Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 22.djvu/93

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SCIENTIFIC FARMING AT ROTHAMSTED.

to lead to more extensive trials in the field in 1840 and 1841, and subsequently."

Dr. J. H. Gilbert has been associated with Mr. Lawes since June, 1843, and has had the direction of the laboratory.

"In 1843 more systematic field experiments were commenced; and a barn, which had previously been partially applied to laboratory purposes, became almost exclusively devoted to agricultural investigations. The foundation of the Rothamsted Experiment Station may be said to date from that time (1843). The Rothamsted Station has, up to the present time, been entirely disconnected from any external organization, and has been maintained entirely by Mr. Lawes. He has further set apart a sum of £100,000 and certain areas of land for the continuance of the investigations after his death."

In 1854 a subscription was made by agriculturists for a testimonial to be presented to Mr. Lawes as an expression of their appreciation of the great value of the services he had rendered to British agriculture. The committee in charge of this fund, instead of expending it in plate as had been intended, devoted it, at the suggestion of Mr. Lawes, to the erection of a new laboratory, so that the facilities for experimenting were largely increased.

The eminent services of Drs. Lawes and Gilbert, in the improvement of agriculture and the advancement of science, have been repeatedly recognized. In 1854 Dr. Lawes was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society, and in 1867 the royal medal was awarded to him conjointly with Dr. Gilbert, by the council of the society. The gold medal of the Imperial Agricultural Society of Russia was awarded to Dr. Lawes, and last year the Emperor of Germany, by imperial decree, awarded the gold medal of merit for agriculture to Dr. Lawes and Dr. Gilbert jointly, "in recognition of their services for the development of scientific and practical agriculture."

As a national recognition of the great value of the investigations to which he has devoted his life, Dr. Lawes has this year been created a baronet.

The number of assistants engaged in the work of experimenting has gradually increased. At first only one laboratory-man was employed, but soon a chemical assistant was needed, and then a computer and record-keeper.

"During the past twenty-five years the staff has consisted of one or two and sometimes three chemists, and two or three general assistants, one of whom is generally employed in routine chemical work, but sometimes in more general work."

The general assistants superintend the experiments with animals and the field experiments—the making of manures and their application—the harvesting and weighing of the crops—the selection of samples which are prepared for preservation or analysis, and they also make determinations of dry matter, ash, etc.