N. H. Winchell
1881 Science  
6 NIONTHS, 3 6" SIN;GLY. CoPI'Es, R DOLLARS. Two * TEN CEN.%TS. PUIJL1tHND AT TRIBUNE BUILDING, NEW YORK. P. 0. Box 8888 SATURDAY, SEPTEMBI,R 3, 1881. 'l'he atteml)t to utilize comnl)ressed air as a motive power for street cars inI cities, appears to have been most ttnsuccessful. About fouir years since, a compan) was orgranized in New York city for the purpose of btiilding street cars on the l)neumatic system, capable of replacingr those drawvn by horse power, and about the early l)art of
more » ... early l)art of April, 1878, a passenlger car prol)elle(l by compressed air was rtunningr on the Second avenuiie, New vYork, between 63d anid 93d streets. 'T'he experiment was consi(lere(l perfectly satisfactory for a first attempt, as the cars l)erforme(l their work admirably; ai.d the lpul)lic press and various eiminent enginieers coisi(lered the prolelCml solved. Tlhcre was, hlowever, an essenitial elemenit of suiccess that was wante(, which appeared insignificant at the time, but wihicli provted fatal to the whole schemiie. This wvas a failure on the part of ths.e engineers to design machinery wlhich shouil(d be constant in its workiing, requiiring, little attenition from the driver. It was sutppose(l that in building fuiture coml)osite pn1etimatic engine cars these defects could be remedied. But when the six cars buiilt on this princil)le were lplaced oni trial, the same trouible was experienced, an(d the experiment wvas abandoned, catising a considerable pecuniiary loss to the proiiioters of the company. 'I'lie Pnettmiatic Tramway lngine Company, undatmiite(1 by )ast losses an(d failures, have renewed their etforts, and have recently conistructe(d a pneumatic traction engine, which we understanid will be imnie(liately lplaced on trial on one of the New York elevated railroads. The successfuil working of Electric Railway Engines h1as probably increased the difticulties of those who are advocating the use of 413 compressed air as a motive power. In the absence of smoke, odor, noise and cinders, both the electric and coinl)ressed air systems have many advantages over steam for elevated railroads, an(d the question of econiomy wiil p)robably (lecide which system shall be finally accepted. At the present moment all the advantages appear to be in favor of the electric railways for use within city limits, an(d it is probably a mere imiatter of time, for all the New York elevated railroads to be running their trains by this system. THE STATE AN\D HIGHER EDUCATION.* Bv PROFESSOR N. H. WINCIHELL. The incentive to the following address appears to have been certain remarks mad(e ofticiailly by lPresi(lent John of I ;landlille UIIniversity, who conisi(lered that " higher c(lucation should not be uni(ler the control of the State," and(i that the (lesigii of tile State Colleges has been a conspicuous and( universally acknowledged failure. In the first part of the paper Professor Winchell presents an hi.storical sketch of the circurnstances, the result of which wasthat the State fiti(ls itself in the conduct of systematic e(lducatiol. After tracing the progress of e(lucation in Europe he states: Thus we find that none of the ol(1 universities, except when unider the control of the governnient, and sometimes not even theni, have been xvillingr to modify their curricula in complliance wx'ith the (lenian(ls and spirit of the age. If they have done it, as more lately at Oxford University, it is only after the force of public sentiment has been able to batter dowvn the wvalls of l)reju(lice and coiiceit with wlhich they have been surround(led. During this wvhole conflict throughout Europe the Chur-ch, in its various forms, but particularly the Romlan church, insteadl of l)eing the chlampion an(l refuge of free thought and free knowledge, has been the nmost Lpowerful obstacle to its Progress, and has plersistently opposed every movement to introduce the means for (lisseminating usf-ful klnowledge among the l)eople. I'lhe lhcat of the conllict is l)asse(d. Th'le ti(le has set in the riglht (lirection. The old universities perceive the triunlph of nmo(lern science. European governments are unanimously striving for the establishmeit of mo(lern schools of science on the broadest foundations, an(l equipp)ing them with the fullest appliances. \owv let us turn to America, and ini(uire how this history hlias been imiirrored on our institutions of higher learnini,g. In the first place the church colleges that arose in this country prior to 1824, or eveni later, wvere modeled after the miedkeval universities of Oxfor(d and Canibridge, so far as they exl)ande(l into the (limensions of a university. For the most l);lrt they were siniply colleges of classical lore, with but onie course of stu(ly, aimiing specifically. at first, to e(lucate young imieni for the clerical l)rofession. As they were born of the Elnglish universities, so they inhented their imediaiual narrowness and( bigotry. As the early church ha(l grap)[)le(l x'with Copernicus and Galileo, and had been wvorste(d, so the later church Wvould grapple with evei ything that bore a reseinbla)lce to or intimation of any new fang,ld niotions of nature. Althoughi the wvorld had ma(le Wonderful stri(les in huinani knowledge, the colleges shut their eyes and ears to the change. The age demilanded e(lucationi in the great in(lustries that chlaracterize mo(lern society, but could get onl)y that of the age of Elizabeth. As modern science an(d civilization began to buzz al)out their (loors, they (lrexv themiselves wvitlhin their shells, affrighted, like snails. hlaving none of the elements of the * Delivered before the Muiue.otA Academy of Natural Sciunces, Jan. .2, L88. -
doi:10.1126/science.os-2.63.413-a pmid:17830634 fatcat:7qduggva3vaadcsol25acvzaqm