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executed for about £1000. More than £700. have been already subscribed, and among the many gratifying circumstances of the past year, the Council would particularly select the liberality with which all have come forward to further this object.
Such has been the unanimity of feeling evinced in this respect, that the Council believe ample resources will be found, and that the future Council will not have to avail themselves of the liberal offer of your President, to advance whatever sum the Institution might require.
The existing furniture is all available for the present premises, and the outlay which will be required for what more may be desirable for your comfort and suitable accommodation, will not be greater than the growing resources of the Institution can conveniently meet; so that there is no danger of any permanent debt being entailed on the funds of the Institution. By the terms of the lease you are secured from the expense of serious repairs, and from the completeness with which, on the present contract, they will be executed, the Council do not anticipate that any thing further of importance will be required for many years to come.
The Council would next advert to other subjects which have occupied their attention during the past year, some of which were dwelt upon at length in the last Annual Report. It will be in the remembrance of most that, during the year preceding the last Annual Meeting, some changes were made in the constitution of the general body and of the Council. The more important of these changes were, the incorporation into the class of Members, without distinction of residence, of all those whose professional qualifications were recognised as the same; the creation of a new class under the term Graduates, to include those who, either as pupils or assistants to Engineers, were qualifying themselves for the practice of the profession on their own account; the increase of the number of the Council, and the addition of two as representatives of the class of Associates. The Council, on the experience of the past year, conceive that these and other important changes recommended by their predecessors in office, and adopted by the General Meeting of Members, have contributed much towards the success and permanent stability of the Institution.
The Council conceive that the introduction of two from the class of Associates may be attended with great benefits to the Institution. This change has been objected to by some zealous friends of the Institution among the Associates themselves, on the ground that such an introduction might tend to divert the attention of the Institution from objects strictly professional. The Council, however, do not
conceive that such fears have any just foundation, so long as the rest of their body consists of men honoured by the confidence of the profession; but, on the contrary, that the class of Associates, containing many distinguished for their attainments in pursuits intimately connected with the practice of the Civil Engineer, will furnish those who may co-operate in advancing not only the interests of the Institution, but the cause of general knowledge. The Council cannot omit to bear testimony to the valuable services of Mr. Carpmael and Lieutenant Denison during the preceding year, and they would repeat the recommendation made to the last Annual Meeting, that two of the class of Associates be elected on the Council of the ensuing year.
Other alterations have been suggested, on which the Council have bestowed much deliberation, and in case the future Council should think it advisable to summon a General Meeting of Members, to consider the propriety of making any alteration in the existing laws, it may be advantageous briefly to advert to one or two of the proposed alterations, which have occupied the attention of the Council during the past year. It has been suggested that the
Annual Election of the Council should be conducted in a somewhat different manner from that at present pursued: That a greater number than that constituting the Council should be nominated, and that each person at the Annual General Meeting, instead of, as at present, erasing one name and substituting another, erase as many names as the number on the Balloting list exceeds the constituted number of the Council. It has also been suggested, whether it may not be for the advantage of the Institution, that the Council should be increased by the addition of two Members; that, as frequently some of its most distinguished Members are inevitably prevented by professional engagements from attending the ordinary meetings, the Council should be enlarged to as great an extent as may be consistent with the true interests of the Institution.
The Council have frequently experienced difficulty in deciding on Members. the qualifications for admission into the class of Members. It is a peculiar feature in your Institution, that the class of Members should consist of those strictly engaged in the practice of the Civil Engineer. The objects of the Civil Engineer are defined by your Charter, and the Council, considering that the success and permanency of the Institution must depend in a great measure on the care exercised in admission into this class, have repeatedly considered this subject with the view of presenting some definite rules for the guidance of themselves and others. It has appeared that they will be
aided in this difficult task by adhering as much as possible to the two following conditions:-either
He shall have been regularly educated as a Civil Engineer, according to the usual routine of Pupilage, and have had subsequent employment for at least five years in responsible situations, as resident or otherwise, in some of the branches defined by the Charter, as constituting the profession of a Civil Engineer :-or,
He shall have practised on his own account in the profession of a Civil Engineer for five years, and have acquired considerable eminence therein.
It is thought that the first condition will include those who, by regular education, have done their utmost towards qualifying themselves for the profession, and that their subsequent employment in responsible situations will be a guarantee that they have availed themselves of the opportunities which they may have enjoyed.
In the earlier days of the science of the Civil Engineer, such a condition would have been inapplicable; then the force of native genius sufficed to place the individual in that position of professional eminence, which commenced with a Brindley and a Smeaton, and was in our own time exemplified in a Rennie and a Telford. To such, of whom there are many illustrious examples amongst us, the second condition is strictly applicable.
