocity of atmospheric 
movements in the nature of waves over nearly the whole of Europe, and that 
in a manner which, if pursued further, could hardly fail to afford real and 
valuable additions to meteorological science. Being obliged however, from 
the pressure of other occupations, to leave the inquiry at this point, Mr. Birt 
volunteered to continue it under the auspices of the Association, and was 
accordingly added to this committee for that purpose. The progress made 
by him in it will be appended in his own words, as part of this report, accom- 
panied with a letter explanatory of his views on the subject, and with models 
of certain atmospheric waves in several successive states of their progress 
over Europe, which will be submitted to the Physical Section for their in- 
spection. [See Mr. Birt's Report in this Volume.] 

In the discussion of meteorological observations, the most serious obstacle, 
and that of the most formidable and repulsive character, is the enormous mass 
of calculation (necessitating transcriptions, &c.) required for their adequate 
reduction and preparation for the uses of the theorist ; while, on the other 
hand, the method of inductive inquiry, which seems most applicable to the 
subject in its present state (the " Method of Curves," as it has been termed 
by an eminent writer on inductive science), I'equires the observations, when 
reduced, to be in a great variety of cases projected on paper in the form of 
diurnal, monthly or annual curves. On the other hand, such is now the per- 
fection of every description of mechanical workmanship, and such the profu- 
sion in which the talent of mechanical contrivance is actually found to be 
disseminated among practical and theoretical persons in every class of life 
and in everj' line of human research or business, that the time is clearly ar- 
rived when arrangements of mechanism may be safely relied on to supersede 


the necessity of an immense mass of laborious and exhausting penmanship 
and computation. Self-registering instruments henceforward will prove 
yearly more and more the main dependence of meteorological inquiry, and 
indeed of inquiry in every department of science in the saiue phase of its 
progress : and their improvement, simplification and adaptation to the pur- 
poses of affording mean results on the one hand, and on the other the tracing 
out of curvilinear projections (the true "collective instances" of the Baco- 
nian philosophy) in a state ready for immediate use, ought to be regarded as 
one of the most important, perhaps the most important point to which mecha- 
nical ingenuity, guided by scientific knowledge, can be directed. The great 
object which ought to be kept steadily in view, is so to dispose the apparatus 
that corrected results shall be registered, if possible, and if not, that the cor- 
rections to be applied shall be registered at the same instant, and on the same 
scale with the observed elements, so that they can be readily applied to the 
projected curves by mere mechanical or geometrical superposition. 

In this point of view a barometer which shall register its readings corrected 
for temperature would be of the utmost value. This does not appear be- 
yond the reach of a moderate expenditure of thought*, and your Committee 
would earnestly recommend it to the consideration of artists. 

Meanwhile it is with satisfaction that we refer to two constructions of self- 
registering barometers which have recently come to our knowledge : — one 
by Mr. Bryson, recently published in vol. xv. of the Transactions of the 
Royal Society of Edinburgh (to which apparatus he has since added a self- 
registering thermometer for the corrections, and a self-calculating disc at- 
tached to the reader, which exhibits the monthly means without calculation) : 
the other instrument of the kind in question is the invention of M. Kreil, 
director of the observatory at Prague, who terms it a baro-thermometragraph, 
and who has also constructed a similar instrument (the thermo-hygrometra- 
graph) for registering hygrometric indications. An instrument of this kind 
is now on its way to this country, having been constructed under the imme- 
diate superintendence of its inventor. 

Finally, your Committee beg to recall to the recollection of the Association, 
that the duration of the magnetic and meteorological observations now in 
progress will cease with the year 1845, and that therefore it will be highly 
necessary that before that time — and in fact, if possible, at or before the 
next meeting of the Association, — the important question should be seriously 
taken into consideration, whether any endeavour ought or ought not to be made 
to obtain from the several governments which have supported the existing ob- 
servatories further support — a very grave question, which has been already 
distinctly brought under the notice of your Committee by one of their most 
active coadjutors, M. Kupffer, director of the Russian magnetic observatories, 
and which it is highly proper should be considered in every point of view 

* An approximate compensation by the counteracting pyrometric expansion of an inva- 
riable length of mercury or lead is easily accomplished, but this would be subject to occasional 
error, amounting to nearly one-fifteenth of the total amount of the temperatm'e correction. 
The pyrometric compensating column must be variable in its length in the ratio of the un- 
corrected length of the mercurial column, measuring the pressmre. If however the instru- 
ment be mounted in a situation of which the variations of temperature are very slight, as in 
a cellar, or at the bottom of a mine, shaft, or even a well (which, as there is no occasion to 
approach it, except for the purpose of renewing the cyUnders, would be liable to httle objec- 
tion), the error thus entailed would be so reduced in effect, as to disappear, for any but the 
very nicest purposes. Indeed the barometric part of the apparatus might be buried in the 
earth (allowing only enough access of air to propagate the pressure), the registering apparatus 
only being above ground. 

154 REPORT — 1844. 

with an earnestness commensurate both to its scientific importance and to the 
large and liberal manner in which that support has been already granted. 

As respects the expenditure of the Committee, the annexed statement will 
show the amount of their grant expended and the purposes for which the 
outlay has been incurred. 

Signed on the part of the Committee, 

J. F. W. Herschel. 

Letter from Professor Boguslawski to Lieut.-Colonel Sabine. 

" Breslau, 1844, September 18, 139. 

" My dear Sir, — With reference to your letter of the 20th of February, 
and to the verbal communications lately made to you by Sir Bernhard Hebe- 
ler, Knt., Consul-General to His Prussian Majestj', I have now the honour to 
inform you that I shall forward in a few days to Mr. Oswald, our Consul- 
General at Hamburg, the first part of the magnetic observations made at this 
place. They will be sent by the mail, being exempt from postage (until twenty 
pounds Pruss.) as far as Hamburg. I expect you will have arranged with Sir 
Bernhard the way how to receive the present, as well as the following parts, 
in the least costly manner ; and you will also please to give your instructions 
to Mr. Oswald, or communicate them through Sir Bernhai'd. 

" As the first two books of the year 1840 contain only the two terms of 
August and November, (the monthly terms only having been observed with- 
out interruption from January 1841 until i)ovr,) I should have liked to send 
you at least the observations of the year 1841, particularly as not only these, 
but likewise those of 1842 and even part of 1843, are completely entered, 
but the drawing of the curves is not yet finished. I have some objection to 
forward the entered observations without undertaking the projection of the 
curves, which latter serve as a test and assist in discovering some little errors 
made in the entries. The two terms of the year 1840 may then be considered 
as pi-ecursors, and may serve to discover whether all is sufficient for reduc- 
tion and comparison. 

" In general the observations may be divided in two periods — the first 
until April term 1841 inclusive, and the second beginning from the May term 
1841. Until April 1841 inclusive, the old four-pound declination-bar was 
alone in the magnetic cabinet ; the other two instruments received by your 
kindness were in the great room of the observatory exposed to many per- 
manent influences of iron masses in the vicinity, where the observations 
were made with them on the terms 1840, August and November; and 1841, 
January, February, Marcli and April. 

"On the May term 1841, all three instruments were united in the magnetic 
room, the declination magnetometer being then provided with the second bar 
which belongs to the bifilariura. However, on this term the mutual action of 
the bars could not yet be done away with, because the declination bar could 
not at that time have been definitively suspended. But at the June term 
1841, the same had received a proper regulation, whereupon the mutual ac- 
tion was neutralised by a fixed bar which was placed immoveably, according 
to its force, at calculated distances from the other bars. Whether this com- 
pensation has remained correct 1 wish to examine again at the conclusion of 
the daily and monthly variation-observations, in order to begin then a series 
of absolute declination and intensity. The two active bars scarcely change 
the time of their vibration, and the compensation bar, which is an old bar, 
seems likewise to be of constant force. 


" Since the 1st of January IS^S, there have been made observations four 
times a day, without interruption, and with all three instruments. Perhaps 
I may succeed, in the last year of the co-operation, to continue the observa- 
tions every two hours. 

" The perturbations of the magnetic declination and intensity in the year 
184'4', viz. : 

" February 1. I. ; 2. D. I. ; 17. 1. ; 28 (trace). 

" March 2. D. I. ; 4. D. I. ; 5. D. I. ; 7. D. I. ; 30 a.m. and p.m. D. I. 
" July 7. I. August 9. I. 
have been so trifling that it is not worth while to mention them for the pre- 
sent, but they will be communicated hereafter. 

" You shall not have to wait long for the observation books of the year 
1841, and those of the year 1842 will be forwarded in a few months. I hope 
the entries of the observations of the year 1843 will also be finished in the 
spring of 1845. 

" Sir Bernhard will have conveyed to you already mj' sincere thanks, as 
also those of the Silesian Society, for the Reports of the British Association 
till the year 1842 inclusive, which you had the kindness to remit me. 

" I regret much that I am also this year prevented, for want of a substitute, 
to express to you personally my obligations and to follow your kind invitation 
in order to enjoy days of instruction at the Meeting of the British Association. 
I beg you will please to convey to them my best thanks and my apology. 
" I remain, with sincere regard, dear Sir, your obedient Servant, 

"Lieut.-Col. Sabine." " Henry von Boguslawski." 

On the Influence of Fucoidal Plants upon the Formations of the Earth, 
on Metamorphism in general, and particularly the Metamorphosis 
of the Scandinavian Alum Slate. By Prof. G. Forchhammer, 
Professor of Geology and Chemistry, Copenhagen. (Printed among 
the Reports by direction of the General Committee). 

It is for geology to explain, how the enormous quantities of matter, soluble 
and insoluble, which the numerous rivers carry to the sea, arere-deposited, 
and employed to form new beds on the crust of the earth. With the insoluble 
portion, comprehending by far the greater part of the substances which are 
thus carried into the ocean, geologists have indeed much occupied themselves, 
and have given satisfactory explanations by showing, that enormous beds of 
sand and clay owe their origin to this action ; but hardly any natural philo- 
sopher has tried to explain, what becomes of the vast quantities of soluble sub- 
stances which the rain dissolves from the solid earth, and ultimately carries 
into the sea. Among these substances, sulphuric acid, arising from the solution 
of gypsum, and silicate of potash dissolved during the decomposition of fel- 
spar, are the most important, though by no means the only ones that occur. 
If we consider that clay is produced by the decomposition of felspar, and 
that a quantity of alkali (principally potash) proportional to the clay must 
have been dissolved in the water, the question that must strike every observer 
is, where has this enormous quantity of alkaline substances gone, and into what 
combinations has it entered, since we find so very trifling a quantity of it in 

It is evident that there must be some great accumulating power, which 

156 REPORT — 1844. 

again separates these substances from the water of the ocean, and deposits it in 
an insoluble state in the beds, which are precipitated on the shores, and at 
the bottom of the deep seas. In fact, similar instances of solution and preci- 
pitation have long been known and studied by geologists, and have become 
extensive means of explaining geological changes. Innumerable springs carry 
vast quantities of carbonate of lime to the sea, while all rivers contain more 
or less sulphate of lime ; yet the analysis of sea-water shows only small traces 
of lime, but then we observe that the animals of shells and corals everywhere 
are busily employed in extracting this lime from the water, and that they 
ultimately deposit it in the form of solid beds of limestone. The reason 
why so little lime is found dissolved in sea-water, is exactly the same as that 
which explains why so small a quantity of carbonic acid occurs in the atmo- 
sphere ; although causes which are constantly operating are always supplying 
it with this substance, which is absolutely necessary for vegetable life. Plants 
deprive the atmosphere as fast of its carbonic acid, as subterranean heat, com- 
bustion and animal life produce it. In like manner, the lower animals extract 
the lime as quickly from sea-water, as rivers and submarine springs provide 
it, and there must necessarily be a similar cause constantly depriving sea-water 
of its potash and sulphuric acid, which so many and constantly acting decom- 
positions ultimately convey to the ocean. 

Marine vegetation has, in a geological point of view, but little attracted 
the attention of philosophers, and while land plants play a necessary part in 
every geological system, the whole vegetation of the ocean has been left a 
blank, except as far as fucoidal forms have been an object of contemplation 
for those geologists who principally occupy themselves with fossil plants. Not- 
withstanding this neglect, the quantity of vegetable substances annually formed 
by fucoidal plants is enormously great ; and what is very material, the quantity 
of mineral substances, in the form of ashes, exceeds very much that which 
land plants contain, and thus sea-weeds, on account of such mineral contents, 
must necessarily have a decided influence upon the formation and changes 
of beds. For this reason I deemed it necessary to analyse the ashes of fuco- 
idal plants, chosen among the different families of that class, and from very 
different parts of the globe; which plants I owe to the kindness of my friends 
Professor Schouw, Dr. Vahl and M. Liebmann. The analysis was carried on 
in the following way. 

The dried sea- weed was weighed, calcined, and the ashes weighed ; though 
the quantity of ashes thus obtained is not very correct, owing partly to a quantity 
of carbonaceous matter which inclosed by the salts had escaped combustion, 
and thus showed the quantity of ashes to be greater than it was in reality. In 
other instances, the quantity appeared a little less than it ought to be on account 
of some carbonic acid, which had been expelled from the carbonate of lime and 
of magnesia ; now and then a small quantity of the sulphates had been reduced 
to sulphurets, and thus likewise occasioned a loss. All these causes of trifling 
errors do not, however, affect the general result of the analyses. For to ascer- 
tain the constituent parts of the ashes, they were extracted by water as long 
as anything was dissolvable ; and from this solution, after it had been made 
acid by nitric acid, or in some cases by muriatic acid, the sulphuric acid was 
separated by a salt of barytes, and when the sulphate of barytes had been 
separated, the excess of barytes was again thrown down by sulphuric acid. 
The lime was then precipitated by ammonia and oxalate of ammonia, and 
the magnesia (if any was present) precipitated by a solution of pure barytes. 
The precipitate, which consisted of sulphate and carbonate of barytes and of 
magnesia, was treated with sulphuric acid, and the solution which contained 


the magnesia precipitated by phosphate of soda and an excess of ammonia 
From the alkaline solution, which besides potash and soda contained an excess 
of barytes, the barytes was precipitated by carbonate of ammonia; there was 
afterwards added muriate of ammonia until the potash and soda were changed 
into chlorides, upon which the whole was evaporated and heated, for the pur- 
pose of expelling the excess of muriate of ammonia, and then the whole was 
weighed. In order to ascertain the quantity of potash, the salt was dissolved 
and evaporated with an excess of chloride of platinum, the dried mass dissolved 
in alcohol of about 40 per cent., and from the weight of the chloride of potas- 
sium and platinum, the weight of the chloride of potassium, and thus that of 
the potash, was calculated. 

In most cases the weight of the soda was found by calculation from the 
weight of the chloride of sodium, which again was ascertained, by deducting 
the weight of the chloride of potassium from the total weight of the alkaline 
chlorides. In some instances, the quantity of chloride of sodium was deter- 
mined, by mixing the alcoholic solution of chloride of sodium and chloride of 
platinum with sulphuret of ammonia ; in order to precipitate all the platinum, 
evaporating the liquid to dryness, dissolving the salt in water, passing the 
solution through a filter, and after having evaporated it to dryness, heating 
it to expel the muriate of ammonia, upon which the pure chloride of sodium 
remained. In some cases the quantity of chlorium in the ashes was ascertained 
by nitrate of silver. 

The portion of the ashes which was insoluble in water was dissolved in 
muriatic acid, which left the sand undissolved upon which the solution was 
diluted, and precipitated by ammonia. This precipitate is mentioned in the 
tabular view as phosphate of lime, which composed the greater part of it ; 
though it contained, in many instances, some alumina and the oxides of iron 
and manganese. The presence of phosphoric acid was ascertained by dissolving 
the precipitate in muriatic acid, adding alcohol and sulphuric acid, by which 
sulphate of lime was precipitated ; the remaining alcoholic solution was mixed 
with an excess of ammonia, upon which an alkaline solution of chloride of 
magnesia and muriate of ammonia precipitated ammonio-phosphate of mag- 

The ashes of all the plants of the Fucus tribe which I have analysed con- 
tain phosphate of lime. The lime and magnesia which had been in the in- 
soluble part of the ashes was separated in the usual way. The following 
tabular view gives the constituent parts of the ashes of the different fucoidal 
plants which I have analysed. The carbonic acid of the ashes combined with 
lime is not stated. With regard to the silica, it is mentioned in some in- 
stances as sand, which of course had been mechanically adhering to the 
plant, in other instances it was in a state which made it probable, that it be- 
longed to the constitution of the plant, which however is not quite proved. 
The great quantity of oxide of manganese, I may observe, in the ashes of 
Padina pavonia, is curious and doubtful; because I have not yet had an op- 
portunity of repeating my analysis satisfactorily to determine this point. 


REPORT — 1844. 

















i 5 5 





•o S •" 1 





5 s 







■^ SS S 1 




V;- r IP 1 






O "- 




e n o» 











o Jj 






00 o o 

b « « 



1 « 








00 -• 







o n n 

o o 



m to 








•o « 





O C4 





« « ^ 




















Cl o 







§ ?? s 





« « j^ 








^ :-, 






^ CT o 

















>n oi 


M >^ 0> 








n -y 






lO -w « 





CI c 





b b b 






JZ s . 


o d 



CO aj o> 












^ b b 


A o 











« c 




1 2 1 






b C4 















to IT 




» CT n 





c^ tp — 




« — 




« « 




^ ^ o 













• S* 




!0 O t>. 




t ^ 





s ^ s 

H-5 § 













■^ rT 

^ : 

B : a 


d i 

"7^7^ T*" 





t = 

i '■ 

Si : Si 1 J : ': 

- S 1 §i oi 



^ i: = |S| 

i"^ : 


1 1 1 1 




5 jC 

; o 

i o 










£4 0^ 







^ * , 
























^ 1 



- 1 


) ! 



« J 

S a 



> S 



-^ a 







^.— •-^-'-> 









-; „ 




> n 



• 1 



1 -g 



* j 









; 1 1 Ǥ = 



d •, 




> di C 




j >j. 00 ra 


It appears from these analyses, that the fueoidal plants principally separate 
sulphuric acid from the sea-water ; the quantity of it is always very large, and 
never less than 1*28 per cent, of the weight of the whole dried plant. In one 
plant it amounted to 8'.50 per cent., a quantity which is quite enormous con- 
sidering the vast masses of fueoidal plants which grow in the sea ; and I think 
that on an average we may take four per cent, of sulphuric acid in the dry 
sea-weed ; for the mean of nineteen analyses gave 3'82 per cent. This acid 
is combined with potash, soda and lime, and would, after the decay of the 
plant, again be dissolved in the water of the ocean, were it not for an action 
which I shall afterwards describe. 

Next to sulphuric acid the potash is the most interesting of the constituent 
parts of the ashes of Fucus. It occurs in a very small quantity in sea-water, 
and certainly constitutes a great portion of the Fucus tribe, which on an ave- 
rage contains two and a half per cent, of the dried plant, the mean quantity 
found in fourteen analyses being 2'52 per cent. 

Next to the potash, the magnesia deserves the attention of the reader. On 
an average there is about one per cent, of the weight of the dried plant pre- 
sent in the ashes, a quantity which exceeds that of the lime, and may still 
exceed it more than appears from the tabular view, because no inconsiderable 
quantity of lime depends upon the numerous small shells and corals which 
adhere to the sea-weeds. In fact it might be doubted, whether any lime at all, 
in form of carbonate of lime, or such salts of lime whose acid by combustion 
forms carbonates, exists in the plants of the Fucus tribe, and whether all the 
lime belonging to the constitution of these plants is not combined with sul- 
phuric or phosphoric acid. Magnesia occurs in great quantities in sea-water ; 
the animals of shells and corals seem to have no attraction whatever for this 
substance, while the causes that bring it into the ocean are constantly acting, 
and thus its quantity might go on increasing. The fueoidal plants, however, 
absorb some portion of this vast quantity of magnesia and deposit it in the 
beds, which contain the solid substances of the sea-weeds, as far as they are 
insoluble in water. 

Phosphoric acid always occurs in the ashes of sea-weeds and is probably 
always combined with lime. 

I must still mention chlorium among the substances that occur in the Fucus, 
but its quantity is very variable, and there is no doubt that some of these 
plants (at least at certain seasons) contain no chlorium ; and where only small 
traces of this substance have been found, as in the jEcklonia buccinalis, Iridcea 
edulis, and Delesseria sanguinea, they derive it from the salts of sea-water still 
adhering to the dried plants. On the other hand, it is highly probable, that 
the quantities of chlorium which are found in some instances are not acci- 
dentally present, and that chlorium probably combined with sodium plays (at 
certain seasons) a considerable part in the life of the fueoidal plants, while it 
may disappear at others ; for potash occurs in considerable quantities in the 
potatoe while it is flowering, but diminishes afterwards. 

A specimen of Fucus vesiculosus, taken in August 184'4< in the Sound, washed 
and dried, left when heated in a close vessel 28"88 per cent, charcoal, which 
again left 13"33 percent, ashes; the quantity of real charcoal thus being 
15'55 per cent. 

This chemical constitution of the ashes of the Fucus tribe explains several 
great phsenomena in the general life of nature. It is now very little doubted 
that the original fertility of the soil, and even partially that which has been 
occasioned by manure, depend upon the mineral substances which play either 
a permanent or a transitory part in the life of the plants, and among such, 
sulphuric acid, phosphoric acid and potash, are those which, occurring in the 

160 REPORT — 1844. 

least quantitj' in the soil, are notwithstanding absolutely necessary for the 
growth of most of our cultivated plants. All these substances are constantly 
washed out of the soil, and at last carried into the ocean, whose plants again 
attract them ; and if the farmer that lives near the sea-shore transports the 
sea-weeds as a manure for his fields, he thereby gives back to the land those 
substances which rain has washed out of them. 

It is well known that innumerable small Crustacea, principally of the family 
of the Amphipoda, live upon the Fuci of our shores, and hide themselves in 
millions in the half-rotten heaps of those plants which the sea has thrown up. 
They derive from this food phosphoric and sulphuric acid, lime and magnesia ; 
and the ashes of the shell of the shrimp consist, according to my analysis, of 
sulphate of lime, phosphate of lime, and phosphate of magnesia, with so little 
carbonate of lime, that it seems merelj' to belong to small shells adhering to 
the shrimps. It is well known that, directly or indirectly, the smaller Crustacea 
constitute the principal food of fishes and cetaceous animals, and thus the 
phosphate of lime in the bones of the larger marine animals is originally de- 
rived from the sea- weeds ; and also in the ocean the phosphoric acid of in- 
organic nature is, by means of plants, carried over to animals. 

The spontaneous decomposition of the fucoidal plants, and principally of 
Fucus vesiculosus, is the following : after having during some days been ex- 
posed to the action of heat and water, a fermentation begins, in which a great 
quantity of carbonic acid is produced, and also a volatile substance which 
seems not to differ from the common spirit of wine ; thus a complete vinous 
fermentation takes place. When that has ceased, the whole mass begins to 
rot, and a very complicated action commences, by whici: the sulphates are 
changed into sulpliurets. M. Bischof of Bonn showed, many years ago, that 
this effect takes place whenever the soluble sulphates come into contact with 
organic substances exposed to putrid fermentation ; and whoever has observed 
the masses of sea-weed left on the shore, will likewise have observed the smell 
of sulphuretted hydrogen disengaged from the alkaline sulphurets by the 
carbonic acid of the decomposing sea-weed and the atmospheric air. In the 
neighbourhood of Copenhagen, the disengagement of sulphuretted hydrogen 
from sea-weed is sometimes so strong, that the silver at the country places near 
the shore is constantly blackened by the effect of that gas. 

If the sea-weeds in this state of decomposition come into contact with 
oxide of iron, another change takes place, and the sulphur combines by 
double decomposition with the iron and forms pyrites, while the oxygen com- 
bines with the potassium, sodium and calcium. This decomposition is beau- 
tifully shown on the western shore of the island of Bomholra in the Baltic, 
where a ferruginous spring from the lower oolite flows into the sea in a small 
beach, where a great quantity of Fucus vesiculosus is always thrown on shore. 
All the rolled stones at the bottom of the sea are covered with a beautiful 
yellow metallic coating of iron pyrites, which keeps unaltered so long as it is 
covered by the sea, but which on being exposed to the air weathers to sul- 
phate of iron. It is evident that this effect is produced in the present period, 
since rolled pieces of bricks have even the same coating, where a ferruginous 
spring which flows out of a borehole has hardly existed more than fifty years. 
The same ettect takes place if a solution of sulphuret of potash is mixed with 
ferruginous clay and left for some time in a close vessel ; the clay assumes a 
black colour, and after it has been washed with water, diluted muriatic acid 
disengages sulphuretted hydrogen and dissolves protoxide of iron. Thus it 
follows, that wherever putrifying sea-weeds come in contact with ferruginous 
clay, iron pyrites must be formed, which penetrates the clay, and on weather- 
ing first forms sulphate of iron, and if no lime be present, will ultimately, by a 


new decomposition, change into sulphate of alumina. If, on the contrary, car- 
bonate of lime acts upon the sulphate of iron, gypsum will of course be 

The potash which has been formed by the decomposition of the sulphuret 
of potassium acts upon the clay (silicate of alumina) and forms with it an in- 
soluble combination, which probably also contains water. To ascertain this 
fact, which appears to me of high importance in the explanation of geological 
phasnomena, I have several times exposed ferruginous clay to the action of 
a solution of sulphuret of potash with the following result : — 

39"043 grains, English weight, of ferruginous clay from the tertiary for- 
mation of Stowerhoved in the island of Fyen, were analysed by means of 
fluoric acid, and gave 0'184 grain chloride of potassium = 0*47 per cent, 
chloi'ide of potassium = 0*30 per cent, of potash. 

41 '957 grains of the same clay, which for some days had been exposed to 
the action of a solution of sulphuret of potassium, gave, by being treated with 
fluoric acid, &c., 0*930 grain = 2*22 per cent, of chloride of potassium = 1*42 
per cent, of potash. 

61*653 grains of the same clay, which likewise had been exposed to the 
action of a solution of sulphuret of potassium, gave 1*719 grain = 2*79 per 
cent, of chloride of potassium = 1*76 per cent, of potash. 

The objection might be made that this potash was part of the solution 
which had not been properly washed out of the clay. This however is not the 
case, because when the clay had been washed on the filter until hardly any 
trace of soluble substance was left after the washing, water was evaporated, 
was taken from the filter, mixed up with a great quantity of water, and again 
collected on a new filter. It could not be avoided that the sulphuret of iron 
was oxidized during this long process of washing, and that the black colour 
of the clay slowly changed into yellowish-red. But afterwards, when the clay 
was tested, it contained a very small quantity only of sulphuric acid, and an 
action seems to have taken place between the sulphate of iron and the potash 
combined with the clay, by which sulphate of potash was formed, which being 
soluble in water of course must diminish the quantity of potash combined 
with clay. In one instance I succeeded in washing the clay so quickly, that no 
observable oxidation took place, but unfortunately it had not been weighed 
beforehand, and thus although the quantity of potash seemed to be consider- 
ably greater than in the other experiments, it cannot be used as an argument. 
Is is highly probable that by a longer action between the ferruginous clay 
and the sulphuret of potash, a larger quantity of potash will be combined with 
the clay ; but at all events these experiments show, that whenever sea-weeds 
in the last state of decomposition act upon ferruginous clay, iron pyrites is 
formed and a quantity of potash is combined with the clay into a compound 
which is insoluble in water. 

Since all the analysed species of the Fucus tribe, belonging to the most 
different countries, from Greenland to the Equator and the Cape of Good 
Hope, and to the different families, contained considerable quantities of sul- 
phuric acid and potash, they all must have the eff"ect described, whenever 
the other circumstances occur ; and we may fairly infer, that even the fucoidal 
plants of the earlier periods of the world would produce similar changes in 
the clay of the sea. 

The Silurian strata of the Scandinavian peninsula and the island of Bornholm 
contain in their oldest parts large beds of aluminous slate, which is used in a 
great number of manufactories for making alum, and this alumnious slate 
has the great advantage over those slates of the carboniferous system of 
Germany and a part of France, that it contains the sufficient quantity of potash 
1844. M 

162 REPORT — 1844. 

which is required to make alum. According to my analysis this alum slate 
from Bornholm and from the church of Opsloe near Cliristiania, contains the 
following constituent parts : — 

Bornholm. Opsloe. 

SiUca 59-86 65-44 

Alumina .... 15-89 14-87 

Lime 0-99 0-15 

Magnesia .... 1-68 1-34 

Potash with a small quan- 
tity of soda . . . 3-72 

Soda . . . 

Sulphur 0-82 

Iron 0-50 

Carbon 8-65 Oxide of iron 

Water 6-90 




Oxygen . . ."| ,., Water ... 

AzoTe. . . ^EmS" Oxygen . . .Undetermined. 

Phosphoric acid J Azote .... 

Phosphoric acid--' 

In comparing these two analyses, the close resemblance to each other is 
certainly very interesting, in showing that during this formation the same causes 
have been acting at the same time all over those parts of Scandinavia where 
this formation is now found. The only real difference consists in the quantity 
of silica, of which about 6 per cent, more are found in the Opsloe slate than in 
that of Bornholm : all the other constituent parts come as close to each other 
as they do, even in simple crystallized minerals from different parts of the 
world. Those slates which I have analysed did not contain any pyrites in 
particles that are visible to the naked eye. But in all places where alum slate 
occurs, there also occur peculiar beds, which contain a much greater quantity 
of pyrites connected with fossils that have not yet been determined, but which 
seem to belong to the vegetable kingdom and may belong to some species of 
fucoidal plants. The slate of one of these beds of the island of Bornholm 
from the same quarry where the other slate had been taken, contained the 
following quantities of sulphur, iron and silica, the only substances that 
were determined : — 

Sulphur 3-72 

Silica 53-88 

Oxide of iron 6-80 

In Bornholm and in Scania (the southernmost part of Sweden) this slate 
contains a great number of impressions of a fucoidal plant, of which Liebmann, 
at my request, has been so kind to give the following description : — 

Ceramites Hisingeri. Alga caespitosa filamentosa ramosissima. Fila e 
basi communi (radice) radiantia ad setam equinam crassa, fastigiato-ramosa 
dichotoma; substantia interna venis duabus (siphoniis) creberrime genuflexis 
et invicem spiraliter tortis (in modum generum Polysiphonias, Callithamnii, 
Griffithsiae, Ceramii) percursa. 

According to Prof. Keilhau, Prof Boek and M. Esmark, the same Ceramites 
occursfrequentlyinthealuminous Silurian slate of southern Norway. Recently 
M. Hisinger has figured an imperfect specimen of it from Berg in the pro- 
vince of Ostergothland in Sweden ; thus this Fucus appears to be characteristic 


of the alum slate of Scandinavia ; and I can scarcely doubt that the most cha- 
racteristic properties of the alum slate as depending upon its carbon, its sul- 
phur and its potash, are derived from the great quantity of sea-weed which 
has been mixed up with the clay, and whose carbonaceous matter so affects 
the whole rock, that the slate is used as fuel for boiling the aluminous liquor, 
and burning lime, and iu some parts of the province of Westergothland in 
Sweden even small courses of true coal occur. There can hardly remain any 
doubt that this coal is derived from sea- weeds of which the fossil parts have 
been found, for not the slightest trace of land plants has ever been dis- 

In most parts of Sweden, principally in Westergothland, the aluminous slate, 
which rests upon a quartzose sandstone, is separated from the upper slates, 
which are not aluminous, by a large bed of limestone, which contains Asaphus 
expansiis, Illanus crassicauda^ and numerous Orthoceratites. The aluminous 
slate contains a vast number of small Trilobites, which are peculiar to it, and 
might appear at first to prove it a peculiar formation deposited at a time when 
other animals lived in the sea than those which occur in the overlying lime- 
stone. In Scania and in Bornholm the aluminous slate and the bed of 
limestone with Asaphus expansus are merely subordinate beds in the large 
formation of lower Silurian slates, and of course contemporaneous with them. 
Notwithstanding, the aluminous slate contains a vast number of the same small 
Trilobites, and the limestone the same Asaphus expansus which is found in 
the peculiar beds of Westergothland, thus proving that all these animals have 
lived at the same time. If we compare the great number of small Crustacea 
which now live in the sea-weed thrown upon our shores, it appears to me 
highly probable, that the great number of small Trilobites and Agnosti which 
are found in the aluminous slate are the representatives of those of our crus- 
taceans which live upon sea-weed, and that the difference in the fossils of the 
aluminou's slate, the limestone bed and some of the beds of the clay slate, does 
not depend upon the difference of time in their formation, but arises from a 
difference of food in various localities for these animals. 

