ACCOUNT, 1893-4.



Balance from 1892–3
By Cash from Subscriptions :-

117 Annual Subscriptions, at 21s.

at 10s. 60.

£122 17 0

2 12 6

To Cash paid Royal Institution, one year's Rent

Printing and Binding.
Stationery, &c
Refreshments, &c.
Librarian's Expenses


£ 8. d.
59 12 6
27 18 9
21 7 0
1 3 6
0 15 6
6 7 6
1 10 0
10 15 5

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£149 10 2

Audited and found correct, (Signed) JAS. BIRCHALL,








Annual Meeting, October 1, 1894. J. Birkbeck Nevins, M.D., in the chair. The following Report was read and passed :

REPORT. In presenting their Report of the Society's proceedings during the Eighty-third Session, the Council have again to record with satisfaction that the position of the Society has been fully maintained.

Nineteen new ordinary members have been elected during the present Session, bringing the total to 184, as compared with 175 at the corresponding period of last year. The membership is now higher than it has been for the past six years.

Fourteen meetings were held during the Session, the average attendance being 83. This also exceeds the general average attendance of all the preceding years for which the attendance at meetings is recorded in the Annual Report, and affords gratifying evidence of an increasing general interest in the proceedings of the Society.

At the request of the Council, Sir Edward Russell prepared and read before the Society a memorial paper on the late Rev. Henry Hugh Higgins. It finds a place in the volume of Proceedings as a sympathetic record of one whose life-long devotion to the objects of the Society gave him a foremost place in the affection and esteem of members.

The Council regret the loss during the Session, by death, of a distinguished honorary member, Professor John Tyndall, whose connexion with the Society dated from the year 1870.

During the past Session, the revision of the Laws of the Society has been successfully completed. The procedure for the election of new members has been much simplified, and in other respects the Laws have been brought into accord with present usage. The Revised Laws have been re-printed, and a copy sent to every member.


I. Oct. 15th, 1894. The President, Dr. J. Birkbeck Nevins, in the chair. Paper by Mr. Joseph Parry, M.Inst.C.E., on “ The New Water Supply of Liverpool.” ”

II. Oct. 29th, 1894. The President, Dr. J. Birkbeck Nevins, in the chair. Paper by Lieut. Mark Sweny, R.N., entitled “Historical Sketch of the Sea Approaches to the Mersey." Numerous maps, plans, and models were shewn.

III. Nov. 12th, 1894. The President, Dr. J. Birkbeck Nevins, in the chair. In commemoration of the 400th anniversary of the birth of Hans Sachs, one of his stories, “Henry the Lion, Duke of Brunswick," was read in English by Mr. McLintock. Paper by Mr. Edward Davies, F.C.S., F.I.C., entitled “Dust Explosions in Coal Mines.'

IV. Nov. 26th, 1894. The President, Dr. J. Birkbeck Nevins, in the chair. Note by Mr. R. C. Johnson, F.R.A.S., on “Features of Mars and Jupiter in 1894.” Paper by Mr. Robert Gladstone, Jun., B.C.L., M.A., entitled “Our absurd Musical System.”

V. Dec. 10th, 1894. The President, Dr. J. Birkbeck Nevins, in the chair. Paper by Dr. J. Ernest Nevins, entitled “Four Years at an Indian Court."

VI. Jan. 7th, 1895. The President, Dr. J. Birkbeck Nevins, in the chair. Paper by Mr. Frederick W. Edwards on “Trade Guilds."

VII. Jan. 21st, 1895. The President, Dr. J. Birkbeck Nevins, in the chair. Paper by Sir Edward Russell, entitled “ An Optimist on Democracy.”

VIII. Feb. 4th, 1895. The President, Dr. J. Birkbeck Nevins, in the chair. Mr. W. Watson Rutherford elected Librarian on the resignation of Mr. R. McLintock. Communication by Dr. Carter on the discovery of Argon. Paper by Principal Rendall, M.A., on • Prehistoric Greece-the Age of Mycena."

IX. Feb. 18th, 1895. The President, Dr. J. Birkbeck Nevins, in the chair. Mr. James Hargreaves gave an account of his researches, in conjunction with the late Mr. Bird, on the electrolysis of salts, exhibiting some of the apparatus used in the laboratory experiments and materials used on a manufacturing scale. After describing electrolysis of common salt, and production of soda and chlorine, he stated that their experiments had forced them to the conclusion that the generally accepted hypothesis of the migration of the ions would have to be reconsidered. The result of its acceptance by themselves had been a great waste of time and labour, and their more recent progress had been due to its rejection, and the adoption of other views more in accordance with experimental evidence. The test of a hypothesis was its capability of predicting results, and by that standard the “orthodox" hypothesis completely failed, in which case all mathematical refinements founded upon it must equally be at fault. For instance, the old hypothesis required that to decompose salt it was necessary that salt should be present on the surface of the cathode, and hence it should be impossible to obtain a pure product. In their own case they worked without any salt at all in contact with the cathode, or in such small quantity as could have no appreciable effect on the results. In some cases less than one-thousandth part of the solid matter consisted of undecomposed salt. There were still other proofs of the fallacy of the accepted migration hypothesis, with which he would not trench upon the time of the audience, but the evidence given by their experiments seemed to justify the following conclusions. The anode was the active electrode, the cathode being merely the passive recipient of the eathion which had been repelled from the electrolyte, most probably in the form of an ultrabasic salt, which returned to its original condition on the deposition of the excess of base upon the cathode. It was a matter of indifference whether the excess of base was combined with a chloride or an oxide during its translation from the positive to the negative electrode. The anion was merely the residue remaining after the expulsion of the base or cathion by the energy of the electric current from the anode.

Paper by Dr. Nevins on “ The Sign Language of the Deaf and Dumb."

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