Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 2.djvu/117

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105
SKETCH OF PROFESSOR TYNDALL.

not being satisfactory, he rejoined, "You have five hours a day at your disposal, and this time ought to be devoted to systematic study. Had I, when at your age, had a friend to advise me, as I now advise you, instead of being in a subordinate position, I might have been at the head of the Survey." Next morning Tyndall was at his books before five o'clock, and for twelve years never swerved from the pratice.

In 1844, seeing no definite prospect before him, Mr. Tyndall resolved to go to America, whither, in the early part of the present century, some members of his father's family had emigrated, and who now reside in Philadelphia[1]. This was, however, opposed by his friends, and, an opening occurring, he entered upon the vocation of a railroad engineer. To five years upon the Ordnance Survey succeeded three years of railway experience. But, this proving unpromising, and animated by a strong desire to augment his knowledge, Mr. Tyndall resigned his position, and accepted an appointment in Queenswood College, Hampshire—a new institution devoted partly to a junior school and partly to the preliminary technical education of agriculturists and engineers. Prof. Tyndall here developed a remarkable capacity as a teacher. Although totally inexperienced in this field, such was his magnetic influence over the students, that he was invariably called upon to compose their disturbances, which he did by moral influences and pure force of character. It was his experience in this institution that gave him the groundwork of his masterly address on education before the Royal Institution.[2]

In 1848, in company with his friend Frankland (now Prof. Frankland, of the Royal School of Chemistry), Tyndall quitted England, and, attracted by the fame of Prof. Bunsen, repaired to the University of Marburg, in Hesse-Cassel. Prof. Tyndall had the free use of the laboratory and cabinets of this institution, with the instructions of Bunsen, Gerling, Knoblauch, and Stegman. His first scientific paper was a mathematical essay on screw-surfaces, which formed the subject of his inaugural dissertation when he took his degree. But the investigation which first made him known to the scientific world was "On the Magne-optic Properties of Crystals, and the Relation of Magnetism and Diamagnetism to Molecular Arrangement." This investigation was executed in connection with Prof. Knoblauch, and was published in the Philosophical Magazine for 1850.

In 1851 Mr. Tyndall went to Berlin, and continued his researches in the laboratory of Prof. Magnus. He soon, however, returned to London, and was elected Fellow of the Royal Society in 1852. He was invited to give a Friday evening discourse at the Royal Institution, which he delivered February 14, 1853, and was so successful that

  1. One of these is Hector Tyndale, who distinguished himself as an officer in the late war. At Antietam he fought as major, and for his gallant behavior was subsequently made brigadier-general.
  2. See "Culture demanded by Modern Life." D. Appleton & Co.