There is still another difference between the alum slate and the surrounding 
clay slate ; while the last contains more or less carbonate of lime dispersed 
through it, the alum slate contains a very small quantity of it. In fact, if alum 
slate contained lime in any considerable quantity, it would be quite useless 
in the manufactory of alum, because all the sulphuric acid would combine 
with lime instead of alumina, and form gypsum instead of alum. If however 
we consider the whole mass of alum slate, lime is not wanting ; the difference 
consists only in the circumstance, that the carbonate of lime of the alum slate is 
collected into large balls or concretions penetrated by bituminous substances, 
and on that account black and fetid on being rubbed, while it is not so if col- 
lected in the common clay slate of these regions. It is evident that there must 
have been some cause or other by which the carbonate of lime was first dis- 

* An objertion might be made, that this cause vvouUl not be sufficient to account for the 
enormous mass of iron pyrites deposited in the alum slafe, but a calculation will show that this 
is not the case. At the point of Kronborg near Elsingor, about 30,000 two-horse loads of sea- 
weed are annually thrown on shore in the months of November and December, which, calculated 
at 500 lbs. dry plants each, are equal to 15 millions of pounds, which at 3 per cent, sulphuric 
acid, would make 450,000 lbs. of sulphuric acid and 332,000 lbs. of iron pyrites ; and if we 
then calculate every solid cubic foot of alum slate at 15 lbs. and the alum slate on an average 
at 2 per cent pyrites, the quantity of sea-weed annually thrown upon the shore at Kronborg 
would thus be sufficient to impregnate 111,000 cubic feet of alum slate with pyrites. Besides, 
I may mention the enormous extent of floating sea-weed in the gulph-stream between Europe 
and America, as more than sufficient to account for any known quantity of pyrites in sedi- 
mentary deposits. 


164 REPORT — 1844. 

solved and afterwards deposited again by way of crystallization ; and the ap- 
pearance of carbonaceous matter and of iron pyrites in the slate being, in 
Scandinavia at least, always connected with the collection and crystallization 
of carbonate of lime in large nodular masses, it appears that there must be 
some causal connection between all these phagnomena. It is well known that 
carbonic acid dissolved in water has the power of dissolving carbonate of 
lime, and of depositing it again in a crystalline state whenever the carbonic 
acid gas can escape ; and although geologists generally suppose the carbonic 
acid to be derived from the interior of the earth, yet any free carbonic acid, 
from whatever source it may originate, will have the same effect. I have 
already shown before, that the first process in the spontaneous decomposition 
of fucoidal plants of the present time, is the formation of a great deal of car- 
bonic acid, and I therefore think it highly probable that the cai-bonic acid 
which accompanied the decomposition of sea-weeds, has dissolved the lime of 
the slightly marly clay, and collected it into large nodular masses. It appears 
to me that both the detailed coincidence of the phaenomena observed at tlie 
present time, with the facts observed in this large and important Silurian for- 
mation, are a strong proof of the correctness of my views. 

As to newer formations of beds, where fucoidal plants have had a consider- 
able influence on the chemical composition, I name with great hesitation the 
lias slate of the coast of Yorkshire near Whitby. In fact I am not aware that 
any impressions of fucoids have been found in this extensive formation ; but 
then it is well known, that sea-weeds retain their form under very favourable 
circumstances only, and that geologists generally pay very little attention to 
those undefined plants which are considered to be of little use in determining 
the age of the formation. Besides the want of fossil fucoids, the want of potash 
in the lias slate of Whitby seems to be a serious objection to the influence of 
sea-weeds on this formation ; but then, although the shale does not contain a 
sufficient quantity of potash to make alum, yet it may contain a small quantity 
of it, and I am not aware of any analysis of this shale. On the other hand, the 
pyrites disseminated through the shale, the carbonaceous substances which it 
contains, and the nodular concretions of carbonate of lime similar to those of 
the alumslate in Scandinavia, offer no small points of analogy. We find, besides, 
that the sulphuric acid in the ashes of the fucoids is frequently combined 
with lime, as for instance in the Fuciis vesiculosus of our shores ; and the 
spontaneous decomposition of this plant, when acting upon ferruginous clay, 
would form a great deal of pyrites and a small quantity of potash, while the 
lime would assist in forming the nodules of impure limestone. 

In the island of Bornholm the older greensand contains numerous beds of 
coal, and in some beds an enormous number of Fuciis intricatus. The de- 
posit contains no clay, and thus no potash could be retained*, but all the iron 
of the formation is combined with sulphur in pyrites, which seems to be owing 
to the same action. 

Lastly, a tertiary deposit contemporaneous with the subapennine forma- 
tion, contains (all over the Danish peninsula) very large beds of alum earth. 
This alum earth is black, contains much pyrites, and at the same time potash ; 
the carbonate of lime in this formation is also collected in nodular masses ; it 
is full of marine shells, but no fossil fucoids have yet been found in it. 

The Silurian alum slate seems particularly well-disposed to form gneissose 
rocke by metamorphosis ; but before 1 show that this really has been the case 
in the neighbourhood of Christiania, I must as a chemist beg leave to offer a 
word upon metamorphosis in general. 

* By this expression the author refers to the insoluble combination of potash with clay de- 
scribed in preceding paragraphs. — Ed. 


Metamorphosis of rocks may be of two very different kinds. 

1. It may depend upon another arrangement of the constituent parts ; thus 
the whole mass after metamorphosis may contain the same elements in the same 
quantity as before ; but the state of semi-fluidity has allowed the particles to 
combine into other minerals and to assume a crystalline form. This is the case 
for instance with a Pentamerus limestone near Jellebeck, near Drammen in 
Norway. This impure limestone contains besides carbonate of lime, some 
carbonate of magnesia, alumina, oxide of iron and silica. The compact car- 
bonate of lime has assumed a granular form and has become white marble ; 
the magnesia has lost its carbonic acid, and combined with lime and silica to 
form the mineral Tremolite ; and the oxide of iron has combined with alu- 
mina, lime and silica, to form greenish and beautifully crystallized garnets. 
The small per-centage of water, some carbonic acid whicli was combined 
with magnesia and lime, and the carbonaceous substance which communi- 
cates its black colour to the original limestone, have disappeared ; but the 
quantity of the substances thus expelled is so small, that it has very little 
effect upon the whole, and is merely accidental ; for if the limestone had been 
very pure it would have passed into granular marble without loss. If any 
doubt still remained that any such effect could take place, the changes which 
some simple minerals of the highly interesting iron mines of Arendal have 
undergone, seem to leave no doubt concerning this action. The mineral 
collection of the University of Copenhagen possesses a large crystal which 
has completely the form of paranthine (scapolite) ; it is a right square prism 
with all the lateral angles slightly truncated. There cannot be any doubt 
of this crystal having once been paranthine, but not the least trace of that 
mineral is left. It consists of a coating of albite, and in the interior it is 
filled up with imperfect crystals of epidote, while pretty large holes remain 
between the crystals of epidote in the interior, which were probably formerly 
filled up with carbonate of lime which has been abstracted by the mineral 
dealer by means of muriatic acid. Now the green paranthine from Arendal 
consists, according to John, of 

Alumina . . . 30-00 
Lime .... ]0'45 
Oxide of iron . 3-00 

Oxide of manganese 1'45 

Soda 2-00 

Silica 50-25 

The soda, some alumina and silica would form albite ; while the lime, oxide 
of iron, alumina and silica would form epidote. The specific gravity of the 
paranthine is 2-5 to 2-8, while the specific gravity of the albite is 2*68, and 
that of the epidote is 3*2 to 3*5. Thus it was necessary that, the new minerals 
having a greater specific gravity than the paranthine, a contraction must have 
taken place, and holes must have been left in the interior of this curious 
pseudomorphic crystal. 

Some years ago Prof. Rose at Berlin published a paper on certain curious 
crystals, which, with the external form of pyroxene, combined the internal 
structure of hornblende, and these crystals, having been found in the Ural 
Mountains, were called Uralite. Crystals occur at Arendal in Norway which 
also have been called Uralite, but whether they are identical with those from 
the Ural or not, I am unable to say, since I have not seen the true Uralite 
from Russia. This Uralite from Arendal occurs always in the extei-nal form 
of pyroxene, but the solid angles are very often rounded, as if it had been in 
a state which very nearly approached to fusion, and the surface shows the 
curious appearance which is often observed in clays, as if a coating already 
solidified had been drawn in by a floating interior mass, and thus formed 
small folds on the surface. In the interior these crystals have very often the 

166 REPORT — 1844. 

structure of hornblende, but together with the hornblende there always ap- 
pears another mineral, which is generally brown garnet, and the crj-stals of 
this mineral frequently appear on the surface of the metamorphous crystals 
of pyroxene, but never protrude beyond it. Also in this case there exists a 
space between these different crystals filled up with carbonate of lime, which 
in all the Arendal minerals is the last-formed substance that tills up all the 
space left by the other minerals. Although hornblende and garnet are the 
most frequent minerals resulting from the change of the pyroxene, yet they 
are not the only ones that appear. In fact hornblende seems in most cases 
to be one of the new minerals ; but garnet is now and then wanting, and in- 
stead of it magnetical iron ore, epidote, and perhaps even other minerals 
occur. The specimen in which the pyroxene is changed into hornblende 
and magnetical iron ore, is a very curious one, one half of it being covered 
with unaltered pyroxene having a smooth shining surface, the other halt 
of it is equally covered with crystals of the same size and appearance ; but 
they are uneven and dull on the surface, and on closer examination it is 
easily discovered that the internal structure of hornblende may be seen in 
every one of the altered crystals, while at the same time a number of small 
grains of magnetical iron ore have spread themselves through the whole 
mass. The great variety in the minerals produced from the metamorphosis of 
the black pyroxene depends evidently upon its very variable composition and 
its numerous constituent parts, which, according to the laws of isomorphism, 
may replace each other. 

It is evident that these altered crystals have not been completely melted, 
since the whole external form, depending upon the former state of combina- 
tion, is still left. On the other hand, it is likewise evident that there must 
have been a kind of fluidity in the interior of these crystals, else the new- 
formed minerals could not have assumed their peculiar form. Considering 
the rounded edges and the clay-like appearance in the exterior of the altered 
crystals, very little doubt can remain, that the agent which produced these 
changes was heat, and that the whole phaenomenon belongs to that class of 
chemical changes which philosophers call cementation, and by which, with- 
out a change in the external form, changes take place in the interior which 
depend upon another arrangement of the particles ; as for instance in the 
alteration which glass undergoes by being changed into the porcelain of 

I shall presently show, that the alum slate of Scandinavia, by a completely 
similar alteration of the different stages which easily may be traced, has been 
changed into gneiss, and that, if we except the carbonaceous matter, no sub- 
stance has been carried away and none has been joined with the slate ; so 
that the whole change merely consists in a different arrangement of the par- 
ticles, which by way of cementation have formed new minerals that did not 
exist before. 

2. Much more frequent are those metamorphoses where new substances 
have entered into combination with those that were present in the beds of 
sedimentary origin, and where at least other substances have sometimes been 
expelled or have disappeared. The metamorphosis belonging to this kind, 
whichis most clear and evident, is the alteration of common limestone, car- 
bonate of lime, into anhydrate or anhydrous sulphate of lime, where the car- 
bonic acid has been expelled by sulphuric acid, which in most instances pro- 
ceeded from the interior of the 'earth. The greater part of the ancient Scan- 
dinavian gneiss has evidently been formed by such an action where the granite 
as an eruptive mass has carried vapours of potash with it, which have pene- 
trated the surrounding and heated slates. At the first instance it may appear 


inconceivable that granite being overloaded with an acid (silica, which ap- 
pears in form of quartz) could give out vapours of potash, which is a base ; 
but this depends upon the peculiar nature of silica, which at high tempera- 
tures require less base to be dissolved than at a lower heat. I am disposed 
to think that granite when melted is one single compound, which on cooling 
is alone separated into the different minerals which compose it. In the 
melted state it may give out much of its volatile bases, potash and soda, until 
a compound remains, which for that temperature will not allow any more pot- 
ash to be volatilized. 

If it thus is the case, that granite at a high heat may give out vapours of 
potash and soda, these vapours will penetrate the surrounding slates, and will 
form alkaline silicates, which at a sufficient heat will crystallize and combine 
according to the degree of temperature either to form granite or gneiss. 
Further off from the source of the alkaline vapours, where less potash and 
soda penetrate, very little felspar will be formed, the whole potash being 
converted into mica, which frequently is white, the iron entering into com- 
bination with alumina and silica to form garnet, which in mica slate is the 
representative of the felspar of the gneiss. Still further off from the granite, 
not even mica slate will be formed, a sufficient quantity being wanting ; and 
the last stage of these metamorphoses will be a micaceous, hardened clay slate. 
Although granite generally carries vapours of potash with it, yet this is not 
always the case ; and there exist not a few instances of protrusions of granite 
where the clay slate has not been converted into gneiss, but changed into 
other rocks with no portion or a trifling quantity only of alkaline substances. 

The whole mass of intrusive rocks of the trap family which are overloaded 
with iron does not seem ever to have carried alkaline vapours with it, but 
its peculiar produce is not unfrequently boracic aeid. Chemical affinities 
will not allow vapours of potash or soda to escape from a compound con- 
taining great quantities of the silicates of the oxides of iron, because potash 
and soda would combine with silica and alumina from felspar, and separate a 
combination of the oxides of iron in the form of magnetical iron ore. In fact, 
this seems to be the history of some of the most interesting layers of magne- 
tical iron ore. It appears therefore to me of importance to distinguish in 
geological descriptions between euritic intruding rocks, which principally com- 
prehend granite and euritic porphyry, from trappcean intruding rocks, com- 
prehending the large femily of greenstones, basalts, &c. ; their chemical effect 
upon the surrounding rocks being often very different. 

Having given these general views of the chemical part of metamorphosis, 
I will go back again to the changes which portions of the Scandinavian alum 
slate has undergone, where it comes into contact with certain intrusive rocks. 
I had the great pleasure to make these observations in company with Mr. 
Murchison, to whose genius and zeal we owe such very important geological 
works, and I shall therefore not dwell much upon the geological phasnomena, 
but principally comment upon the chemical nature of the altered rocks. 

Along the foot of Egeberg to the east of Christiania, the alum slate is not 
separated from the older gneiss by a bed of sandstone which generally sepa- 
rates the older gneiss from alum slate ( Viggersund in Norway, Westergothland 
in Sweden, and Bornholm)*. 

The first state of change which this black shining alum slate undergoes 
does not occur in the neighbourhood of Christiania, but is very frequent in 
Hadeland and some parts of Ringerige ; it is black, very anthracitical, and 

* Near the church of Opsloe the alum slate has been quarried in former times for an alum 
manufactory, and it is there unchanged ; its composition has been mentioned before. 


REPORT 1844. 

has lost almost the whole quantity of water which it contained. It seems 
evident that this change has been brought about by the very numerous trap- 
paean and euritic dykes which traverse these shales. 

The second state in the change of the alum slate is into Lydian stone; this 
occurs at Bugten, near the sea-shore at the foot of the Egebei-g, about a couple 
of English miles to the south of Christiania ; it is black, hard, and traversed 
by numerous small veins of quartz, which seem to depend upon the protrusion 
of large irregular masses of greenstone. 

The third stage is into a gneissose rock witli a quantity of dark mica and 
black scales of a carbonaceous substance, which seems to be graphite. This 
variety Mr. Murchison also observed at Agersberg Castle, in the town of 
Christiania itself. It being a matter of great importance to ascertain whether 
this completely gneissose rock still contained carbon, I have made two experi- 
ments to convince me of this fact. I made an analysis like those for organic 
substances, and ascertained the quantity of carbonic acid, -which gave the 
quantity of carbon as 1-28 per cent. Since there might, however, remain 
some doubt, whether a minute portion of the carbonic acid might not depend 
upon a small quantity of carbonate of lime that occurred in this rock, I dis- 
solved a portion of it in a mixture of fluoric and muriatic acid, whereby a 
quantity of finely-divided carbon remained, which, after being dried, burnt 
on a red-hot piece of platina with the phaenomena of burning carbon. It is 
thus completely proved that the black gneissose rock of Agersberg still con- 
tains a quantity of carbon. This carbonaceous gneiss is wanting at Bugten, 
where the series is generally more perfectly displayed. 

Next to the layers of Lydian stone of Bugten a gneiss makes its appear- 
ance, consisting of dark green mica, white felspar, quartz, and a number of 
small cubes of iron pyrites disseminated throughout the mass. Of this most 
perfect gneiss (which on the place itself, however, is very closely connected 
Avith Lydian stone, and whose pyrites still show its origin from the pyritiferous 
alum slate) I made a complete analysis, the result of which, compared to the 
analysis of the alum slate of Bornholm and Opsloe, is the following ; the water 
and carbon of the alum slate having been deducted before the per-centage 
was calculated : — 

1. 2. 3. 4. 

Alum slate from 
Opsloe, after de- 
duction of the 

volatile parts. 

. 72-40 . 

. 16-4.5 . 

. 2-26 

. 0-17 

. 1-48 

. 5-08 

. 0-53 

. 1-25 

Gneiss from 

Alum slate from 

Silica .... 
Alumina . . . 
Peroxide of iron 
Lime .... 
Magnesia . . 
Potash . . . 
Soda .... 
Sulphur . . . 


Alum slate from 

. . 71-72 

71-72 . . 
. . 19-04 

Pyrites 1-58 Oxide of iron 9-06 
. . 1-19 




Sulphur 4*15 

100-68 99-62 99-87 

In analyses 1 , 2 and 4, the quantity of oxygen corresponding to the quantity 
of sulphur which was found must be deducted, because a portion of iron is 
present as pyrites. In No. 4 only the quantity of silica, oxide of iron, and 
sulphur was determined, and their quantity given proportionally to the silica 
in No. 3. 

If Ave compare these analyses, the close connexion of the rocks analysed 


cannot escape observation ; — the same quantity of silica, magnesia, lime, 
potash and soda, and only a difference in the quantity of alumina, iron and 
sulphur, the alumina occurring in a less quantity in the gneiss, while iron and 
sulphur occur in a much greater quantity than in the common alum slate. 
But then the sulphur and iron in the alum slate are very irregularly distri- 
buted, and beds occur which are very rich in iron pyrites ; the bed No, 4, 
which has been analysed in No. 4, containing even more sulphur than the 
gneiss from Bugten. The quantity of sulphur must in part depend upon the 
quantity of iron in the clay which had acted upon the sulphuret of potassium. 
The great quantity of dark green mica in the gneiss depends upon the presence 
of oxide of iron, besides the pyrites ; and on looking at No. 4, it is the same 
case in this alum slate. 

I could not trace any distinct boundary between this gneiss of Bugten and 
the large mass of gneiss which forms the principal range of the Egeberg ; and 
near the church of Opsloe one may pursue a similar change in the nature of 
the rock, although the passage from the alum slate to the gneiss is not as 
clearly to be traced as at Bugten. 

At both places these changes of the alum slate are connected with large 
intruding masses of greenstone which irregularly rise from below. Numerous 
small veins of quartz likewise pass through all the different varieties of the 
altered rock, from the complete gneiss to the black Lydian stone. 

At the Egeberg near Opsloe, euritic dykes traverse the altered rocks, and 
these dykes afford a new proof of the peculiar nature of the gneiss which they 
pass. They have the general chemical character of the intruding euritic rocks 
of Scandinavia, their alkalies consisting for a great part of soda ; while the 
newer metamorphic gneiss of Egeberg, like its parent the alum slate, contains 
a trace of soda only in its composition. 

The older gneiss*, like that of Bornholm, which lies unconformably below 
the lowest Silurian sandstone and alum slate, contains likewise a considerable 
quantity of soda in its composition. 

* Note by Mr. MurcMson. — My friend Professor Forchhammer having entrusted this most 
important paper to my care, I was highly gratified to find, that on being read at York it eli- 
cited a warm encomium from Professor Liebig, so eminently qualified to form a correct judg- 
ment of its chemical value. In its very remarkable application to geology I beg to caution 
the reader against the adoption of the idea, that Professor Forchhammer does not make a 
clear geological distinction between the newer gneiss and the older. He is indeed entirely of 
my own opinion, which will be developed in a memoir laid before the Geological Society of 
London, that the old granitic gneiss of Scandinavia was formed, crystallized and penetrated 
by granite before the lower Silurian strata were accumulated. — R. I. M. 

170 REPORT — 1844. 

Report on the recent Progress and present State of Ornithology. 
By H. E. Strickland, M.A., F.G.S., Sfc. 


The object of this report is to give a sketch of the recent progress, present 
state, and future prospects of that branch of zoology whicli treats of the class 
of Birds. As the chief, indeed the only method by which this study can be 
developed into a science, consists either in describing and depicting the cha- 
racter and habits of this class of animals in books, or in preserving and 
arranging the objects themselves in museums, I shall review in succession the 
progress which has been made in these two departments of the subject, and 
shall conclude with a few remarks on the desiderata of ornithology. 

In treating of the bibliography of ornithology, however, it is not necessary 
to go into much detail respecting the works of older date than about fifteen 
years ago. The ornithological works of the last and the earlier part of the 
present century are well known to most naturalists, and the reader will find 
ample and for the most part just criticisms respecting them in Cuvier's 
' Regne Animal,' vol. iv., Temminck's ' Manuel d'Ornithologie,' Swainson's 
' Classification of Birds,' and his ' Taxidermy and Bibliography,' Wood's 
' Ornithologist's Text Book,' Wilson's article Ornithology in the ' Encyclo- 
paedia Britannica,' Rev. L.Jenyns's 'Report on Zoology,' 1834, Burmeister's 
article Ortiithologie in Ersch and Gruber's ' Encyclopiidie der Wissenschaften,' 
and other sources. I shall therefore only give such a cursory notice of some 
of the earlier writers on ornithology as will serve to introduce the more le- 
gitimate subject of this report. 

It may perhaps surprise those who are not very conversant with the subject 
to be told that ornithology is in a less advanced state than many other de- 
partments of zoology. Persons who are accustomed to regard " stufied 
birds" as constituting the most usual and most attractive objects of a public 
museum, will not readily admit that the various species of Mammalia, Fish, 
Insects, Mollusca, and even Infusoria, are more accurately determined and 
more perfectly methodized than the class of Birds. Such is however the 
case, and although in the last few years ornithology has certainly made a 
very marked progress, yet it is still considerably in the rear of its sister sci- 

This backward condition of ornithology must be attributed in great mea- 
sure to the pertinacity with which its followers during many years adhered 
to the letter instead of to the spirit of Linnaeus's writings. In this country 
the venerable Latham, who for half a centuiy was regarded as the great 
oracle of ornithology, persisted so late as 1824 in classifying his 5000 species 
of birds in the same number of genera (with very few additions) as were em- 
ployed by Linnaeus for a fifth part of those species. The consequence was 
that many of the genera in Latham's last work contain each several hundred 
species, frequently presenting the most heterogeneous characters, and massed 
together without any, or with only very rude, attempts at further subdivision. 
Shaw's ' General Zoology* was, in a great measure, a servile copy of Latham's 
' Ornithology,' and these two works formed for many years almost the only 
text-books on the subject. On the continent meanwhile, those who were not 
disciples of Linnaeus, transferred their allegiance to Buffon, and often exceeded 
that author in their contempt for systematic arrangement and uniform no- 

Cuvier, indeed, as early as 1798, had sketched out an improved classification 
of birds in his ' Tableau Elementaire de I'Histoire Naturelle,' repeated with 


amendments in his 'Anatomie Comparee' in 1800. The main features of 
his arrangement correspond with that which he afterwards adopted in his 
' Regne Animal.' About the same period also, Lacepede published a system, 
arranged on a new plan and containing the definitions of several new genera. 
Another outline of an improved ornithological system was published in 1806 
by M. Dumeril in his ' Zoologie Analytique.' But these attempts at progress 
seem to have been made before the scientific world was able to appreciate 
them, and several years elapsed before their influence was generally felt. 

The logical and accurate Illiger was the next who endeavoured to intro- 
duce sounder principles into ornithology ; his admirable ' Prodromus Syste- 
matis Mammalium et Avium,' published in 1811, after long years of neglect, 
has now become an almost indispensable handbook to the studier of Mam- 
mals and Birds. But this young reformer died at an early age, and ornitho- 
logy again relapsed under the drowsy sway of the Linnsean and Buffbnian 

The next eff'ort in advance was made in 1817, when Cuvier, having pre- 
viously arranged the Paris Museum according to his own views of the natural 
system, embodied the results in the ' Regne Animal.' In the ornithological 
portion Cuvier was anticipated by Vieillot, who having access to the galleries 
of the museum, is charged with having appropriated the labours of Cuvier 
by attaching names of his own to the groups there pointed out. Be this as 
it may, the 'Analyse d'une nouvelle Ornithologie Elementaire' of Vieillot, 
and the ornithological portion of the ' Regne Anima,!' of Cuvier, contain 
many new general) zations based upon highly important but previously neglected 
structural characters, and their publication indicated a vigorous effort at 
transferring the subject from the domain of authority to that of observation. 

Temminck, who in his 'Histoire des Pigeons et des Gallinaces,' 1813-15, 
had introduced several new generic groups into the Rasorial order, published 
in the second edition of his ' Manuel d'Ornithologie,' 1820, the outline of a 
general system of ornithology, containing many important additions to the 
arrangements of Cuvier and Vieillot. 

The method of De Blainville, completed in 1822, deserves notice, from his 
having introduced as a new element of classification the structure of the 
sternum and of the bones connected with it. The distinctive characters thus 
deduced are now generally admitted as forming valuable auxiliaries in the 
search after a natural arrangement. 

The improved methods of classification, thus originated on the continent, 
made a gradual but slow progress into this country. Dr. Leach seems to 
have been the first British naturalist who duly appreciated the labours of 
Cuvier, and in the concluding volumes of Shaw's ' Zoology,' published under 
his superintendence, the new generic groups of the continental authors were 
successively introduced, and engrafted upon the stock of Linn^us and La- 
tham. Dr. Horsfield also entered thoroughly into the spirit of the reformers 
of zoology, and in his valuable memoir on the Birds of Java in the LinuEean 
Transactions, vol. xiii., he adopted the arrangements of Cuvier and of Leach, 
with many excellent additions of his own. Dr. Fleming's 'Philosophy of 
Zoology,' 1822, also contributed to render the naturalists of Britain familiar 
with the improved systems of the Cuvierian school. 

The late Mr. N. A. Vigors gave, in 1823, a great impulse to the study of 
ornithology by his elaborate memoir in the Linnaean Transactions, vol. xiv., 
on ' The Natural Affinities that connect the Orders and Families of Birds.' 
This treatise abounds with original observations and philosophical inferences, 
but unfortunately they are applied in support of a theory which the most 

172 REPORT — 1844. 

careful inductions and the most unprejudiced reasonings of subsequent na- 
turalists have shown to have no claim to our adoption as a general law. 
Without entering further upon the vexata qucestio of the " Quinary System" 
than as regards its application to ornithology, I may remark that if we can 
show that this supposed universal principle fails in its application to any one 
department of the animal kingdom, it loses its character of universality, and 
a presumption is raised against its truth even as a special or local law. The 
quinary system in fact includes several distinct propositions, the truth of any 
one of which does not imply that of the remainder. First, it is laid down that 
all natural groups, if placed in the order of their affinities, assume a circular 
figure ; secondly, that these circles are each subdivided into^t^e smaller circles ; 
thirdly, that two of these are vormal, and the remaining three aberrant; and 
fourthly, that the members of any one circle represent analogically the cor- 
responding members of all other circles. I shall have occasion to recur to 
these points in speaking of Mr. Swainson's writings, and at present will merely 
remark, that the application by iMr. Vigors of these novel and singular doc- 
trines to the class of birds contributed in no small degree to the advancement 
of ornithological science ; for however erroneous a theory may be, yet the 
researches which are entered upon with a view to its support or refutation 
invariably advance the cause of truth. Alchemy was the parent of chemistry, 
astrology of astronomy, and quinarianism has at least been one of the foster- 
parents of philosophical zoology. Another debt of gratitude which we owe 
to the quinarians is the broad and marked distinction which they were the 
first to draw between Affinity and Analogy — between agreements in 
essence, and agreements in function only and not in essence, the one consti- 
tuting a natural, and the other an artificial system. And although their 
foregone conclusions sometimes led them to mistake the one for the other, 
yet by their clear definitions on the subject they enabled others to detect the 
errors which in such cases they could not see themselves*. 

In 1824 Vieillot presented a new edition of his system, with but slight 
alterations, in his ' Galerie des Oiseaux,' and in the following year Latreille 
proposed another arrangement, which however diff'ers very little from that of 
Cuvier as finally left by him in the second edition of his ' Regne Animal,' 
1829. The celebrity of its author caused the latter work to be speedily 

* The distinction between affinity and analog)' is as yet but imperfectly established on the 
continent, or at least the terminology employed is very vague. French Avriters continually 
use the term analogie to express wliat we call affinity, a defect in their scientific language 
which they might easily remedy by making use of the word " affinite," and by restricting 
analogie to its true meaning. The same inaccuracy also exists in the language of geologists, 
British as well as foreign, when they speak of the recent, analogue oi dLio?,&\\, meaning thereby 
that recent species which has the strongest affinity to the extinct one. They might term it 
with more propriety the recent affine. A similar alteration would also introduce greater pre- 
cision into the terminology of comparative anatomy. The parts which in different groups 
of animals are essentially equivalent, though often differing in function, are commonly termed 
analogous members, but it would be more correct to call them affine members, and to restrict 
the term analogous to those organs which resemble in function without being essentially equi- 
valent. Thus the tooth of Monodon, the nose-horn of Rhinoceros, the intermaxillaries of 
Xiphias, and even the rostrum of a Roman galley, all perform a similar function, and are 
therefore analogous organs, but the relation between the weapon of offence in Monodon and 
the masticatory teeth of other Mammalia is an agreement in essence but not in function, and 
is therefore not an analogy but a real affinity. There is yet a third kind of relation between 
organic beings which does not deserve the name of analogy, but which may be simply called 
resemblance, consisting of a mere correspondence in form, but not in function or essence, 
such as tlie resemblance between Murex haustellum and a Woodcock's head, between Ophrys 
apifera and a Dec, &c., a relation which is in every sense accidental, though the advocates 
of the quinar)' theory have often regarded it as a true analogy. 


translated into other languages, and it soon became the text-book for classifi- 
cation in most of the museums of Europe. The ' Regne Animal' will ever 
remain a monument of the industry of Cuvier and of his extraordinary powers 
of generalization, but it would be vain to expect that all parts of so vast an 
undertaking should be equally perfect, and it is therefore no matter for sur- 
prise that the class of birds, which do not seem to have been a favourite 
branch of Cuvier's studies, should present many defects in their arrangement. 
Certain it is that, not to mention many proofs of haste in the citation of spe- 
cies and of authors, the series of affinities is in this work often rudely broken 
or arbitrarily united. In his arrangement of birds Cuvier seems to have too 
closely followed the old authors, in adopting an isolated character as the 
basis of his classification, a practice which inevitably leads to arbitrary and 
artificial arrangements. He places, for example, the Tanagers, Philedons, 
and Graculcc in the midst of the Dentirostres, Dacnis, Coracias and Para- 
disea among the Conirostres, Sitta and Ticliodroma among the Tenuirostres, 
Furnarius in Nectarinia, &c. Many of these defects were pointed out by 
Prince C. L. Bonaparte in an admirable critique published at Bologna in 
1830, entitled ' Osservazioni suUa seconda edizione del Regno Animale,' and 
which is an indispensable appendage to Cuvier's work. Another valuable 
accompaniment to the ' Regne Animal' is the series of plates published by 
Gueria under the title of ' Iconographie du Regne Animal de Cuvier.' 

This slight preliminary sketch of the progress of ornithological classifica- 
tion has now conducted us to a period when it becomes necessary to enter 
into greater detail. 

I propose, as far as I am able, to notice all the more important ornitholo- 
gical works which have been published since 1830, and which have contri- 
buted to bring the subject to its present state, not indeed of perfection, but 
what is more interesting to those engaged in it, oi progress. I must however 
regret, that from the difficulties of obtaining access to many rare conti- 
nental publications, especially to the almost innumerable annals of scientific 
societies, this attempt at a general survey of the subject will unavoidably be 
somewhat incomplete. I shall of course pass over such works as are devoid 
oi scientific merit, as well as those mere compilations, which from their want of 
any new or original matter tend only to diffuse and not to advance the science. 

In entering on so large a field it becomes necessary to subdivide the sub- 
ject, which may be treated of under seven heads, viz — 1. General systematic 
works. 2. Works descriptive of the Ornithology of particular regions. 
3. Monographs of pai'ticular groups. 4. Miscellaneous descriptions of spe- 
cies. 5. Pictorial Art as applied to Ornithology. 6. The Anatomy and 
Physiology of Birds, and 7. Fossil Ornithology. 

1. General Systematic Works. 

Lesson, who in 1828 had published a useful little ' Manuel d'Ornithologie,' 
based chiefly upon Cuvier's classification, brought out in 1 83 1 a more extended 
work, entitled ' Traite d'Ornithologie.' This book, which professes to enu- 
merate all the species of birds in the Paris Museum, is upon the whole a very 
unsatisfactory performance, presenting all the marks of great haste and con- 
sequent inattention. Many professed new species are named without being 
described, others are described without being scientifically named ; no mea- 
surements are given, and the descriptions are often so brief and obscure, that 
it is impossible to determine a species by their means. The work, neverthe- 
less, contains the definitions of many new generic groups which are now 
adopted into our systems, and M. Lesson is therefore entitled to the credit of 

174 REPORT — 1844. 

these original generalizations. The classification followed in this M'ork is 
very complex, and in some of its portions very artificial, the genera being 
arrived at through a numerous and irregular series of successive subdivisions, 
founded in many cases upon arbitrary and isolated characters. Perhaps the 
most valuable portions of the work are the generic definitions, which are 
worked out with greater care than the specific descriptions. 

