Miscellany | Published:

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Nature volume 96, pages 628633 (03 February 1916) | Download Citation

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Abstract

THE issue of Science for December 24 last prints an address by Dr. L. H. Baekeland delivered before a recent joint meeting of the New York Section of the American Chemical Society, the American Electrochemical Society, and the Society of Chemical Industry, on the recent proposals of the Naval Consulting Bpard of the United States.Dr..Baekeland is a member of the board, and this address is the first public report of the discussions of the board on the so-called “five-million laboratory” proposed by the Naval Consulting Board. The contemplated outlay for the navy for the next five years, for new ships, aviation, and reserve of munitions, amounts to 100,000,000l., and the argument of the address is that an expenditure of this magnitude ought to be made as efficient as possible. All doubtful and inferior devices must be eliminated by direct experiment, by research and tests, before it is too late to remedy them. The advisory board has stated the facts as it saw them, and confronted the secretary of the navy with the probable maximum expenses for research and experimentation, commensurate to the five years' naval building programme now under contemplation. The five-million dollar budget, or 1,000,000l., for experimental work to be expended during those five years, or about 200,000l. a year, may, says Dr. Baekeland, strike the uninitiated as needlessly large, although it is only about what sprne industrial enterprises have found necessary to spend on their own experimental work. The corrosion of condenser tubes of American warships involves an annual damage of about 400,000l. If 200,000l. were spent on research on this problem alone, with the result,of reducing the damage to one-half, the total outlay would be compensated in a few months' time, aside from the important fact that the fleet would be stronger because less of the ships would be unavailable for service.

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https://doi.org/10.1038/096628a0

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