JF Ptak Science Books Post 1728
This fine cartoon appeared in the 23 September 1865 issue (page 114) of the London Punch magazine, poking a little fun at the recent meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science, which had just finished its 35th meeting in Birmingham. Its attendees and contributors read like a "who's who" of the heights of mid-19th century British sciences (across fields of geology, physics, physiology, chemistry, mathematics, statistics (and economics)): attending and contributing were JC Adams, Airy, Hooker, Thomas Graham, Wheatstone, Nasmyth, Fairbairn, Murchison, Lyell, Huxley, Thomson, Maxwell, Tyndall and of course numerous others (also including foreign members).
Of the figures I can identify in this image are Thomas Huxley and the not-beautiful Richard Owen at top left, discussing the principles of evolution in front of a small audience of skeletal/fossilized monkeys, and standing to their immediate right waving an instrument over chemical elements may be JAR Newlands. I am not sure who is presiding over the numerals at bottom left, but what attracts me the most is the zero is running away, screaming, from the other numbers seated calmly on tiny stools. Seated serenely at center juggling earth/spheres in the geologist Roderick Murchison, who appears prominently in the Punch report--I'm less sure about the two other geologists (one placing the Earth-chunk back into the globe, and the other placing a short-handled shovel into another globe, both in front of an audience of geologist's hammers...are they Charles Lyell and John Phillips?) Above them may be John Tyndall, working with an optical viewer in front of an audience of dividers and a telescope. And above the maybe-Tyndall is a steam hammer demonstrating itself to a set of jackknives and cutlery.
"A few words on Squaring a Beadle who was arguing in a vicious circle. Illustrated pugilistically. (A portmanteau to itself, including gloves and change of linen."
I should be able to idenbtify these men though I'm afraid I can't; perhaps I'll have a little help with them.
Notes (including the contents of the volume published in 1866 of this Birmingham 1865 meeting):
Mathematics and Physics: Glaisher, Mr.— Lunar Committee; Williamson, Prof.— Electrical Standards;
Glaisher, Mr. — Luminous Meteors and Aerolites: Sykes, Col.— Balloon Experiments; Robinson, Dr. — Sound under water;
Glaisher, Mr.— British Rainfall; Airy, Mr. — Reduction of Riimker Observations. Chemistry: Fairlcy, Mr. — Polycyanides of Organic Radicals; Matthiessen, Dr.— Chemical Constitution of Cast Iron Geology: Lyell, Sir C— Kent's Hole Investigation; Mitchell, Mr.— Alum Bay Fossil Leaf Bed; Wright, Dr. E. P.— Kilkenny Coal-field; Busk,
Professor. — Maltese Caverns Explorations; Murchison, Sir R. — Palestine Explorations; Salter, Mr. J. W.— Lingnla Elags at St. David's;
Bryce, Mr. J. — Researches on Earthquakes in Scotland. Zoology, Botany, and Physiology: Wright, Dr. E. P.— Irish Annelida; Newton, Mr. — Didine Birds of Mascareen Islands;
Jeffreys, Mr.— Hebrides Coast Dredging; Jeffreys, Mr. — Marine Fanna and Flora (Devon and Cornwall); Jeffreys,
Mr.— Aberdeen and Banffshire Coast Dredging; Scott, Mr.— Oyster Culture in the West of England; Jeffreys, Mr. — Mersey Dredging;
Gray, Dr. J. E.— Oyster Culture; Davis, Dr. Barnard.— Catalogue of Crania; Norris, Dr. Richard. — Observations on Rigor Mortis;
Richardson, Dr. B. W. — Amyl Compounds. Geography and Ethnology: Lubbock, Sir J.— Typical Crania (renewed). Statistics and Economic Science: Bowring, Sir J. — Metrical Committee. Mechanics: Webster, Mr.— Patent Laws (renewed); Russell, J. Scott, Mr. — Resistance of Water to Floating Bodies.