Professor Eichwald gave a synopsis of the class of birds with brief de- 
scriptions of the Russian species in his ' Zoologia Specialis,' Wilna, 1831. 
Prefixed to it is a good general resume of the characters, external and inter- 
nal, of the ornithic class. 

The arrangement of birds proposed by Wagler (Systema Araphibiorum) 
and by Nitzsch (Pterylographia) have not yet fallen under my inspection. 

In 1831 the Prince C. L. Bonaparte published his ' Saggio di una Distri- 
buzione Metodica degli Animali Vertebrati,' exhibiting a sj'stem of ornitho- 
logy, of which he had previously given a sketch in the ' Annals of the Lyceum 
of New York,' vol. ii. 1828. As this arrangement seems in its main features 
to approach more nearly to the system of nature than any contemporary me- 
thod, it will be worth while to enter into some detail respecting it. The au- 
thor divides the class of birds in the first instance into two great groups or 
subclasses, Insessores or perchers, and Grallatores or walkers, the first in- 
cluding the orders Accipitres and Passeres, and the second the Gallina;, 
Grallce, and Anseres. Most other zoologists, from the time of Linnseus to 
the present day, unconsciously prejudiced by the size, rapacious habits and 
celebrity of the birds of prey, have attached too much importance to their 
characters, and have made them into one of the primary divisions of the class 
Aves. But on an unbiassed estimate of their characters it will appear that 
the Accipitres form merely a division of the great group of Perchers, agree- 
ing with them in all essential points of organization, and not differing more 
than some of the subdivisions of the perchers do from each other. It was 
therefore a justifiable act to lower the Accipitres from the lofty place which 
they had long occupied, and to subordinate them to the Insessores. I even 
think that the learned author might have gone a step further, by making his 
subclass Insessores to consist of one order, Passeres only, while the Accipi- 
tres would stand on a level with his Scmisores and Ambulaiores, as a tribe or 
subdivision of Passeres. 

The primary division of all birds into perchers and vmlkers, though pro- 
fessedly based on the position and development of so unimportant an organ 
as the hind-toe, and therefore liable at first sight to be termed arbitrary and 
artificial, is yet confirmed by so many other important and coextensive cha- 
racters to which the structure of the hind-toe serves as an external indication, 
that we cannot doubt of this arrangement being conformable to nature. No 
person acquainted with the difficulty of defining the larger groups of zoology, 
will, of course, expect logical exactness in the application of these or of any 
other set of characters to the orders of ornithology. But allowing for such 
exceptions as occur in all zoological generalizations, it is certain that by this 
arrangement two great groups of birds are pointed out, the one arboreal, 
with perching feet, monogamous, constructing elaborate nests, and rearing a 
blind, naked, and helpless offspring ; while the otiiers are terrestrial, with am- 
bulatory feet, frequently polygamous, displaying no skill in the form of their 
nests, and producing young which are clothed and able to see and to run as 
soon as hatched. 

The classification of Vertebrata, which Prince C. L. Bonaparte sketched out 
in the above work, is further developed in a paper M'hich he communicated to 


the Linnaean Society (Transactions, vol. xviii.). The diagnostic characters 
of all the families and subfamilies are here worked out with elaborate exact- 
ness, as they are also in his ' Systema Oruithologiee,' published in the ' An- 
nali delle Scienze Naturali di Bologna,' vols. iii. and viii. In these latter 
esays the author introduces several modifications, the most important of 
which is, that he removes the PsittacidcB from the other Scansores, and places 
them as a separate order at the commencement of the system, before the 
Accipitres. This arrangement, which was first proposed by Blainville, is 
grounded on the curvature of the beak, the presence of a cere, and the reti- 
culation of the tarsi, which are supposed to connect the Psittacidce and Acci- 
pitres. I must be allowed however to differ from this opinion, as the Parrots 
appear to me to be much more closely allied to the other Scansores, with 
which they are usually classed. In the nature of their food, the prevailing 
red and green colours of the plumage, the structure of the tongue in some 
genera ( Trichoglossus), and of the beak in others (^Nestor, &c.), they seem 
really allied (though somewhat remotely) to the Rhamphastidce, and through 
them to the Bucconidce and Picidm. 

An arrangement of the chief families and genera of birds, with definitions 
of their distinctive characters, will be found in the ' Elemens de Zoologie,' by 
M. Milne Edwards, 1834 (2nd ed. 1837), and in similar introductory works 
by Oken and Goldfuss. 

Professor Sundevall published a new classification of birds in the ' Kongl. 
Vetensk. Acad. Handlingar,' Stockholm, 1836. He divides them into two 
large groups, nearly corresponding with the Insessores and Grallatores of the 
Prince of Canino. He agrees with Mr. Swainson in attaching a real import- 
ance to the analogical representation of groups, but appears not to insist on 
their numerical uniformity. 

Mr. Swainson had, in 1831, given a sketch of his ornithological system in 
Dr. Richardson's ' Fauna Boreali-Americana,' but as his plan is more fully 
developed in the ' Classification of Birds,' forming part of Lardner's ' Cyclo- 
paedia,' published in 1836-37, we will confine our attention to the latter work. 
Of all the authors who have followed the quinary arrangement, Mr. Swainson 
has carried it to the greatest extent, having in various volumes of Lardner's 
' Cyclopaedia' endeavoured to apply it not only to the whole of the Verte- 
brata, but also to the Mollusca and Insecta. In speaking of Swainson as a 
quinarian author, it should be explained that he divides his groups in the 
first instance into three, but as one of these is again divided into three, these 
last, with the two undivided groups, make up the number Jive (see ' Geog. 
and Classif. of Animals,' p. 227). His method is therefore only a modifica- 
tion of the quinary theory, originally propounded by MacLeay and further 
developed by Vigors. In following Mr. Swainson into the details of his me- 
thod, we miss the philosophical spirit and logical though not always well- 
founded reasoning of the two last-named authors. Firmly wedded to a theory, 
he is driven, in applying it to facts, to the most forced and fanciful conclu- 
sions. Compelled to show that the component parts of every group assume 
a circular figure, that they amount in the aggregate to a definite number, 
into which each of them is again subdivisible, and that there is a system of 
analogical representation between the corresponding members of every circle, 
which forms the sole test of its conformity to the natural arrangement, we 
need not wonder at the difficulties Avith which our author is beset ; and we 
may certainly admire the ingenuity with which he has grappled with the 
Protean forms of nature, and forced them into an apparent coincidence with 
a predetermined system. I need not follow out the details of this Procrus- 

176 REPORT — 1844. 

tean process, having already treated of it elsewhere (' Ann. Nat. Hist.' vol. vi. 
p. 192). With ail its faults the 'Classification of Birds' is a very useful 
elementary work, containing numerous details of structural characters, and 
many just observations on the affinities of particular groups. A large num- 
ber of new genera are here defined, although many which Mr. Swainson 
considered to be new had been anticipated by continental authors, with 
whose writings he was unacquainted. 

Although the quinary theory, properly so called, has made but little pro- 
gress beyond the British Islands, yet there is a school of zoologists in Germany 
whose doctrines are of a very similar character. The most eminent of these 
authors is Oken, who has explained his ideas on classification in several of his 
detached works, as well as in that valuable periodical the ' Isis,' and who 
communicated an outline of his theory to the Scientific Meeting at Pisa in 
1839. We find in his system the same arbitrary assumption of premises, the 
same far-fetched and visionary notions of analogy, and the same Procrustean 
mode of applying them to facts, which distinguish the writings of Swainson. 
He professes to deduce as a conclusion, what is in fact the a priori assump- 
tion on which his whole theory is based, — that the animal kingdom is analo- 
gous to the anatomy of man, that is to say, that each of the organs which, when 
combined in due proportion, constitute the human body, are developed in a 
predominant degree in the several classes of animals, which represent those 
organs respectively. This doctrine is far too fanciful to stand the test of 
common sense, but it is certainly very ingenious, and we may admit that se 
non e vero e ben trovato. The subkingdom Radiata he considers to represent 
the egg, Mollusca the sexual organs, Articulata the viscera, and Vertebrata 
the essentially animal, or motive organs. The subdivisions of these groups 
represent not only individual anatomical organs, but also each other, in a 
mode somewhat like that asserted by Mr. Swainson, but even more complex 
and ingenious, and Avhich 1 have not space to develope*. 

The work which most nearly represents, in Germany, the quinarian school, 
is the ' Classification der Siiugthiere und Vogel' of Kaup, 1844. This au- 
thor, like Oken, compares the Animal Kingdom to the human anatomy, but 
he extends the analogy of the "five senses" over every part of the system, 
(except his sub-kingdoms, which are three) so as to form a uniformly quinary 
arrangement. Thus though Kaup agrees with Swainson in adopting the 
nxxTahev Jive, these authors are guided by diflferent principles of analogy, the 
former looking to the development of the organs of sense, and the latter to 
points of external structure connected with habits. Hence these two quinary 
arrangements are very far from being coincident ; Swainson for instance 
makes the Raptores one of his primary orders, while Kaup makes them a sub- 
division of his Water-birds ! Again, Swainson makes Corvus the essential 
type of all birds, while Kaup gives the same dignified position to Hirundo. I 
need only add that Kaup's arrangement, like all a priori systems, is replete 
with conjectures and fallacies. 

The fundamental error which appears to pervade these and many similar 
modes of classification, is the assumption of a regidarity and, as it were, 

* The author having assumed not only tliat the class Mammalia represents the organs of 
sense, but that the genera of each family represent tlie individual senses, and these latter 
being commonly (though not correctly) enumerated as five, it results that, as far as the 
Mammalia are concerned, Oken's system is, like Svrainson's, a quinary one. This coinci- 
dence of number is, however, proved to be arbitrary, and not real, by the fact that these two 
authors, who seem to have been wholly unacquainted with each other's writings, have in no 
one instance adopted the same subdivisions for their corresponding groups. 


organization in that which is a mere abstraction, the System of Nature. 
The point at issue is this, — whether or not it formed a part of the plan of 
Creative Wisdom, when engaged in peopling this earth with living beings, 
so to organize those beings that when arranged into abstract groups conform- 
ably with their characters, they should follow any regular geometrical or 
numerical law. Now such a proposition appears, when tested by reason, to 
be improbable, and when by observation, to be untrue. The researches of 
the comparative anatomist universally lead to this result, — that all organized 
beings are examples of certain general types of structure, modified solely 
with reference to external circumstances, and consequently that the final 
purpose of each modification is to be sought for in the conditions under 
which each being is destined to exist. But these conditions result from the 
infinitely varied arrangements of unorganized matter, they are consequently 
devoid of any symmetry themselves, and the wild irregularity of the inorganic 
is thus transmitted to the organic creation. Geology has revealed to us that 
in all ages of the world new organic beings have been from time to time 
called into existence whenever the changes of the earth's surface presented a 
new field for the development of life, and, judging from analogy, we cannot 
doubt that if a new continent were hereafter raised by volcanic agency in the 
Southern Ocean, a new fauna and flora would be created to inhabit it, 
adapted to the neAV set of influences thus brought into action. Such a sup- 
position appears, as far as man can presume to reason on a subject so far 
above him, to be more consistent with the benevolence of an all-wise Creator, 
than the theory which would consider the final purpose for which certain 
groups of organic beings were created, to be the fulfilment of a fixed geo- 
metrical or numerical law. The supporter of the latter view appear to con- 
sider that in many cases whole tribes of animals have been made, not because 
they were wanted to perform certain functions in the external world, but 
merely in order to complete the circularity of a group, to fill a gap in a nu- 
merical arrangement, or to represent (in other words, imitate) some other 
group in a distant part of the system. But, from what is above advanced, 
irregularity, and not symmetry, may be expected to characterize the natural 
system, and to form, like the features of a luxuriant landscape, not a defect, 
but an element of beauty. 

If this be true, it follows that the natural system cannot be arrived at in 
any part of its details by prediction, but only by the process of induction. 
The quinarian authors have themselves suggested a method by which the 
affinities of organic beings may be worked out inductively, and exhibited to 
the mind through the medium of the eye. Having observed that the true 
series of affinities cannot be expressed by a straight line, and having assumed 
from a few instances of groups returning into themselves, that the circular 
arrangement was universal, they proceeded to draw these circles on paper, 
and thus gave the first idea of zoological maps. For this idea we may be 
grateful to them, as it indicates a process, which, if pursued inductively and 
not syllogistically, seems likely to be of great use in arriving at the natural 
classification. This process consists in taking a series of allied groups of equal 
rank, and placing them at various distances and positions according to a fair 
estimate of the amount of their respective affinities. If this be done with 
care and impartiality, the traces of a symmetrical arrangement, if any such 
existed, would soon begin to show themselves ; but I am not aware that any 
indications of such a law are apparent in the cases in which this method has 
yet been used. 

In 1840 I endeavoured to apply this process to the natural arrangement of 
birds, and exhibited to the Glasgow meeting of the Association a map of the 
1844. N 

178 REPORT — 1844, 

family Alcedinidre arranged upon this principle (Annals of Nat. Hist. vol. vi. 
p. 184<). Last year I extended it to the Inxessores, and I have brought to 
the present meeting a sketch of the whole class of birds exhibited by the 
same method. I do not of course guarantee the accuracy of any part of the 
arrangement in its present state, as the subject is too vast to be perfected by 
a single individual ; but the specimen now shown may nevertheless serve to 
illustrate a method which I believe to be sound in principle, and which I 
■would gladly see tested in other departments of organic creation *. 

M. de Selys Longchamps, in the Appendix to his ' Faune Beige,' 1842, 
has given a sketch of an ornithological system, in which the order of succes- 
sion differs little from that generally adopted. He divides the class into 
eleven orders, some of which, as the Inertes, Chelidones, Alectorides, and 
Struthiones, can hardly be said to be of equal rank with the rest. He adopts 
the plan proposed by Nitzsch, and followed by Keyserling and Blasius, of 
including with the zygodactyle Scansores several other groups allied to them 
in many points of structure, and differing from the remaining Insessores in 
having the paratarsus scutate instead of entire. It is doubtful how far this 
last character affords a good ground for the diagnosis of orders, and it may 
be objected that by adhering to this distinction we separate the TrochilidcB 
from the Nectariniidce, Pht/tototna from the TanagridcE, and Menura from 
Turdidce. On the other hand, this arrangement has the advantage of bring- 
ing into juxtaposition the unquestionably allied groups of AlcedinidcB and 
Galbulida, as well as the BucerotidcB and RhamphastidcR. The scutation of 
the paratarsus, therefore, may form a useful auxiliary to natural classifica- 
tion, although, if too rigidly adhered to, it would produce in some cases an 
artificial arrangement. 

Few more valuable contributions have been made of late years to general 
ornithology than Mr. G. R. Gray's ' Genera of Birds,' which passed through 
two editions in 1840 and 1841. It is a list of all the generic groups which 
had been proposed by various authors, exemplified by reference to a type- 
species in each case, and classed according to Mr. Gray's ideas of the natural 
system. This work is deserving of praise on several distinct grounds. The 
author has exercised a rare degree of industry in collecting his materials 
from numerous sources difficult of access ; he has applied the " law of prio- 
rity" in nomenclature with great fairness and impartiality, and he has sought 
after a natural arrangement without any theoretical bias, and with very con- 
siderable success. Although professedly including in his list every genus 
proposed by others, yet he does not pledge himself to adopt them all, indeed 
he distinctly asserts that many so-called genera are too trivial for practical 
■utility. With this limitation, the ' Genera of Birds' is by far the best manual 
extant for the purpose of arranging collections scientifically, and of guiding 
the student to more hidden and scattered sources of information. 

In a compilation of such a nature as Mr. Gray's many errors of detail are 
unavoidable, and being sensible of the general value of the work, I ventured 
to point out some of them in a series of commentaries upon the two editions 
of the ' Genera of Birds,' which will be found in the ' Annals of Natural 

* Mr. Wateihouse communicated to the Cork meeting of the Association an arrangement 
of Mammalia -wliich is on very nearly the same principle as that above referred to. His 
groups are all drawn as circular, of equal size, and placed in contact, whereas in my map 
of birds the groups of the same rank are of irregular form and dimensions, and are placed 
at greater or less distances according to the amount of their affinities. I beUeve, however, 
that Mr. Waterhouse does not lay any stress on these points of difference, and that his 
method is in fact reducible almost to an identity with mine. A somewhat similar mode of 
exhibiting affinities by diagrams has also been recently adopted by Milne Edwards (Ann. 
Sc. Nat. 1344), De Selys Longchamps, and others. 


History,' vols. vi. vii. viii. Some critiques on the second edition were also 
made in the ' Revue Zoologique,' 1842, by Dr. Hartlaub, a skilful ornitholo- 
gist of Bremen, who is understood to be preparing a general work on orni- 
thology, including the distinctive characters of the species. 

Mr. G. R. Gray is now engaged in issuing the 'Genera of Birds' in a 
much more complete and extMided form, including the essential characters 
of the various groups, and full lists of the species and their synonyms. In 
this work he endeavours to reduce the various genera to an equality of I'ank, 
and is consequently compelled to reunite such genera as appear to have been 
separated by other authors on insufficient grounds. This task requires much 
judgement as well as industry, but with the resources which the galleries of 
the British Museum supply to Mr. Gray, he has been enabled to execute it 
with great success. The lithographic plates which accompany the work 
exhibit the essential characters of every genus, and of a large number of new 
or rare species, and the admirable mode in which they are executed by Mr. 
D. W. Mitchell confers a high degree of excellence upon this publication. 

I may here be allowed to mention an undertaking of my own which has 
occupied the leisure of several years, but which is not yet sufficiently matured 
for publication, — a complete Synonymy of all known species of birds, with 
full references to all the works where they are figured or described. This 
undertaking requires considerable labour and much careful comparison of 
specific character, as exhibited both in nature and in books, but there is 
probably no department of natural history in which, from the multiplication 
of nominal species, and the wide dispersion of the materials, such an analysis 
of the whole subject is more wanted than in ornithology. 

Works of reference connected with ornithology, though not strictly syste- 
matic, may be briefly mentioned here. The ' Dictionnaire des Sciences Na- 
turelles,' the ' Dictionnaire Nouveau d'Histoire Naturelle,* the ' Encyclopedic 
Methodique,' and the ' Dictionnaire Classique d'Histoire Naturelle,' were all 
useful works, though now more or less superseded by the progress of science. 
The best and most recent work 'of the kind is the ' Dictionnaire Universel 
d'Histoire Naturelle,' now publishing at Paris, and edited by M. C.D'Orbigny. 
The ornithological articles have been, till recently, written by M. de La- 
fresnaye, whose name is a sufficient guarantee for their accuracy. The illus- 
trative plates are engraved with care, but in a stiff and mechanical style, and 
the colouring is frequently too vivid. Our own country has been less pro- 
lific in dictionaries of natural history than France, but zoological subjects 
are adequately treated of in more comprehensive works of reference, such as 
the ' Encyclopaedia Britannica,' and ' Metropolitana,' and the excellent 'Penny 
Cyclopsedia,' in which the ornithological articles are very carefully compiled. 
The same remark applies to the 'AUgemeine Encyclopadie,' published at 
Leipzig by Ersch and Gruber. 

An indispensable index to ornithology, as indeed to every other branch of 
natural history, is the ' Nomenclator Zoologicus' of Professor Agassiz, 
which is a list of all the names of groups, with references to the works where 
they were first proposed. The portion relating to birds has undergone care- 
ful revision, and is believed to present a near approach to accuracy. 

While speaking of general methods of classification I may refer to a new 
and unlooked-for source, from which a reflected light may in some cases be 
thrown upon doubtful points of ornithic affinity. The parasitic insects of 
the order Anoplura which abound on almost every species of bird, have been 
till recently most unduly neglected, but that able entomologist Mr. Denny 
has lately taken up this branch of zoology, and after publishing, with the aid 
of the British Association, a beautiful work on British Anoplura, is now oc- 


180 REPORT — 1844. 

cupied with the exotic species. He finds that these parasites constitute 
numerous species, and exhibit many well-marked generic forms. The re- 
markable fact is further deduced, that several genera of Anoplura frequent 
certain groups of birds exclusively, so that there is a sort of parallelism be- 
tween the affinities of birds and those of their insect parasites. Hence we 
are able to infer the probable position in the natural series of an anomalous 
bird by investigating the structure of the almost microscopical parasites 
which infest its plumage, and this apparently paradoxical method has been 
successfully applied by Mr. Denny, who has shown that the Atioplura in- 
habiting tlie genus Talegalla are allied to those of the Rasores, and the para- 
sites of Me?iuj-a to those of the Insessores, an arrangement entirely confirming 
tlie views recently obtained as to the affinities of these singular birds (Ann. 
Nat. Hist. vol. xiii. p. 313). 

2. Ornithology of particular regions, 

Europe. — The most important work ever published on the ornithology of 
our own quarter of the globe is unquestionably the 'Birds of Europe' of 
Mr. Govdd. This gigantic undertaking, consisting of more than 400 beauti- 
fully coloured plates, would have sufficed, independently of his other elabo- 
rate works, to stamp the author as a man of genius and of enterprise. Nor 
should it be forgotten that the talents of Mr. Gould were most ably seconded 
by his amiable partner, who, up to the time of her decease, executed the 
lithographic department of iiis various works. The extensive patronage 
which the 'Birds of Europe' received on the continent as well as in Britain, 
is a proof both of the excellence of the work itself and of the scientific taste 
of the present age. 

The long-expected supplements to Temniinck's ' Manuel d'Ornithologie' 
made their appearance in 1835-40, and bring down our knowledge of Euro- 
pean birds to tiie latter date. Although the author hesitates too much in 
adopting the generic groups of modern science, and does not sufficiently 
value the law of priority in nomenclature, yet the exactness of his descrip- 
tions and the general soundness of his criticisms will long render his work 
a valuable hand-book of European ornithology. The series of illustrative 
plates, published at Paris by Werner, are a useful accompaniment to Tem- 
minck's work. The ' Hist. Nat. des Oiseaux d'Europe', now publishing by 
Schlegel, aided by several zoologists, and superintended by Temminck, may 
be regarded as an improved and enlarged edition of the ' Manuel d'Ornitho- 
logie'. The plates, by Susemihl, are of a superior order. Delarue's ' Galerie 
Ornithologique' forms another set of illustrations to the birds of Europe. 

The ' Wirbelthiere Europa's' of Count Keyserling and Professor Blasius 
is a well-digested synopsis of European vertebrate zoology. The first part, 
with which alone I am acquainted, and which is devoted to Mammals and 
Birds, contains an exact catalogue of the species, with their synonyms and 
localities, and a statement of the diagnostic characters of the several groups 
from the class down to the species. These characters are stated in an anti- 
thetical mode very similar to the dichotomous method used in Fleming's 
' British Animals,' a method which, when viewed in its true light, as an arti- 
ficial index to specific characters, and as a means of calling attention to the 
presence or absence of certain structures, is probably superior to any other. 
Indeed when the characters employed for the subdivisions are really essential, 
and are placed in successive subordination according to a just estimate of 
their functional importance, as seems to be generally the case in the work 
before us, this method is quite compatible with a natural classification. The 
authors have avoided the error of adopting indiscriminately every genus 


which other authors have proposed, and by carefully estimating the value of 
their groups, reducing the less important ones to the rank of sub-genera, 
they have endeavoured' to bring the standard of their generic groups to an 
approximate state of equalitj'. 

As a mere catalogue of the birds of Europe, the most full and the most 
accurate is that by the Prince of Caniuo, published in the 'Annali delle 
Scienze Naturali di Bologna,' lSi'2. It is an improved edition of that con- 
tained in the 'Geographical and Comparative List of the Birds of Europe 
and North America,' London, 1838, containing all the additional results at 
which the labours of its author have arrived. The names, synonyms, and 
localities of the species are given with the greatest accuracy, and by rigidly 
adhering to sound principles of nomenclature, the author has introduced a 
series of scientific names which there is reason to hope will be permanently 

There remain some recent works on the ornithology of Europe, which I 
have not had an opportunity of consulting, such as Gloger's ' Naturgeschichte 
der Vogel Europas,' and others. 

Britain. — Prior to 1828 the only complete hand-books of British ornitho- 
logy were the valuable but somewhat obsolete ' Ornithological Dictionary' of 
Montagu, and the fascinating, though not always accurate, ' British Birds' of 
Bewick. In the above year appeared the ' British Animals' of Dr. Fleming, 
a work which had no small share in introducing into this country the im- 
proved systems of modern zoology. The genera adopted are for the most 
part those of Cuvier's ' Regne Animal,' and the specific descriptions and re- 
marks, though brief, are in general accurate. 

A somewhat similar work, the ' Manual of British Vertebrata' of the Rev. 
L. Jenyns, is one of the best examples of a hand-book that I am acquainted 
with, containing every fact of importance connected with each species, and 
being totally fi'ee from superfluous verbiage. 

Of the magnificent plates to Mr. Selby's ' Illustrations of British Ornitho- 
logy,' I shall speak elsewhere. The letter-press, in two volumes, 8vo, 1833, 
is very complete in its details, which are founded in great measure on the 
personal observations of the author, and the synonymy has been worked out 
with very great attention. 

In 1836 Mr. T. C. Eyton published a ' History of the rarer British Birds.' 
It is intended as a supplement to the work of Bewick, containing the species 
which had been added to the British fauna since his time, and it is illustrated 
with wood-cuts, into which the artist has infused much of the spirit of that 
celebrated engraver. 

Meyer's 'Illustrations of British Birds' are a series of coloured plates very 
neatly executed. 

It remains to notice three other works on British ornithology, the nearly 
simultaneous appearance of which is an evidence of the popularity of the 

Professor M'Gillivray, in 1836, published an account of the 'Rapacious 
Birds of Great Britain,' which was followed in 1837 by his ' History of British 
Birds,' in 3 vols. The author, who is an active field naturalist, as well as an 
expert anatomist, gives very full descriptions of the external and internal 
structure, as well as of the habits, of the several species and groups. These 
are interspersed with matter of a more miscellaneous nature in the style of 
Audubon's ' Ornithological Biographies', which render the work an entertain- 
ing though voluminous production. The classification is novel, but cannot 
be regarded as successful, the terrestrial birds being classed in two large sec- 
tions, one of which consists of the Fissirostral and Raptorial birds, and the 

182 REPORT — 1844. 

other includes the remaining Insessores, together with the Easores. The 
remarks on Classification and Nomenclature in the Introduction are, for the 
most part, sound and judicious, though the author has not always adhered to 
his own rules. 

Professor M'Gillivray has given a condensed abstract of his larger work in 
two small volumes, entitled 'A Manual of British Ornithology,' 1840-42. 

Sir W. Jardine's ' History of British Birds,' forming three volumes of the 
* Naturalist's Library,' is a well-illustrated work, and embodies a great mass 
of original observations, forming a cheap and excellent manual for the student 
of British ornithology. 

The most elegant work on British Birds recently published, is that of Mr. 
Yarrell. From the beauty of the engravings and of the typography, it may 
rank as an " ouvrage de luxe" while the correctness of the descriptions, and 
the many details of habits, geographical distribution and anatomy, render it 
strictly a work of science. A second edition of this work is in preparation. 

The birds of Ireland are treated of by Mr. W. Thompson in an elaborate 
series of papers, commenced in the ' Magazine of Zoology and Botany,' and 
continued in the ' Annals of Natural History.' The author has collected 
from his own observations and from external sources, much valuable infor- 
mation on habits, migrations, and other subjects connected with Irish orni- 
thology. Being the most western portion of temperate Europe, Ireland 
presents some interesting peculiarities in its fauna, among which may be 
mentioned the occasional occurrence of American terrestrial birds in that 
country, though the nearest point of America is 1500 miles distant. The 
results of Mr. Thompson's labours are incorporated in his excellent ' Report 
on the Fauna of Ireland,' read to the British Association in 1840, in which 
careful comparisons are made between the species of Ireland and of Great 

The subject of British ornithology is now so nearly complete, that the 
works above enumerated will probably long remain unsuperseded, and we 
may hope that students and collectors will now extend their attention to the 
far more neglected department of exotic ornithology. 

North and Central Continental Europe. — Many useful works on the orni- 
thology of Northern and Central Europe were published between 1820 and 
1830, by Brehm, Nilsson, Faber, Boie, Naumann, Walter and others, but as 
these are prior in date to the period to which I have more particularly limited 
this report, and as their various merits are reviewed with candour by M. 
Temminck, in the Introduction to his ' Manuel d'Oruithologie,' part M, I need 
not enlarge upon them here. 

Of the voluminous works of M. Brehm, his last, the ' Handbuch der Na- 
turgescliichte aller Vogel Deutschlands,' 1831, is perhaps the least valuable, 
on account of the immense number of so-called new species which he has 
introduced, based upon the most trivial and inappreciable variations of size, 
form, or colour. This view of the subject, if carried out, would upset the 
whole fabric of systematic zoology, the very foundation of which is a belief 
in the reality, the permanence, and the distinguishableness of species. This 
author still continues his predilection for imaginary diagnoses in the memoirs 
which he publishes in the ' Isis.' 

Nilsson's ' Skandinavisk Fauna,' Lund, 1835, contains a very complete, 
and apparently very accurate summary of the ornithology of Scandinavia, but 
unfortunately the Swedish language renders it a sealed book to the majority 
of British naturalists. The ornithology of Scandinavia has received some 
recent additions and corrections from a memoir by Professor Sundevall in 
the ' Kongl. Vetenskaps Academiens Handlingar,' 1842. 


M. de Selys Longchamps, well known by several valuable monographs of 
European Mammals and Insects, has published the first part of his ' Faune 
Beige,' Liege, 1842, containing a systematic arrangement of the Vertebrata 
of Belgium. The specific descriptions are postponed to the sequel of the 
work, which is nevertheless valuable for its critical remarks on structure, 
habits and distribution. In the preface are some very judicious observations 
on the subject of systematic nomenclature, the law of priority, the limitations 
of species, and the still more difficult, because more arbitrary question, of the 
due limitation of genera. It is very satisfactory to find that the majority of 
European zoologists are now making considerable approaches to unanimity 
upon these general principles, which form the groundwork of philosophical 

Dr. Gloger's ' Schlesiens Wirbelthier-Fauna,' Breslau, 1833, contains a list 
of the birds of Silesia, with remarks on their habits and migrations. 

M. Brandt of Petersburg, has published a work entitled ' Descriptiones et 
Icones Animalium Rossicorum novorum,' in which several of the natatorial 
birds of Russia are illustrated by full descriptions and accurate figures. 

France. — The ornithological portion of the ' Faune Fran^aise,' by M. 
Vieillot, is a useful manual, though the author has made many unnecessary 
changes of nomenclature. The descriptions are accompanied with figures on 
copper, stiffly designed, but delicately engraved. 

The ' Ornithologie Provencale' of M. Roux is a respectable work on the 
birds of Southern France, the text being carefully drawn up, though we may 
regret that the author has adopted the objectionable nomenclature of Vieillot. 

Italy The ornithological researches of Savi, Bonelli, Ranzani, Costa, and 

many others, prepared the way for the magnificent ' Iconografia della Fauna 
Italica' of the Prince of Canino, a work which, after ten years' labour, has 
recently been completed. It consists of elaborate descriptions and beautiful 
coloured plates of all the new or imperfectly elucidated Vertebrata of Italy. 
The birds of that country, having been previously more fully investigated than 
the other classes, occupy in this work the least prominent place, yet several 
new species are there figured, and our knowledge of others is enriched with 
much interesting information. The Introduction to the work contains an ex- 
cellent summary of the whole subject of Italian Vertebrata. The noble and 
philosophical author, who pursues with steady devotion the paths of science, 
unallured by the manifold attractions of rank and fortune, has devoted the 
best part of his life to the advancement of zoological knowledge. His 
elaborate researches on North American ornithology, his classification of 
vertebrate animals, his critique on the ' Regne Animal' of Cuvier, his 
comparisons of the European and American faunae, are all works of the 
highest value, and we may now congratulate him on the completion of this 
admirable digest of the vertebrate zoology of Italy. Nor let it be forgotten 
that he was the first to establish beyond the Alps, that great mental, no less 
than physical barrier, a peripatetic congress of scientific men, similar to that 
at which we are now assembled. This Italian Association for the Advance- 
ment of Science has met in the plains of Piedmont and of Lombardy ; it has 
crossed the Appenines into the happy region of Tuscany, and it will next 
year pass over the Papal dominions, to diff'use the light of knowledge in the 
distant kingdom of Naples. 

