Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 2.djvu/767

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EDITOR'S TABLE.

EDITOR'S TABLE.

 

OUR FIRST YEAR'S WORK.

WHEN The Popular Science Monthly started, the public were informed that it would be published a year at any rate, and go on if fairly sustained; our second volume is now completed, and we are happy to announce that the enterprise will be continued, and gives promise of permanence. It was entered upon as an experiment, and generally thought to be a hopeless one. The quality of those periodicals which reach great circulation was pointed out as evidence of what the people demand, and we had the most discouraging assurances that they will not sustain a solid and really instructive magazine, which requires them to think. Believing, however, that there are large numbers who would gladly support such a monthly if they could get it, we determined to give them the chance, and have been justified in the result. Our Monthly is not only a success, but it has succeeded on its own merits alone. All the clap-trap artifices for rushing into a big circulation have been avoided: the public have neither been bribed by premiums, nor tempted by cheapness, nor lured by large promises, nor stunned by pictorial display, nor deafened by the trumpetings of self-praise, such as usually accompany the advent of new periodicals. We entered quietly upon the undertaking, and with its announcement the first number was ready, so that people might judge of it themselves. In our prospectus we said: The Popular Science Monthly will contain instructive and attractive articles and abstracts of articles, original, selected, and illustrated, from the leading scientific men of different countries, giving the latest interpretations of natural phenomena, explaining the applications of science to the practical arts, and to the operations of domestic life.

"It is designed to give especial prominence to those branches of science which help to a better understanding of the nature of man; to present the claims of scientific education, and the bearings of science upon questions of society and government; how the various subjects of current opinion are affected by the advance of scientific inquiry will also be considered." We appeal to the two volumes of the Monthly now completed in proof that these pledges have been fairly redeemed.

In stating that our enterprise is an undoubted success, it will, of course, not be understood that we have a circulation at all comparable with that of the leading periodicals devoted to light literature, but it is greater than was anticipated, and is steadily increasing. The undertaking has, moreover, met with wide sympathy and warm encouragement from the most intelligent class of readers throughout the country. There has been an almost unanimous expression of opinion on the part of individuals and the press that The Popular Science Monthly has met an urgent public need, that it is the most valuable magazine now before the American public, and deserves an extensive patronage. For all these kind expressions, and for the substantial support which has accompanied them, we return to our friends the most cordial thanks.

But, while our work has been thus far approved, we are far from claiming that it has been perfect. It has the imperfections which are incident to a new project in a new field, and which it will require time and experience to remove. We intend to improve it in several important features. While pursu-