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Nature volume 29, page 476 | Download Citation



THIS work, now in the second year of publication, contains much information of use to electric and telegraphic engineers. Amongst its contents are comprised a list of new electric companies, a list of provisional orders granted by Parliament for electric lighting, a list of the “British Cable Fleet,” a list of British railways and railway officials, a fairly complete directory of the professions and trades connected with electricity; also a large amount of statistical information about different kinds of dynamo machines, electric lamps, and telegraph tariffs, much of which will doubtless be out of date in twelve months' time. There is also an obituary of electricians deceased in 1883, a table by Mr. Geipel of the cost of electric conductors as calculated by Sir W. Thomson's formula, and a set of tables by Mr. Crawley for corrections of measurements in horse-power and in watts. These two sets of tables are the only portion of the work claiming independent scientific value. We object entirely to Mr. Crawley's gratuitous remark in the prefatory paragraph of his section that the accepted system of electric units was “really foisted upon electricians by men devoted more to theoretic than to practical work.” Nothing could be further from the truth than to accuse Mr. Latimer Clark, Sir Charles Bright, who originated the system, and Sir William Thomson, who did so much to perfect it, of not being practical workers. As a matter of fact, ohms, volts, farads, and webers were used by practical electricians for years before they found their way into the text-books written by the theorists.

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