Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 62.djvu/385

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SCIENTIFIC LITERATURE.

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rapines by Hofraann include Graham, Liebig, Buff, von Fehling, Wöhler, Dumas, Quintino Sella, Kirchoff and Wurtz, as well as some of his own pupils; besides portraits of these chemists the volumes contain facsimiles and other illustrations.

Of English scientists living at the beginning of the nineteenth century there exists a very large, handsomely engraved print, which represents the men assembled in the Royal Institution; this was designed by Gilbert and drawn by Skill and W. Walker, the latter of whom being also the engraver; it was published in June, 1862. It contains fifty portraits, including twelve distinguished chemists, Cavendish, Dalton, Davy, Rumford, Watt, Wollaston, Rutherford and others; and is accompanied by a key and a volume giving biographies of all the scientists whose portraits are given. The book is edited by William Walker, junior, and with the print forms a most valuable publication of artistic merit.

Of American scientists the chief treasury for portraits and biographies are the volumes of The Popular Science Monthly as is well known to our readers. From the pages of this journal the late editor compiled a handsome book of over five hundred pages, entitled 'Pioneers of Science in America' (New York, 1896), and embracing sketches of forty-nine eminent men; the excellent portraits in this work were in large measure drawn and engraved expressly for it, and some of them can scarcely be found elsewhere.

In concluding these desultory comments on biographies of eminent chemists, begun in the April number, mention, must be made of two more volumes of interest; 'Essays in Historical Chemistry,' by T. E. Thorpe (London, 1894), might be more accurately entitled essays in chemical biography, for the volume consists of addresses and lectures dealing with the lives and scientific labors of twelve distinguished chemists, from Hon. Robert Boyle, the 'Father of Chemistry and Brother to the Earl of Cork,' to Dimitri Ivanowitsh Mendeléeff, the Russian whose name is memorably linked to the periodic law. Dr. Thorpe's essays are gracefully written and read well, but he has not always taken pains to verify his statements. The assertion, for example, that Claudio Bereguardi made experiments with the barometer on the leaning tower of Pisa (prior to Torricelli's invention) is a myth.

The second work to be named in conclusion is entitled 'Memorial Lectures delivered before the Chemical Society [of London]' (London, 1901), to which allusion has already been made; it contains masterly sketches of the lives and labors of twelve of the most eminent chemists who have died within the last decade, each written by a sympathetic friend or by one whose investigations were analogous. This work can be cordially commended as the most recent, authoritative and comprehensive volume published on the subject. Fine portraits embellish the valuable contribution to chemical biography.