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THE ATHENAEUM, 1862—1865.
THE season of 1862 was one bright in attraction and abounding in festivity. The Great The Great
_ ... . International
International Exhibition, which was to have Exhibition. been held in 1861, but was postponed on account of the war in Italy in 1859, was opened by the Duke of Cambridge on the 1st of May. From the 5th to the 14th of June the Social Science Association and the Congres International de Bienfaisance held their meetings in London, the Palace at Westminster being thrown open on the 7th for a public reception. At the Crystal Palace there was the Handel Festival, great flower shows were held in the gardens of the Royal Horticultural Society, while the museums and galleries drew their crowds, Frith's 'Railway Station,' on view in the Haymarket, having as many as a thousand visitors daily.
On the 3rd of May the Athenaum gives a description of the Great Exhibition building, the opening ceremony, and of the picture galleries—" the long and splendid series of saloons,
VOL. II. L
bright with the pictorial genius of all the modern world"; while in the general Exhibition "it seems as if nothing is absent, from the poorest toy a peasant's child can buy to the mightiest engine England can produce. All powers of war and peace—all the arts produce, from the perfect picture to the drudging household implement, have found a place. Shells from the seabottom, and the instrument that brought them first before the eyes of men, lie side by side with the red pine-cone that rocked in Columbian winds. The whole circle of the globe seems
Its repre- here in miniature, and of all things only one tentative character. thing missed—universally missed, as universally
regretted — the bodily presence of him who,
more probably than other men, might rightly
receive thanks for the result. With due honour
to those who were his fellows in this labour,
there was not absent on Thursday morning from
any man's thoughts a sympathy with Her who
has lost more than we have lost, and who must
derive supreme satisfaction from knowing how
well the common object has prospered to the
On the 7th of June it is announced that the Queen "has purchased 1,000 half-crown tickets for the International Exhibition, to be given in her name to deserving pupils of the various schools of design. She has also purchased 3,000 shilling tickets for distribution among the workmen who helped to build the Industrial Palace."
The death of Miss Woodfall, the daughter of Miss WoodHenry Sampson Woodfall, the first publisher of fall'0f the*1'" Junius's Letters, calls for a passing note on Feb- Publlshei; of
J 1 r & Junius s
ruaryi5th. She was ninety-four, "born.therefore, Letters.
before Junius had made his first appearance
As she resided with her father until his death in 1805, she maybe considered as the last direct authority on the subject of those Letters. Though not unwilling to converse about Junius, and a good test of an anecdote, she really knew but little, and, as we believe, for the best of all reasons, that her father knew but little, that was not known to all. She resided for many years in Dean's Yard, Westminster, where she was universally respected; and the Dean and Chapter have, we hear, kindly acceded to her known wish to be buried in the Cloisters."
On the 22nd of February a long review is given of the 'Memoir of the late Sir Marc Sir Marc Isambard Brunel, Civil Engineer, Vice-President Ijfcu1nd'd of the Royal Society,' by Richard Beamish.
"In May, 1799, Brunei took out his first patent. This
was for a duplicate writing and drawing machine A
machine for twisting cotton-thread and forming it into machine ... . 1 .. r -n i, • . for windum
balls was also amongst the earliest of Brunel s inventions cotton ;m,j
in this country. The impulse given by this machine to balls.
the employment of cotton can now scarcely be credited. The little balls were very elegant in form; and from the manner in which the thread was wound, they presented the appearance of net-work, or ribbons of lace. The machine measured the length of the thread which it wound, and proportioned the size of the ball to its weight and fineness. Unfortunately, Brunel neglected to secure the benefit of his invention by patent, and it was therefore rapidly and generally adopted ; and while thousands of pounds were realized through its means, Brunel himself remained without remuneration. In his Journal of 1806, he notices a visit which he paid to the establishment of the Messrs. Strutt, at Belper (Derby), where, after remarking that there were 640 persons employed, he says, 'I observed they had adopted my contrivance for winding cotton into balls. There were about twenty spindles on one swing.' A lady, a friend of Brunel, having experienced the advantage of the little cotton balls, while expressing her admiration to him, jokingly suggested that he ought Origin of the to invent a means of relieving ladies from the wearisome machine employment of hemming and stitching. To any other, the observation would have passed as it was intended. It was certainly forgotten by the lady herself; when, to her surprise, his patent for 'trimmings and borders for muslins, lawns and cambric' was shown to her, and in which she found her wishes more than fulfilled. The advantages of this invention are stated to be, 'that the operations of hemming, whipping, or otherwise securing from ravelling the edges of trimmings cut in narrow slips out of border webs, as they have unavoidably been hitherto, are by this invention altogether saved.' To this machine may perhaps be referred the origin of that recently introduced from America, and so largely employed in Belfast and the north of Ireland in hemming
cambric handkerchiefs, stitching linen drawers and jackets, and in making shirts. A very essential difference will be observed in the fate of the two machines. While the one remained neglected and unproductive, the other is a marked success, and the object of an important and remunerative trade."
In the year 1814 Brunel made his first experiment on the Thames with a double-acting marine steam engine.
"Having accomplished his voyage to Margate, he was desirous of obtaining accommodation for the night; but Refused a bed this was not easy. So strong was the prejudice which ^ecausFhe this new mode of communication excited in the minds of went by the inhabitants, particularly those connected with the a steamersailing packets, that, blind to their future interest, they threatened personal injury to Brunel, and the landlord of the hotel absolutely refused to provide him with a bed."
The Thames Tunnel was opened on the 25th Thames of March, 1843, and, "though commercially a opened. failure, is, as the solution of a scientific problem, no unworthy memorial of its originator's genius." "Brunel's principal claim to a first rank amongst inventors rests upon his block machinery, by His block which ten men in our naval yards can now with machinery' ease, regularity and certainty, accomplish the work which formerly required the labour of one hundred and ten men Popular in his profession and beloved in private life, he closed his His death. days in a house in Park Street, Westminster (a small but cheerful residence, looking into St.