Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 60.djvu/140

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
132
POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

the chances of our doing a great work would be increased a hundredfold? The problems we have to solve are hard enough; give us means to employ the best men and we will answer them, starve us and then quote our failure as showing the uselessness of science applied to industry. There is some justice in the criticism of one of our technical papers. I have recently been advertising for assistants, and a paper in whose columns the advertisement appeared writes:

The scale of pay is certainly not extravagant. It is however possible that the duties will be correspondingly light.

I have thus summarized in a brief manner the aims of the laboratory and have indicated the effect which the application of science to industry has had on one branch of trade in Germany. And now let me illustrate these aims by a more detailed account of some of the problems of industry which have been solved by the application of

PSM V60 D140 Reichsanstalt technical building.png
Reichsanstalt, Technical Building.

science, and then of some others which remain unsolved and which the laboratory hopes to attack. The story of the Jena glass-works is most interesting; we will take it first.

An exhibition of scientific apparatus took place in London in 1878. Among the visitors to this was Professor Abbe, of Jena, and in a report he wrote on the optical apparatus he called attention to the need for progress in the art of glass-making if the microscope were to advance and to the necessity for obtaining glasses having a different relation between dispersion and refractive index than that found in the material at the disposal of opticians. Stokes and Harcourt had already made attempts in this direction but with no marked success. In 1881 Abbé and Schott at Jena started their work. Their undertaking, they write five years later in the first catalogue of their factory, arose out of a scientific investigation into the connection between the optical proper-