An unpretending little volume by Sig'' L. Benoit, entitled ' Ornitologia 
Siciliana,' published at Messina in ISiO, contains many interesting details on 
the habits and migrations of the birds of Sicily. A work of greater value is 
the ' Faune Ornithologique de la Sicile' of M. Malherbe, Metz, 1843, in 
which about fifty species are added to the list of Benoit, making a total of 

184 REPORT — 1844. 

318. The work abounds with important observations on the geographical 
distribution of species, not only in Sicily, but in other parts of South Europe 
and North Africa. As the island of Sicily serves as a sort of stepping-stone 
between these two continents, it affords an interesting station for observing 
the habits of migratory species. 

A similar catalogue raisonnee of the birds of Liguria was published at 
Genoa in 184<0, by the Marquis Diirazzo, and is entitled 'Notizie degli 
Uccelli Liguri.' Catalogues of the birds of the Venetian provinces have been 
published by Catullo, Basseggio, and Contarini, the latter of whom enume- 
rates no less than 339 species. 

A brief notice of the birds of Sardinia will be found in the 'Voyage en Sar- 
daigne,' 2nd ed. 1839, by Count de la Marmora, in which it is announced that 
Professor Gene is about to publish a complete fauna of that island. 

The island of Malta possesses an able ornithologist in Sig*" Schembri, who 
has published a ' Catalogo Ornitologico del Gruppo di Malta,' 1843. His 
other work, the ' Quadro Geografico Ornitologico,' is a highly useful volume, 
showing in parallel columns the ornithology of Malta, Sicily, Rome, Tuscany, 
Liguria, Nice, and the department of Gard. These form almost the first 
works on zoology ever printed in the island of Malta, and they show that, 
even in the most insulated localities, an active naturalist will always find 
abundant occupation. The author enumerates about 230 species of birds in 
Malta, nearly the whole of which are migratory. 

Several new species of birds have been added to the fauna of the South of 
Europe by Dr. Ruppell, in the ' Museum Senkenbergianum,' 1837. 

Greece. — But little has been done in Greece to illustrate ornithological 
science. The ' Expedition Scientifique de la Moree' contains a summary of 
sixty-six species there observed, but without adding much to our knowledge. 
A few new species (which however require further examination) are described 
by M. Lindermayer in the 'Isis,' and ' Revue Zoologique,' 1843. The most 
complete work on the subject is the ' Beitrage zur Ornithologie Griechen- 
lands,' by H. von der Miihle, Leipzig, 1844, in which no less than 321 species 
are noticed, and are accompanied with many original observations of great 
value. The researches of this author have added several species to the 
European fauna. 

The birds of the Ionian Islands and of Crete are enumerated and accom- 
panied with some valuable remarks on their migrations and habits by Captain 
H. M. Drummond, 42nd R.H. in the ' Annals of Natural History,' vol. xii. 
p. 412. 

Spain. — 'The ornithology of the Spanish peninsula is as yet but imperfectly 
known. A list of some of the birds is given in Captain Cooke's (now Wid- 
drington) 'Tour in Spain.' (See also his ' Spain in 184-3.') That gentleman 
was, I believe, the first discoverer of the Pica cyanea in Spain, a species 
which, if it be really identical with the Garrulus cyaneus of Pallas, found in 
Siberia and Japan, presents a most unusual instance of the existence of the 
same species in two remote regions, without occurring in the intervening 
space. M. Temminck has described several new species brought from the 
South of Spain by Parisian collectors, and I'rom the proximity of that region 
to Africa, it is probable that further additions to the European fauna may 
be there made. 

Of the birds of Madeira there is a brief notice by Dr. Heineken in the 
' Zoological Journal,' vol. v. ; and several species are described by Sir W. 
Jardine in Ainsworth's ' Edinburgh Journal of Natural and Geographical 

The Canary Islands present a fauna more allied to that of Europe than the 


southern position of these islands and their proximity to the African con- 
tinent would have led us to expect. The ' Histoire Naturelle des Isles 
Canariennes,' a splendid work lately published at Paris by MM. Webb and 
Berthelot, contains a list of birds, the whole of which, with the exception of 
a very few terrestrial species peculiar to the islands, are included in the orni- 
thology of Europe. 

Asia Minor. — The ' Proceedings of the Zoological Society' contain lists of 
the birds of Trebizond and Erzroum, by Messrs. Abbot, Dickson, and Ross, 
and of those of Smyrna by myself. There is also a short list of those obtained 
by Mr. C. Fellows in the ' Annals of Nat. Hist.' vol. iv. The greater part 
of the birds hitherto found in this country are also common to Europe, which 
may in part be attributed to their having been chiefly collected in the northern 
districts, or in my own case at Smyrna, during the winter season. An orni- 
thologist who would visit the regions south of the Taurus during the spring, 
would doubtless meet with many interesting species, a foretaste of which we 
have in the beautiful Halcyon smyrnensis, discovered more than a century 
ago by the learned Sherard, and restored to science in 1842 by Mr. E. Forbes*. 

I may here allude to the 'Catalogue of the Birds of the Caucasus' by M. 
Menetries, in the ' Memoires de I'Acad. Imp. des Sciences de St. Petersbourg.' 
Although several of the supposed new species have been reduced to the rank 
of synonyms, yet this list supplies some valuable information on the geogra- 
phical distribution of species. For the ornithology of Southern Russia, the 
student may also consult M. Eichwald's summary of the Caucasian and Cas- 
pian birds in the ' Nouveaux Memoires de la Soc. Imp. des Naturalistes de 
Moscou,' 1842, and Demidoff's ' Voyage dans la Russie Meridionale,' the 
zoology of which is edited by Professor Nordmann. 

Siberia — The zoology of Northern Asia was long retarded by the delays 
which attended the publication of the ' Zoographia Rosso- Asiatica' of that 
Humboldt of the 18th century, the celebrated Pallas. This posthumous 
work, though printed in 1811, was not published till 1831, when it at once 
added to our knowledge a large number of new species. Many commentaries 
upon Pallas's work, and a,dditions to his species, have been made by various 
authors, especially by M. Brandt, the learned and indefatigable curator of the 
Imperial Museum at St. Petersburg, in the ' Bulletin' of the Academy of that 
city, and by Nordmann in Erman's ' Reise um die Erde.' There are also 
some valuable 'Addenda' to the work of Pallas from the pen of Dr. Evers- 
mann, in the ' Annals' of the distant University of Casan, and further addi- 
tions have been recently contributed by that author to the Petersburg Aca- 
demy. We may hope that the labours of these and other equally active 
Russian zoologists will soon make us fully acquainted with the natural history 
of Asiatic Russia. 

A few of the birds of Behring's Straits are elaborately described, though 
indifferently figured, in Eschscholtz's ' Zoologischer Atlas,' to Kotzebue's se- 
cond Voyage, Berlin, 1829. 

Japan. — Drs. Von Siebold and Burger, who were attached for several 
years to the Dutch mission in Japan, devoted their leisure to the zoology of 
that little-known country, and the results have now been published by the 
Dutch government in a handsome work, entitled ' Fauna Japonica.' A 
remarkable fact established by their researches, is the great amount of coin- 
cidence between the ornithological faunae of Japan and of Europe. In Tem- 
minck's ' Manuel d'Ornithologie,' (Introd. to part 3.), is a list of the species 
common to these two regions, amounting to no less than 114. 

* See Annals of Nat. Hist. vol. ix. p. 441. 

186 REPORT — 1844. 

British India. — It is only within a very recent period that any really ori- 
ginal and trustworthy researches have been made into Indian ornithology. 
Twenty years ago the utmost that was done by the numerous British officers 
in that country to illustrate this science, was to collect drawings of the species 
which attracted their notice. These drawings were in most cases made by 
native artists, who, being utterly ignorant of any scientific principles, executed 
them in a stiff mechanical style, and neglected the more minute but often 
highly important characters. Such designs are useful as aids to scientific 
reseai'ch, but ought not to usurp its place ; yet from these materials the too 
undiscriminating Latham described and named a great number of so-called 
species, many of which have not yet been identified in nature. The largest 
collection of these drawings was made by the late General Hardwicke, a selec- 
tion of which were engraved and published in 1830 ; but though carefully 
edited by Mr. J. E. Gray, the number of nominal species there introduced 
shows the danger of founding specific characters on the sole authority of 

A better day dawned about 1830, when several British officers in India 
became interested in the study of scientific ornithology ; and we may hope 
that natural history in this and all its other branches will now become a ge- 
neral pursuit with our countrymen in that region. The first original contri- 
bution to the ornithology of India in recent times was made by Major Franklin, 
and was speedily followed by a valuable paper from Colonel Sykes, both of 
which are inserted in the 'Proceedings of the Zoological Society,' 1831-32. 
About the same period appeared the first effort of Mrs. Gould's pencil, the 
' Century of Birds from the Himalaya Mountains,' a work the plates of which 
at once established the fame of this admirable artist, while the scientific cha- 
racters were carefully prepared by Mr. Vigors. In 1832 was also commenced 
that most valuable repertory of oriental knowledge, the ' Journal of the Asiatic 
Society of Bengal,' which is still published with regularity at Calcutta. In 
this journal and in others of a similar nature, as the ' Asiatic Researches,' the 
' Gleanings in Science,' Corbyn's ' Indian Review,' the ' Quarterly Journal of 
the Calcutta Medical and Physical Society,' the ' Calcutta Journal of Natural 
History,' are contained the valuable but unfortunately too scattered and in- 
accessible zoological researches of Hodgson, Hutton, Pearson, Tickell, M'Clel- 
land, W. Jameson and others. Mr. Hodgson, who by his residence in Nepal 
has been so favourably circumstanced for zoological pursuits, has long since 
promised to include in an entire work his scientific researches in that country, 
but various delays have hitherto impeded the undertaking. He has recently, 
with the utmost liberality, presented the whole of his precious materials to 
the British Museum and other public collections, and we may hope that the 
facilities of comparison thus afforded will enable him shortly to commence 
this very desirable publication. 

The Indian species of Coturnix and Turnix have been described with mi- 
nute exactness by Colonel Sykes in the ' Transactions of the Zoological So- 
ciety,' vol. ii. This paper is of great service in clearing up the characters of 
these obscure and ambiguous birds, which however are still far from being 
thoroughly investigated. 

Professor Sundevall, in his valuable Report on recent Zoological Researches, 
Stockholm, 1841, refers to a paper on the Birds of Calcutta in the 'Physio- 
graphisk Tidskrift,' Lund, 1837, a work which has not yet fallen into my 

A great impulse has recently been given to Indian zoology by the appoint- 
ment of Mr. Blyth to the care of the Asiatic Society's mus'eum at Calcutta. 
Most of the previous workers in that field were civil or military officers, who 


took up zoology as an afterthought, and as a relief from more important duties. 
But Mr. Blyth went to India a ready-made zoologist, who had long devoted 
himself to the study as a science, and was well acquainted with its literature 
and its principles. Of the zeal and success with which he is now bringing 
into order the heterogeneous materials of Indian zoology, the pages of the 
' Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal ' bear ample testimony. Besides 
many detached memoirs, the monthly reports which Mr. Blyth presents to 
the Asiatic Society contain a mass of interesting observations, and present 
an example which the curators of European museums M'ould do well to imi- 
tate. By preparing complete lists of the species comprised in each successive 
accession to the museum, accompanied by critical remarks on the more novel 
or interesting specimens, previous to their being incorporated into the general 
collection, a number of important observations on structure, habits and geo- 
graphical distribution are preserved from oblivion. In the midst of these 
active and useful labours Mr, Blyth retains his interest in European science, 
and occasionally sends communications of great value to the ' Annals of Na- 
tural History.' 

While treating of Northern India I may mention the Catalogue of the 
Birds of Assam, by Mr. M'Clelland, in the ' Zoological Proceedings,' 1839. 
The author avoided the too common error of describing as new every species 
which was unknown to him, by the judicious plan of attaching provisional 
names and descriptions to such species, and then sending them to a highly 
competent naturalist in England, Dr. Horsfield, to be revised prior to publi- 

The presidency of Madras can boast of a ' Journal of Literature and Sci- 
ence,' and of zoologists, Messrs. Jerdon and Elliott, equal in activity and 
scientific attainments to those of Bengal. The various memoirs of these gen- 
tlemen on the characters and habits of the birds of Southern India are of high 
value. Mr. Jerdon has commenced the publication of a series of ' Litho- 
graphed Drawings of Indian Birds,' illustrating many rare species in a style 
which does credit to the artists of India. 

A few species of Indian birds have been described by Professor Jameson 
in the ' Memoirs of the Wernerian Society,' vol. vii., and several others are 
figured in Royle's ' Botany of the Himalaya Mountains,' and in the zoological 
part of Jacquemont's ' Voyage dans I'lnde,' Paris, 1843, the plates of which 
are beautifully executed, Mr. Blyth has drawn up a notice of the species 
received from the British officers in Tenasserim, and of the desiderata which 
remain to be sought for in that province. The zoological portion of M, Be- 
langer's ' Voyage aux Indes Orientales,' ISS^, contains descriptions and figures 
of many of the birds of Pegu and Java, among which are several novelties. 
Some of the species of continental India are also described in the same work. 
Ornithological information will also be found in Delessert's ' Souvenirs d'un 
Voyage dans I'lnde, 

Malasia Under this name may be included the peninsula of Malacca 

and the islands of the Indian archipelago, which taken collectively form a 
well-marked zoological region, whose fauna, though for the most part agreeing 
generically with that of continental India, presents an almost wholly distinct 
series of species. The first contributor to the ornithology of this region was 
Brisson, who described, with an exactness that may serve as a model even at 
the present day, many new species of birds from the Philippine Islands, Son- 
nerat described some more species in 1776, but scarcely anything has since 
been added to our knowledge of the vertebrate zoology of that particular 
group of islands ; and it is to be regretted that a considerable collection of 
birds recently brought thence by Mr. Cuming, were dispersed before any 

188 REPORT— 1844. 

scientific examination of them had been made. The zoology of western Ma- 
lasia was first investigated by Dr. Horsfield and Sir Stamford Raffles, the first 
of whom described the birds of Java and the second those of Sumatra, in the 
' Linnasan Transactions,' vol. xiii. These are very valuable memoirs, though 
it is to be regretted that from the brevity of the specific characters some of 
the species are rendered difficult to recognise. A selection of Dr. Horsfield's 
species is however more fully described and illustrated by figures in his 
' Zoological Researches in Java,' and the original specimens collected by him 
are preserved in the museum of the East India Company. The species of 
Horsfield and of Raffles were arranged into one series by Mr. Vigors in the 
Appendix to the ' Life of Sir Stamford Raffles.' 

Between 1820 and 1830 several Dutch and German naturalists visited the 
Malasian Islands, and enriched the continental museums with their collections. 
A considerable number of the species thus obtained are figured in the 
' Planches Coloriees ' of M. Temminck, who however too frequently described 
as new the species which had been long before characterized by Horsfield 
and Raffles. 

For two centuries past the Dutch have been famed for their love of col- 
lecting rarities, and the numerous settlements of that people in all parts of 
the world have tended to the gratification of this taste. It is therefore not 
to be wondered at that the national museum of Holland at Leyden should 
have become one of the richest collections of natural objects in the world ; and 
it is gratifying to find that the information which its treasures convey is in 
the course of being diff'used abroad. The Dutch government are now pub- 
lishing a complete zoology of their foreign colonies, under the title of ' Ver- 
handelingen over de Natuurlijke Geschiedenis der Nederlandsche overzeesche 
Bezittingen.' This superb work contains figures and descriptions of many 
new species from the remoter islands of the Malay archipelago ; and it is 
only to be regretted that so valuable a publication should be compiled in a 
language with which few men of science out of Holland are acquainted. 

A considerable number of ornithological specimens have recently been sent 
to Europe from the peninsula of Malacca, and indicate a fauna closely allied 
to, though often specifically distinct from, th,at of the adjacent islands of Java 
and Sumatra. Mi-. Eyton has described several of these Malacca birds in the 
' Proceedings of the Zoological Society,' 1839, and Mr. Blyth has characte- 
rized others which had been sent to the Calcutta Museum. 

The great island of New Guinea presents features in its zoology which 
entitle it to be considered a distinct region from the Malasian archipelago, 
and connected rather with the Australian fauna. We here first meet with 
that extraordinary group of birds the Paradiseidce, whose affinities it is im- 
possible to assign with certainty until their anatomy and habits are better 
known. In this group will probably be ultimately included (as they were 
originally by the earlier writers) the genera Seleucides, Ptilorhis, Epimachus, 
Phonygama and Astrapia, which are at present arranged, from conjecture 
rather than induction, in many widely-separated families. These genera all 
agree with the Paradiseidce in the very peculiar structure of their plumage, 
and what is of no less importance as an indication of zoological affinity, they 
all (with the exception of Ptilorhis, which is found in the adjacent Australian 
continent) inhabit the same island of New Guinea ; and 1 think it not im- 
2)robable that the anomalous Australian genera Ptilonorhynchus, Calodcra 
and Sericulus, may be also referable to the Paradiseidcu. These questions 
however must be resolved by the anatomist and not by the studier of dried 
skins; and we may therefore regret that New Guinea has hitherto been so 
inaccessible to naturalists. The specimens from thence are mostly obtained 


in a mutilated state from the savage inhabitants, and I believe the only zoolo- 
gists who have seen the Birds of Paradise in a state of nature are M. Lesson, 
who made some interesting observations upon them during the few days 
which he spent in the forests of New Guinea, (' Voyage autour du Monde de 
Duperrey,' and Lesson's ' Manuel d'Ornithologie,') and MM. Quoy and Gai- 
raard, whose observations, recorded in the ' Voyage de 1' Astrolabe,' 1830-33, 
were still more limited. 

Polynesia. — The ornithology of the innumerable islands of the Pacific 
Ocean is as yet very imperfectly investigated. From the small size of most 
of these islands they cannot individually be expected to abound in terrestrial 
species, though in the aggregate they would doubtless furnish a considerable 
number, while of aquatic species an interesting harvest might be collected. 
At present much of our information is derived from no better source than the 
incomplete descriptions made by Latham of species collected during Captain 
Cook's voyage. Some of the birds collected by the Rev. A. Bloxani in the 
Sandwich Islands are described in Lord Byron's 'Voyage ;' others were made 
known by Lichtenstein in the 'Berlin Transactions,' 1838, and the 'Zoology of 
the Voyage of the Sulphur,' now in course of publication, contains some fur- 
ther materials which have been examined and described by Mr. Gould. A 
few Polynesian birds are described by MM. Hombron and Jacquinot among 
the scientific results of the Voyage of the Astrolabe and Zelee (Ann.Sc. Nat., 
1841), and several ne-w species from the Philippine, Carolina and Marian Is- 
lands, are characterized by M. Kittlitz in the ' Memoires de I'Acad. Imp. de 
St. Petersbourg,' 1838. The recent American voyage of discovery will ex- 
tend our knowledge of Polynesian zoology, and its researches will be made 
known by Mr. Titian Peale, who is said to have discovered among other rari- 
ties a new bird allied to the Dodo, which he proposes to name Didunculus. 

Australia Shaw's 'Zoology of New Holland,' 1794, was the first work 

devoted to the natural history of the Australian continent, but its publication 
was soon discontinued. It was followed by the ' Voyages ' of Phillips and 
W^hite, in which many of the birds of that country were figured and described. 
The next additions were made by Latham, who in the second ' Supplement 
to his Synopsis,' 1802, described and named many species on the authority of 
a collection of drawings belonging to the late Mr. A. B. Lambert. These 
drawings however were very rude performances, and being unaccompanied 
by descriptions, it is no wonder that Latham was led by them into many 
errors of classification and synonymy. Fortunately, however, they passed at 
Mr. Lambert's death into the possession of the Earl of Derby, who liberally 
entrusted them for examination to Mr. Gould, Mr. G. R. Gray, and myself. 
By carefully studying these designs and comparing them with Australian spe- 
cimens, we have been able to identify almost the whole of the species which 
Latham founded upon them, and by this process many corrections have been 
introduced into the synonymy of the Australian birds. (See Ann. Nat. Hist., 
vol. xi.) 

It is to be regretted that Messrs. Vigors and Horsfield had not access to 
this collection of drawings when they prepared their valuable paper on Au- 
stralian birds in the ' Linngean Transactions,' vol. xv. They would there have 
recognised several of the species which, from having failed to identify them 
in the brief descriptions of Latham, they described as new. Their memoir 
is notwithstanding a very important contribution to Australian ornithology, 
especially on account of the many generic forms peculiar to that region which 
they defined with logical precision. 

The above, together with the brief but original work of Lewin (Birds of 
New South Wales) and a few species described by Quoy and Gaimard in the 

190 REPORT — 1844. 

* Voyage de I'Uranie,' IS^i, and in the 'Voyage de 1' Astrolabe,' 1830, and by 
Lesson in tlie 'Voyage de la Coquille' and the 'Journal de la Navigation de 
la fregate Thetis,' 1887, formed the chief materials for Australian ornithology 
until the expedition of Mr. Gould to that country made a vast accession to 
our knowledge, which is embodied in his great work, the ' Birds of Australia.* 
Among those splendid publications of science and art which the liberality of 
governments have given to the world, there are few which in point of beauty 
or completeness are superior to this unassisted enterprise of a single indivi- 
dual. Regardless of expense and risk, M r. Gould proceeded to Australia for 
the sole purpose of studying Nature in her native wilds, and after spending 
two years in traversing the forests and plains of that continent, he returned 
home with a valuable collection of specimens, and a still more precious one 
o^ facts. These he is now engaged in bringing before the public, and the 
many new and interesting details of natural history which his work contains 
indicate powers of observation and of description which will place the name 
of Gould in the same rank with those of Levaillant, Azara, Bewick, Wilson, 
and Audubon. 

Of the artistic merits of this publication 1 shall hereafter speak, and shall 
refer to it at present merely as a work of science. 

Among the new generic groups proposed by Mr. Gould, some, as Pedio- 
nomus, Sphenostoma, &c., possess sufficiently well-marked characters ; but 
others, as Donacola, Erythrodryas, Erythrogonys, Syncecus, Geophaps., ap- 
pear hardly to deserve generic separation. These so-called genera seem to 
be founded upon slight peculiarities of form, habit, or colouring, to which, 
however interesting in themselves, we ought not, I think, to attach a generic 
value, unless we are prepared to reduce all our other genera to the same low 
standard, a step which would increase the number of genera and diminisii 
their importance to an extent that would be highly inconvenient. I may also 
remark that some of the birds which Mr. Gould regards as distinct species, 
appear to possess insufficient diagnostic characters. Peculiarities of climate 
and food will always exert a certain influence on the stature and on the in- 
tensity of colour in the same species, and so long as the proportions and the 
distribution of the colours remain unaltered, we should hesitate in raising the 
local varieties thus produced to the rank of species, unless we are ready to 
go the same length as M. Brehm, who by this means has trebled the number 
of European species. As instances of Australian birds the real specific di- 
stinctness of which appears to me doubtful,! may mention Mr. Gould's Jfa^Mr»As 
cyaneus and longicaudus, Amytis textilis and striatus, Astur approximans and 
crtientus, Hylacola pyrrhopygia and cauta. 

Passing over these slight defects, it is certain that the facts brought for the 
first time to our knowledge by Mr. Gould have cleared up many doubtful 
questions respecting the true affinities of the anomalous forms so prevalent in 
Australia. Being now informed as to their habits and, in many cases, their 
anatomy, we are enabled to classify with certainty the once ambiguous groups 
Talegalla, Psophodes, Menura, Fcdcunculus, Artanius and others. In other 
cases, as in the genera PtUonorhynchus and Calodera, the obser^'ed habits of 
the birds are even more anomalous than their structure, and rather increase 
than diminish the difficulty of classifying them. 

Mr. Gould's work is also valuable for its critical examinations of the labours 
of other authors, the synonyms being for the most part carefully elaborated, 
and a due regard paid to the principle of priority in nomenclature. It is to be 
hoped that this delightful and truly original work will be hereafter republished 
in a more portable form, as its present costly style of illustration necessarily 
restricts it to a small number of readers. 


This publication has tended to create a taste for natural history in the 
Australian colonies, which will advance the cause of morality and civiliza- 
tion. Among recent proofs of an improved tone of mental cultivation, I 
may mention the ' Tasmanian Journal of Natural Science,' commenced at 
Hobart Town in 1842, and which is a publication highly creditable to the 
southern hemisphere. One of its chief contributors is the Rev. T. J. Ewing, 
who is ardently devoted to science, and who has already increased our know- 
ledge of Australian ornithology. 

The tropical parts of the Australian continent exhibit, as might be ex- 
pected, many new and beautiful forms. A few of these were made known 
in Capt. King's ' Survey of Intertropical Australia,' 1827; and the labours 
of Mr. Gould's collector, Mr. Gilbert, will now render the zoology of North- 
ern and Western Australia as familiar to us as that of New South Wales. 

Neio Zealand. — The earliest information on the ornithology of New Zea- 
land was obtained by Forster during the voyage of Capt. Cook, of which we 
shall learn more particulars in Prof. Lichtenstein's forthcoming edition of 
Forster's MSS. A few additional species are described in the Voyage of the 
Coquille, 1826, and of the Astrolabe, 1830 ; but little was subsequently added 
until 1842, when Dr. DiefFenbach submitted his collection to the examination 
of Mr. G. R. Gray, and the result will be found in the interesting ' Travels 
in New Zealand' of the former gentleman. As in most oceanic islands remote 
from a continent, the terrestrial ornithology of New Zealand is somewhat 
limited ; but some interesting representatives of the Australian fauna are there 
found, and the extraordinary structures of those anomalous birds, the Apteryx 
and Dinornis, atone in point of interest for the general paucity of species. 

The aquatic ornithology of the Southern Ocean and its isles has been 
hitherto in a state of the greatest neglect and confusion ; but some valuable 
materials for its elucidation will be supplied by the' Voyages of the Erebus 
and Terror,' now in course of publication, as well as by many details intro- 
duced in Gould's ' Birds of Australia.' 

Africa. — The zoology of Lower Egypt has received but few accessions 
since the French expedition to Egypt ; but that of Nubia and Abyssinia, the 
foundations of which were laid by Bruce and by the present Earl of Derby, 
who added a valuable appendix to Salt's ' Voyage,' has been since greatly ex- 
tended by the labours of Riippell and Ehrenberg. The ' Atlas zu der Reise 
in Nordlichen Afrika,' and the ' Neue Wirbelthiere ' of the former author, are 
especially valuable for the fulness and accuracy of the descriptions, and for 
the critical remarks with which they are accompanied. The lithographic 
plates, though rather coarsely executed, are sufficiently characteristic. The 
author has made further additions to this subject in his ' Museum Sencken- 
bergianum.' The ' Symbolse Physicas' of Messrs. Hemprich and Ehrenberg, 
contain some accurate information on the ornithology of Abyssinia, Egypt 
and Syria, and we may regret that this excellent work was never completed. 
Besides much original matter, the authors have added many careful criti- 
cisms on the works of other authors who have written on the zoology of 
those countries. Some additions to Abyssinian ornithology have also been 
made by M. Guerin-Meneville, 'Revue Zoologique,' 1843. 

No special work has been produced on the ornithology of Western Africa, 
except the useful little book by Swainson, Avhich forms two volumes of Sir 
W. Jardine's ' Naturalist's Library.' Many new species are there defined and 
figured with care. 

The birds procured during the late unfortunate expedition to the Niger 
are described in the 'Proceedings of the Zoological Society' by Mr. Fraser, 
who accompanied the party as naturalist. 

192 REPORT — 1844. 

The ornithology of South Africa is now far advanced towards complete- 
ness. The ' Oiseaux d' Afrique ' of Levaillant formed an admirable ground- 
work for the study, and through the labours of subsequent naturalists, there 
is probably little more to be added to our knowledge of the subject. 

The enterprising Burchell characterized sevei'al new species in his ' Travels 
in South Africa,' and others collected by Sir J. Alexander were described by 
Mr.Waterhouse in the Appendix to that traveller's ' Expedition of Discovery 
into the Interior of Africa,' 1838. But we owe the largest additions to 
South African ornithology to the energy of Dr. Andrew Smith, who, in 1832, 
planned and executed an expedition of discovery into the remote interior, 
northwards of the Cape colony. The zoological results of this expedition 
were first published by Dr. Smith in the ' South African Quarterly Journal,' 
a scientific periodical printed at Cape Town, and less known in Europe than 
it deserves to be. They will also be found in a pamphlet entitled, ' Report 
of an Expedition for Exploring Central Africa,' Cape Town, 1836. By the 
liberality of Her Majesty's government Dr. Smith has since been enabled to 
publish these new and precious materials, under the title of the ' Zoology of 
South Africa,' in a style and form corresponding to the ' Zoology of the 
Voyage of the Beagle ' and of the ' Sulphur,' and forming a standard work for 
the library of the naturalist. 

Of the birds of Madagascar but few have been described since the days of 
Brisson. M. I. GeofFroy St. Hilaire has made known some remarkable forms 
from that island in Guerin's ' Magazin de Zoologie,' ' Comptes Rendus,' 
1834, and 'Ann. des Sciences Naturelles,' ser. 2, vol. ix. 

North America. — The ornithology of North America (exclusive of Mexico) 
is now more thoroughly investigated than that of any other quarter of the 
globe, except Europe. The fascinating volumes of Wilson, and the invalua- 
ble continuation of his work by Prince C. L. Bonaparte, contributed to pro- 
duce in the United States a great taste for natural history, and for ornitho- 
logy in particular. The works of Wilson and Bonaparte have been made 
more accessible in this country by means of smaller editions, one of which 
was edited by Sir W. Jardine, and another by Prof. Jameson. A small 
edition has also been published in America by T. M. Brewer, Boston, 184-0. 
Foremost among the successors of Wilson is the indefatigable Audubon, 
whose life has been spent in studying nature in the forest, and in depicting 
with pen and pencil her manifold beauties. The plates of his ' Birds of 
America,' more than 400 in number, are the work of an enthusiastic na- 
turalist and a skilful artist, though the designs are sometimes rather outre, 
and their size is inconveniently gigantic. The latter evil is however reme- 
died in a smaller edition with lithographic plates, which the author has re- 
cently published in America. The text to these plates, entitled * Ornitholo- 
gical Biography,' is an amusing as well as instructive work, though written in 
a too inflated style. Mr. Audubon has since published a ' Synopsis of the 
Birds of North America,' Edinburgh, 1839, containing condensed descrip- 
tions of the genera and species, and forming a very useful manual of reference. 
Several of the species of SylvicolincE had been unduly multiplied by Audu- 
bon, and their synonymy has been rectified by Dr. T. M. Brewer in Silliman's 
' Journal of Science,' vol. xlii. 

Mr. Nuttall's ' Manual of the Ornithology of the United States,' published 
at Cambridge, U.S., 1832-34, is a very convenient hand-book, containing a 
compendium of the labours of Wilson, Bonaparte and Audubon, accompa- 
nied with many original observations on the habits of the species. The work 
is illustrated with woodcuts, which, though not equal to the works of Bewick, 
are executed in a similar style and with considerable success. 


Several of the States of the American Union have adopted the truly en- 
lightened policy of making regular scientific surveys of their respective ter- 
ritories. Of these the state of New York has already published several 
handsome volumes on other branches of natural history ; but the ornitholo- 
gical portion is not yet issued. A list of the birds of Massachusets will be 
found in Prof. Hitchcock's Report on the Geology of that State. This list 
has been further extended by Dr. Brewer and by the Rev. W. Peabody in 
the 'Boston Journal of Natural History,' 183? and 1841. The latter gen- 
tleman has given much valuable information on the manners and migrations 
of the species. Some popular notices of the birds of Vermont are given by 
Mr. Z. Thompson in his ' History of Vermont,' Burlington, 1 842. 

A mass of interesting observations on the zoology of the arctic portion of 
North America is contained in the appendices to the narratives of Ross, 
Parry, Franklin and Back, and in the ' Memoir on the Birds of Greenland,' 
by our respected Secretary Col. Sabine (Linn. Trans, vol. xii.). These en- 
terprising explorers found the means, during their arduous and protracted 
expeditions, to add greatly to our knowledge of Arctic zoology, and the re- 
sults of their labours were brought together and reduced to system in the 
volumes of the ' Fauna Boreali- Americana,' of which the volume on birds is 
the production of Dr. Richardson, assisted by Mr. Swainson. The specific 
descriptions by the former gentlemEin are a model of accuracy and precision, 
and the lithographic plates are executed with Mr. Swainson's usual skill. 

In his able ' Report on North American Zoology,' read to the British As- 
sociation in 1836, Dr. Richardson has presented us with a full catalogue of 
the birds of North America, including Mexico. He enters at some length 
into the subject of migration, and has incorporated with his own observa- 
tions those of the Rev. J. Bachman in Silliman's ' American Journal of Sci- 
ence,' 1836. 

