JF Ptak Science Books Quick Post
There is probably a more elegant way of asking this question and still be catchy/popular, like "Speed of Stuff" or "On the Speed of Stuff" or some such--fact is though I should have begun a series by this (sort of) name years ago. It is a nice catch-all for mostly unrelated stuff, except for the "speed" part, which would be a nice thread. In any event, I came upon this article today while looking for the beautifully-named Fleeming Jenkin article on a very unusual telegraph. It appeared in the May 5, 1870 issue of Nature, which is actually the first series in volume II of the then brand-new journal, and this was just issue #27. But right up front in this issue was a great-looking paper by a "M. Foster" called "The Velocity of Thought". (This was not by a wonderful Mr. Foster from high school who warned us kinds in 1970 that we will one day be fighting in Afghanistan, "you mark my words,boys"--a bold position given that we still had a few years to go in Vietnam at that point.) I think that this "M. Foster" is Professor Michael Foster, who in time would add (if he hadn't already) an M.D. and then a F.R.S. to his surname. In any event I append the entire article below, which I found online at the University of Wisconsin.
(I should add that there is a nice book review by the great W. Stanley Jevons in this issue as well--anyone interested in purchasing the original issue cane write me at the addy found in the "About" section of this blog.)
[Article image source: https://digicoll.library.wisc.edu/cgi-bin/HistSciTech/HistSciTech-idx?type=turn&entity=HistSciTech.Nature18700505.p0004&id=HistSciTech.Nature18700505&isize=M]