Since the close of the last Session, the second volume of the Transactions has been published. The Council regret that the volume should have been delayed so long beyond the expected time, but they would remind the Meeting that the preparation of a volume, containing twenty-three highly executed plates, is a work of no ordinary difficulty, and that a delay in any part will of necessity preclude the publication of the volume. The danger of delay, when a whole volume is to be published at once, has led the Council to consider, whether it would not be for the interest of the Institution, to publish in parts of volumes, and, from time to time, as they can be prepared, such communications as are destined to occupy a place in the Transactions. The advantages resulting to all parties from such an arrangement would, it is conceived, be great; delay in the publication of a body of communications by reason of the incompleteness of one of them, would be entirely avoided; authors would surely gladly avail themselves of this means of transmitting papers to the
world, since all the merit due to priority of claim would then be undoubtedly secured to them.
Should, however, the succeeding Council consider the propriety Minutes of of adopting some plan similar to the above for the publication of the Proceedings. Transactions, the Council would urge the importance of adhering to the publication of the Minutes of Proceedings. In these are recorded many communications of partial and transient interest which would be comparatively of little value unless published at the time. By these, the public is at once brought into immediate contact with the Institution; the labours of Authors can be extensively made known; their merit in the priority of invention and discovery secured as a matter of history, and their opinions canvassed almost as soon as promulgated by many competent judges who are unable to attend the Meetings.
At the close of the preceding Session, the Council issued a list of Telford subjects, to adequate communications on which they would award Telford Premiums. The following communications were received: A most elaborate and beautiful set of drawings of the Shield at the Thames Tunnel from Mr. Brunel, and two sets of drawings of Huddart's Rope Machinery, the one from Mr. Birch, the other from Mr. Dempsey. The merits of this celebrated Shield and its value as a means of executing works similar to the Thames Tunnel are so well known, that it were superfluous here to insist upon the benefits which Mr. Brunel has, by the invention of it, conferred on the Civil Engineer. The Council, feeling that this communication and the invention of the Shield were entitled to a high mark of approbation, determined on presenting Mr. Brunel with a Silver Medal, accompanied by a suitable record of the sense entertained of the benefit conferred by him on the practice of the Civil Engineer. Feeling also that the beauty of the Drawings fully merited some mark of approbation, they determined on presenting the draughtsman, Mr. Pinchback, with a Bronze Medal in testimony thereof.
The communications by Mr. Birch and Mr. Dempsey on Huddart's Rope Machinery, likewise called for some special mark of approbation on the part of the Council. The liberality of Mr. Cotton, the intimate friend of the late Captain Huddart, and proprietor of this machinery, in throwing open to the Institution the works at Limehouse, is fresh in the recollection of most present; with that same liberality he at once acceded to the wish of the Council to allow any person to attend and make drawings of this celebrated Rope Machinery for the Institution. Two young men availed themselves of this liberality, and with great perseverance measured and took drawings of this elaborate machinery, and the results of
their industry are the two beautiful sets of drawings, accompanied by suitable manuscript accounts, presented by them to the Institution. Of the accuracy of these drawings, Mr. Cotton and Mr. Roberts have spoken in high terms. Of their merits as mechanical drawings, the Institution has had ample opportunity of judging. The Council felt that to have attempted to distinguish betwixt the merits of these two communications would have been both difficult and invidious; they have therefore awarded a Telford Medal in silver, accompanied by books to the value of five guineas, both to Mr. Birch and Mr. Dempsey.
The Council have already spoken of the liberality with which Mr. Cotton had responded to the wishes of the Institution; his liberality stopped not however here; but he has promised to supply to the Institution that account and history of this machinery of his late distinguished friend which he alone has the power of doing.
On the other subjects then issued, the Council have not yet received any communications of great merit. They have, however, the pleasure of being able to announce that your Associate, Mr. Jones, has made considerable progress with an account of the Westminster Sewage; that your Associate, Mr. Johnson, has promised some drawings and models connected with the Breakwater; and your Member, Mr. Oldham, a communication on the means which he has adopted for warming and ventilation at the Bank of England. On the nature and properties of Steam considered in reference to its application as a Moving Power, and on the ratio betwixt the velocity, load, and power, of Locomotive Engines on Railways, no communication to which a premium could with propriety be adjudged has yet been received. The subjects on which no communication deserving a premium has been received, have consequently been issued with others for the present Session.
But though the Council received no communication in which the subject of steam was treated in the wide and comprehensive manner which was desired, they deemed worthy of premiums the following communications on parts of this great subject:-On the effective pressure of Steam in the Cornish Condensing Engines, by your Member, Thomas Wicksteed: On the expansive action of Steam in the cylinder of some of the Cornish Condensing Engines, by W. J. Henwood; and on the evaporation of water in the boilers of Steam Engines, by your Member, Josiah Parkes. To each of these, the Council have awarded a Silver Medal.
The communication by Mr. Wicksteed is of great value, as containing the only recorded experiment in which the water raised was actually weighed. It will be in the recollection of most present, that