His Highness the Prince of Canino continues to take a lively interest in 
the zoology of North America, where so many years of his life were spent. 
In 1838 he published a very elaborate * Comparative List of the Birds of 
Europe and North America,' exhibiting in parallel columns the species which, 
whether by identity or by close affinity, represent each other in the two coun- 
tries. This work exhibits some interesting results connected with the geogra- 
phical distribution of species and of forms. The region between Mexico and 
the Polar sea approaches in its fauna much more to the European, and less 
to the tropical American type, than might have been expected. Of i?! 
North American species of birds, no less than 100 are identical with Euro- 
pean kinds. This is due not merely to snnilarity of climate, but to the com- 
paratively short interval between western Europe and eastern America, which 
enables nearly all the marine and some of the terrestrial species to pass from 
the one continent to the other. Another cause is the proximity of north- 
western America to Siberia, which has extended the migrations of certain 
essentially arctic species, and caused them to spread completely round the 
world to the north of about lat. 50°. 

The Prince is at present engaged on an improved edition of the ' List of 
North American Birds,' in which he now proposes to include tlie birds of 
Mexico. This additioa will materially modify the numerical results of the 
former work, as it will introduce a large number of species of a more tropical 
character than most of those of the United States. It will form a valuable 
addition to our knowledge, the birds of Mexico being as yet but imperfectly 
determined and their descriptions scattered through many remote sources. 
Some of them have been described by Mr. Swainson (Philosophical Maga- 
zine, ser. 2> vol. i. and Animals in Menageries), others by Wagler and Kaup, 

181.4'. o 

194 REPORT — 1844. 

(Oken's ' Isis,' 1832,) and Lesson (Ann. Sc. Nat. ser. 2, vol. ix.). Not a 
few of the nominal species in Latham's ' Index Ornithologicus ' are said to 
be from Mexico, some of which, taken from the original work of Hernandez, 
might doubtless be regained to science ; others, described from the worthless 
'Thesaurus' of Seba, are probably altogether apocryphal. 

The voyage of Capt. Cook supplied the earliest materials for the zoology 
of north-western America. A few Rasorial birds were brought from that 
country by the botanist Douglas, and others are described by Mr. Vigors in 
the ' Zoology of Capt. Beechey's Voyage,' 1839. We may regret that no 
note was taken of the localities of many species brought home by that expe- 
dition, and which are described and figured with exactness in the above work. 
M. Lichtenstein's memoir in the ' Berlin Transactions,' 1838, and the recently 
published ' Zoology of the Voyage of the Sulphur,' have also furnished some 
additions to the ornithology of that remote part of the American continent, 
and twelve species from the Columbia river are described by Mr. Townsend 
in the 'Journ. Acad. Sc.,' Philadelphia, 1837. 

Mr. J. P. Giraud has described several new species of birds from Texas in 
the 'Annals of the Lyceum of New York,' of which he has given coloured 
figures in a folio form, under the title of ' Description of Sixteen New Species 
of North American Birds,' New York, IS^l. 

Central America. — Of this region of tropical forests (in which Honduras 
and Yucatan may be geographically included) the zoology is almost unknown. 
Two or three beautiful birds from that country have found their way into 
Temminck's ' Planches Coloriees,' a few more are described by M. Lesson in 
the ' Revue Zoologique,' 184-2, and Dr. Cabot, an American naturalist who 
accompanied Mr. Stephens in his interesting expedition in Yucatan, has enu- 
merated some of the birds which he collected, in the work of the latter gen- 
tleman (Incidents of Travel in Yucatan). He considers many of them to 
be identical with species of the United States, but it is not stated how far this 
identification rests on a rigorous comparison of specimens from the two coun- 
tries. Dr. Cabot has given an interesting account of the habits of that beau- 
ful bird the Meleagris ocellata in the ' Boston Journal of Natural History,' 
and the habits of Trogon pavoninus, another splendid bird of that country, 
are recorded by M. Delattre in the ' Revue Zoologique,' 1843. 

Gakqiagos Islaiids. — This small group of islands illustrates that remark- 
able law which establishes a general coincidence between geographical dis- 
tribution and zoological affinity. These islands of the Pacific, though several 
hundred miles distant from the American coast, are yet much nearer to it 
than to the numerous islands of the Polynesian archipelago, and in confor- 
mity with this position we find that the birds of the Galapagos, though be- 
longing to species exclusively confined to these isles, are altogether refer- 
able to an American and not to a Polynesian type of organization. This 
result is derived from the researches of Mr. Darwin, who, in the ' Zoology of 
the Voyage of the Beagle,' has described several new species from these re- 
mote islands. 

West Indies. — The ornithology, and I may say the natural history of the 
West Indies, is far less known than from the long connection of those islands 
with Europe might have been expected. Of the birds of Cuba a few were 
described by Mr. Vigors in the ' Zoological Journal,' vol. iii. This island has 
since been scientifically surveyed by Ramon de la Sagra in his ' Histoire 
Physique, Politique et Naturelle de I'Isle de Cuba,' in which a considerable 
number of new species of birds are accurately characterized. Many of the 
birds of St. Domingo were long since described by Brisson, Buffon and 
Vieillot, and few if any additions to our knowledge of its productions have 


been made of late years. The natural history of our own island of Jamaica 
has experienced a degree of neglect which reflects but little credit upon the 
energy of individuals or of the government. Almost the whole of our know- 
ledge of its ornithology is derived from the obscure descriptions and wretched 
figures in Sir Hans Sloane's ' Natural History of Jamaica,' published in the 
beginning of the last century. A few stray species have since been described 
by various authors, but nothing like a regular scientific survey of that beau- 
tiful and interesting island has yet been, or, judging from appearances, is 
likely to be, undertaken. The smaller West Indian islands have been equally 
neglected by naturalists ; but few of their natural productions ever reach our 
museums, and these are too often consigned to the cabinet without being 
scientifically described or published. 

South America. — The birds of Columbia were till a recent period wholly 
unknown (with the exception of a few brief notices by Humboldt in his 
' Recueil d'Observations de Zoologie,' 1811), but a considerable supply of 
specimens has been lately sent to Europe from the province of Bogota, which 
have added greatly to our knowledge. Many new species thus obtained have 
been described by MM. De Lafresnaye, Boissonneau, Bourcier and De Lon- 
guemare in the ' Magazin de Zoologie ' and ' Revue Zoologique,' and by 
Mr. Fraser in the ' Proceedings of the Zoological Society.' Many of the 
birds of that country are beautiful and interesting representatives of the 
better-known species of Brazil, and the family of Tanagers in particular has 
lately received large additions from that quarter. 

The ornithology of British Guiana is not yet so fully worked out as it de- 
serves to be. Mr. Schomburgk has collected many species during his vari- 
ous journeys in the interior, some of which have been characterized in mis- 
cellaneous works ; but there is no collective publication of the natural history 
of that colony. 

The ornithology of Brazil, on the other hand, is now very fully known, 
many species having been described by the older authors, and many more 
in recent times by Prince Maximilian of Neuwied, Spix, Swainson, and 

The costly work of Spix, 'Avium species novas in itinere per Braziliam 
collectae,' is valuable rather for the amount of new materials which the travels 
of that author supplied, than for the skill or diligence with which those 
materials were digested. A sounder criticism was applied by Prince Maxi- 
milian of Wied, who has done much to illustrate the ornithology of Brazil, 
not only in his travels in that country, and his ' Recueil de Planches Co- 
loriees d'Animaux du Bresil,' but in his ' Beitriige zur Naturgeschichte von 
Brazilien,' Weimar, 1832. A great number of species are there described 
in detail, and the work is especially valuable as a supplement and commen- 
tary to the writings of Azara and Spix. About 1833 Mr. Swainson com- 
menced an illustrated work on the birds of Brazil, entitled, ' Ornithological 
Drawings,' but it only attained to about seventy plates. The figures are well 
drawn and carefully coloured; but they labour under the defect of being un- 
accompanied by descriptions, without which even the best designs are often 
insufficient for specific identification. M. Schreiber of Vienna commenced, 
in 1833, the ' Collectanea ad Faunam Braziliae,' but only one number of the 
work was ever published. Several Brazilian birds are also described by 
Nordmann in the Atlas to Erman's ' Reise um die Erde,' 1835. 

Since the publication of the invaluable work of Azara, nothing has been 
9^ded to the ornithology of Paraguay ; but as that country is intermediate to 
Brazil, Chili and Patagonia, most of Azara's species have been procured by 
naturalists who have visited the three last-named countries. Many of the 


196 REPORT — 1844. 

birds of Patagonia, Terra del Fuego and the Falkland Isles, are described by 
Mr. Darwin in the ' Zoology of the Voyage of the Beagle,' and by Capt. 
King (Zool. Journal, vol. iii. and Zool. Proceedings, 1831). 

After the publication of Molina's not very accurate ' Saggio suUa storia 
iiaturale del Chili,' fifty years elapsed without any addition being made to the 
zoology of western South America. About 1831 M. Kittlitz published a 
short paper on the birds of Chili in the ' Memoires de I'Academie Imperiale 
de St. Petersbourg,' in which several new and curious generic forms are for 
the first time indicated. Descriptions of a few Chilian birds will also be found 
in the 'Journal de la Navigation de la Fregate Thetis,' 1839, and in papers 
by M. Meyen in the ' Nova Acta Ac. Leop. Car.,' vol. xvi., and by M. Lesson 
in the ' Revue Zoologique,' 1842. Subsequently the 'Voyage dans I'Auie- 
rique Meridionale,' by M. D'Orbigny, and the ' Zoology of the Beagle,' by 
Mr. Darwin, have greatly extended our knowledge of this region. Nor ought 
I to omit the brief but very interesting notes on the birds of Chili by Mr. 
Bridges, in the ' Proceedings of the Zool. Soc.,' 1843, or the full list of Peru- 
vian birds lately published at Berlin by M. Tschudi, in which many new 
species are described. Most of the species originally described by Molina 
are now identified with accuracj^ and the long and narrow tract extending 
the whole length of South America, between the Andes and the Pacific, is 
shown to possess a peculiar and a highly interesting fauna. 

M. A. D'Orbigny, who prosecuted his scientific researches for several years 
in South America, traversing the interior from Buenos Ayres to Columbia, 
has reaped a ricli harvest of zoology, which is embodied in his ' Voyage dans 
I'Amerique Meridionale.' Besides discovering many new species of birds, he 
has identified most of those described by Azara. The plates of his work are 
however not so perfect as the text, the colouring being too vivid, and the 
figures unnecessarily I'educed in size, when the natural dimensions might have 
been more frequently retained. He has drawn some interesting conclusions 
respecting the distribution of species through various zones of southern lati- 
tude, and through zones, in some degree corresponding to these, of elevation. 
Such generalizations, when carefully made, never fail to throw light on philo- 
sophical zoology. 

3. Ornithological Monographs. 

No method is so effective in advancing zoological science as that by which 
an author gives his whole attention to some special group or genus, examines 
critically all the works of previous writers that relate to it, adds his own ori- 
ginal observations, and publishes the result in the shape of a Monograph. 1 
will briefly notice the works of this kind which have appeared of late years. 

The different species of Vultur known up to 1830 were critically analysed 
by M. RUppell in the ' Annales des Sciences Naturelles ' for that year, and his 
remarks must be studied by all who attempt to define the species of that in- 
tricate group. 

The characters of the family Strigidce and of its subdivisions are treated of 
by M. I. Geoffroy St. Hilaire in 'Ann. Sc. Nat.,' 1830. 

Mr. Swainson published a monograph of the genera Tachyphotius and Ty- 
rannus in the 'Quarterly Journal of Science,' London, 1826. Although several 
species have been discovered since, and new genera proposed, yet these papers 
still possess considei'able value. An essay on the Cuculida; by the same 
author is inserted in the ' Mag. of Zool. and Botany,' vol. i. 

M.Menetrieshas published in the 'Mem. del' St. Petersbourg,' 
1 835, a monograph of the Myiotherince, preceded by an historical account of 
the authors who have treated of this complicated group. This memoir is a 


valuable contribution to our knowledge, though the series of natural affinities 
would perhaps have been better exhibited if the ThamnophiU had been in- 
cluded among the Myiotherince (passing, as the}' do, almost imperceptibly into 
Formicarius), and if the so-called MyiotherincB of the East Indies had been 
formed into a separate section. 

We owe to M. L'Herminier some interesting particulars respecting that 
anomalous and little-known bird, the Sfeatornis of Humboldt (Ann. Sc. Nat., 
vol. vi. p. 60, and Nouv. Ann. Mas. Hist. Nat., vol. iii.). It appears that this 
nocturnal bird, which inhabits the caverns of Venezuela and Bogota, can only 
be classed among the CaprimulgidcB, though it differs from all its congeners 
in its frugivorous habits, while it approaches the Strigidcc in many points of 
structure (as has been well insisted on by M. Des Murs, 'Rev. Zool.,' 1843). 

The same indefatigable naturalist has thrown much light on the structure 
of the genera Sasa, Palamedea, Turnix and Rupicola, in the ' Ann. Sc. Nat.,' 
vol. viii. p. 96, and ' Comptes Rendus,' 1837. The first of these he shows to 
be a connecting link between the Insessores and Rasores ; the second he 
places between the RallidcB and Ardeidce; the third he considers to have more 
affinity to the Grallatores than to the Rasores; and the last he retains among 
the AmpelidcB. 

M. Lesson's monographs of the Trochilidcs, entitled ' Histoire Naturelle 
des Oiseaux Mouches,' and ' Histoire Naturelle des Colibris,' are valuable 
works for the illustration of species, but the generic subdivisions are not car- 
ried into sufficient detail. M. Lesson has elsewhere proposed several generic 
groups of TrochilidcB, and M. Boie has added others ; but many of these ap- 
pear difficult to define satisfactorily. In fact there is no family of birds whose 
classification is more imperfect and more in want of careful elucidation than 
the beautiful but bewildering group of Humming Birds. The two volumes 
of ' Humming Birds ' in Sir W. Jardine's ' Naturalist's Library ' contain a syn- 
opsis of most of the species, but without professing to form a complete mo- 

Other volumes of the ' Naturalist's Library ' are devoted to particular 
groups, but as they only contain selections, and not entire lists of the species, 
they do not strictly constitute monographs. Such are the useful volumes by 
Mr. Selby on the ' Pigeons and Gallinaceous Birds,' and by Mr. Swainson on 
Muscicapidce. A more complete work is the volume by Sir W. Jardine on 
the NectariniidcE, or rather on the genus Nectarinia, containing a very full 
synopsis of the species of that extensive and beautiful group. 

The ' Histoire Naturelle des Oiseaux de Paradis' by M. Lesson, is a useful 
monograph of an obscure and difficult group of birds, and is worked out with 
more care and just criticism than is to be found in many others of M. Les- 
son's publications. 

M. Malherbe of Metz is at present engaged on a general history of the 
Picidce, a work much wanted on account of the many genera and species in- 
troduced into this family since Wagler's monograph of Picus was published. 

Several attempts have been made to compile monographs of the numerous 
family of Psittacidcs, but the subject is yet far from being exhausted. Le- 
vaillant in 1801 had figured and described all the species then known, and 
Kuhl in 1820 published a valuable monograph in the 'Nova Acta Acad. 
Leop. Car.' Another and a more complete monograph of the PsittacidcB, by 
the industrious Wagler, will be found in the ' Abhandlungen der Baierischen 
Akademie der Wissenschaften,' 1 832. Although some of the author's generic 
divisions have been criticised as being artificial, yet this paper has a great 
value for its discrimination of species. Lear's ' Illustrations of the PsittacidcB^ 
1832, is intended as supplementary to Levaillant's great work 'LesPero- 

19S REPORT — 1844. 

quets.' The lithographic plates are beautifully executed, but as they are un- 
accompanied by letter-press they hardly belong to the class of monographs. 

Another continuation to the work of Levaillant is the ' Histcire Naturelle 
des Peroquets,' by M. Bourjot St. Hilaire, Paris, 1835-38, folio. Many of the 
plates are original, others are copied from Spix, Temminck, or Lear; they 
are executed on stone, and though inferior to the works of Gould and Lear, 
they are perhaps the best ornithological lithographs which have issued frorn 
the French press. The text of this work is prepared with considerable care, 
but the nomenclature wants precision, the Latin names being often wrong- 
spelled, and the principle of binomial appellations departed from. Thus the 
genus PalcEornis is in one instance designated Psittacus, in another Psittacus 
sagittifer, and in a third Conurus sagittifer, with the addition in each case of 
a specific name. What can we say of an author who designates a species as 
"Psittacus platycercus viridis wiicolor," but that he is deserting that admirably 
concise and effective method of nomenclature introduced eighty years ago by 
the great Linneeus, and is resuming the vague and unscientific generalizations 
of the ancient naturalists? 

I only know by name the ' Monographic der Papageien,' published in Ger- 
many by C. L. Brehm. 

Some interesting details on the genera Crotophaga and Prionites were pub- 
lished by Sir W. Jardine in the 'Annals of Natural History,' vols. iv. and vi., 
and I last year communicated to the same work a paper on the structure and 
affinities of the genera Upupa and Irrisor {Promerops of some authors), 
showing that these genera are really allied, though M.Lafresnaye had main- 
tained that they are widely separated (Proc. Zool. Soc, 1840). 

Mr. Vigors communicated to the earlier volumes of the ' Zoological Jour- 
nal ' several papers of a monographic character, entitled " Sketches in Orni- 
thology," which are distinguished by close research and careful induction. 

Among the ornithological works of this class which have appeared of late 
years, Mr. Gould's ' Monographs of the Trogonidce and of ihe RhamphastidcB' 
occupy a conspicuous place. Of these 1 need only say that they are executed 
in the same form and with the same excellence as his other superb publica- 
tions. Mr. Gould has also published a short monograph of Dendrocitta in 
the ' Zoological Transactions.' He is now collecting materials for mono- 
graphs of other families, including the OdontophorincB, the Caprimulgidte^ 
and the Alcedmince. Of the OdontophorincB, or American Partridges, the 
first number has already appeared ; and though they are a less gaudy tribe of 
birds than many others, yet the admirable taste with which Mr. Gould has 
depicted them renders the work peculiarly attractive. A translation with re- 
duced plates of Gould's ' Monograph oi Rhamphastidae' has been published 
in Germany by Sturm. 

Prof. C. J. Sundevall has described some species of Euphonid in the 'Kongl. 
Vetenskaps Academiens Handlingar,' Stockholm, 1834. This paper is sup- 
plementary to the monograph 'Degenere Euphones,' by Dr. Lund, published 
at Copenhagen in 1829. 

Dr. Riippell's work, entitled 'Museum Senckenbergianum,' Frankfort, 1836, 
contains some admirable monographs of the genera Otis, Campephaga, Colitis, 
Cygnus, &c. They combine laborious bibliographical research with close 
observation of structure, and are accompanied by excellent illustrative figures. 

Mr. Swaiiison published in the 'Journal of the Royal Institution,' 1831, 
an essay on the ^rea/fc?!?;, which though founded on peculiar theoretical views 
deserves to be consulted even by those who do not agree in the author's con- 
clusions. This memoir prepared the way for Mr. Eyton's ' Monograph of the 
Anatidce,' 1838, which is in many resjiects a valuable and accurate work, and 


is especially useful for its details of anatomical structure. The Latin specific 
characters might however have been drawn up with more care ; and an ap- 
pendix should have been added, containing the numerous species described 
by Latham and the old authors, which had not come under Mr. Ey ton's ob- 
servation. No monograph can be considered complete which does not, in 
addition to the ascertained species, enumerate also the unascertained, that is 
to say, those nominal species which for the present exist only in books and 
not in museums, many of which however will no doubt be again restored to 
science as real species, while others will be recognised as peculiar conditions 
of the species we now possess. In this respect, the collection of monographs 
published by Wagler under the title of ' Systema Avium,' and continued af- 
terwards in Oken's ' Isis,' affords a useful model. It was his custom, after de- 
scribing those species of a genus with which he was himself acquainted, to 
append two lists, one of '■^species a me non visce," and the other of "species ad 
genera diversa pertinentes." 

MM. Hombron and Jacquinot have communicated to the Academic des 
Sciences a memoir on the habits and classification of the Procellariidcc, of 
which an abstract is given in the ' Comptes Rendus,' March, 1844, and in 
which several new subgenera are proposed. Mr. Gould has also extended 
our knowledge of this obscure group in the 'Annals of Nat. Hist.,' May, 1844. 

M. Brandt, of Petersburg, who has made the Natatores his peculiar study, 
has monographed the family Alcidce, and the genera Phaeton and Phalacro- 
corax, in memoirs contributed to the Imperial Academy of Sciences at Pe- 

Professor Sundevall states that there is a monograph of the genus Dysporus 
(Sula) in the ' Physiographisk Tidskrift,' Lund., 1837. 

Many monographic summaries of different genera will be found in Tem- 
minck's 'Planches Coloriees,' Riippell's works on Abyssinia, and Smith's 
' Zoology of South Africa.' 

Besides monographs of the larger groups, there are many valuable me- 
moirs on individual species, such as that by M. Botta on Saurolhera califor- 
niana (originally described by Hernandez as a Pheasant, and now properly 
termed Geococcyx mexicanus, Gm. (sp.)) in the ' Nouv. Ann. Mus. Hist. Nat.,' 
vol. iv.; that by Dubus on Leptorhynchus pectoralis and other new generic 
types, in ' Bullet. Acad. Roy. de Bruxelles ;' by De Blainville on Chionis (Ann. 
Sc. Nat., 1836) ; by Lesson on Euryceros (Ann. Sc. Nat., 1831); by Mr. 
Yarrell on Apteryx (Trans. Zool. Soc, vol. i.), &c. 

4. Miscellaneous Descriptions of Species. 

Among recent works of this class, Guerin's ' Magazin de Zoologie,' com- 
menced in 1831, demands notice. This publication, which for the excellence 
of its scientific matter and its moderate price deserves every encouragement, 
is rendered the more convenient to the working naturalist by being sold in 
separate sections. The ornithological portion of this periodical contains va- 
luable papers by Isidore Geoffroy St. Hilaire, Lafresnaye, D'Orbigny, Ey- 
doux, Gervais, L'Herminier, Delessert and others. Many new and important 
forms are there described and figured with great exactness, and although the 
authors are not in all cases sufficiently conversant with the writings of IJritish 
ornithologists, yet they duly estimate the claims of the latter when brought 
before them. 

Upon the whole, the ' Magazin de Zoologie ' must be regarded as a work 
highly creditable to French science, and it is much to be regretted that since 
the discontinuance of our own ' Zoological Journal ' no similar periodical has 
been set on foot in this country. Such a work might however be easily re- 

200 REPORT — 1844. 

produced if our Zoological Society would attach illustrative plates to their 
very valuable ' Proceedings,' and give them the form of a Journal, as has 
lately been done by the Geological Society. 

A work closely connected with the ' Magazin de Zoologie ' is the ' Revue 
Zoologique de la Societe Cuvierienne,' the object of which is to assert with- 
out loss of time the claims of any zoological discovery, by publishing brief 
but adequate descriptions of new species. The multitude of labourers now 
at work in the same field, and the importance of adhering to the rule of pri- 
ority as the Imsis of systematic zoological nomenclature, render it necessary 
to publish rapidly and diffuse widely the first announcements of new disco- 
veries. The delays incident to the engraving of plates and the printing of 
memoirs in scientific Transactions have often robbed original discoverers 
of their due credit, and introduced confusion and controversy into science : 
and it is to remedy this evil that the valuable though unpretending ' Revue 
Zoologique ' was established. 

Original descriptions of new species ax'e scattered so widely that it is im- 
possible to notice all the recent works in which they occur, and I must there- 
fore confine myself to simply enumerating the more important. Of regular 
periodical works devoted to natural history in general, and including original 
contributions to ornithology, I may mention (in addition to those above no- 
ticed) the ' Zoological Journal ;' Ainsworth's ' Edinburgh Journal of Natural 
and Geographical Science,' 1829 ; Loudon's and Charlesworth's ' Magazine of 
Natural History;' Sir W. Jardine's 'Magazine of Zoology and Botany;' 
Taylor's 'Annals of Natural History;' and the popular rather than scientific 
' Field Naturalist's Magazine ' of Prof. Rennie ; the ' Naturalist ' of Mr. Ne- 
ville Wood; and the 'Zoologist' of Mr. E. Newman. Among foreign pe- 
riodicals are Oken's 'Isis;' Wiegmann's ' Archiv ;' Kroyer's ' Naturhistorisk 
Tidskrift;' Van der Hoeven's ' Tijdschrift fur Natuurlijke Geschiedenis ;' 
Wiedemann's ' Zoologisches Magazin;' ' Physiographisk Tidskrift,' Lund; 
Rohatzsch's 'Munich Journal;' the ' Annales des Sciences Naturelles;' 
MuUer's ' Archiv f iir Anatomic ;' Silliman's ' American Journal of Science,' 
' Boston Journal of Natural History,' and the scientific journals of India, 
Tasmania and South Africa, which I mentioned when speaking of the orni- 
thology of those regions. Among the authorized publications of scientific 
societies, ornithological details of greater or less amount will be found in the 
* Philosophical Transactions ; ' the ' Proceedings and Transactions of the 
Zoological Society ;' the Transactions of the Linnsean, the Cambridge 
Philosophical, the Newcastle and the Wernerian Societies ; the ' Bulletin 
de la Societe Philomathique des Pyrenees orientales ;' ' Actes de la Soc. Lin- 
neenne de Bordeaux ;' ' Memoires de la Soc. Linneenne de Calvados ;' ' Bul- 
letin de I'Academie Royale des Sciences de Bruxelles;' 'Memoires' and 
' Comptes Rendus de I'Academie Royale de France ;' ' Annales du Musee 
d'Histoire Naturelle ;' ' Annales de la Soc. Linneenne de Paris ;' ' Memoires 
de la Soc. d'Emulation d' Abbeville ;' 'Memoires de la Soc. Academique de 
Falaise ;' ' Memoires de la Soc. Royale de Lille ;' ' Memoires de I'Academie 
de Metz;' 'Memoires de la Soc. des Sciences Naturelles de Neufchatel ;' 
'Memoires de Physique de Geneve;' ' Jahrbuch der Naturfor- 
schenden Gesellschaft zu Halle;' 'Nova Acta Academiae Csesareee Naturae 
Curiosorum;' ' Abhandlungen der Baierischen Akademie der Wissenschaften;' 
' Abhandlungen der Akademie der Wissenschaften zu Berlin ;' ' Kongl. Ve- 
tenskaps Akademiens Handlingar,' Stockholm ; ' Memoires ' and ' Bulletins de 
I'Academie Imperiale des Sciences de St, Petersbourg ;' ' Annales Universi- 
tatis Casaneusis ;' ' Memoires' and ' Bulletins de la Soc. des Naturalistes de 
Moscou;' 'Annale delle Scienze Naturali di Bologna;' ' Nuovo Giornale 


de'LitteratidiPisa ;' 'Memorie della Academiadelle Scienzedi Torino;' ' Atti 
dell'Academia Gioenia de Catania;' 'Journal of ihe Academy of Natural 
Sciences of Philadelphia;' 'Annals of the Lyceum of Natural History of 
New York ;' ' Transactions of the American Philosophical Society,' and many 

Of recent works specially devoted to the description and illustration of new 
objects of zoology in general or of ornithology in particular, the following 
British ones may be mentioned : — Swainson's ' Zoological Illustrations,' 1st 
and 2nd series, 1820-33; Donovan's 'Naturalist's Repository;* Jardine and 
Selby's ' Illustrations of Ornithology,' an excellent work, which I regret to 
say is now discontinued ; Wilson's ' Illustrations of Zoology,' fol. Edinburgh, 
1827, an accurate and well-illustrated volume; J. E. Gray's 'Zoological 
Miscellany,' 1831, containing concise descriptions of new species ; Swainson's 
'Animals in Menageries,' 1838, (in Lardner's Cyclopeedia,) comprising de- 
scriptions of 225 species, many of which however had before been published; 
Bennett's ' Gardens and Menagerie of the Zoological Society,' 1831, valuable 
for its observations on the habits of living individuals; and Gould's ' Icones 
Avium,' equal in merit and beauty to his other works. 

Among foreign works of the same kind are Temminck's ' Planches Colo- 
riees,' whose merits are too well known to be here dwelt on, and the text of 
which, if carefully translated and edited, would form an acceptable volume 
to the British naturalist ; Lesson's ' Centurie Zoologique,' containing eighty 
miscellaneous plates ; those relating to ornithology respectably executed, and 
exhibiting several new forms, especially of Chilian Birds ; the ' Illustrations 
de Zoologie ' form a second volume of the same character as the ' Centurie ; ' 
Kuester's 'Ornithologische Atlas'der auseuropaischenVogel,' Nuremberg; Du- 
bois' ' Ornithologische Galerie,' Aix-la-Chapelle ; (the last two works I know 
only by name;) Lemaire, 'Hist. Nat. des Oiseaux exotiques,' Paris, 1836, a 
collection of brief descriptions and very gaudy figures ; and Riippell's ' Mu- 
seum Senckenbergianum,' a work of first-rate excellence. 

5. Progress of the Pictorial Art as applied to Ornithology. 

The preceding criticisms have chiefly referred to the claims of the descrip- 
tive or classificatory portion of the several works noticed, but it may be useful 
to make a few special observations on the success which has attended the 
various methods of representing the forms and colours of birds to the eye. 
In this branch of zoology as in all others the pencil is an indispensable adjunct 
to the pen. The minute modifications of form which constitute the distinc- 
tive characters of genera, and the delicate shades of colour by which alone 
the specific differences are in many cases indicated, are of such a nature as 
to be frequently beyond the power of language to define without the aid of 
art, and it is consequently indispensable that the zoological ai'tist should com- 
bine a scientific knowledge of the subject with a perfect command of his 
pencil. In no branch of zoology are these peculiar talents more requisite 
than in ornithology, where the varieties of habit and of attitude, the unequalled 
grace and elegance of form, the remarkable modifications of structure in the 
plumage, and the endless diversities of colouring demand the highest resources 
of the painter's skill. 

The three principal modes of engraving, namely, wood-engraving, metallic 
plate-engraving and lithography, have all been applied in turn to the illus- 
tration of ornithology. 

1. Wood-engraving — For such illustrations of birds as are not intended 
for colouring, this method is not only the cheapest, but for works of small size 
it is the best. The works of the immortal Bewick, have shown us with what 

202 REPORT 1 844. 

complete success the structure and arrangement of the feathers, the relative 
intensities of the colours, and the characteristic expression of the living bird 
may be transferred to a block of wood by the hand of original genius. Many 
recent wood-engravers have approached Bewick, but none have yet equalled 
him. Among the most successful of these the Messrs. Thompson of London 
must be especially mentioned. Their woodcuts in Yarrell's ' British Birds ' 
are beautiful works of art ; in delicacy of execution they often exceed the 
engravings of Bewick ; but the occasional stiffness of attitude in the birds, 
and a conventional shetchiness in the accompaniments, indicate the profes- 
sional artist and not the self-taught child of Nature. 

The beauty of Yarrell's ' British Birds ' is much enhanced by improvements 
in the preparation of paper and ink, and in the mode of taking off the impres- 
sions which have been introduced since Bewick's time. It is probable that 
if the wood-blocks of Bewick, now in the possession of the great engraver's 
family, were entrusted to one of our first-rate London printers, an edition of 
Bewick's ' Birds ' could be now produced, far superior in execution to any 
which was issued in the lifetime of the author. 

2. Metallic jilate-engravhig. — Line engravings or etchings on copper or 
steel have been at all times extensively applied to the illustration of ornitho- 
logical works. Such engravings, if uncoloured, are certainly inferior in effec- 
tiveness to good woodcuts, as an example of which I may mention the nume- 
rous plates of birds in Shaw's ' Zoology ' and Griffith's ' Cuvier,' M'hich though 
often respectably executed, are almost useless for the purpose of specific 
diagnosis ; and even when carefully coloured, engraved plates rarely approach 
in excellence, and in my opinion never equal the best examples of lithography. 
The greater stubbornness of the material involves almost of necessity a certain 
constraint in the attitudes represented: just as the statues of ancient Egypt 
which were carved out of hard basalt, never attained the grace and animation 
which has been conferred upon the tractable marbles of Greece, and the still 
softer alabaster of Italy. In proof of this I may refer to Temminck's ' Planches 
Coloriees,' and to the recent works of Lesson, Quoy, D'Orbigny and other 
French ornithologists. The figures of birds in these plates, though delicately 
and even beautilully engraved, are often exceedingly stiff and unnatural, a 
defect owing partly no doubt to too great a familiarity with stuffed specimens^ 
but in part also to the unyielding material on which they are engraved. If the 
Parisian ornithological artists have not the means of studying, living nature, 
they might at least take for their models the designs of Nature's best copyist 
— Gould. 

The defects shown to be incident to line-engraving attach indeed in a less 
degree to etching. The resistance to the tool being diminished in the latter 
process the lines are drawn Avith greater ease and freedom. Here the main 
diflSculty is to avoid hardness and coarseness in the delineation of the plumage. 
Many etchings which are otherwise meritorious, have failed in this point, 
and the lines which were intended to represent the smooth soft plumage of 
birds, resemble rather the scales of a fish or the wiry hair of the Sloth or 

The plates of Mr. Selby's ' Illustrations of British Ornithology ' are cer- 
tainly the finest examples extant of ornithological etchings, though they are 
nearly equalled by some of the plates etched by Sir W. Jardine, Mr. Selby 
and Captain Mitford in the ' Illustrations of Ornithology.' 

