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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 51.djvu/837

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EARLY AMERICAN CHEMICAL SOCIETIES.

economic forces, but the best results have accrued when statesmen have frankly recognized the tendency of those forces and have sought to make their operation useful to society. The force which tends toward the consolidation of railway properties is one of the most powerful, and it is now recognized that such consolidation is in the public interest. All provisions forbidding or hindering the various forms of consolidation of parallel or connecting railways, whether contained in State Constitutions or in Federal or State statutes, should be repealed, and public and legislative encouragement so far as practicable should be generously accorded to every step that tends toward the complete harmonization of the railway system. If this somewhat radical change in the attitude toward the railway monopoly can be effected it will not be long before favoritism will become as rare in railway rates as in the rates of taxation.

 

EARLY AMERICAN CHEMICAL SOCIETIES.[1]
By Prof. H. CARRINGTON BOLTON, Ph. D.

THREE chemical societies were organized in the United States before the close of the first quarter of this century: 1. The Chemical Society of Philadelphia, founded in 1792. 2. The Columbian Chemical Society of Philadelphia, founded in 1811. 3. The Delaware Chemical and Geological Society, founded in 1821. These societies were short-lived, local in jurisdiction, and without much influence on the progress of the science; but it is interesting to note that professional, teaching, and amateur chemists in America formed associations for mutual improvement and for the advancement of their calling forty-nine years earlier than their brethren in England. American chemists were not impelled to form independent societies owing to a lack of organizations for men of science, but they early felt the advantages of specialization. Both the society of 1792 and that of 1811 were formed in a city honored by the presence of the venerable and dignified American Philosophical Society, established by Benjamin Franklin in 1743.

1. The Chemical Society of Philadelphia was undoubtedly the earliest organized body of chemists in either hemisphere; it does not appear to have published records of its meetings, but in 1801–‘2 it was presided over by Dr. James Woodhouse, the vice-presidents being Felix Pascalis and John Redman. Dr. Wood-


  1. Abstract of a paper read to the Washington Chemical Society, April 8, 1897.