Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 2.djvu/52

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been validated.
40
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

inventive genius we owe the development that has taken place within the last century in all the luxuries, the comforts, even the bare necessities of our daily existence, would, in their day, and while struggling for success, have been spoken of as schemers, even in respect of those very inventions of which we are now enjoying the fruits. But I feel I need not labor this point further at a meeting of the Mechanical Section of the British Association, an association established for the advancement of science. I know I shall be accused of decrying the practical man and of upholding the "schemers." I say most emphatically that I do not decry the practical man; I plead guilty to the charge of decrying the miscalled practical man, and I glory in my guilt, while I readily accept that which I consider the. praise of upholding "schemers," and I do so for this simple reason, that, if there were no schemers, there would be no improvement. I think it becomes a scientific body like the British Association to laud the generous effort of the unsuccessful inventor, rather than to encourage the cold selfishness of the man who stands by and sees others endeavor to raise the structure of improvement without lending a hand to help, and even sneers at the builders, but, when the structure is fully raised and solidly established, claims to come in to inhabit, and, being in, probably essays, cuckoo-like, to oust the builders and to take possession for his own benefit.

 
Rule Segment - Span - 40px.svg Rule Segment - Span - 40px.svg Rule Segment - Flare Left - 12px.svg Rule Segment - Span - 5px.svg Rule Segment - Circle - 6px.svg Rule Segment - Span - 5px.svg Rule Segment - Flare Right - 12px.svg Rule Segment - Span - 40px.svg Rule Segment - Span - 40px.svg


DEVELOPMENT IN DRESS.

THE development of dress presents a strong analogy to that of organisms, as explained by the modern theories of evolution; and in this article I propose to illustrate some of the features which they have in common. We shall see that the truth expressed by the proverb, "Natura non facit saltum," is applicable in the one case as in the other; the law of progress holds good in dress, and forms blend into one another with almost complete continuity. In both cases a form yields to a succeeding form, which is better adapted to the then surrounding conditions; thus, when it ceased to be requisite that men in active life should be ready to ride at any moment, and when riding had for some time ceased to be the ordinary method of travelling, knee-breeches and boots yielded to trousers. The "Ulster coat," now so much in vogue, is evidently largely fostered by railway-travelling, and could hardly have flourished in the last century, when men either rode or travelled in coaches, where there was no spare room for any very bulky garment.

A new invention bears a kind of analogy to a new variation in