In the plates of Audubon's ' Birds of America ' line-engraving is combined 
with aqua-tint, a method which, when well-executed, may be used with ad- 
vantage to increase the depth and softness of line-engravings or etchings. 

3. Lithography We have next to consider that style of illustration which 


is beyond all question the best adapted to ornithology. Lithography possesses 
all the freedom and facility of drawing as contrasted with the laborious me- 
chanical process of engraving, and is hence peculiarly fitted to express the 
graceful and animated actions of birds. Another merit is the expression of 
softness which it communicates to the plumage, and the power of showing the 
roundness of the forms by a homogeneous shading, instead of the parallel 
lines and cross hatchings employed in engraving. The lines introduced to 
represent the individual feathers possess just that amount of indistinctness 
which we see in the living object, and which adds so much to its beauty. 

It is a matter of some pride to us, that while in certain other departments 
of natural history (especially in fossil conchology) the British lithographei's 
must yield the palm to foreigners, yet in ornithology our own artists have 
never been equalled. Lithography was, I believe, first applied to the deli- 
neation of birds by Mr. Swainson, who soon attained great excellence in the 
art. His ' Zoological Illustrations,' his plates to the ' Fauna Boreali-Ameri- 
cana,' and his ' Ornithological Drawings of the Birds of Brazil,' possess great 
merits both of design and execution, as does also Mr. Lear's great work on 
the Psittacidce. But all these productions are eclipsed by the pencil of Gould, 
whose magnificent and voluminous works exhibit a gradual progress from 
excellence to perfection. Temminck, who in 1835 said of Gould's ' Birds of 
Europe,' " lis sont d'un fini si parfait, tant pour le dessin, la pose, et I'exacte 
verite de I'enluminure, qu'on pourrait, avec de si beaux portraits, se passer 
des originaux monies," would, I am sure, pass even higher encomiums on the 
' Birds of Australia,' which Mr. Gould is now publishing. One little fault, 
and one only can I find in these beautiful drawings, and that is, that the hal- 
lux, which in all the Insessores is essential to the steady support of the bird, 
is too often represented as projecting backwards instead of firirdy clasping, 
as it ought, the perch. Mr. Richter and Mr. Waterhouse Hawkins, both of 
whom have been employed in executing on stone the designs of Mr. Gould, 
have attained great excellence in the art, as has also Mr. D. W. Mitchell, the 
able coadjutor of Mr. G. R. Gray in the ' Genera of Birds.' The latter has 
successfully applied the new art of " lithotinting " to the representation of 
smooth and hard surfaces, such as those of the beak and legs of birds. He 
has also in some cases executed the whole plumage in lithotint, producing a 
beautiful and delicate finish, the effect of which is intermediate between litho- 
graphy and engraving. 

Lithography has never been applied extensively to ornithology upon the 
continent. The plates in Vieillot's ' Galerie des Oiseaux,' and in the Atlas 
to Erman's ' Reise um die Erde ' are very indiff'erent, those in Werner's 
' Atlas des Oiseaux d'Europe ' a shade better, and in the ' Petersburg Tratis- 
actions ' they are tolerably good. The Prince of Canino's ' Fauna Italica,' 
Nilsson's ' lUuminade Figurer till Skandinaviens Faui/a,' and Riippell's ' Mu- 
seum Senckenbergianum,' are the only continental works which I have seen, 
in which the lithographs at all approach to the excellence of the British 

The lithographic plates in Spix's 'Avium species novae in itinere per Bra- 
ziliam collectse,' are tolerably executed ; but in rather a peculiar style, the 
legs and beaks of the birds, and in some instances the whole body, being first 
covered with black, and the lighter parts afterwards scraped off with a sharp 
point. Examples of this style also occur in some of Mr. Mitchell's plates. 
In particular cases, especially in representing the scuta of the legs and feet, 
and the details of black plumage, this method may be adopted with great 

There is a real though somewhat paradoxical cause of the superior excel- 

204 REPORT — 1844. 

lence of the drawings of Gould and of Swainson, which should not be over- 
looked. It is, that these artists have in almost every case (when the living 
bird was not accessible) made their designs from dried skins, and not from 
mounted specimens. In the skin of a bird, dried in the usual mode for con- 
venience of carriage, the natural outlines and attitudes are nearly obliterated, 
and the artist is consequently compelled to study living examples, to retain 
the images thus acquired in his memory, and to transfer them to his design. 
By the constant habit of thus re-animating as it were these lifeless and shape- 
less corpses, he acquires a freedom of outline and a variety of attitude unat- 
tainable by any other means. But when an artist attempts to draw from a 
stuffed specimen, he beholds only a fabric of wire and tow, too often a mere 
caricature of nature, exhibiting only the caprices and mannerisms of an igno- 
rant bird-stuffer. Knowing that the object before him is intended to represent 
nature, he is unconsciously and irresistibly led to copy it with all its deformi- 
ties. Such is no doubt one cause of the stiff and lifeless designs which we 
see in the French works, drawn as they mostly are from mounted specimens 
in the Paris Museums. 

6. Anatomy and Physiology of Birds. 

The most complete general treatise on the anatomy of birds that 1 am ac- 
quainted with is the article Aves by Prof. Owen, in Todd's ' Cyclopaedia of 
Anatomy and Physiology.' The author's original investigations on this sub- 
ject are here combined with those of others, and the whole forms an excellent 
monograph of the structural peculiarities of the class, as well as of many dif- 
ferential modifications which mark particular groups. Much indeed remains 
to be added to our knowledge of individual organizations, but those anatomi- 
cal arrangements which distinguish Birds from the other classes of Vertebrata 
can hardly be described with greater precision or reasoned upon more philoso- 
phically than in the work in question. We may indeed regret that this treatise 
of Prof. Owen is not published in a separate and more accessible form, espe- 
cially if we consider how essential a knowledge of comparative anatomy is to 
the scientific zoologist, and what peculiar interest attaches to the anatomy of 
Birds, as indicating their affinities to Reptiles and to Mammals, and as ex- 
hibiting the wonderful arrangements by which their muscular bodies are sus- 
tained in a medium at least one thousand times lighter than themselves. We 
shall however be soon put in possession of Prof. Owen's most recent re- 
searches on the anatomy of birds, by the publication of that portion of his 
' Hunterian Lectures ' which relates to the Vertebrata, and which will 
doubtless be of equal value with the excellent volume already issued on the 

Another carefully-prepared summary of ornithic anatomy is that by Prof. 
M'Gillivray, in the Introduction to his ' History of British Birds.' The au- 
thor has evidently bestowed much labour, both mental and manual, upon this 
subject, and has successfully vindicated the claims of comparative anatomy 
to be considered not an adjunct to, but a part of, scientific zoology. The 
above work is particularly valuable for its details respecting the organs of 
digestion, a part of the system to which the author justly attributes great im- 
portance, and which he has treated of in a special article in the ' Magazine 
of Zoology and Botany,' vol. i. Resumes of the anatomical peculiarities of 
birds will also be found in the ' Elemens de Zoologie,' by Milne Edwards, 
1837, and in the ' Encyclopaedia Britannica' and ' Penny Cyclopasdia.' The 
article Zoology in the 'Encyclopaedia Metropolitana ' also contains a useful 
treatise on the subject, though it is damaged by the affectation of using new 
English terms in place of the received Latin terminology of anatomy. 


In Dr. Grant's ' Outlines of Comparative Anatomy,' the structure of birds 
is described with the same accuracy as that of the other classes of animals ; 
but as the work is arranged anatomically and not zoologically, the details of 
ornithic anatomy are necessarily intermixed with those of the other classes of 

Prof. Rymer Jones has given, in his ' General Outline of the Animal King- 
dom,' a careful abstract of the anatomy of Birds, including more especially 
the structure of the eye and the important subject of the development of the 
ovum. The excellent mode in which the generalities of the subject are 
treated of, makes us regret that the limits of Prof. Jones's work prevent him 
from giving a fuller statement of the anatomical characters of the several 
orders and families. 

An excellent synopsis of this subject is contained in Wagner's 'Compara- 
tive Anatomy,' of which Mr. Tulk has just published an English translation. 

Of special treatises, either on the anatomy of particular organs throughout 
the whole class, or on the general anatomy of particular groups, many are to 
be found scattered over the field of scientific literature, and I shall notice 
some of the more important. 

The general subject of the jmeumaticity or circulation of air through the 
bodies of birds is ably treated of by M. E. Jacquemin in the ' Nova Acta 
Acad. Caes. Leop. Car.' 1842. See also 'L'Institut' and 'Comptes Rendus,' 
1836. After minutely describing the modifications of the aerating system in 
different forms of birds, the author deduces a series of conclusions, and shows 
that this structure, peculiar to the class of birds, performs the fourfold office 
of oxidizing the blood, — of enlarging the surface of the body, and conse- 
quently the points of muscular attachment, — of diminishing the specific gra- 
vity, and of producing a general elasticity which favours the act of flight. 

The structure of the ear in birds is treated of in great detail in a memoir 
by M. Breschet, in the ' Annales des Sciences Naturelles' for 1836, and in a 
detached treatise on the same subject. After giving an historical sketch of 
the researches of previous authors, he enters upon an elaborate description of 
the characters of this organ in various groups of birds. He shows that of 
the three bones of the tympanum, the stapes alone is osseous in birds, while 
the malleus and the incus, which in Mammalia are composed of bone, are 
here represented by cartilaginous processes, and he points out many other 
minute but important characters which appear to distinguish the ears of birds 
from those of other Vertebrata. 

Dr. Krohn has treated on the organization of the iris, and Dr. Bergman on 
the movements of the radius and ulna in MuUer's ' Archiv fiir Anatomic,' 

The structure of the os hyoides in birds, and the affinities of its several 
parts to the corresponding organs of the other Vertebrata, are explained in a 
memoir by M. Geoffroy St. Hilaire, in the ' Nouvelles Annales du Mus. d'Hist. 
Nat.' 1832. 

M. Miiller has described the modifications of the male organs of birds in 
the ' Abhandlungen der Akad. der Wissenschafteu zu Berlin,' 1836. 

M. Cornay, in ' Comptes Rendus,' 1844, p. 94, has announced that he finds 
an important character to exist in the anterior palatine bone, the modifica- 
tions of which in the various orders he considers to form a more correct 
basis of classification than any one hitherto employed. Until more attention 
be paid to this organ than it has yet received, it would be premature to pro- 
nounce as to the value of it. 

The gradual development of ossification in the sternum of young birds, 
and the relations of its several parts to the skeletons of other Vertebrata, were 

206 REPORT — 1844. 

treated of by M. Cuvier (Ann. Se. Nat. 1832) and by M.L'Herrainier (Ann. 
Sc. Nat. and Comptes Rendus, 1836-37). These essays involved theoretical 
views which gave rise to controversies in which MM. Serres and Geoffrey 
St. Hilaire also took part. The structure of the pelvis and hinder extremities 
was described by M. Bourjot St. Hilaire in a memoir read to the Academie 
des Sciences, 1834. 

The osteology of the feet of birds is treated of by M. Kessler in the ' Bul- 
letin de la Soc. de Naturalistes de Moscou,' l&il. 

The internal temperature of various species and groups of birds is treated 
of in a general memoir on the subject of Animal Heat, by M. Berger, in the 
' Memoires de la Societe de Physique de Geneve,' 1836. Dr. Richard King 
has also published some observations on this subject. 

Mr. Eyton has contributed some interesting information on the anatomy 
of 3Ienura, Biziura, Merops, Psophodes and Cracticus, which throw much 
light on the affinities and classification of those genera (Annals of Natural 
History, vol. vii. et seq.). 

Amidst the numerous profound researches of Prof. Owen on the compara- 
tive anatomy of various portions of the animal kingdom are many original 
investigations into the structure of such rare birds as have fallen under his 
scalpel. In the 'Transactions of the Zoological Society' he has described the 
anatomy of Buceros cavatus, showing the points of affinity which the Buce- 
rotidce bear towards the RJiumphastida: on the one hand, and the Corvidce on 
the other. He has also suggested that the probable design of the gigantic 
beak in the Hornbills and Toucans is to protect the eyes and head while 
penetrating dense thickets in quest of the nestling birds on which they feed. 
Another memoir, of still greater importance, is the elaborate description of 
the anatomy of the Apte.i-yx (Trans. Zool. Soc, vol. ii.), for which our suc- 
cessors even more than ourselves will be grateful to Prof. Owen, seeing that 
but few years will probably elapse before that rare and extraordinary species 
will be erased fi'om the list of animated beings. He has also contributed to 
the 'Proceedings of the Zoological Society ' excellent anatomical monographs 
of the genera Sula, Phcenicopterus, Corythaix, Pelecanus, Cathartes, and Tale- 
galla. The invaluable descriptive catalogues of the Museum of the Royal 
College of Surgeons, wliich are in great measure the work of Prof. Owen, 
contain a mine of information on the anatomy of every class, and not least 
on that of birds. The volume which relates to the Fossil Mammalia and Birds 
is now in the press. 

We are indebted to Mr. Yarrell for several accurate notices on the more 
remarkable structures of certain birds, among which are papers on the ana-- 
tomy of the Raptores, on the xiphoid bone and its muscles in Phalctcrocorax, 
and on the muscles of the beak in Loxia, published in the ' Zoological Jour- 
nal ;' memoirs on the convolutions and structure of the trachea in Numida, 
the Gruidce, and the Anatidce, which will be found in the ' Linnaean Trans- 
actions ;' and notices on the anatomy of Cereopsis, Ciax, Ourax, Penelope, 
Atiihropoides and Plectropteriis, in the ' Proceedings of the Zoological So- 

A very elaborate account of the anatomy of Aptenodytes patachonica, by 
Mr. Reid, is published in the 'Proceedings of the Zoological Society,' 1835, 
and we may regret that this gentleman has not made more such contributions 
to anatomical science. 

There are some very interesting remarks by Mr. Blyth on the osteology of 
Alca impennis, in the 'Proceedings of the Zoological Society,' 1837, showing 
that in this bird (which is wholly unable to fly) the bones of the extremities 
are nearly solid and filled with marrow, while in the volatile species of .4/ciV/<B 


the air -cavities of the bones are highly developed, in order to compensate for 
the shortness of the wings. He adds the important remarlt, that " when once 
the object of aerial flight is abandoned, the wings are reduced to exactly that 
size which is most efficient of all for subaquatic progression ; species of an 
intermediate character of course never occurring." This principle of the ne- 
cessity of hiatuses in the natural system (of which numerous other examples 
might be adduced), is one which I have long regarded as conclusive against 
that continuity of affinities and symmetry of arrangement Avhich some writers 
have endeavoured to demonstrate. 

Mr. T. AUis of York (whose beautifully prepared ornithic skeletons now 
in the York Museum are so highly creditable to his skill as an anatomist) has 
made some observations on the connexion between the furculum and sternum, 
showing that in certain birds possessing powers of long-continued flight these 
bones are connected by an intimate symphysis, which in Pelecanus and Grrus 
amounts to an actual anchylosis. (Zool. Proc, 1835). 

The anatomies of Pelecanus, Dicholophus and Corythaix, are described in 
detail by Mr. W. Martin in the work last quoted. 

A paper on the anatomy of Corvus corone by M. Jacquemin, will be found 
in the ' Isis,' 1837, and the osteology of the Trochilidm is described by M. J. 
Geoffroy St. Hilaire in 'Comptes Rendus,' 1838*. 

Several points of ornithic anatomy are treated of by Prof. Wagner in the 
'Abhandl. der Baierischen Akad.,' 1837, and the osteology of the genera 
Crypturus, Dicholophus, Psophia and Mycteria, is fully described. The struc- 
ture of the Struthionida is beautifully portrayed by D'Alton in his ' Skelete 
der Straussartigen Vogel,' 1827. 

There is a paper by M. Schlegel on the supposed absence of nostrils in the 
genus Sula, in the ' Tijdschrift voor natuurlijke Geschiedenis,' 1839, of which, 
from being unacquainted with the Dutch language, I regret my inability to 
give a summary. 

The osteology of several groups of Natatores is treated of by M. Brandt in 
an elaborate and highly important paper in the ' Memoires de I'Acad. Imp. de 
St. Petersbourg,' 1839. The researches of this author throw great light upon 
the classification of many obscure groups, and nothing can be more exact than 
his figures and descriptions of ornithic osteology. 

Mr. Yarrell has paid considerable attention to the subject of hyhridity 
(Zool. Proc, 1832, 1836, &c.). The result of his observation seems to be 
that hybrid birds will occasionally propagate with the pure race on either 
side, but rarely, if ever, with each other, thus indicating a special provision of 
nature to preserve the distinctness and permanency of species. Mr. Eyton 
and Mr. Fuller have also made notes on the same subject (Zool. Proc, 1S35). 
See also a paper by Mr. W. Thompson in the 'Mag. of Zool. and Bot.,' vol. i. 

Mr. G. Gulliver, who has made a series of microscopic researches into 
the blood-corpuscles of the Vertebrata, taking exact measurements of these 
minute bodies in different genera and species, has in the course of this in- 
quiry given a fair share of attention to the corpuscles of birds, and his la- 
bours are recorded in the ' Proceedings of the Zool. Soc.,' 1842, &c. 

The difficult question of the influence of climate in producing permanent 
varieties of species is discussed by Dr. C. L. Gloger in a treatise published at 
Breslau,1833, and which deserves translation for the use of British naturalists, 
although the author carries his theory to too great an extent. 

The arrangement of the feathers on birds, to which attention was first 

* The ' Disquisitiones Anatomicae Psittacorum,' by M. Thuet, Turin, 1838, and Kuhlraan's 
dissertation, ' De Absentia Furculse in Psittaco PuUario,' KieJ, 1842, ai'e works which I have 
not seen. 

208 REPORT — 1844. 

called by Nitzsch in his ' Pterylologiej' is briefly treated of in a memoir read 
to the Academie des Sciences by M. Jacquemin (Ann. Sc. Nat., 1836, p. 227), 
who points out several facts which have not been sufficiently attended to by 
previous ornithologists. 

The various modes by which the changes of plumage in birds at different 
seasons are effected, whether by actual moulting, by the shedding of a de- 
ciduous margin to the feather, or by a change of colour in the feather itself, 
have been investigated by Cuvier, Temminck, Yarrell (Trans. Zool. Soc, 
vol. i.), and others. Dr. Bachman of Charleston has made some very in- 
teresting observations on this subject in the case of many of the North Ame- 
rican birds, which will be found in the ' Transactions of the American Philo- 
sophical Society,' 1839. 

The subject of moulting, and especially of that remarkable tendency in old 
female birds to assume the male plumage, is treated of by M. I. Geotfroy St. 
Hilaire (Ann. Sc. Nat., and Essais de Zoologie Generale, IS^l). See also 
papers by Dr. Butler in the ' Memoirs of the Wernerian Society,' and by Mr. 
Yarrell in the ' Philosophical Transactions.' 

M. de la Fresnaye published in the 'Memoires de la Soc. Acad, de Falaise,' 
1835 (L'Institut, 1 837), a paper on melanism, or a supposed abnormal tendency 
in the Raptores to acquire a dark plumage, analogous to albinoism in other 
birds. The examples cited are few in number, and not very conclusive, but 
the subject is deserving of investigation. 

Many writers have written descriptive works on the eggs of birds, especially 
of the European species. Of the older authors on this subject, as Klein, Wir- 
sing, Sepp, Naumann, Schintz, Donovan, Roux, and Thienemann, I need not 
here speak. In the ' British Oology' of Hewitson the eggs of our native 
birds are accurately described and figured, and the second edition now pub- 
lishing attests the popularity of the subject. An ' Atlas of Eggs of the Birds 
of Europe' is just commenced by A. Lefevre at Paris, the figures of which 
are well-executed. Of the eggs and nidification of exotic birds our informa- 
tion is very incomplete, and almost the only contributor to this branch of 
ornithology is M. D'Orbigny, who in his ' Voyage dans I'Amerique Meridio- 
nale ' gives many figures of eggs and details of nidification, which may aid in 
clearing up the affinities of certain doubtful forms of the South American 

Mr. Gould brought home from Australia a large and interesting collection 
of eggs and nests, of which we may regret that he has not introduced the 
figures into the plates of his ' Birds of Australia.' We may hope, however, 
that when he has completed that great work he will publish an ' Australian 
Oology,' and perpetuate the knowledge which his unique collection of eggs 

Dr. Carlo Passerini has given an account of the nidification and incubation 
of Paroaria cucullata in a domestic state, in a memoir published at Florence 
in 1841. 

The subject of ornithic oology has been treated of in a philosophical man- 
ner by M. DesMurs (Revue Zoologique, and Mag. de Zool., 1842-43). By 
carefully studying the peculiarities of form, nature of shell and colour in the 
eggs of various birds, he finds a correspondence between these peculiarities 
and the structural characters of the several groups, and thus obtains an ad- 
ditional element in the process of classification. 

The number of eggs laid by birds of different groups and species is the sub- 
ject of a paper by M. Marcel de Serres (Ann. Sc. Nat., ser. 2. vol. xiii. p. 164), 
and the author deduces some interesting generalizations upon this subject. 

There is a learned treatise on the structure of the egg prior to incubation 



by Prof. Purkinje, under the title of ' Symbolse ad Ovi Avium Historian!,' 
Leipzig, 1830. The structure of the viiellus has been investigated by M. 
Pouche (Comptes Rendus, 1839), and that of the umbilical cord by M. Flou- 
rens (Institut, 1835, p. 324), while M. Serres has described the branchial re- 
spiration of the embryo of mammifers and birds in the ' Ann. Sc. Nat.,' ser. 2. 
vol. xiii. p. 141. 

Closely connected with oology is the subject of nidification, one of the 
most interesting branches of ornithological observation, and one which often 
throws important light on questions of natural affinities. I am not aware of 
any special work on this subject except the ' Darstellung der Fortpflanzung 
der Vogel Europa's,' by Thienemann, and the popular 'Architecture of Birds' 
by the late Prof. Rennie, but the details of the nidification of European birds 
are contained in most of the works which treat upon them. The nests of the 
majority of exotic species are still unknown, though Wilson, Audubon, Gould 
and others have in some measure suppHed this deficiency in our knowledge. 

The songs and call-notes of birds are very important in their relation to 
habits and affinities, though from the imperfect mode of indicating these 
sounds by alphabetical or musical characters, there is much difficulty attend- 
ing their study. In some cases, such as the relation of Phyllopneuste rufa to 
P. trochilus, or of Corvus corone to C. americanus, the notes of the living 
birds present clearer specific distinctions than are shown by their physical 
structure, and the melody of the woods thus becomes no less interesting to 
the scientific zoologist than it is fascinating to the unlearned lover of nature. 

External Terminology. — The series of terms employed by Brisson, Lin- 
naeus and Latham, in describing the external parts of birds, were greatly im- 
proved in precision and accuracy by the ' Prodromus Systematis Mammalium 
et Avium' of Illiger. His series of descriptive terms are still generally cur- 
rent, and have undergone comparatively little change. Definitions and figures 
illustrative of the terms employed in ornithology will be found in most general 
treatises on the subject, among which Lichtenstein's ' Verzeichniss der Dou- 
bletten,' Berlin, 1823, Stephens's 'General Zoology,' Swainson's ' Classifi- 
cation of Birds,' Wilson's article Ornithology in ' Encyclopasdia Britannica,' 
the article Birds in the ' Penny Cyclopaedia,' and M'Gillivray's ' History of 
British Birds,' may be mentioned as being useful guides to the language of 
descriptive ornithology. 

There is an excellent summary of the different characters used for orni- 
thological classification, and of the due value to be attached to them, by M. 
LGeoffroy St. Hilaire, in the 'Nouv. Ann. Mus. Nat. Hist.' 1832, and in the 
' Essais de Zoologie Generale' of the same author, 1841. He shows that the 
value of the emarginated upper mandible, of the feathers and of the caruncles 
has been much overrated, and points out that the structure of the tongue, the 
wing and the toes, furnishes characters which have not been duly appreciated. 
The importance of the feet, as indicating natural affinities by their structural 
details, is further insisted on by M. de Lafresnaye in the ' Magazin de 

7- Fossil Ornithology. 

Our knowledge of Birds has received a less amount of extension from the 
discoveries of PalEeontology than perhaps that of any other class of the animal 
kingdom. Not only are the fossil remains of birds of considerable rarity, and 
confined principally to the most recent deposits, but when found, they seldom 
present characters of such a nature as would enable us to predicate generic, 
much less specific, differences. The generic characters of birds being mostly 
drawn froni the structure of the corneous appendages of the skin, such as 
1844. p 

210 REPORT — 1844. 

the beak, tai'sal scuta, claws, remiges and rectrices, are of course effaced in a 
fossil state, and the study of the bony skeleton has not yet been carried into 
sufficient detail (except in the case of some very isolated groups) to serve as 
the basis of generic definitions. The fossil skeletons of birds will neverthe- 
less often guide us to the family or even the subfamilt/ to which the speci- 
mens belong, and as the science progresses a greater amount of precision will 
no doubt be attained. 

Birds, like Mammalia, appear not to have generally " multiplied and re- 
plenished the earth " until the commencement of the Tertiary epoch. Ex- 
amples of their existence at an earlier period do indeed occur, but though 
the evidence of this fact is indisputable, yet the information it conveys is 
vague and obscure, and we look in vain for such grand palseontological dis- 
coveries as those which in the classes lieptilia, Pisces, Mollusca and Crusta- 
cea, have added whole families and even orders to the zoological system. 

Many geologists have supposed that the rarity of fossil Mammals and Birds 
in the Secondary rocks is owing to the improbability of their becoming im- 
bedded in marine deposits, and not to their non-existence altogether. So far 
however as it is possible to draw a conclusion from negative evidence, there 
seem very strong reasons for believing that, in the European hemisphere at 
least, neither Birds nor Mammals were called into existence prior to the middle 
of the oolitic period. Let us take the case of the Coal-Measures, a formation 
of vast extent, and which is proved to have been in some cases a ten-estrial 
deposit, and in others to have been formed in the immediate vicinity of dry 
land. Yet this vast series of beds, Avhich has been quarried by man to a 
greater extent than any other, and which contains the remains of Plants and 
even of Insects in the most perfect state of preservation, has never yet 
afforded the slightest indication of a Mammal or a Bird. When we contrast 
this fact with the frequent occurrence of bones of these animals in recent 
peat-bogs, and in deposits, both marine and lacustrine, of the tertiary epoch, 
we can hardly attribute the absence of such remains in the Coal-Measures to 
any other cause than to the non-existence at that period of the two highest 
classes of Vertebrata. The Triassic or New Red Sandstone series leads in 
the European quarter of the globe to the same conclusion. We there find, 
in Germany and in Britain, evidences of ancient shores and sandbanks, ex- 
posed (probably during the recess of the tide) to the sun and the rain, and 
presenting the footprints of numerous reptiles which walked upon their sur- 
faces. Now these are the localities to which aquatic birds, as well as certain 
mammals, love to resort, yet no traces of such animals have yet been met 
with in any ascertained triassic rock of the eastern hemisphere. The Lias 
and Lower Oolite again, though strictly marine deposits, contain in many 
places the remains of plants or of insects which have tioated from adjacent 
shores, but invariably unaccompanied by any fragments of birds or of mam- 
mals. Tn the Stonesfield slate we find the first and the only indication of 
Mammalian remains in the whole secondary series ; but the bones from that 
formation, which were once referred to birds, have been proved to belong to 
Pterodactyles, and no unequivocal examples of birds occur till we reach the 
horizon of the Wealden beds, where they are exceedingly rare, and appa- 
rently unaccompanied by Mammalia. 

In the American continent however a remarkable case occurs, which seems 
to prove the existence of birds at a period long anterior to their first appear- 
ance in our hemisphere. I allude to the now well-known instance of Ornith- 
ic/mites, or birds' footmarks, in the sandstone of the Connecticut valley, 
first discovered by Dr. J. Deane, and described by Prof. Hitchcock in the 
* American Journal of Science,' 1836-37. (See also Buckland's ' Bridgewater 


Treatise,' pi. 26 a and b, and 'Ann. So. Nat.' ser. 2. vol. v. p. 154.) Two ques- 
tions arise in connexion with these impressions ; first, whether they are really 
produced by birds ; and secondly, what is the age of the rock in which they 
are found. The first question seems to be now finally settled in the affirma- 
tive, some of the impressions being so nearly identical with those of certain 
existing Grallatores and Rasores as to convince the most incredulous. The 
footmarks are evidently due to Birds of several distinct genera, some of which 
present structures as anomalous as those found in the Reptiles and Fish of the 
same remote epoch. The greater part, however, appear clearly referable to 
Wading Birds allied in structure to the CharadriidoR or Scolopacidce. Some 
are of such a gigantic size that we can only seek their affinities among the 
StrutJiionidce, and others appear to have had the tarsi clothed with feathers 
or bristles, a character which would exclude them from the Grallatores as at 
present defined, though, judging from the impressions made by living birds 
in snow, I think this appearance may possibly be due to the trailing action of 
the foot before it takes its hold of the ground. One very remarkable form 
(if really belonging to a bird) has the outer and middle toe united as in the 
so-called Syndactyles of Cuvier, and is further distinguished by all the four toes 
pointing forwards (neither of which characters are in the existing fauna ever 
found in ambulatory birds). Such anomalous structures however (reasoning 
from the analogy of the fish and reptiles of the older rocks) appear rather to 
confirm than to disprove the genuineness and antiquity of these Ornithich- 
nites ; and as there is no other known class of animals to which they can by 
possibility be referred, it would be very unphilosophical to deny them to be 
the footmarks of birds, to which they bear so strong a resemblance. 

In his ' Report on the Geology of Massachusets,' Dr. Hitchcock has de- 
scribed no less than twenty-seven species of these footmarks, and in the ' Re- 
ports of the American Association of Geologists and Naturalists, 1843,' he 
has added five more. (See also Silliman's Journal of Science, Jan. 1844.) 
One of these much resembles the footprint of a Fringilla, others are similar 
to those of Fulica. In all these impressions, the phalanges of the toes obey 
the same nuraei'ical law which prevails, with hardly an exception, in the feet 
of existing birds*. They are accompanied in some cases by reptilian foot- 
marks resembling those of Chirotherium, which are at once distinguished 
from the ornithic impressions by being quadruped, and by the forward posi- 
tion of the thumb. 

Granting then that we have here the genuine indications of an ancient 
ornithological fauna, of which no other traces than these footmarks have been 
found, we have next to consider the geological age at which they were formed. 
Now it appears that the phaenomena of superposition merely show that this 
deposit is intermediate between the Carboniferous and Cretaceous series. 
Could we have availed ourselves of such a latitude for speculation, the ana- 
logy of the oldest fossil birds found in the eastern hemisphere, would lead us 
to adopt the latest period within the above limits for fixing the age of these 
impressions. It has been announced however, both by Dr. Hitchcock and 
by Mr. Lyell (Proc. Geol. Soc. vol. iii. p. 796), that the only recognizable 
organic remains discovered in this deposit are Fish belonging to the genera 
Palceoniscus and Catopterus, and as these genera have never been found 
above the Triassic series, we are compelled to follow Dr. Hitchcock in refer- 

* The remarkably simple law referred to is this : that if we consider the metatarsal spine 
of certain Rasores (and which is wanting in all other birds) as the first toe, the hind toe as the 
second, and the inner, middle, and outer toes as the third, fourth, and fifth, the number of 
phalanges is found to progress regularly from one to five. The only exceptions are in the 
Caprimulgidee, Cypaelus, and one or two others. 


212 REPORT — 1844. 

ring the sandstone of Connecticut to the New Red system. These Ornithich- 
nites therefore, abounding in this ancient formation, and separated by so vast 
an interval of time from the oldest traces of fossil birds in our own hemi- 
sphere, remain as one of those anomalies which serve to curb the eager spirit 
of generalization, and to teach us that Nature fulfils her own designs without 
regard to human theories. Let us hope that the American geologists will 
never rest till they have discovered some osseous remains of the rara: aves 
whose foot-prints have given rise to such perplexing questions. 

The rest of the subject of Fossil Birds may be briefly noticed. The oldest 
example which I can meet with of their actual occurrence is mentioned in 
Thurmann's ' Soulevemens Jurassiques,' (as quoted by Von Meyer, ' Palaeo- 
logica,') who remarks however that the statement seems to require confirma- 
tion. It is there stated that the fossil remains of Birds occur, in company 
with those of Saurians and Tortoises, in the limestone of Soleure, which is 
considered equivalent to the Portland beds. 

A better authenticated instance is recorded by Dr. Man tell (Fossils of 
Tilgate Forest, p. 81 ; Geol. Trans., vol. v.; Proc. Geol. Soc, vol. ii. p. 203), 
who describes certain bones from the Wealden beds of Sussex, which he 
shows (and his opinion is backed by tliat of Cuvier and of Owen) to belong 
to Waders and probably to Ardeida. Other bones from the same locality 
apparently belong to birds, yet present a nearer approach to the reptilian 
type than any known existing genus. 

