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    Naturevolume 18pages207210 (1878) | Download Citation



    A LATE member of the present ministry, at a dinner given by, the institution whose hospitality we experience in this hall, implied, on the authority of one of the leading members of the engineering profession, that invention, like cocktails and Colorado beetles, had taken root in America and had deserted old England. It is therefore to me, as I am sure it is to you, a great gratification to have brought before us an invention which is the offspring of British soil. During the last few months the science of acoustics has made marvellous and rapid strides. First of all we had the telephone, which enabled us to transmit human speech to distances far beyond the reach of the ear and the eye. Then we had the phonograph, which enabled us to reproduce sounds uttered at any place and at anytime; and now we have that still more wonderful instrument, which not only enables us to hear sounds that would otherwise be inaudible, but also enables us to magnify sounds that are audible; in other wards, the instrument which I shall have the pleasure of bringing before you to-night, is one that acts towards the ear in the same capacity as the microscope acts towards the eye.

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