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YEAR-BOOK OF FACTS IN SCIENCE AND ART
1866 AND 1867.
MOST IMPORTANT DISCOVERIES AND IMPROVEMENTS
MECHANICS, USEFUL ARTS, NATURAL PHILOSOPHY, CHEMISTRY,
NOTES ON THE PROGRESS OF SCIENCE DURING THE YEARS, 1865 AND 1866;
OF EMINENT SCIENTIFIC MEN, ETC.
SAMUEL KNEELAND, A.M., M.D.,
THE AMERICAN ACADEMY OF ARTS AND SCIENCES, SECRETARY OF
GOULD AND LINCOLN,
59 WASHINGTON STREET.
NEW YORK: SHELDON AND COMPANY.
Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1867, by
GOULD AND LINCOLN,
In the Clerk's Office of the District Court for the District of Massachusetts.
WASHINGTON, D. C., February, 1867.
TO THE READERS OF THE "ANNUAL OF SCIENTIFIC DISCOVERY:"
HAVING been called to the supervision of a branch of the public service, the duties of which are too engrossing and responsible to allow of any diversion of attention or employment, the undersigned is compelled to announce his withdrawal (at least for the present) from the editorial charge and management of the "Annual of Scientific Discovery."
He has, however, the satisfaction of knowing that his withdrawal is not to affect the continued publication of the work; and that, under the guidance of the eminent scientific gentleman whose name appears on the title-page of the present volume, the sphere of usefulness of the "Annual of Scientific Discovery" is certain to be not only maintained, but greatly enlarged.
With no little personal regret at being thus compelled to give up a work which for more than fifteen years has been followed as a labor of love,
I am, most respectfully,
DAVID A. WELLS,
U. S. Commissioner of Revenue.
NOTES BY THE EDITOR,
PROGRESS OF SCIENCE FOR THE YEARS 1865 AND 1866.
THE years 1865 and 1866 have been uncommonly prolific in scientific discovery, in almost every department of knowledge. This has been mainly due to the activity of Associations for promoting the progress of special branches of knowledge, which not only furnish important and varied contributions to science, but constitute impartial tribunals for the determination of the value of individual researches. Among these, the Royal Society and British Association in England, the Academy of Sciences of France, and the American Association (this year successfully revived after an interval of five years) and the National Academy in this country, stand prominent.
Taking the departments of science in the order adopted in this work, the mechanic and useful arts first claim attention. The successful laying of the new Atlantic telegraph cable, and the picking up and utilizing the old cable, are the greatest engineering achievements of the year 1866, and continue to excite the interest of the scientific world. The completion of the Chicago tunnel under Lake Michigan will doubtless inaugurate a new era in subterranean modes of communication; and the success of the third or centre-rail system over Mt. Cenis will probably ere long do away with the tedious and expensive plans of boring through mountain chains both in Europe and this country.
In marine and locomotive engineering the improvements are chiefly in the direction of economy of fuel by modifications of furnaces and flues, and especially by the due supply of air for complete combustion. Surface condensation increases in the estimation of the best engineers, greatly increasing the economy of marine engines. The use of superheated steam is yet in its infancy,