Another example of a fossil bird from the secondary series is mentioned by 
Dr. Morton (Synopsis of Cretaceous Rocks of United States), who procured 
a specimen which he refers to the genus Scolopax, in the ferruginous sand of 
New Jersey. This formation he considers to represent the Greensand of 
Europe, and though its precise equivalent may be somewhat doubtful, there 
is no doubt of its belonging to the Cretaceous series. 

In the " Glaris slate" of Switzerland, a member of the lower portion of the 
Cretaceous system, a nearly entire skeleton of a bird resembling a Swallow, 
has been found by Professor Agassiz. 

The Chalk of Maidstone has supplied Lord Enniskillen with some fragments 
of the skeleton of a large natatorial bird, considered by Professor Owen to be 
most nearly allied to the Albatros (Proc. Geol. Soc, vol. iii. p. 298 ; Geol. 
Trans., vol. vi.). 

Proceeding to the Tertiai'y series, we find that ornitholites begin to appear 
in greater abundance. Here, as in every other department of the animal 
kingdom, we perceive a rapid approximation to the fauna which "is charac- 
teristic of the period in which we now live. 

The Eocene clays of the Isle of Sheppey have produced the bones of a bird 
affording almost the only example of a decidedly new ornithological form 
which has been rescued from the ruins of past geological ages. The sternum 
of this bird is fortunately preserved, and Professor Owen having worked out 
its affinities to all known genera with his usual sagacity and success, has ar- 
rived at the conclusion that it forms a new genus among the Vidfuridce, which 
he has denominated Lithortiis (Proc. Geol. Soc, vol. iii. p. 163). This inter- 
esting specimen will soon be described in Prof. Owen's work on ' British Fossil 
Mammalia and Birds,' now in course of publication. 

In Kcenig's ' Icones fossilium sectiles,' fig. 91 , some fragments of bones from 
the Isle of Sheppey are delineated, which the author considers to belong to 
a natatorial bird, and which he designates JBuckla?idium d'duvii. If the 
original specimens are in existence they would well deserve further examina- 

The remaining instances of fossil birds from the Tertiary formations call for 


but little remark. The fragments •which have been found are either undistin- 
guishable, or at any rate have not j^et been distinguished, from the genera and 
species of the existing creation, though it is highly probable that new forms 
might in some cases be detected if they were subjected to rigid examination. 
In the Tertiary and for the most part Eocene strata of the continent, birds' 
bones have been found in Auvergne, at Pont du Chateau and Gergovia, over- 
laid by beds of basalt, and in one instance accompanied by fossil eggs ; in the 
Cantal, at Perpignan, Montpellier, WiluAve, St. Gilles, Sansan (where eggs 
have also been found), Montmartre, Monte Bolca, Giningen, Kaltennordheim, 
Ottnmth in Upper Silesia, Westeregeln near Magdeburg, and Neustadt in the 
Hardt, and are recorded in the writings of Dufrenoy, Bravard, Croizet, Jo- 
bert. Marcel de Serres, Karg, Cuvier, Mosler, Germar, "Von Meyer, &c. 
Birds' feathers have been found fossil at Monte Bolca, Aix and Kanstatt. 

Proceeding to the newer Tertiary beds, we meet with remains of birds in 
the Crag of Suffolk, and in the Plistocene fluvio-lacustrine beds at Lawford 
(Buckland). M. Lund, whose researches into the bone-caverns of Brazil have 
already very greatly extended our knowledge of fossil Mammalia, has an- 
nounced that he has also obtained a considerable variety of fossil birds, in- 
cluding a Struthious species larger than the existing Rhea of America ; but 
these remains have not as yet I believe been fully investigated. The same 
remark also applies to the ornithic remains found by Dr. Falconer in that 
mine of palaeontology the Siwalik Hills of India. Amidst the extraordinary 
remains of Mammals and of Reptiles obtained by that gentleman, the bones of 
several species of Birds were found mostly referable to the Grallatorial order, 
and exhibiting in some cases very gigantic proportions. As Dr. Falconer's 
collections are now in course of arrangement at the British Museum, we may 
hope soon to learn more particulars of these interesting ornithic fossils. 

The Gryphus antiquitatis of Schubert, a supposed colossal ornitholite from 
Siberia, appears to be either altogether apocryphal, or to be founded on the 
cranium of a Rhinoceros, mistaken for that of a bird. 

In bone-caverns fossil birds have been found in company with extinct 
Mammalia at Kirkdale (Buckland), Bize in the south of France (Marcel de 
Serres), Avison, Salleles, Poudres near Sommieres, and Chokier near Liege 
(Von Meyer). 

The bones of birds are of frequent occurrence in the osseous breccias which 
fill the fissures of limestone on the coasts of the Mediterranean, but these are 
probably referable in many cases to the recent epoch. They are recorded as 
occurring at Gibraltar (Buckland), Cette, St. Antoin and Perpignan (Cuvier), 
Nice (Risso), and Sardinia (Wagner, Nitzsch and Marmora). 

I may here mention the remarkable instances of birds which belong to the 
existing epoch of the world, but have become extinct in recent times. The 
first is the well-known case of the Dodo, a bird insulated alike in structure 
and in locality, and which being unable to fly, and confined to one or two 
small islands, was speedily exterminated by the thoughtless pioneers of civili- 
zation. Most fortunately a head and foot of this bird still exist in the Ash- 
molean, and another foot in the British Museum ; and with these data, aided 
by the descriptions of the old navigators, we are in some degree informed as 
to the structure and natural history of this anomalous creature. The memoirs 
on the Dodo by Mr. Duncan in the ' Zoological Journal,' vol. iii., and by M. 
De Blainville in the ' Nouvelles Annales du Museum d'Hist. Nat.,' vol. iv., are 
highly interesting, and there is an admirable synopsis of the whole subject 
from the pen of Mr. Broderip in the ' Penny Cyclopaedia,' article Dodo. 

The bird described by Leguat (Voyage to the East Indies, 1708,) as in- 
habiting the island of Rodriguez so recently as 1691, and termed by him Le 

214 REPORT — 1844. 

Solitaire, appears evidently to have been another lost species of terrestrial 
bird distinct from the Dodo, and more allied in its characters to existing 
species of Struthionidce. It is therefore probable that the supposed bones of 
the Dodo, described by Cuvier as found beneath a bed of lava in the Mauritius, 
but which M. Quoy states to have been in fact brought from Rodriguez, as 
well as the bones from the latter island presented by Mr. Tel fair to the Zoolo- 
gical Society (Proc.Zool.Soc, part i. p.31), butwhich have been unfortunately 
mislaid, belonged, not to the Dodo, as Cuvier supposed, but to the Solitaire. 
On this supposition we can the better account for a fact which threw doubt 
at the time upon Cuvier's identification of the bones at Paris, namely, that the 
sternum in this collection presented a mesial ridge, indicating strong pectoral 
muscles. Novv Leguat tells us that the Solitaire, though unable to fly, had 
its wings enlarged at the end into a knob, with which it attacked its enemies, 
a structure which would require large pectoral muscles and a sternal crest. 
These bones and others, said to be from the Mauritius, in the Andersonian 
Museum at Glasgow and at Copenhagen, require further investigation, and 
every additional fragment that can be recovered from the caverns or alluvial 
beds of Mauritius, Rodriguez, or Bourbon, ought to be most carefully pre- 

The island of Bourbon appears to have been inhabited at a recent date by 
two species of birds allied to, but distinct from, the Dodo of Mauritius and 
the Solitaire of Rodriguez. I lately found in a MS. journal given by the late 
Mr. Telfair to the Zoological Society, an exact and circumstantial account of 
two species of Struthious birds which inhabited Bourbon in 1670 (Zool. Pro- 
ceedings, April 23, 18M, Ann. Nat. Hist., and Phil. Mag., Nov. IS**). It ap- 
pears then that this small oceanic group of islands possessed several distinct 
species of this anomalous family, the whole of which were exterminated soon 
after the islands became tenanted by man. 

Evidence of the recent existence and probable extinction of another Stru- 
thious bird has very lately come to light in New Zealand, where its bones are 
occasionally met with in the alluvium of rivers. The first portion that was 
brought to this country was a very imperfect fragment of a femur, which 
Professor Owen did not hesitate to assign to an extinct gigantic bird allied to 
the Emeu (Trans, of Zool. Soc, vol. iii. p. 29). This bold conclusion, which 
from the imperfection of the data seemed prophetic rather than inductive, was 
speedily confirmed by the arrival of fresh consignments of bones, and we are 
now in possession of a considerable portion of the skeleton of this ornithic 
monster, which has been appropriately named by Professor Owen Dinornis. 
That skilful anatomist has even been enabled, from the materials already re- 
ceived, to point out no less i\vAnJive species of this genus, differing in stature 
and the proportions of their parts (Proc. Zool. Soc, Oct. IS^S). These birds, 
if extinct, must have become so in very recent times, and probably through 
human agency ; but it is as yet by no means certain that they do not still in- 
habit the unexplored interior of the middle island of the New Zealand group. 
See notices by Rev. W. Cotton in ' Zool. Proc.,' ISiS, and by the Rev. W. 
Colenso in the ' Tasmanian Journal,' reprinted in the ' Annals of Nat. Hist.,' 
vol. xiv. 

Another very interesting bird of the same region, the Apteryx, is now 
threatened with the fate which has befallen the Dodo and (as presumed) the 
Dinornis. Civilized man has already upset the balance of animal life in New 
Zealand. It is stated by Dieffenbach that Cats, originally introduced by the 
colonists, have multiplied greatly in the woods and are rapidly reducing the 
numbers of the Apteryx, as well as of other birds, so that unless some Anti- 
podean Waterton will disinterestedly enclose a park for their preservation, 


these extraordinary productions of the Creator's hand will soon perish from 
the face of the earth. 

8. Ortiithological Museums. 

The conservation of specimens for the purpose of reference is no less essen- 
tial to the progress of zoology than the description of species in books, and 
in the case of ornithology there certainly is no scarcity of collections, both 
public and private, of illustrative specimens. Unfortunately, indeed, classifi- 
cation, which is no less important, though far less easy, than accumulation, is 
too often wanting or imperfect in such repositories, and their scientific utility 
is thus very greatly diminished. I may congratulate the zoological world, 
however, that this is no longer the condition of our great national collection, 
the British Museum. Without adverting to the immense improvements intro- 
duced in the last few years into all its other departments, I need only remark 
that the ornithological gallery, from the beauty of its arrangements and the 
extent of its collections, rivals, if not exceeds, the first museums of the conti- 
nent. The scientific classification of the specimens is making great progress, 
under the able superintendence of the two Messrs. Gray, and ornithologists 
will soon possess in this collection a standard model which may be applied 
with advantage to other museums. This latter object will be greatly aided 
by the recent publication of catalogues, scientifically arranged by Mr. Gray, 
of all the species contained in the museum. 

These catalogues, which are brought out in an accessible form, are calcu- 
lated to be of great service to science. The classification and the scientific 
nomenclature are based on sound principles, and are corrected by the latest 
observations of zoologists, and every specimen is separately enumerated, with 
its locality and the name of its donor, which is especially important in a col- 
lection containing the type-specimens, from which original descriptions have 
been made. The zoological catalogues of the British Museum will now be- 
come standard works of reference, exhibiting both the riches and the deside- 
rata of our national collection, and setting an example which we may hope to 
see followed by the great public museums abroad. The catalogue of the 
Mammalia was published last year; of the Birds, the Accipitres, Gallince, 
Gralla and Anseres are already issued, and the other portions will speedily 
follow. Dr. Hartlaub has been the first to profit by this spirited example, and 
has published an excellent catalogue of birds in the Bremen Museum. 

Another collection, of almost equal value, is that of the Zoological Society, 
now in progress of arrangement in a new building at the Society's Gardens. 
Among private cabinets I may mention Mr. Gould's Australian collection 
as one which possesses a peculiar scientific value. It consists of selected 
specimens of the entire ornithology of Australia, the sexes, dates and locali- 
ties of each being indicated, and as these specimens form the standard author- 
ities for the accuracy of Mr. Gould's figures and descriptions, we may hope 
that this unique collection may be preserved for reference in some permanent 
repository. But I must abstain from further details, as it would be impossible 
to give anything like a fair report on the individual merits of the numerous 
ornithological museums now extant without a far more extended personal in- 
spection of them than I have had opportunity to make. It may however 
assist the student to be furnished with a list of all the more important col- 
lections of birds which have come to my knowledge (though many others 
doubtless exist) ; and I shall ventui'e on no other criticism of them than 
merely to distinguish those general collections which are of first-rate im- 
portance by Capitals, and those which are confined to British ornithology 
by Italics. 

216 REPORT — 1844. 

ENGLAND : — Public Museums. — London (1. British Museum ; 2. Zoologi- 
cal Society ; 3. East India Company; 4. Linnrean Society ; 5. United Service 
Institution ; 6. College of Surgeons ; 7. London Missionary Society) ; Newcastle- 
on-Tyne ; Carlisle ; Kendal ; Durham ; Scarborough ; Leeds ; York ; Lancaster ; 
Manchester ; Liverpool (Royal Institution) ; Nottingham ; Derby ; Chester ; Shrews- 
bury; Ludlow; Hereford; Burton-on-Trent ; Birmingham (School of Medicine) ; 
Warwick ; Cambridge ; Norwich ; Bury St. Edmunds ; Saffron Walden ; Oxford ; 
Worcester ; Cheltenham ; Bristol ; Plymouth ; Bridport ; Gosport (Haslar Hos- 
pital) ; Chichester ; Rochester ; Chatham (Fort Pitt) ; Canterbury ; Margate. 

Private Museums. — Eahl of Derby, Knowsley ; Lord Say and Sele, Erith ; Earl 
of Malmesbury, Christchurch, Hants ; Messrs. Hancock and Dr. Charlton, New- 
castle ; P. J. Selby, Twizell ; Dr. Hcysham, Carlisle; — Crossthwaite, Keswick; 
J. R. Wallace, Distington, Cumberland; — Newell, Littleborough, Lancashire ; A. 
Strickland, Bridlington Quay ; /. Hall, Scarborough ; C. Waterton, Walton Hall ; 
W. H. R. Read, York ; G. S. Foljambe, Osberton ; Rev. A. Padley, Nottingham ; 
H. Sandbach, Liverpool ; Rev. T. Gisborne, Yoxall, Staffordshire ; T. C. Eyton, Don- 
nerville, Shropshire; J. Walcot, Worcester; H. E. Strickland, Oxford; Rev. Dr. 
Thackeray, Cambridge ; J. H. Gurney, Earlham Hill, Norfolk ; R. Hammond, Swaff- 
ham ; Rev. G. Steward, Caistor ; E. Lombe, Melton Hall, Norfolk ; Rev. C. Penrice, 
Plumstead ; /. R. Wheeler, Wokingham ; — Dunning, Maidstone ; C. Tomkim, 
M.D., Abingdon ; W. V. Guise, Rendcomb ; T. B. L. Baker, Hardwicke, Gloucester ; 
Rev. A. Mathew, Kilve, Somerset ; Dr. Roberts, Bridport ; Dr. E. Moore, Plymouth ; 
J. H. Rodd, Trebartha, Cornwall ; H. Doubleday, Epping; W. Yarrell, J. Gould, 
J. Leadbeater, and G. Loddiges, London. 

WALES : — Private. — L. L. Dillwyn, Swansea. 

SCOTLAND :— Public— Edinburgh ; Glasgow (1. Hunterian Museum ; 2. An- 
dersonian Museum ; 3. King's College) ; Aberdeen ; St. Andrew's ; Kelso ; Dumfries. 

Private. — Sir W. Jardine, Jardine Hall ; Capt. H. M. Drummond, Meggineh 
Castle, Errol ; E. Sinclair, Wick ; Duke of Roxburgh, Fleurs ; Dr. Parnell, Edin- 

IRELAND :— Public— Dublin (1. Royal Dublin Society; 2. Natural History 
Society; 3. Ordnance Collection; 4. Trinity College) ; Belfast Museum. 

Private. — Dr. Farran and T. W. Warren, Dublin ; Dr. BtirJcitf, Waterford ; Dr. 
Harvey, Cork ; J. V. Stewart, Rockhill, Donegal ; R. Davis, Clonmel ; Rev. T. Knox, 
Toomavara ; W. Thompson, Belfast. 

FRANCE: — Public. — Paris; Strasburg ; Bordeaux; Clermont; Lyons; Bou- 
logne ; Caen ; Rouen ; Metz ; Epinal ; Marseilles ; Avignon ; Aries ; Nismes ; Mont- 

Private. — Prince Massena, Paris ; MM. Baillon and De Lamotte, Abbeville ; Les- 
son, Rochefort ; Allard, Montbrisson ; Baron de Lafresnaye, Falaise ; Fieuret, Bifferi, 
Boursier,and Jourdan, Lyons ; Crespon, Nismes ; Degland, Lille ; Bequillet, Toulouse. 

BELGIUM: — Public. — Brussels; Ghent; Louvain ; Liege ; Cologne (Jesuits' 
College) ; Tournay. 

Private. — M. Kets, Antwerp; L. F. Paret, Ostend ; M. Dubus, Brussels. 

HOLLAND :— Public— Leyden ; Haarlem. 

DENMARK :— Public— Copenhagen. 

NORWAY:— Public — Christiania ; Bergen; Drontheim. 

Private. — Prof. Esmark, Christiania. 

SWEDEN :— Public— Stockholm ; Lund; Upsal ; Gottenburg. 

Private. — Mr. R. Dann, Sioloholm, Gottenburg. 

RUSSIA : — Public. — St. Petersburg ; Moscow ; Casan ; Odessa. 

PRUSSIA :— Public— Berlin. 

AUSTRIA :— Public— Vienna ; Trieste ; Laibach. 

WESTERN GERMANY: — Public— Bonn; Mannheim; Mayence ; Frank- 
fort-on-Main ; Darmstadt; Heidelberg; Karlsruhe; Freiburg; Munich; Stut- 
gart ; Dresden ; Gottingen ; Greifswald ; Bremen. 

Private. — Prince Maximilian, Neuwied ; C. L. Brehm ; J. A. Nauraann, Dessau ; 
Dr. Hartlaub, Bremen. 

SWITZERLAND: — Public— Basle; Neufchatel ; Berne; Soleure ; Geneva; 
Fribourg (Jesuits' College) ; Sion (Jesuits' College). 


ITALY: — Public. — Turin; Pavia; Parma; Bologna; Florence; Rome (Aca- 
demia della Sapienza) ; Genoa; Nice; Pisa; Naples. 

Private. — Prince nf Canino, Rome ; Prince Aldobrandini, Frascati ; Marchese 
Costa, Chambery ; Marchese Breme, Turin ; Signor Passerini, Florence ; C. Du- 
razzo, Genoa ; Count Contarini, Venice ; Contessa Borgia, Velletri ; Signor Ante- 
nori, Perugia ; Signor Costa, Naples. 

SPAIN :— Public— Madrid ; Gibraltar. 

IONIAN ISLANDS:— Public— Corfu. 

GREECE :— Public— Athens. 

MALTA : — Private. — Signor Schembri. 

NORTH AMERICA :— Public— Montreal ; Cambridge; Salem; Philadelphia 
(1. Academy of Sciences; 2. Peale's Museum) ; Charleston; New York ; Mexico. 

Private. — Signor Constancia, Guatemala. 

AFRICA :— Public— Cape Town. 

INDIA :— Public— Calcutta. 

Private. — T. C. Jerdon, Nellore. 

AUSTRALIA :— Public— Sydney ; Hobart Town. 

In connexion with Museums, the subject of Taxidermy may be briefly 
noticed. Although in acquiring the somewhat difficult art of preparing the 
skins of birds for collections, practice is far more important than precept, 
yet useful hints may often be obtained from the treatises which have been 
published on the subject. Among the best of these may be mentioned Mrs. 
Lee's ' Taxidermy,' Swainson's ' Taxidermy ' in ' Lardner's Cycloptedia,' 
Waterton's ' Wanderings,' and his ' Essays in Natural History,' Boitard's 
* Manuel du Naturaliste Preparateur,' Brehm's ' Kunst Vogel als Balge zu- 
bereiten,' &c., Weimar, and Kaup's ' Classification der Saugthiere und Vogel,' 
Darmstadt, 1844. 

Ornithological Libraries. — It is needless to enumerate all the scientific li- 
braries in which the subject of ornithology is adequately represented, espe- 
cially as the museums above-mentioned are in most cases accompanied with 
appropriate collections of books. Of libraries unconnected with museums I 
may notice, as especially useful to the ornithological student, the Radcliffe 
at Oxford, the Eoyal Societies of London and of Edinburgh, and the fine 
collection of zoological works formed by Mr. Grut of Edinburgh, to whom I 
am indebted for access to several rare works. 

9. Desiderata of Ornithology. 

Having now given an account of the recent progress and present state of 
Ornithology, I will conclude with pointing out the desiderata of the science, 
showing the deficiencies which require to be supplied in order to refine the 
crude mass of knowledge already extracted from the mine, and to make fur- 
ther researches into the storehouses of Nature. 

1. There is a great want of increased precision and uniformity in the value 
of the genera, and of the superior groups which various authors have intro- 
duced into ornithology. All groups of the same rank are supposed in theory 
to possess characters of the same value or amount of importance, and the 
object of the naturalist should be to bring them as nearly as possible to this 
state of equality. It must indeed be admitted, that no certain test seems to 
have been yet discovered for weighing the value of zoological characters. 
The importance of the same character manifestly varies in diflerent depart- 
ments of nature, and must therefore be estimated by moral rather than by 
demonstrative evidence. The real test of the value of a structural character 
ought to be its influence on the economy of the living animal, but here we 
too often have to lament our ignorance or our false inductions, and in many 
cases we are wholly unable to detect the relations between structure and 

218 REPOET — 1844. 

function. More definite principles of classification maj' hereafter be dis- 
covered, and meantime all that we can do is to arrange our systems accord- 
ing to sound reason and without theoretical prepossession. By care and 
judgement much may be done to give greater regularity and exactness to our 
methods of classification, either by introducing new groups where the im- 
portance of certain characters requires it, or by rejecting such as have been 
proposed by others on insufficient grounds. At the present day many authors 
are in the habit of founding what they term " neio genera " upon the most 
trifling characters, and thus drowning knowledge beneath a deluge of names. 
As this is a point of great importance to the welfare of zoology in general, 
I may be excused for dwelling on it for a few moments. 

In the subdividing of larger groups into genera, even in the strictest con- 
formity with the natural method, there is evidently no other rule but conve- 
nience to determine how far this process shall be carried. However closely 
the species of a group may be allied, yet as long as anj^ one or more of them 
possess a character which is Avanting to the remainder, it will always be in 
the power of any person to partition off" such species and to give them a ge- 
neric name. Take the very natural group Parus for instance, as restricted 
by most modern authors (i. e. Parus of Linnaeus, deducting JEgithalus 
and Panuriis). First we may separate the long-tailed species, and follow 
Leacli in calling it generically 3Iecistura. Of the remaining Pari, we may 
make a genus of the crested species (P. cristatus), then another of the blue 
species with short beaks (P. cceruleus, &c.), a third of the black and yellow 
group (P. major, &c.), and a fourth of the gray species (P. palustris, &c.). 
(JN.B. Generic names have actually been given to these groups by Kaup in 
his ' Skizzirte Entwickelungsgeschichte der Europaischen Thierwelt.'] But 
another author may go still further, and may again subdivide the groups 
above enumerated, a process which would lead to the absurd result of making 
as many genera as there are species, or in other words, of giving to each 
species tioo specific names and no geneiic one. Therefore genera should not 
be subdivided further than is practicallg convenient for the purpose of fixing 
really important characters in the memory ; and seeing that there are already 
more than 1000 genera provided for the 5000 species of birds (which are 
probably all that can be said to be accurately known) it seems evidently in- 
expedient to increase the number of genera, except in the comparatively rare 
cases where new forms are discovered, or really important and peculiar struc- 
tures have been overlooked. 

The precise rank in the scale of successive generalizations which shall be oc- 
cupied by those groups which we leYva genera is then a matter oi convenience, 
and consequently of opiiiion. Nature affords us no other test of the just limits 
of a genus (or indeed of any other group), than the estimate of its value 
which a competent and judicious naturalist may form. The boundaries of 
genera will therefore always be liable in some degree to fluctuate, but this is 
unavoidable, and it is a less evil than to give an unlimited license to the sub- 
division of groups and the manufacture of names. The only remedy for 
this excessive multiplication of genera, is for subsequent authors who think 
such genera too trivial, not to adopt them, but to retain the old genus in 
which they were formerly included*. 

♦ It is usual where this is done to retain the groups, which are thus deprived of a generic 
rank, under the title o( subgenera. There appear to me however to be great objections to the 
adoption of subgeneric names in zoology. First, it would introduce into a science already 
overloaded by the weight of its terminology, an additional set of names «hose rank is not 
(like that of families, subfamilies and genera) indicated by the/orinof the word, but which are 
undistinguishable to the eye from real generic names, and would therefore be perpetually con- 
founded with them. Secondly, subgenera would greatly interfere with the harmonious working 



We may obtain a great amount of fixity, in the position at least, if not 
in the extent of our groups, by invariably selecting a type, to be permanently 
referred to as a standard of comparison. Every family, for instance, should 
have its type-subfamily, every subfamily its type-genus, and every genus its 
type-species. But it must not be supposed, with some theorists, that these 
types really exist as such in nature ; they are merely examples or illustrations 
selected for convenience to serve as permanent fixed points in our groups, 
whatever be the extent which we may give to their boundaries. By adhering 
to this notion of types we may often indicate these groups with greater pre- 
cision than it is possible to do by means of definition alone. 

2. Another desideratum in ornithology is to discover some sure mode of 
distinguishing real species from local varieties. The naturalists of one school 
are disposed to attribute nearly all specific distinction to the accidental in- 
fluence of external agents, while others regard the most trivial characters 
which the eye can detect as indicating real and permanent species. Between 
these two extremes, the judicious and practised naturalist has seldom much 
difficulty in keeping a middle course, and perhaps in ornithology the cases 
of ambiguity are less frequent than in many other departments of nature ; 
still the student will be sometimes at a loss to distinguish between those cha- 
racters which were impressed on a species at its creation, and those which 
may be reasonably attributed to external agents, and we must look for fur- 
ther research to solve these difficulties. 

3. We are greatly in want of more information as to the habits, anatomy, 
oology, and geographical distribution of the majority of exotic species. 
With no other data than are furnished by dried skins, we are too often com- 
pelled to guess at, rather than to demonstrate, the true affinities of species. 
However essential may be the arrangement of specimens in museums, they 
supply only a portion of the requisite evidence, and a vast and fascinating 
field of research awaits the naturalist who shall devote himself to observing, 
as well as collecting, the ornithology of foreign regions*. The anatomy 
of many genera and even families of birds is wholly unknown, and it would 
be well if some student would devote himself especially to this department, 
and endeavour to make a classification of birds by their anatomical characters 
alone. If such a system were found to coincide with the arrangements which 
have been based on external characters, the strongest proof would be fur- 
nished of its reality and truth. 

4. There yet remain many extensive regions of the world, of whose orni- 
thology we know little or nothing. Great as have been the zoological col- 
lections made of late years by individuals and governments, there is still 
much virgin soil for the naturalist to cultivate. The birds of the vast Chi- 
nese empire are only known by the rude paintings of the natives, though 

of the " binomial method," that mainspring of modern systematic nomenclature; for one author 
would habitually indicate species by their generic and another by their subgeneric names, and 
the same word would be sometimes used in a generic, sometimes in a subgeneric sense, so that 
instead of a uniformity of language being adopted by zoologists, nothing but a vague and 
capricious uncertainty would result. If it were possible to establish a uniform system of 
trinomial nomenclature, so as always to indicate every species by its generic and subgeneric 
as well as by its specific name, the use of subgenera might indeed be tolerated, but such a me- 
thod would be far too cumbrous and oppressive for practice, and I must therefore enter my 
humble protest against subgeneric names altogether. Not that I object to the subdividing 
large genera for convenience of reference into defined though anonymous groups ; but let not 
these groups be designated by proper names, unless their characters be sufficiently prominent 
to warrant generic distinction. 

* Collectors would double the value of their specimens if they would invariably attach to 
them a small label, stating at least the sex, date, and locality, and adding any other observa- 
tions which they may be able to make. 

220 REPORT — 1844. 

nothing would be easier than to instruct those ingenious people in the art of 
collecting specimens. We obtain, too often indeed in a mutilated state, the 
"audy Paradisiidce of New Guinea, but the less attractive birds of that 
countr)', as well as of the whole Polynesian archipelago, are almost unknown. 
From Madagascar a few remarkable species have been occasionally sent to 
Europe, but the peculiarly insulated fauna of that island, partaking neither 
of an African nor an Asiatic character, is still very imperfectly explored. 
Even our own colonies of the West Indies and Honduras have been regarded 
only with a commercial, and not with a scientific eye, and their ornithology 
affords to this day — with shame be it spoken — an almost untrodden field of 
inquiry. Morocco, Eastern Africa, Arabia, Persia, Ceylon, the Azores, and 
the rocks and billows of the southern ocean, present ample materials for the 
future researches of the ornithologist, and will doubtless furnish many new 
generic and specific forms. 

5. Besides the collecting of new species, the correct determination of those 
already described is no less important. The names and characters of species 
are scattered through such an infinity of works, and are often so vaguely 
defined, that the apparent number of known species far exceeds the real one, 
and much critical labour is required to reduce the nominal species to their 
actual limits. Having myself devoted much time to this department of or- 
nithology, I have found that the number of synonyms is nearly threefold 
that of the species to which they refer, and it is important that the further 
growth of this evil should be checked by the publication of exact lists of 
species and their synonyms. 

6. This vast multiplication of nominal species mainly results from the great 
number of scientific periodical works now issuing in all parts of the civilized 
world, and which it is almost impossible for any one person to consult. This 
is an unavoidable consequence of the great diffusion of knowledge at the 
present day, but the inconvenience which results from it might be much di- 
minished if some method were adopted of centralizing the mass of scientific 
information which is daily poured forth. It is much to be wished that some 
publication like the excellent but extinct ' Bulletin des Sciences ' were again 
established, containing abstracts of all the important matter in other scien- 
tific works; or if this were found too great an undertaking, a periodical 
which should merely announce the titles of the articles contained in all other 
scientific Journals and Transactions as they are published, would be a most 
useful indicator to the working naturalist. Perhaps the nearest approach to- 
wards supplying this desideratum at present, is made by the French scientific 
newspaper ' L'lnstitut,' and in Germany by Oken's ' Isis,' and Wiegmann's 
' Archiv.' We shall shortly too possess an alphabetical index to all works and 
memoirs on zoology, through the praiseworthy efforts of Prof. Agassiz, whose 
gigantic undertaking, the ' Bibliographia Zoologica ,' is no w ready for the press. 

7. The science of ornithology would be much advanced if a greater number 
of persons would devote themselves to the general subject. The majority of 
those who now study it, or form collections, confine themselves to the birds 
of their own country, under an impression that general ornithology is too 
wide a field for them to enter upon. They often are not aware at how small 
an expenditure of money or space a very large general collection may be 
formed. By adopting the plan first recommended by Mr. Swainson, of 
keeping the skins of birds in drawers, instead of mounting them in glazed 
cabinets, the collector may arrange many thousand specimens in a room of 
ordinary size, and have them at all times ready for reference and study. Or 
if the ornithologist considers a general collection too cumbrous, he may de- 
vote himself to the study and arrangement of particular groups, and supply 


the science with valuable monographs. Such a course would be of far 
greater service to zoology, as well as more interesting to the student, than if 
he were to confine himself to the almost exhausted subject of European or 
British ornithology. 

8. The last point which I shall notice is the prevailing want of scientific 
arrangement in our ornithological museums, both public and private. I have 
seen few collections in this country in which anything more is attempted than 
a general sorting of the specimens into their orders, and families, and fewer 
still in which the generic and specific distinctions are indicated by systematic 
arrangement and uniformity of labelling. It is needless to remark how 
essential classification is to the scientific utility of a museum, but some excuse 
for the general want of it may be found in the scarcity of suitable works to 
serve as guides in arrangement. Now, however, by following the code of 
zoological nomenclature adopted by this Association (Report for 1842), and 
by taking as models the excellent ' Catalogues of the British Museum,' and 
Mr. G. R. Gray's ' Genera of Birds,' the scientific curators of museums can be 
no longer at a loss, and Ave may hope soon to see a great reform effected in the 
arrangement of our ornithological collections. 

In concluding this sketch of the progress and prospects of Ornithology, I 
must apologize for many imperfections and omissions which are unavoidable 
in treating of so extensive a subject. A person with more time at command 
and more favourably circumstanced for consulting authorities, would doubt- 
less have rendered this Report more complete, but I trust that it may be of 
some use in guiding the student to the sources of his information, and in 
pointing out the best methods of advancing this fascinating department of 
scientific zoology. 

