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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 21.djvu/114

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

respective items of clearing checks, bills, bank-notes, and coin, and found that out of each million more than $700,000 passed through the clearing-house. Such a measure of the convenience secured by the system was evidence enough that its extension was desirable. Under the old system of settling country accounts, a country bank taking in the course of the day two hundred checks, drawn on perhaps one hundred bankers scattered all over the kingdom, had to write one hundred separate letters and dispatch them by post to as many different points. Under the new system, the checks are all sent to London, grouped and classified as are the city checks in the city clearing-house, and sent in batches to their destinations, with a great saving of labor.

To Sir John Lubbock is also due the introduction of a method of examination for clerks of bankers and joint-stock companies conducted by the City of London College, in the same manner as the examinations instituted by the Government under the Civil Service Commissioners. He is also Honorary Secretary to the London Association of Bankers, and in that capacity, besides keeping the records of the meetings of the association, acting as secretary of all committees, controlling the internal arrangements of the Clearing-House, etc., he has the duty of representing the bankers of London on questions relating to Government in Parliament, and, indeed, whenever any intermediate agent between banking circles and the officers of Government is needed. When the Institute of Bankers, now numbering more than two thousand members, was formed, he was unanimously chosen its president. He has contributed many valuable papers to financial literature, and was a member of the International Coinage Commission.

The proper performance of these multifarious duties would seem not to leave time for the successful pursuit of any other occupations, but Sir John Lubbock has been able to give them due attention and, in addition, besides doing good service to his country in Parliament, to become a distinguished investigator and experimenter, and an authority in more than one branch of science. Science was one of the earliest of Sir John Lubbock's pursuits, and it was one of those that he has most constantly followed up. He knew practically nothing of banking till he was fourteen years old, while his name was not on the rolls of Parliament till he was a man of thirty-six. But he was a naturalist in his very childhood. His taste in this direction was carefully nurtured by his father, who was accordingly very glad when Mr. Darwin settled as his near neighbor at Down. From that day forward he was a pupil of that master, and became one of his most ardent disciples. His methods of investigation are very similar to those of Mr. Darwin, and consist largely of the minute, accurate observation of small things. His researches in zoölogy have been chiefly devoted to the development, habits, and structure of the lower animals, chiefly of insects and Crustacæ, in which he has made numerous discoveries that are recorded in various scientific journals and in the "Transactions"