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thing which I certainly do claim to know more intimately than most people, and that is, Who contributed to that somewhat remarkable development, and what each one contributed. I am proud to be recognized as one of the dozen men—here (pointing to Captain W. R. Jones) is a conspicuous member of that dozen—who, in the way of good mechanical engineering on the part of some of us, and good management on the part of others, have put the Bessemer process in the high and successful position which it occupies to-day.
But, sir, one of the first principles of our profession is to make constructions only upon mature working-trawings. This surprise is so complete that I have had no chance to work up drawings and specifications of a suitable response; but that I will endeavor to do when I can more completely express my overwhelming feelings.
Among us all who are working hard in our noble profession, and are keeping the fires of metallurgy aglow, such occasions as this should also kindle a flame of good fellowship and affection which will burn to the end.
Burn to the end !—perhaps some of us should think of that, who are “ burning the candle at both ends.” Ah! well, may it so happen to us that when at last this vital spark is oxidized, when this combustible has put on incombustion, when this living fire flutters thin and pale at the lips, some kindly hand may “turn us down,” not "underblown”—by all means not “overblown ” —some loving hand may turn us down, that we may perhaps be cast in a better mould.
At the Banquet of the American Institute of Mining Engineers, held in Pittsburgh on the following evening, one of the speakers, after alluding to the above-mentioned testimonial, and expressing the heart-felt sympathy of the Institute with its spirit and purpose, although the members as a body had had no knowledge of the testimonial and had not been privileged to take part in it, except as spectators, read the following lines :
O noblest war of earth or time,
Conquest instained with blood or tears,
And make no victim groan that hears !
Along the sky thy banner streams;
Its vapory white, its smoky hue
Against the background of the blue.
SPEECH AT THE DE LESSEPS BANQUET.
As a specimen of Mr. Holley's graceful “after-dinner oratory," the following remarks are presented. They were made at a banquet, given in honor of Count Ferdinand de Lesseps, at New York, March 1st, 1880. Mr. Holley responded as follows to the sentiment, ENGINEERING, THE INTERMEDIATE POWER BETWEEN NATURE
AND CIVILIZATION. MR. CHAIRMAN: The sentiment you propose so completely defines the master art of engineering that it needs no historian, no prophet, no defender. It were better, to-night, that we magnify its splendid achievements, as we celebrate the advent of its illustrious apostle. It is such grand conceptions as his, such triumphs over difficulty, such faithful and brilliant execution, that draw the members of our profession to him; but our profession it is that draws the whole world in its triumphal march. The ways and means of transportation, of mining, metallurgy, manufactures, defense, agriculture, architecture-all the round of vital and useful arts-are but phases of engineering effort.
But engineers are not proud; they simply cannot help it that they are the way, the vehicle, the power of civilization. They even acknowledge the incidental value of other professions. Chemistry is a noble art—full of promise—but only complementary to engineering. Engineers are, for this reason, sometimes complimentary to chemists! Commerce, banking, jurisprudence, political economy, government, are more or less useful systems—for what? For formulating and realizing the potentiality of engineering. And so the noble artstimulating labor, promoting comfort, founding prosperity, diffusing happiness, establishing knowledge-blends, in its own potency, the aims of the three learned professions of old, and itself leads on to universal health, equity, and virtue.
I do not wish to be understood, sir, as claiming much for engineering; so sensitive is the modesty of my colleagues that they would not tolerate an overstatement of its claims !
Viewed from my own department of the profession, there is but one aspect in which the achievements of our distinguished guest are not supremely beneficent. He delves in rock and earth; alas ! he constructs not in iron and steel. Unhappy iron and steel ! Could he but restrain his insatiable ambition to reconstruct this planet; could he but intersperse his mighty works with some trifling steel railway from New York to China; some trivial steel bridge from his own beloved shores to Albion, he would be enshrined as little less than a divinity, even in Pennsylvania. But, although not a constructor in steel himself, he is a cause of steel construction in others. The canal breeds ships.
And here I may, perhaps, be permitted to emphasize one engineering condition of a transcontinental canal, common alike to all countries and to all routes. The ship grows from year to year. The early Atlantic steamers were of a thousand tons; the Atlantic steamers now building are of 'eight thousand tons. This growth is by a law as inevitable as that of the tides. Doubling the linear dimensions of a ship increases her resistance fourfold, but it increases her carrying capacity eightfold. The larger ship can thus transport the greater cargo, at the higher speed, and at the minimum cost. There is but one practical limit to this economy-it is the size and directness of the water-way.
I was not called upon, however, to discuss engineering, but to praise it. Do we ever realize the gigantic difficulties it overcomesits uncompromising struggle with nature, oft baffled, ever renewed, to ferret out the secrets of her power? Do we ever picture to ourselves the engineer, toilfully planting his colossal works on precipitous mountains, in the open sea, under the river bed, in the bowels of the earth, on bottomless and pestilential swamps, amid perils of miasm and fire-damp, wind and wave, caisson and explosion—with every toppling avalanche, and every subterranean stream, and every pent up freshet just waiting to crack his bones and wipe out his works?
As you hold on to some headland against the hurricane, and feel the breakers shake the masonry of nature, his steamship plows its huge canal through forty thousand tons of that maelstrom in one single minute, with the coal one man can carry. The treasurehouse of nature he despoils with his hydraulic engine; he raises from the dead the iron she had burned up through the ages. He disparts her continents to make way for his argosies, and spans her seas for his chariots of fire. Thus is engineering truly the intermediate power between nature and civilization ; and from this high plane we recognize the guiding genius of our illustrious guest, and bid him hail !
A METALLURGIST'S ODE TO SPRING.
The following verses were read by Mr. Holley at the dinner of the American Institute of Mining Engineers, at Baltimore, on the evening of February 21st, 1879.
Hail, coming Spring, the metallurgist's boon !
Refractory winter to the solving sun
Now draws the pump upon the river shore,
No more shall piston-heads on water pound
The furnace charged with coal and ore sans snow,
Thus while the sun these chiefest blessings sends,
The bursting buds of nature's gasogene,