Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 23.djvu/608

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Part II of Count Rumford's "Tenth Essay" is devoted to his roaster and roasting generally, and occupies ninety-four pages, including the special preface. This preface is curious now, as it contains the following apology for delay of publication: "During several months, almost the whole of my time was taken up with the business of the Royal Institution; and those who are acquainted with the objects of that noble establishment will, no doubt, think that I judged wisely in preferring its interest to every other concern." To those who have attended the fashionable gatherings held on Friday evenings in "that noble establishment" during the London season, it is almost comical to read what its founder says concerning the object for which it was instituted, viz., the noble purpose of DIFFUSING THE KNOWLEDGE AND FACILITATING THE GENERAL INTRODUCTION OF NEW AND USEFUL INVENTIONS AND IMPROVEMENTS." The capitals are Rumford's, and he illustrates their meaning by reference to "the repository of this new establishment," where specimens of pots and kettles, ovens, roasters, fireplaces, gridirons, tea-kettles, kitchen-boilers, etc., might be inspected.

Some years ago, when I was sufficiently imprudent to accept an invitation to describe Rumford's scientific researches in one Friday evening lecture, rigidly limited to fifty-seven minutes (and consequently muddled my subject in the vain struggle to condense it), I tried to find the original roaster, but failed; all that remained of the original "repository" being a few models put out of the way as though they were empty wine-bottles. I am not finding fault, as the noble work that has been done there by Davy, Faraday, and Tyndall must have profoundly gladdened the supervising soul of Rumford (supposing that it does such spiritual supervision), in spite of his neglected roaster, which I must now describe without further digression.

PSM V23 D608 Rumford's roasting oven.jpgFig. 1.

It is shown open and out of its setting in Fig. 1, and there seen as a hollow cylinder of sheet-iron, which for ordinary use may be about eighteen inches in diameter and twenty-four inches long, closed per-