Report of Committee appointed to conduct Observations on Subterranean 
Temperature in Ireland. By Thomas Oldham, Esq. 

In pursuance of this object thermometers were placed, in August ISiS, in 
the deepest part of the Knockmahon Copper Mines in the County of Water- 
ford ; one being sunk three feet into the rock, and another into the lode at a 
depth of 774 feet from the surface. A thermometer of ordinary construc- 
tion was hung in the gallery or level where these were placed, and another 
fixed four feet from the level of the ground at surface in shade, all protected 
from radiation, &c. By the zealous assistance of Mr. J. Petherick, the agent 
of the Mining Company of Ireland, arrangements were made that all these 
should be regularly read by the underground captains. It was intended to 
have completed an entire year's observations, but the necessity for extending 
the working of the mine in that part obliged the instruments to be removed 
in July 184'4. 

The readings are given in full in the tables, the necessary corrections 
having been made to reduce them all to the same standard. 

These mines are in lat. 52° 8' north, and the mean annual temperature at 
the surface calculated by the usual formula would, therefore, be 50°*026. 

The general average of the thermometers at the depth of 774 feet, and the 
maxima and minima, were as follows : — 

Average. Maximum. Minimum. 

In air 5°7-176 58'5 56*25 

In rock or country . . 57-369 58*5 56-25 

In lode 57-915 58-5 57*25 

222 REPORT— 1844. 

being a difference in excess of the rock over the air of "IDS, or nearly '2 of 
a degree, and of the lode over the rock of -546. 

Taking the temperature of the rock thus determined as tlie general average, 
it siiows an increase of 7°'34'3 Fahr. for a depth of 774 feet, or deducting 
100 feet for the line of no variation, we have 7°*343 for 674 feet, or 1° for 
91-82 feet. 

This is a much lower rate of increase than has been noticed in general 
hitherto. It was found necessary in the present case to fix the instruments 
not far from being perpendicularly under the sea, the shaft of the mine being 
nearly on the edge of the cliff, which is here 70 to 75 feet high. If there- 
fore we should allow- for this difference, and consider the sea level as the 
surface, we shall iiave a depth of 600 feet corresponding to 7°'343 Fahr., or 
1°=81°"74 feet, still, after making every allowance, a slower rate of increase 
than usually observed. 

Another important circumstance which seems to be fully established by 
these observations, is the fact that there was a gradual though slight dimi- 
nution of the temperature as the observations proceeded. Thus, if we take 
the average of the first half of the observations for the tliermometer in air 
at the bottom, and compare it with the average of the last half, we find the 
result thus : 

First half, from August to January . . . 57'613 
Last half, from January to July .... 56*697 

Difference '916 

the diminution being nearly one degree. 

Similarly, the thermometer in the rock gives as an average for the first 
half 57-718 ; for tlie last half 57*044 ; the difference being -674. 
The thermometer in the lode gives, — 

First half 58*000 

Last half 57-675 

Difference . . . -325 

a smaller difference than in the last cases ; but this instrument, it should be 
remembered, was not fixed for four months after the others. 

That this diminution was a gradually increasing one would become evident 
from comparing the results more in detail ; but the general fact seems abun- 
dantly established, that so far from the operations of mining, the men em- 
ployed, the lights, blasting, &c., having the result of increasing the tempera- 
ture below, this temperature constantly and gradually decreased as these opera- 
tions became more extensive. 

It may be mentioned, in connection with the observations here given, that 
it is also the impression of the miners employed in these mines, many of 
whom have also worked in Cornwall, America, &c., tliat it is the coolest copper- 
mine they ever wrought in. 

In addition to these observations, arrangements have been made for a 
similar series in other mines, where the rocks are of a different character, 
but as yet no results have been obtained sufficient to report to the Associa- 

Of the £10 granted at the last meeting of the Association for these expe- 
riments, £5 has been expended for the repairs of instruments, carriage, &c. 

T. Oldham. 

[To this Report was appended a register of all observations from August 
7, 1843, to July 13, 1844.] 


Report on the extinct Mammals of Australia, loith Descriptions of cer- 
tain Fossils indicative of the former Existence in that Continent of 
large Marsupial Representatives of the Order Pachydermata. 
By Prof. Owen, F.R.S. 

The fossil bones discovered by Major (now Colonel Sir T. L.) Mitchell, in 
the ossiferous caves of Wellington Valley, and described in the Appendix to 
his ' Expeditions into the Interior of Australia,' established the former exist- 
ence in that continent, during the period apparently corresponding with that 
of the deposition of our post-pliocene unstratified drift, of species of Wombat 
(Phascolomi/s), Potoroo (ITi/psiprt/mnus), Phalanger (Phalangista), Kanga- 
roo (Macroptts), and Dasyure (Dasi/urus) ; but not any of the remains were 
referrible to the known existing species of those genei'a, whilst some of the 
extinct species, as the Macropus Titan and Macropus Atlas, greatly exceeded 
in size the largest known Kangaroos*. The fossil Dasyure (Das. laniarms) 
also far surpassed in bulk any of the known Dasyures now living in Australia, 
and more than equalled the largest existing species (Dasgurus ursinus), 
which is confined to Van Diemen's Land. The fossil lower jaw, which, from 
the width of the dental interspaces, I was led to doubt, in 1838, whether to 
refer to the Dasyurus laniarius or to " some extinct marsupial carnivore of 
an allied but distinct speciesf," I have subsequently been able to identify, 
generically, with the Thylacinus, by comparison with the skull of that species, 
— the Hyaena of the Tasmanian colonists, — which I have lately received through 
the kindness of Sir John Franklin :{:. In addition to the fossils thus generically 
allied to the peculiar marsupial Mammalia of the Australian continent and 
adjacent islands, I likewise detected in one specimen § an indication of a 
species surpassing in size any of the others, and with characters so peculiar 
as to justify me in regarding it as generically distinct from all known recent 
or fossil Mammalia, and for which I proposed the name Diprotodon \\ , subse- 
quently referring it to the same marsupial family as the Wombat^. 

Since the period of the examination of the fossils above alluded to, Sir 
Thomas Mitchell has at different times transmitted other mammalian fossils 
to Dr. Buckland and myself, from the plains of Darling Downs ; the College 
of Surgeons has received from Dr. Hobson, of Melbourne, South Australia, 
remains of large extinct Mammalia discovered by Mr. Mayne in recent ter- 
tiary or post-pliocene deposits of the district of Melbourne ; and I have been 
favoured by Count Strzelecki with the opportunity of examining the collec- 
tion of fossils obtained by that enterprising and accomplished traveller whilst 
exploring the cave district of Wellington Valley in 1842. 

In the notices of some of these fossils which I have communicated to the 
' Annals of Natural History,' the former existence of a large Mastodontoid 
quadruped was first indicated** by a fossil femur; the gigantic Proboscidian 
being subsequently determined, by a molar tooth obtained by Count Strze- 
lecki from a bone-cave in the interior of Australia, to have been very nearly 
allied to the Mastodon angustidetis-\-\ . 

* Mitchell's ' Three Expeditions into the Interior of Australia,' 8vo, 1838, vol.ii. p. 359. 

t lb. p. 363. 

X Entire and well-preserved bodies of the Thylacine have since been transmitted by 
Ronald Gunn, Esq. to the Royal College of Surgeons. 

§ Mitchell, toe. cit., pi. 31, figs. 1 and 2. 

II lb. p. 362. The name has reference to the two large incisive tusks in the lower jaw, a 
type of dentition common to several existing marsaipial genera, but displayed on a compara- 
tively gigantic scale by the extinct quadruped in question. 

H ' Phascolomyidae,' Classification of Marsupialia, Zoological Transactions, vol. ii. p. 332. 

** Annals of Natm-al History, vol. xiii., May 1843, p. 329. ft lb., vol. xiv. p. 268. 

224 REPORT — 1844. 

This is the only Australian fossil of the Mammiferous class which I have 
hitherto been able to refer with certainty to an extra-Australian genus. 

A portion of a molar tooth presenting characters very like those of the 
molars of both the Mastodon giganteus and the Dinotherium, described and 
figured in my first memoir on the Mastodontoid femur*, I was subsequently 
enabled to refer, in a notice of the true Mastodon's molar, to the genus Di- 

The present Report is designed to give additional information of the na- 
ture and affinities of the Diprotodon, as well as of two species of an allied 
but distinct genus of large Pachydermoid marsupials ; such information ha- 
ving been derived from an examination and comparison of the series of fossils 
from the three distinct and remote localities in the continent of Australia 

Genus Diprotodon. 

Species D. australis. 
The most decisive specimen of this species consists of the anterior extre- 
mity of the right ramus of the lower jaw, exhibiting the rough articular sur- 
face of the broad and deep symphysis, the base of the large incisive tusk, the 
second and third molars, and the socket of the first. The third molar is 
the most entire ; its grinding surface is produced into two high subcompressed 
transverse ridges, placed one before the other ; there is also a ridge along both 
the anterior and the posterior parts of the base of the crown. The exposed 
commencement of the fangs is invested M'ith a thick coating of cement ; a 
portion of this substance also remains in the interspace between the posterior 
eminence and its basal ridge ; the enamel is thick and presents a rugose or 
finely-reticulate and punctate exterior, the perforations being seen at the 
fractured margins to lead to smooth pits extending a little way into the 
enamel. The antero-posterior diameter of this tooth is two inches, the trans- 
verse diameter is one inch three lines ; the extent of the three sockets of the 
molars is four inches five lines ; they progressively diminish in size from the 
third to the first. The second molar is much narrower than the third, but 
its crown seems also, by the form of the broken surface, to have supported 
two principal transverse eminences and an anterior and posterior basal ridge ; 
its antero-posterior extent is one inch and a half, its transverse diameter at 
the posterior division, where it is thickest, is nine lines; the coronal ridges 
are broken off. The first or anterior molar is lost, but its socket shows that 
it was implanted, like the other molai-s, by two fangs. The anterior part of 
the symphysis and crown of the large incisor are broken off; the extent from 
the first molar to the fractured end measures six inches three lines ; the upper 
border of this tract manifests no trace of tooth or socket. The incisive tusk 
extends forwards and slightly upwards ; it is subcompressed, measuring one 
inch and a half in the vertical diameter and nearly one inch in transverse 
diameter ; it has a partial coating of enamel, which extends over the inferior 
part of the internal and the lower two-thirds of the external surface of the 
tusk ; the enamel has the same rugose punctate outer surface as that of 
the molar teeth. The large size of the dental canal exposed by the posterior 
fracture of the ramus indicates the ample supply of vessels and nerves which 
ministered to the growth and nutrition of the incisive tusk; the great depth 
of the symphysis of the jaw gave the required strength for the operations of 
the tusk, and space for its support and for the lodgement of its large per- 
sistent matrix. The vertical diameter of the symphysis of the jaw anterior to 
the molar series is four inches. The symphysial surface, contrasted with the 

* Annals of Natiual History, vol. xiii. p. 329. 


molar teetli, seems enormous, much exceeding that of any Rhinoceros, and 
almost equalling the same part in the deep-jawed Hippopotamus ; its antero- 
posterior extent to the fractured end of the jaw is six inches, its vertical dia- 
meter three inches, its direction is obliquely from below upwards and forwards, 
its Aipper or posterior margin nearly straight, its lower or anterior one convex ; 
it stands out a very little way from the vertical plane of the inner surface of 
the ramus. The thickest part of the symphysis of the jaw does not exceed 
three inches, that is, at its lower part, which is convex in every direction. 
The surface of the bone seems to have been naturally roughened by minute 
vascular grooves and ridges ; it has been crushed and cracked. The ridge, 
which doubtless formed the anterior part of the base of the coronoid process, 
begins to stand out below the socket of the third grinder ; the smooth abraded 
surface at the back of the posterior talon of that tooth indicates the pressure 
against a contiguous tooth in the portion of jaw which has been broken away. 
The symphysial portion of jaw differs in a striking degree from the corre- 
sponding part in the known existing or extinct Pachyderms, which have, like 
the Australian extinct Mammal, a single incisor tusk in each ramus of the 
lower jaw. In the young Mastodon the tusk is situated in a less deep, more 
suddenly contracted, and more produced symphysis ; the symphysis of the jaw 
in the existing Sumatran Rhinoceros, and in the extinct Rhin. incisivus, is 
much less deep and is broader in proportion ; the peculiar deflection of the 
symphysis in the Dinotherium makes it differ still more strikingly from the 
Diprotodon, in which the incisive tusks of the lower jaw extended obliquely 
upwards. The sudden slope of the toothless margin of the jaw anterior to 
the molares distinguishes the existing Proboscidians, which have, besides, a 
smaller anchylosed symphysis and no lower tusks. 

In the proportion of the symphysial articulation to the molar teeth, I know 
of no quadruped that so nearly resembles the present large Australian fossil 
as the Wombat ; but in this Marsupial that part of the ramus of the jaw is 
broader in proportion to its depth ; in this dimension, viz. the proportion of 
breadth to depth of the jaw supporting the anterior molares, the Kangaroo 
more resembles the Diprotodon ; and the molars of the Kangaroo in their 
double-ridged crowns are those amongst the Marsupials which most closely 
correspond with the molars in the present gigantic fossil. 

In the general size of the tusk and jaw, in the extent of the symphysis, in 
the subquadrate form of the incisive tusk, and the partial disposition of ena- 
mel, the agreement between the present fossil, which was obtained from the 
bed of the Condamine river, west of Moreton Bay, and the corresponding 
fragment of jaw and tooth above-cited*, from the Wellington Valley cavern, 
is so close as to leave no doubt as to their generic identity. The tusk in the 
cavern specimen appears to be a trifle broader in proportion to its depth or 
vertical diameter, and a difference is indicated in the shape of the symphysial 
articulation ; but these may be individual or sexual varieties, and at all events 
they do not afford decisive ground for specific separation. The original con- 
dition of the fossil from the stratum forming the bed of the Condamine river 
is much altered and it is heavily impregnated with mineral matter. 

The next specimen, obtained by Sir T. Mitchell from the same locality and 
deposit as the fore-part of the jaw above described, yields an interesting indi- 
cation of the affinity of the Diprotodon to the peculiar Order which almost 
exclusively represents the Mammalian class in Australia. It is a portion of 
the left ramus of the lower jaw of apparently the same individual Diprotodon 
australis ; it includes the two fangs of the last molar teeth and the angle of 

* Mitchell, loc. cit., pi. 31, figs. 1 and 2. 
I84;4f. o 

226 REPORT — 1844. 

the jaw. This part more decidedly manifests the marsupial character by its 
inward inflection and by the broad flattened surface whicli the under part of the 
jaw there presents ; this surface forms a right angle with the outer surface of 
the ramus, the lines of union being rounded off'; the outer surface, which is 
entire to the base of the coronoid process, is slightly concave. The Elephants, 
Mastodons, and Tapiroid Pachyderms present the opposite or convex form of 
the outward surface of the jaw ; the Dinotherium comes nearest, amongst the 
Pachyderms, to the character of the angle and ba^e of the ascending ramus 
of the jaw manifested in the present fossil ; which however, in the greater 
degree of inflection and flattening of the angle, more closely adheres to the 
marsupial type. The alveolar ridge is continued backwards, for the extent of 
two inches, in the form of a flattened platform of bone, forming an angle at 
its inner and posterior extremity. The thin base of the coronoid process 
extends along the outer border of this platform, and the entry of the dental 
canal is situated near the posterior end of the base of the coronoid. The 
condyloid process and the back part of the jaw are broken away ; a great part 
of the thick ridge formed by the inwardly inflected angle of the jaw has also 
suffered fracture ; but about one inch of the middle part of this characteristic 
structure is entire. The preserved fangs of the last molar show it to have 
been as large as would comport with the proportions of the molars in the pre- 
ceding specimen. 

The following fossils not only extend our knowledge of the dentition of 
the under jaw of the Diprotodon, but also of the range of the species over 
the continent of Australia ; they were discovered by Mr. Patrick Mayne 
a few feet below the surface, during the operations of sinking a well, near 
Mount Macedon, in the district of Melbourne, and are noticed by Mr. Augus- 
tus F. A. Greeve, in the 'Port Phillip Patriot' of February 5th, 1844. He 
specifies the incisor as that " of a large animal, most probably a gigantic 
Wombat," and after an account of the molar teeth, thus concludes : — " But I 
feel assured that it is a new and most interesting genus ; the discovery, in fact, 
of the gliriform type of the Pachydermata, the connecting link between the 
family which comprehends the Beaver and Rabbit with that of the Elephant, 
the Horse and the Hippopotamus ! " 

Mr. Greeve appears to have been unacquainted with my descriptions of the 
Australian fossils in Major Mitchell's work, or he would probably have recog- 
nised the similarity between his specimens and those which had led me to 
establish a new genus and to indicate its aflRnities, as manifesting the gliri- 
form type of the marsupial order on a gigantic scale. A series of the speci- 
mens discovered by Mr. Mayne having been transmitted to me by my friend 
Dr. Hobson, I was enabled to identify them with the Diprotodon of the caves 
of Wellington Valley and of the plains near Moreton Bay, and it was with 
peculiar satisfaction that I afterwards perused the concurrent testimony of 
Mr. Greeve as to their indications of a distinct genus, and of the resemblance 
of the incisor to that of the Wombat, which had struck me so forcibly at 
the commencement of my investigation in 1837 of the fossil remains of the 
Diprotodon. The fossils from Mount Macedon are in a very different con- 
dition from those discovered in the bed of the Condamine river; they are 
not impregnated with mineral matter, but are extremely light and fragile, 
having lost all their animal matter, and consequently adhering strongly to the 
tongue ; they are in almost the same state as the remains of the Megatherioid 
quadrupeds from the recent deposits forming the Pampas of Buenos Ayres. 

The teeth are principally from the same under jaw, of which an outline 
was transmitted to me by Dr. Hobson, the original having crumbled to dust 
on exposure to the air. The first specimen consists of the under part of the 


base of the left incisive tusk of the Diprotodon australis ; showing the line 
where the rugose punctate, as if worm-eaten, enamel ceases at the angle be- 
tween the under and inner surfaces of the tusk, and the coat of cement cover- 
ing the unenameled dentine, the smooth pulp-cavity gradually widening to 
the base of the tusk, is exposed to the extent of three inches. This portion of 
the great incisor is identical in form and structure with the specimen from 
the bone-cave of Wellington Valley, figured and described in Sir T. L. Mit- 
chell's ' Expeditions into Australia,' vol. ii. p, 362, pi. 31, figs. 1 and 2, and 
with that from the Condamine river above described. 

The next specimen is the crown and beginning of the fangs of the antepe- 
nultimate molar, right side, lower jaw, of the same Diprotodon australis. The 
form of the two transA'erse eminences, the summits of which had just begun 
to be abraded by mastication before the animal perished, is well displayed : 
they are more compressed than in the Tapir and Dinothere, and their lamelli- 
form summits rise higher beyond their basal connexions than in the Kan- 
garoo. The median connecting ridge which extends between the two trans- 
verse eminences longitudinally or in the axis of the jaw, in the molars of the 
Kangaroo, is very feebly indicated in the Diprotodon ; the anteriorly concave 
curve of the summits of the transverse ridges is more regular and equable 
and greater than in the Tapiroid Pachyderms, the Dinothere or the Kangaroo. 
The cement, though thin upon the crown, is most conspicuous at the bottom 
of the valley between the two transverse eminences ; as in the molar tooth 
of Diprotodon described in the 'Annals of Nat. Hist.' May 1843. The two 
fangs, the contiguous surfaces of which present the deep and wide longitu- 
dinal groove, as in the Tapiroid Pachyderms and the Kangaroo, are connected 
together at their base by a ridge, coated thickly with cement, and extending 
longitudinally between the beginnings of the opposite grooves. 

The third specimen is the second molar tooth, left side, lower jaw, of the 
Diprotodon australis, from an older individual than the preceding. The an- 
terior fang is broken off, the posterior one is preserved to the extent of one 
inch and a half; the crown of the tooth is entire, except where the summits of 
the two transverse ridges have been abraded by mastication : it demonstrates 
what is obscurely indicated in the corresponding molar tooth in the fragment 
of jaw from the Condamine river, that, besides the two principal eminences, 
there is a small anterior basal ridge, and a thick obtuse posterior ridge, ascend- 
ing a little obliquely from the outer to the inner side of the tooth ; from the 
anterior and posterior extremities of each basal ridge, a lower ridge extends 
upwards to the summit of the principal eminence ; these eminences are also 
connected together by a short ridge at the outer and at the inner part of their 
basal interspace, and each of the principal eminences swells out near the 
middle of their intei'space, indicating as it were the median longitudinal ridge 
which connects the two chief transverse eminences in the crown of the molar 
of the Kangaroo. The enamel presents the same rugose-reticulate and punc- 
tate surface as in the molars of the specimen from the Condamine, that super- 
ficial character being more conspicuous in the fore and back part of the 
coronal eminences than upon their outer and inner sides. The outer border 
of the transverse eminences is more convex than the inner one. 

The fourth specimen is the third or antepenultimate molar, left side, lower 
jaw, of the same individual Diprotodon australis. Like the preceding tooth, 
this gives evidence of an older, and likewise a rather larger individual than 
the second specimen : the crown has been more worn, and shows better the 
depth of the interspace between the two principal ridges, the slight production 
of the middle of the posterior surface of the anterior ridge, and the depres- 
sion on the opposite surface of the posterior ridge. The antero-posterior ex- 


228 REPORT — 1844. 

tent of the base of the crown of this tooth is one inch nine lines ; the breadth 
of the crown is one inch three lines ; the height of the crown one inch two 
lines ; the length of the posterior fang was two inches when entire. 

The fifth specimen is the crown of the penultimate molar, left side, lower 
jaw, of apparently the same individual Diprotodon australis. The anterior 
transverse ridge had just begun to be worn : the summit of the posterior 
ridge is entire. This is not divided into small mammilloid tubercles as in the 
Dinotherium, but is irregularly and minutely wrinkled as in the Tapir. In 
the depth of the cleft between the two transverse ridges, the teeth of the Di- 
protodon resemble those of the Tapir more than those of the Kangaroo ; 
Ijut the eminences are higher and more compressed than in either of those 
existing genera. In the largest existing species of Kangaroo, as the Macro- 
pus major and Macropus laniger, the lower molars have no posterior talon 
or basal ridge, but this is present in the still larger extinct species of Kan- 
garoo, called Macropus Atlas, in which, however, it is much smaller than the 
anterior talon. In the Tapir the anterior talon is also larger than the posterior 
one, but in the Diprotodon the proportions of the two basal ridges are reversed. 
The reticulo-punctate markings are i)resent at the anterior surfaces of the 
enamel of the transverse ridges of the molars in the Tapir, whilst in the 
Kangaroo and Dinothere the enamel is smooth and polished : the molars of 
the Diprotodon are characteristically distinguished by the rugose punctate 
markings in both the anterior and posterior surfaces of the transverse ridges. 
The breadth of the crown of the present tooth is one inch and a half, and the 
height of the entire posterior division is the same. 

The sixth dental fossil is the anterior part of the anterior transverse emi- 
nence of the last molar tooth, left side, lower jaw, of the same Diprotodon 
australis; it measures one inch nine lines across the base, and diminishes in 
breadth more gradually towards the sununit than in the preceding tooth. 
The summit of this eminence had just begun to be worn by mastication ; the 
pulp cavity is continued into the basal third of the crown. 

These specimens which show the termination of the molar series, with the 
anterior part of the jaw from the Condamine river containing the commence- 
ment of the molar series, demonstrate the entire number of teeth in the lower 
jaw which characterizes the genvts Dip^'otodon, viz. one incisor and five molars 
on each side. In this formula the great Pachydermoid marsupial resembled 
the Wombat, the Koala, the Potoroo, and the Kangaroo, although it is rare to 
see the total number of true molar teeth at one time in the larger species of 
Macropus. The lower incisors of the Koala in the subcompressed subqua- 
drate form of their implanted base most resemble in form those of the Dipro- 
todon, but the exserted crowns, like those of the Kangaroos, have an entire 
covering of enamel which does not extend upon the inserted fang. In the 
partial covering of the whole extent of the inserted base of the tusk of the 
Diprotodon, we perceive a greater resemblance to the scalpriform incisor of 
the Wombat ; and every analogy teaches that the exposed part of the tusk of 
the Diprotodon must have had the same extent of enamel-coating as the in- 
serted base. The Diprotodon, however, departs widely from the genus PJias- 
colomys in the divided base and in the shape of the crown of its molar teeth : 
in these more essential parts of the dental system it approximates Macropus 
more closely than any other known Marsupial genus ; yet the double trans- 
verse-ridged type of molar teeth is manifested by so many genera of recent 
and extinct Manuifialia* of very different forms and organization that little 
could be inferred as to the coexistence of the proportions of the Kangaroo 

* Tapirus, Lophiodon, Dinotherium, Mcinaius. 


with such molar teeth in the case of the great Australian Pachydermoid. I 
proceed, therefore, to notice two of the most complete bones which were dis- 
covered in the same stratum and locality as the portions of the lower jaw of 
the Diprotodon from the bed of the Condamine river, and which, from their 
agreement in size with those mandibular fragments, belong very probably to 
the same species ; they have undergone precisely the same mineral change. 

The first of these is the body of a dorsal vertebra of unquestionably a 
mammalian quadruped of the size of the Diprotodon australis. It measures 
two inches three lines in antero-posterior diameter, three inches in vertical 
diameter, and four inches nine lines in transverse diameter. Both articular 
extremities are flat, the epiphysial plates are anchylosed ; but where they are 
broken away, the radiating rough lines, characteristic of the epiphysial sur- 
face, indicate that the union was tardy, and had been recently effected before 
the animal perished. This vertebra differs by its compressed form and the 
flattening of the articular ends from the dorsal vertebrae of the ordinary pla- 
cental Pachyderms, but resembles in these characters the dorsal vertebrae of 
the Proboscidians {Elephas, Mastodoti). In these, however, the breadth of 
the vertebral body is not so great as in the fossil. From the Cetacean verte- 
brae the present fossil is distinguished by the large concave articular surface 
at the upper and anterior part of the side of the body for the reception of 
part of the head of a rib : this costal surface, which is not quite entire, ap- 
pears to have been about an inch and a half in diameter. The neurapophyses 
are anchylosed to the centrum, but the internal margins of their expanded 
bases are definable, and have been separated by a tract, rather less than an 
inch in breadth, of the upper surface of the centrum. At the middle of this 
surface there is a deep transversely oblong depression : a similar depression 
is present in some of the dorsal vertebrae, and in the anchylosed lumbar ver- 
tebra of the Mylodon ; but the bodies of the dorsal vertebras, in all the great 
extinct Bruta, are longer and narrower in proportion to their breadth than in 
the present fossil. The upper and posterior margin is here indented on each 
side by the dorsal nerve, which, in the monotrematous Echidna, perforates 
the base of the neurapophyses ; otherwise the body of the dorsal vertebra in 
that Implacental corresponds in its proportions, and in the depression on the 
upper part of the body, with the present fossil. In the Kangaroo the upper 
surface of the body of the dorsal and lumbar vertebra is perforated by two 
vascular canals, which pass down vertically and open below by a single or 
double outlet. In the Wombat the middle of the upper surface of the bodies 
of the dorsal and lumbar vertebra exhibits a single large and deep depression, 
which, in the dorsal vertebrae, has no inferior outlet, and in this character they 
closely resemble the present fossil. The dorsal vertebrae of the Wombat are 
however longer in proportion to their breadth. Thus the present mutilated 
vertebra alone would support the conclusion, that there had formerly existed 
in Australia a mammiferous quadruped, superior to the Rhinoceros in bulk, 
and distinct from any known species of corresponding size ; and it is interesting 
to find one well-marked character in it, viz. the median excavation on the 
upper part of the body, repeated by one of the larger of the existing Mar- 

The second fossil speaks more decisively both for the Marsupial nature of 
the species to which it belonged and as to its more immediate affinities in that 
Order. It is the right os calcis, which measures six inches in length and five 
inches and a half in breadth, presents two large articular surfaces at right 
angles to each other upon its upper and anterior part, has a short calcaneal or 
posterior process, which is broad, depressed and bent upwards, and a short 
thick obtuse process directed downwards from the internal and under part of 

230 REPORT — 1844. 

the bone. The inner and upper articular surface is semicircular, verj"^ slightly 
concave, with a small part continued down or sinking from the middle of its 
outer margin at a I'ather open angle, towards the outer or cuboidal facet : this 
is a larger and more deeply concave surface than the preceding, with a well- 
defined margin ; it is situated on the outer side, not anterior to the astragalar 
surface. The astragalar surface is separated from the calcaneal and inferior 
tuberosity by a wide and moderately deep tendinal groove, analogous to that 
along which the tendon of the^ea;o7' longus pollicis glides in Man. The base 
of the calcaneal process, which is united to the posterior part of the cuboidal 
concavity, is perforated by a short canal, half an inch wide, continued down- 
wards and forwards, and leading to a wider tendinal groove, which impresses 
the inferior surface of the part of the bone supporting the cuboidal facet. 
The plane of the posterior part of the calcaneal projection is at right angles 
with the inferior rough surface of the bone. 

The characters of the present fossil calcaneum, as above briefly defined, 
are unique. The size of the bone leads us first to compare it with the cal- 
caneum of the Elephant or Mastodon ; but here we find two broad and flat 
astragalar surfaces on the upper part of the bone, and a small and very 
slightly concave surface anteriorly ; there is moreover no perforation for a 
peroneal tendon. The same absence of such a perforation, and the different 
proportion and relative position of the cuboidal facet, distinguish at a glance 
the calcaneum in all the ordinary Pachyderms from the present fossil. The 
calcaneum of the Mylodon robustiis is perforated at its outer part for the tendon 
of the peroneus longus as it is in the present fossil ; it likewise has a stout 
tuberosity projecting from its under surface, but the calcaneal process is much 
larger, and is continued more directly backwards. The cuboidal facet in the 
Mylodon is much smaller and shallower than in the present fossil, and is not 
only placed anterior to the astragalar surface, but is continuous with it. Not 
to dwell on the differences which the Comparative Anatomist must have im- 
mediately perceived from the description of the present most remarkable bone 
in the corresponding one of the Ruminantia, the Quadrumana^ the Carni- 
vora and Rodentia, I proceed at once to state that it is only in the equipedal 
Marsupialia, and more especially in the Koala and Wombat, that we find the 
articular surfaces of the calcaneum two in number and of the same general 
form, proportions and relative position as in the fossil under consideration : 
the nearly flat internal and superior astragalar surface is, however, propor- 
tionally narrower in the Wombat ; its outer depressed angle is shallower ; the 
calcaneal projection is directed downwards and inwards ; the strong peroneal 
tendon indents the outer side of the calcaneum with a groove, but does not 
perforate the bone. The calcaneum of the Kangaroo and Potoroo has a 
totally different form from the fossil : in these leaping Marsupialia the heel is 
subcompressed and much elongated ; the astragalar surface is divided into 
two small distinct parts ; the cuboidal facet is anterior, and convex vertically, 
&c. In conclusion, it may be stated that the large fossil calcaneum here de- 
scribed combines the essential characters of that of the Wombat with some 
features of that of the Mylodon and Mastodon, and others which are peculiar 
to itself: the single broad astragalar surface with its external depressed por- 
tion coincides with the characters of the large fossil astragalus subsequently 
to be described ; though the different form of the astragalar surface appears 
to show the present calcaneum to have belonged to a distinct species of pachy- 
dermoid Marsupial. 

That a large quadruped, whose nature and affinities are expressed by the 
above epithet, formerly inhabited Australia, the characters of the present os 
calcis would alone have rendered highly probable ; and since the same con- 


elusions are deducible from the portions of jaw above described, which cor- 
respond in proportional size, mineralized condition, locality and stratum, with 
the present calcaneum, it is highly probable that they all belong to the Di- 
protodon australis, a species whose affinities to the Wombat were perceived 
by the characters of the single tusk and fragment of jaw first transmitted 
from the caves of Wellington Valley. 

Genus Nototherium. 

Species 1, N. iiierme. 

I next proceed to notice a second small but instructive series of fossils, in- 
cluding portions of lower jaws, which, by the total absence of incisors, indi- 
cate a distinct genus of pachydermoid Mammals, with the same kind and 
amount of evidence of its marsupial affinities : the principal fossil is the 
almost entire right ramus of the lower jaw. 

The dentition in this jaw consists of molar teeth exclusively, four in num- 
ber, which increase in size as they approach the posterior part of the series : 
a small portion of the anterior end of the symphysis is broken away, but 
there is no trace there of the socket of any tooth, and it is too contracted to 
have supported any tusk or defensive incisor. The length of the jaw is eleven 
inches : the molar series, which commences one inch in advance of the pos- 
terior border of the symphysis, is six inches in extent: each tooth is im- 
planted by two strong and long conical fangs, the hindermost being the 
largest, and both being longitudinally grooved upon the side turned to each 
other. The first tooth is wanting, and the crowns of the rest are broken 
away : the base of the third remains, and gives an indication of a middle 
transverse valley, which most probably sep