Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 10.djvu/374

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tion of the cables and the mechanical arrangements for submersion, that though many difficulties presented themselves they were all, in 1866, triumphantly overcome. It was on his return from the submersion of the 1866 cable, and the raising and the completion of the 1865 cable, that the honor of knighthood was conferred on him along with others of his distinguished fellow workers.

"Recently Sir William Thomson has invented a new and very beautiful instrument, the 'siphon recorder,' for recording signals on long submarine lines. It is in use at all the telegraph-stations along the submarine line connecting England with India. It is also used on the French Atlantic Cable, and on the direct United States line. Sir W. Thomson, Mr. Varley, and Prof. Jenkin, combining their inventions together, have given the only system by which submarine telegraphy on long lines has been carried on up to the present time.

"Sir William Thomson is an enthusiastic yachtsman and a skillful navigator. His recently-published popular lecture on 'Navigation' proves this; and, with that bright genius which enriches all with which it comes in contact, his improvements in navigation are of very high importance. The general adoption of Sumner's method, now made simple for the navigator, would be a reform in navigation almost amounting to a revolution, and is one most highly to be desired. Sir William Thomson has also invented a new form of mariner's compass of exquisite construction. It possesses many advantages over the best of those in general use, not excluding the Standard Admiralty Compass; but its special feature is that it permits of the practical application of Sir George Airy's method of correcting compasses for the permanent and temporary magnetism of iron ships. He has also invented an apparatus for deep-sea sounding by piano-forte wire. This apparatus is so simple and easily managed that he has brought up 'bottom' from a depth of nearly three nautical miles, sounding from his own yacht, without aid of steam or any of the ordinary requisites for such depths. His method was much employed in taking rapid soundings during the laying of telegraph-cables along the Brazilian coast to the West Indies. It has also been used with great success on the United States Submarine Survey. Recently, while on his way to Philadelphia, Sir W. Thomson himself was able to take flying soundings, reaching the bottom in sixty-eight fathoms, from a Cunard Line steamship going at full speed.

"Sir William Thomson is a Fellow of the Royal Society of London and of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. He has received the Royal Medal of the former and the Keith Medal of the latter. He is also an honorary member of several foreign societies. The Universities of Dublin, of Cambridge, and of Edinburgh, have each conferred upon him the honorary degree of LL. D., and that of Oxford the honorary degree of D. C. L. On his marriage in 1852 he gave up his fellowship at St. Peter's College, Cambridge; but in 1871 his college again elected him to a fellowship, which he now holds."