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THE PURCHASE OF BOOKS AND APPARATUS ACADEMIC LIBRARIES.
In the earlier years after the creation of a Board of Regents, there being no school apparatus procurable in the country, the Regents adopted the custom of importing from abroad, and of delivering the apparatus thus purchased by their committees, as a deposit in the College and the Academies "for their use respectively during the pleasure of this Regency, as the said committee shall deem most eligible, so as the value of the Books and Apparatus to be deposited in the College shall be as near as may be equal to an half, and the Books and Apparatus deposited in each of the Academies shall be as may be equal to an eighth part of the sum to be expended by the said committee.""
As a record of the state of knowledge in the physical sciences nearly a century ago, we here present a list of apparatus which the Regents were requested, over the signatures of Wm. Samuel Johnson, John Kemp, and Samuel Bard, in May, 1790, as a Committee appointed by the Trustees of Columbia College, to purchase for that Institution. We may assume that these articles were the best of their kind known to science at that period. Those marked with a star could be constructed in New York; the rest were to be imported from London. The numbers were put in upon revision in the order of greatest need, to be purchased in this order, provided the money held out, and those marked "0" were probably such as could be dispensed with, or made nearer home.
A List of some of the most necessary Things for Compleating the Philosophical Apparatus of Columbia College.
1. An Electrical Machine, the glass cylinder nine inches diameter and fifteen inches long. Another glass cylinder of the same size, adapted to the machine in case of an accident to the former; both hung in such a manner as to turn exactly round without jolting. A common discharger.
2. A universal discharger.
1 Minutes of Regents, April 17, 1790. Mr. Rodgers, Mr. Moore, Mr. Verplanck and Mr. Clarkson were appointed a Committee for this purpose, and the sum of £750 [$1,875] was appropriated for this first purchase. With this sum they bought a bill of exchange upon London for £475 sterling.
4. Four brass tubes for showing the properties of positive and negative electricity. A brass hoop with a wire fixed to its circumference to go into a stand.
5. Two brass plates, one to hang to the conductor, the other to go into a stand, with a glass cylinder for placing occasionally between them.
6. Three light glass balls.
10. One ivory ball, one boxwood ball.
7. The spiral tube.
8. The luminous word FRANKLIN. An electrical vane.
bination of flyers.
9. The apparatus, Fig. 49, Adams' Electricity, consisting of a syringe, a stand, an exhausted tube, and brass caps, the Leyden vacuum, two Leyden phials and two small wires with brass knobs.
10. A Leyden jar with movable coatings.
11. Two coated jars such as they may stand one above another. Jar and apparatus, Fig. 58, Adam's Electricity, so constructed that the supporter of the fly and bells may unscrew, and the wires in Fig. 50, 51, 52 of Adam's Electricity may be put in their place.
10. Two oval boards, three feet by two, coated.
12. An electrophoras. A tube such as is used for barometers, with a brass cap and wire going into the upper end of the tube. *1. A small powder-house and tinder-house united. Mr. Volta's inflammable air lamp.
13. An electrical pistol.
14. A luminous conductor.
15. A glass tube exhausted of air and hermetically sealed. An electrical sock. A self-moving wheel.
16. Two electrical batteries, consisting each of thirty feet square of coated glass, constructed in such a manner that the force of both may be united, to be made of green glass. One large coated jar with a wire round the outside, and rising with a gentle bend as high as the knob on the inside wire, and terminating in knob.
17. Six dozen glass tubes of the following dimensions: One rough tube, two feet long, and one and one-half inches diameter. Four smooth tubes, three feet long, two and one-half inches diameter. Three smooth tubes, three feet long, three inches diameter, closed at one end. Three smooth tubes, eighteen inches long, one and onehalf inch diameter. Four smooth tubes, eighteen inches long, one inch diameter. Three smooth tubes, three feet long, one-fourth inch diameter, closed at one end. Three smooth tubes, eighteen inches long, and one-fourth inch diameter. feet long, and one-fourth inch diameter, bent in the shape of an Six smooth tubes, three
Six smooth tubes, eighteen inches long, and one
fourth inch diameter, bent in the same manner. Two smooth tubes, twelve inches long, and three inches diameter. Two smooth tubes, eighteen inches long, and one-third of an inch diameter. Twelve an inch diameter. Six smooth tubes, eighteen inches long, from smooth tubes, eighteen inches long, from one-fourth to one-eighth of
one-eighth to one-sixteenth of an inch diameter. Seventeen capillary tubes, eighteen inches long. Six capillary syphons. One tourmaline. Six pounds brass filings, sold by pin makers. 1. Three glass funnels of different sizes for conveying air from one vessel to another. Nine cylindrical jars, ten inches long and two and onehalf inches diameter. Three cylindrical jars, open at both ends. Three glass syphons, Fig. 13, Vol. 1, Priestly on Air. One transfer and syphon for admitting air, Fig. 14, Vol. 1, Priestly on Air. Four tapering tubes, Fig. 17, Vol. 1, Priestly on Air. Twenty-four round-bottomed phials, marked a, Vol. 2, Priestly on Air. Six glass phials with ground stoppels, and several holes in them, marked b, Vol. 2, Priestly on Air. Twelve glass phials, with thin round bottoms, and perforated ground stoppels, drawn out into tubes, marked c, Vol. 2, Priestly on Air. Twelve long, round-bottomed phials, twelve inches long, marked d, Vol. 2, Priestly on Air. Six measures, each holding twice the preceding, the largest marked according to the lesser measured, marked f, Vol 2, Priestly on Air. Dr. Mooth's apparatus for impregnating water with fixed air, as improved by Mr. Parker. Six glass vessels, represented Figs. 2 and 3, Vol. 3, Priestly on Air, of each. Glass bulb and thermometer, Fig. 2, Vol. 5, Priestly on Air. A endiometer of the simplest construction. Mr. Woulfe's apparatus, Fig. 4, Vol. 3, Priestly on Air. A double convex lens, seven feet focal length, for a scioptic ball. A double concave, three inches diameter. A small achromatic lens. 1. A