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YEAR-BOOK OF FACTS IN SCIENCE AND ART,
MOST IMPORTANT DISCOVERIES AND IMPROVEMENTS
MECHANICS, USEFUL ARTS, NATURAL PHILOSOPHY, CHEMISTRY,
NOTES ON THE PROGRESS OF SCIENCE DURING THE YEAR 1870; A LIST
Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1871, by
GOULD AND LINCOLN,
In the office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington.
ROCKWELL & CHURCHILL, Printers, Boston.
NOTES BY THE EDITOR,
PROGRESS OF SCIENCE FOR THE YEAR 1870.
In looking over the material collected during the year, which is now embodied in the present volume, we find little that is new or startling in the province of the mechanic arts.
Both in this country and in England attention is fixed upon more economical and safer processes in applying inventions. The American manufacturer would do well to read the report on steam-boiler legislation presented at the meeting of the British Association. Among the names of the committee who presented it we find those of Sir William Fairbairn and Sir Joseph Whitworth. From the report it appears that about 50 explosions occur in Great Britain every year, killing about 75 persons and injuring as many others. The committee are confirmed in their opinion that explosions are not accidental, that they are not mysterious; but that they arise from the simplest causes, and may be prevented by the exercise of common knowledge and common care. Boilers burst simply from weakness. Competent inspection is adequate to detect the weakness of the boiler in time to prevent explosions, whether that weakness arise from malconstruction or defective condition, while it tends to stimulate attendants to carefulness, and thus to diminish the number of those explosions arising from oversight.
The committee state that for every explosion due to the boilerminder in neglecting the water supply, etc., six are due to the boiler-maker or boiler-owner from making or using bad boilers. After discussing possible remedies the committee are convinced that the government should enforce the periodical inspection of all steam boilers. The numerous explosions of the year bring this subject home to us.