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The Moon-Element: an Introduction to the Wonders of Selenium

Nature volume 114, page 47 (12 July 1924) | Download Citation



DR. FOURNIER D'ALBE'S book is chiefly a history of the optophone, the instrument for enabling the blind to read ordinary print. This history claims about one-third of the volume and deals in chronological order with the development of the device from its invention by Dr. Fournier in 1913 to its present form in which Messrs. Barr and Stroud, and, in particular, Dr. Archibald Barr of that firm, have collaborated. The long eighth chapter is a record of the pertinacity of the author for many years in the face of discouragement and opposition, and is almost a biography. Indeed, a not unsuitable title for the chapter, if not for the whole book, might be “The Triumph of the Optophone.” It is natural enough that an author should write at length on the fruit of his own efforts. Here, in so small a volume, the effect has been to curtail too much what could have been written about other important applications of selenium. The optophone is the only instrument described in anything like detail. Most of the other selenium devices are referred to only briefly, and a few get no mention at all.

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