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City and Guilds (Engineering) College, London

Nature volume 135, page 259 (16 February 1935) | Download Citation

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IN speaking, at the jubilee celebration of the City and Guilds (Engineering) College, Prof. H. E. Armstrong directed special attention to the origin of the Imperial College, tracing this and the general development of scientific activity at South Kensington mainly back to the late Lord Playfair, in particular to his appointment at the Museum of Practical Geology, the home of the Geological Survey, about 1843. South Kensington, he believes, is still without any memorial of the great ‘little’ man. Discussing the history of the Royal College of Chemistry, established in Oxford Street in 1845, now the Royal College of Science, Prof. Armstrong said that the funds were chiefly obtained from the farming community, owing to the enthusiasm aroused by Liebig in his tour throughout agricultural England in 1842-43. When the Royal College of Science was opened, its rural promoters had looked forward to the development of the school in the interests of agriculture. Man may propose but professors dispose: nothing was further from Hofmann's genius. Agricultural chemistry, Prof. Armstrong said, is not taught in England in a way in the least comparable with that in which engineering has been taught in the Guilds Colleges. He ventured to express the hope that, by the time the College of Chemistry celebrated its centenary, it will have learnt what its original purpose was and will seek to fulfil this. By that time perhaps the world will have recognised that no other subject is so worthy of chief attention as is agriculture.

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https://doi.org/10.1038/135259a0

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