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The Rotundity of the Earth


A RECENT number of the Field contains an account of a very amusing investigation which has been recently conducted on the Bedford Level to settle the question whether the earth is a globe or not! It appears that a Mr. Hampden threw out a challenge by which he offered to pay 500l. to anyone who would prove the rotundity, which challenge has been taken up by Mr. A. R. Wallace, who has lodged a similar sum with the Editor of the Field. To test this point, six miles of the Bedford Level were used, three signals, each 13 feet 4 inches above the water level, being put up three miles apart. Mr. Wallace asserted that if he were correct the central signal would appear elevated about 5 feet above the line joining the other two; Mr. Hampden holding, of course, that they would all be in the same straight line. It is needless to say what the result was, but we now come to a part of the story which is not so amusing, and here we quote from the Field:—

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The Rotundity of the Earth . Nature 1, 581 (1870).

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