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The Story of a Tinder-box   By: (1843-1892)

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THE STORY OF A TINDER BOX.

[Illustration: THE STORY OF A TINDER BOX]

THE ROMANCE OF SCIENCE.

THE STORY OF A TINDER BOX.

A COURSE OF LECTURES

Delivered before a Juvenile Auditory at the London Institution during the Christmas Holidays of 1888 89.

BY THE LATE CHARLES MEYMOTT TIDY, M.B., M.S., F.C.S. FORMERLY BARRISTER AT LAW; PROFESSOR OF CHEMISTRY AND OF FORENSIC MEDICINE AT THE LONDON HOSPITAL; MEDICAL OFFICER OF HEALTH FOR ISLINGTON; VICE PRESIDENT OF THE INSTITUTE OF CHEMISTRY; ONE OF THE OFFICIAL ANALYSTS TO THE HOME OFFICE.

LONDON: SOCIETY FOR PROMOTING CHRISTIAN KNOWLEDGE, NORTHUMBERLAND AVENUE, W.C.; 43, QUEEN VICTORIA STREET, E.C. BRIGHTON: 129, NORTH STREET. NEW YORK: E. & J. B. YOUNG & CO. 1897.

[PUBLISHED UNDER THE DIRECTION OF THE GENERAL LITERATURE COMMITTEE.]

PREFACE.

These lectures were delivered with the assistance merely of a few notes, the author in preparing them for the press adhering as nearly as possible to the shorthand writer's manuscript. They must be read as intentionally untechnical holiday lectures intended for juveniles. But as the print cannot convey the experiments or the demonstrations, the reader is begged to make the necessary allowance.

The author desires to take this opportunity of expressing his thanks to Messrs. Bryant and May; to Messrs. Woodhouse and Rawson, electrical engineers; to Mr. Woolf, the lead pencil manufacturer; and to Mr. Gardiner, for numerous specimens with which the lectures were illustrated.

THE STORY OF A TINDER BOX

LECTURE I.

MY YOUNG FRIENDS, Some months ago the Directors of this Institution honoured me with a request that I should deliver a course of Christmas Juvenile Lectures. I must admit I did my best to shirk the task, feeling that the duty would be better intrusted to one who had fewer demands upon his time. It was under the genial influence of a bright summer's afternoon, when one thought Christmas tide such a long way off that it might never come, that I consented to undertake this course of lectures. No sooner had I done so than I was pressed to name a subject. Now it is a very difficult thing to choose a subject, and especially a subject for a course of juvenile lectures; and I will take you thus much into my confidence by telling you that I selected the subject upon which I am to speak to you, long before I had a notion what I could make of it, or indeed whether I could make anything at all of it. I mention these details to ask you and our elders who honour us you and me with their company at these lectures, for some little indulgence, if at times the story I have to tell proves somewhat commonplace, something you may have heard before, a tale oft told. My sole desire is that these lectures should be true juvenile lectures.

Well, you all know what this is? [ Holding up a box of matches. ] It is a box of matches. And you know, moreover, what it is used for, and how to use it. I will take out one of the matches, rub it on the box, and "strike a light." You say that experiment is commonplace enough. Be it so. At any rate, I want you to recollect that phrase "strike a light." It will occur again in our course of lectures. But, you must know, there was a time when people wanted fire, but had no matches wherewith to procure it. How did they obtain fire? The necessity for, and therefore the art of producing, fire is, I should suppose, as old as the world itself. Although it may be true that our very earliest ancestors relied for necessary food chiefly on an uncooked vegetable diet, nevertheless it is certain that very early in the history of the world people discovered that cooked meat (the venison that our souls love) was a thing not altogether to be despised... Continue reading book >>




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