small mortar, chase five and one-half inches long, diameter three and one-half inches, length of chamber two inches, diameter three-fourths of an inch, with a hollow brass ball weighing twentythree thousand grains, three and one-half inches diameter. A quadrant adapted to the same for elevating it. A small speaking trumpet, such as would be formed by the revolution of a logarithmic curve round its axis. A hydrometer, best kind. 0. A model of locks and a small boat. 0. A vessel to show the distance to which, and the velocity wherewith water spouts from orifices in the sides of vessels, made of white iron, and so constructed that it may be converted into a jet d'ean, and that a model of pipes for conducting water may be occasionally joined to it. *1. A model of the different kinds of fountains. *2. A model of the different kinds of mill wheels for measuring their relative forces and velocities, according to Mr. Smeaton. *0. A model of Barker's mill, improved. *3. A model of the mechanical paradox. 4. A hydrostatical bellows. 5. A model of Valoue's pile engine. *6. A model for shewing the manner Mr. Blakey applies the force of steam. *0. Model of the Hungarian machine for raising water from mines. An Archimedes screw. *7. A model of Ferguson's machine for showing that the pressure of fluids on the bottoms of vessels is proportional to their altitude. 8. Ferguson's Universal Dialling Cylinder. Smeaton's air-pump improved, with one large receiver for same. Six receivers for same of different sizes, one open at the top and another with a brass cap and stop-cock. A jar with six small glass images of differ
ent specific gravities. *. A model of De la Hire's pump. A condenser, and vessel for holding condensed air. The air-gun improved, with a rifle barrel to unscrew. Six pillars of solid varnished glass, one and one-half inches diameter, and fourteen inches long. A reflecting telescope, with four magnifyers, and a micrometer adapted to the same. 2. An astronomical clock, with a gridiron pendulum. 3. An astronomical quadrant, three and one-half feet radius, movable round its perpendicular axis which is always directed to the zenith. Have a movable index and nonus, carrying a telescope for measuring the altitude. The quadrant to be furnished with a horizontal graduated circle for finding the azimuth. 5. A clock that rings seconds. 6. An orrery.
Many of the older academies received globes and large wall maps, which were imported from England. At a later period the Regents discontinued these purchases, and on the 9th of March, 1830, they decided that they did not, under the Revised Statutes, possess the power of making any other disposition of their funds, than in the payment of teachers.
This decision did not remain long in force; for the Legislature, on the 22d of April, 1834,' removed the restriction, in an act entitled "A law providing for the distribution of the revenues of the Literature Fund." Under this act, the sum of $12,000 was to be divided among the academies, in proportion to attendance, as then provided by law, and exclusively applied towards paying the salaries of tutors.
Any excess of the income from the Literature Fund above this sum was to be distributed at the discretion of the Regents, among academies subject to their visitation and under such rules and regulations as they might prescribe, for the purchase of text-books, maps and globes, or philosophical or chemical apparatus, such sum not to exceed $250 to any one academy in one year. But no part of this excess thus distributed was to be paid over, unless the Trustees of the academy or school should give an equal sum of money for the same object.
The Regents by resolution passed February 5, 1839, authorized the committee on appropriations for the purchase of books and apparatus, upon request to designate the particular books and apparatus to be purchased.
They further decided (March 15, 1839) that the contributions raised by the Trustees to enable them to obtain an appropriation.
1 Chapter 140, Laws of 1834.
must be made in actual money, and with special reference to some intended application to the Regents for a like appropriation.
It was also resolved (June 7, 1839) that no Academy should thereafter be allowed to participate in the distribution, unless it should have at the time of making its report next preceding, a library worth at least $150, and apparatus of at least equal value. But if it did not have this, they should raise by contribution a sum equal to half the deficiency (if over $100), so as to become entitled to a like amount, when it should be deemed to have complied with the above resolution. Whenever the applications exceeded the amount appropriated, preference was to be given to the academies which had received the least amount for these purposes; and applications from academies which had received appropriations made before the Regents' Annual Report was adopted, were to be reserved until that time, for the purpose of ascertaining whether other applications would be made from academies that had not received appropriations.
It was decided February 20, 1845, that academies could not purchase geological and mineralogical specimens with the moneys granted for books and apparatus. A failure to report the manner in which these grants were applied, was by a resolution of February 25, 1848, to lead to a suspension of payment for this object, and by further resolution (February 23, 1849), the annual apportionment was to be withheld in case of such neglect.
The law directing an uncertain surplus to be applied for the purchase of books and apparatus, which had continued since 1834, was made definite in 1851,' by an act providing that the sum of $3,000 should be distributed annually from the income of the Literature Fund, for the purchase of text-bocks, maps and globes, or philosophical or chemical apparatus, among such academies as applied for the same, and complied with the rules.
The sum granted by the State for this object down to and including 1882 was $154,609.29. The limit allowed to any one institu- . tion was formerly $250, but this has since been reduced.
In the case of Academic Departments of Union Schools, it has been held, that money raised by voluntary tax upon the tax payers of a district will satisfy the requirement as to raising a sum equal to that allowed by the Regents.
The Regents, in their report made January 10, 1884, called the attention of the Legislature to the great utility which this aid to
1 Chap. 536, Laws of 1851.