Page:Men of the Time, eleventh edition.djvu/132

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BEST.

Another graceful acknowledgment of the value of the process was made in 1871 by the Iron and Steel Institute of Great Britain, which society elected Mr. Bessemer its president. The Americans have adopted a very special method of showing their appreciation of Mr. Bessemer's services to science. In the midst of one of the richest iron and coal districts in the world, in Indiana, they have built a new city, which from its geographical position and local advantages is destined eventually to become one of the largest centres of trade in America. To this city they have given the name of Bessemer. In 1872, the Albert Gold Medal of the Society of Arts was awarded, by the Council, to Mr. Bessemer "for the eminent services rendered by him to arts, manufactures, and commerce, in developing the manufacture of steel." His next invention was the "Bessemer Saloon" for preventing sea-sickness, and for which a company was formed, Mr. Bessemer himself subscribing £25,000 towards the capital. Unfortunately, however, the "Saloon Company" fell into liquidation, and Mr. Bessemer's ingenious invention was never submitted to the test of practical working at sea, so that this great problem still remains unsolved. Mr. Bessemer was elected a member of the Institution of Civil Engineers in 1877. The first Howard quinquennial prize, being that for the year 1877, was awarded by the Institution of Civil Engineers to Mr. Bessemer as—in terms of the bequest—the inventor of a new and valuable process relating to the uses and property of iron. Mr. Bessemer was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society, June 12, 1879, and on the 26th of the same month he was knighted by the Queen at Windsor. On April 15, 1880, the Company of Turners presented the freedom and livery of their company to Sir Henry Bessemer, and on Oct. 6 in the same year he was presented with the freedom of the City of London, "in recognition of his valuable discoveries, which have so largely benefited the iron industries of this country, and his scientific attainments, which are so well known and appreciated throughout the world."


BEST, William Thomas, son of a solicitor at Carlisle, was born there Aug. 13, 1826. He was educated in his native city under a private tutor. It was intended that he should adopt the profession of a civil engineer, but he chose music as a profession before the completion of his term in the former pursuit. He became Organist of the Panopticon, Leicester Square, in 1853; Organist of the chapel of Lincoln's Inn; Organist of St. Martin's-in-the-Fields; Organist of St. George's Hall, Liverpool, in 1855 (a position he still holds); and Organist of the Royal Albert Hall, Kensington, in 1871. In 1840 English organs were unsuitable for the performance of Bach's great organ works, the functions of the separate or "obbligato" pedal not being then understood. Goss, Thurle, and other well-known men of the same day merely played the organ as "piano," with an occasional holding-bass or drone-bass on the pedals. Mr. Best, however, induced organ-builders to reconstruct their instruments in accordance with Bach's system, in which the bass of organ music should be assigned to the pedals, and not to the left hand. This requires a complete and separata organ for the feet, the same as the keyboards for the hands. Bach's theory of music is now universal in England. Mr. Best has published the following works on organ music:—"Modern School for the Organ," 1854, a collection of original studies; "Art of Organ-Playing," 1870; sonatas, preludes and fugues, concert pieces in all styles, 1850–82; "Arrangements from the Scores of the Great Masters," 5 vols., 1873; "The Organ Student," 2 vols.; and several of Handel's