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At the beginning of this century an aeronaut was one who 'sailed' in a balloon, and apart from the technique of making the necessary fabric gas container there was little of engineering construction about his activities. Since then has come the whole history of airships and the rapid development of aeroplanes, and in both of these aircraft structural engineering has played a large part. These developments were greatly extended and accelerated by the two world wars of this century, which brought about many contacts between engineers normally working in quite different and usually separate fields. As a result there has been much greater 'give and take' between the rather closed world of aeronautics and the general world of engineering structures than would otherwise have occurred, leading to much interaction and mutual interest between the two parties. It is with the outcome of this that this paper is specially concerned.
Sir Alfred Pugsley
The skyscraper has been called the uniquely American type of building. This is so probably because of circumstances peculiar to the United States and particularly to two of its major cities.
This year is the quatercentenary of the birth of Galileo Galilei, from whom it can reasonably be said that all our modern developments in astronomy originate. Galileo did not invent the telescope-a distinction which must probably be credited to the Dutch spectacle-maker Hans Lippershey, who sought a patent in 1608 for his instrument of two spectacle lenses through which he could see the church steeple magnified-but Galileo first used the telescope to study the heavens. In 1609 with lenses 2 1/4 in. in diameter mounted in a 49 in. paper tube he discovered the mountains on the moon, the spots onthe sun, the moons of Jupiter and thereby began the revolution in our outlook on the universe which continues today with ever-increasing vigour. ‘At length, by sparing neither labour nor expense, I succeeded in constructing for myself an instrument so superior that objects seen through it appeared magnified nearly a thousand times, and more than thirty times nearer than if viewed by the natural powers of sight alone.’ Galileo died in 1642 longing for a better telescope which would gather ‘more light’.
Sir Bernard Lovell