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THE Council of the Institution of Civil Engineers, on resigning Annual the trust which has been confided to them during the past year, in- Report. vite the attention of the Annual General Meeting and of all who are interested in the progress of practical science, to the following report on the discharge of their various duties, and on the general nature of the proceedings of the past year.
The Annual Report of the Council of several preceding years has dwelt in considerable detail not only on alterations in the ordinary business of the Institution, and on the introduction of measures which might tend to the convenience of the general body, but also on changes of a more important character, affecting the constitution and permanent stability of the Institution itself. The year which has now past has not been marked by any features of this nature. The principal duty of the Council has been to carry out and persevere in the practice and regulations established during previous years, which have been found to contribute so much to the rapid growth and increasing value of the Institution.
But, though the past year may not have been marked by extensive changes or by the introduction of new regulations, it has been characterized by events of great interest, and the proceedings of the last session surpass in extent those of any previous year. extended importance of the Institution has imposed an augmentation of duty and responsibility on your Council, and they have laboured so to direct the affairs intrusted to them, that the discharge of those increased duties might be attended with a corresponding elevation in the character of the Institution, and that their successors in office may realize a still further progress towards that eminence which is already in some measure attained.
Among the various duties which devolve on your Council, that of disposing and awarding the Telford Premiums is of the highest consequence, and on the proper discharge of which much of the permanent success of the Institution will depend. The Council, deeply impressed with this, have given their most careful consideration to the subject; they would direct your attention to the following notice of the premiums, and of the respective communications for which they have been awarded.
In the Annual Report of the last Session, the Council stated that it would be one of the earliest duties of their successors to consider in what manner the benefits conferred by your member Mr. Parkes on practical science, by the communications then alluded to, could be most appropriately acknowledged; and the present Council, concurring most fully in these sentiments, are of opinion, that as no papers have hitherto been received by the Institution, exhibiting so much originality, labour, and ingenuity, in dealing with the facts presented to his notice, combined so essentially with practical utility, they are warranted in conferring on Mr. Parkes the highest honour which the Institution has in its power to bestow. They have awarded, therefore, the Telford Gold Medal to Mr. Parkes, for his communications on "Steam Boilers and Steam Engines," which are now published in the first and second parts of the third volume of the Transactions. These papers and the discussions to which they gave rise, occupying as they did the attention of several of your meetings, together with the interest which they excited, must be fresh in the recollection of all who were present. It will therefore be unnecessary to dwell particularly on their contents; but, inasmuch as the highest honour of the Institution has been awarded to them, an honour which (it must be remembered) has been but once previously conferred, the Council feel it to be a duty which they owe to the Institution, to themselves, and to the Public, no less than to the Author, to point out (as has been partially done in the Report of the last year) some of the principal features in these communications, and the peculiar benefits which are thereby conferred on practical science.
These communications are the continuation of the labours of the author, which commenced with the paper on the " Evaporation of water from Steam Boilers," published in the second volume of the Transactions, and for which a Silver Medal was awarded on a previous occasion. The first communication, forming the subject of the present notice, relates especially to Steam Boilers, respecting which many well-ascertained facts had been collected; but previously to Mr. Parkes devoting his attention to this subject, no clear and
connected view had been given of the various facts, or of their relation to each other, and to the circumstances under which they are exhibited. When so represented, it appears that the peculiar circumstances under which Steam Boilers are employed and their corresponding qualities and characteristics in respect of construction, proportion of parts, and practical management, present certain quantities and relations, which exert a peculiar influence over the results connected with evaporation; and these being clearly developed and understood, indicate correctly the character of the boiler. Certain definite quantities, relations, or exponents, with other facts of paramount importance, such as the effect of the element time, or the period of the detention of the heat about the boiler, and various actions independent of the temperature of the fire, and tending to the destruction of the boiler, are here for the first time pressed on the attention of the practical Engineer. In the second communication, the author traces the distribution and application of Steam in several classes of Steam Engines. In the execution of this task, he is led into a detailed examination of various important questions: the best practical measure of the dynamic efficiency of steam, the methods employed to determine the power of engines,— the measures of effect,—the expenditure of power,—the proportions of boilers to engines,-the standard measure of duty,-the constituent heat of steam,-the locomotive engine,-the blast and the resistance occasioned by it,—the momentum of the engine and train, as exhibiting the whole useful effort exerted by the steam,— and the relative expenditure of power for a given effect, by fixed and locomotive non-condensing engines. The bare enumeration of the principal subjects which have been carefully analysed and illustrated by the facts applicable to each respective case, will give some idea of the magnitude of the task here undertaken; and when in addition is considered the elaborate and extensive series of tables exhibiting the results and analysis of the facts collected and used in the course of the inquiry, the Council cannot but feel that a more laborious task has rarely been accomplished. A peculiar feature of these communications, and one to which the Council would particularly advert, is, that they are not of a speculative character, but present a detailed analysis of authenticated facts.
This analysis consists in separating and ascertaining the various results, and in referring them to particular classes, so that they may be readily applicable in practice. The merit of instituting and recording a series of observations upon a scientific subject is universally acknowledged, but the reduction of such observations so as to form a standard of reference to which the practical
Engineer may appeal, is a task of far greater difficulty, and its execution of far higher merit. It is in this eminent rank that the Council would place these communications of Mr. Parkes.
The description by Mr. Leslie of the Harbour and Docks of Dundee, was also briefly adverted to in the last Annual Report, as one of those communications on which the Institution sets great value. It consists of a detailed account of the progress of the improvements projected by Smeaton, Telford, and others, in part carried into execution by the projectors, and completed under the author's own superintendence since 1832. The illustrations of the projected and executed improvements with the plans, elevations, sections, and details of the works of the Docks, Gates, Quays, Cranes, and Machinery employed, occupy 36 sheets of drawings. To the copious history and description of these works is added an extensive series of observations on the Tides. The determination of these facts for different parts of the globe, is a question of the greatest importance in physical astronomy, and the Council would take this opportunity of pointing out the essential service which may thus be rendered by the Engineer to the cause of science by his recording the observations which he has pre-eminently the opportunity of making. For this valuable record of an executed work, the Council have awarded a Silver Medal and a copy of the Life and Works of Telford. Mr.Mallet. A Silver Medal and the Life and Works of Telford have been
awarded to your Associate, Robert Mallet, for his communication on the "Corrosion of Cast and Wrought Iron in Water." This communication presents features of no ordinary interest to the Engineer. The comparatively recent introduction of Cast iron for the purposes of piling, for wharfs, &c. and of Wrought iron in the construction of vessels, has rendered the subject of the action of water upon iron of peculiar importance; the British Association have from time to time granted sums of money, for making experiments on this subject, and Mr. Mallet having been engaged in conducting these experiments, has selected from the very extensive series of results obtained by him, those conclusions which may be of service to the practical Engineer. The most valuable portion of this communication consists of elaborate tables; which exhibit the results of the action of clear and foul sea and fresh water at different temperatures upon cast and wrought iron. Such being the general nature of the experiments, the results to which they lead, or the effects produced, present several remarkable characteristics, and it is found that the corrosive action of water and air combined, produces on the surface of cast or wrought iron, a state of rust possessing one of five distinctive features, viz., uniform,-uniform with plumbago,