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Large multibin silo complexes can be designed to dimensions, anatomies, and configurations that give optimum economy. Foundation conditions have a marked influence on this. Generally, the best capital and working returns come from silos that have their bins arrayed in plan roughly square, rather than long and narrow. Civil engineering costs are then reduced too, and the facility lends itself to greater flexibility of operation. John Faber and D.J.A. Alsop
The time lens Any historical account of a subject is almost certain to put a ‘time lens’ on the immediate past so that it appears to the reader that very little occurred before the start of the present century. So it is with the history of science. And yet at the same time there are sufficient eminent men of earlier years (Newton, Galileo, Archimedes, Euclid, etc.) to give the impression to school children that science has been progressing for at least 1OOO years. One should never forget to add the words, ‘but slowly!’ in reference to anything that occurred before the beginning of the 19th century. Where the time lens really works is when we look at the history of technology, for by inference, in what might be called a traditional sense, technologists pick up the brilliant discoveries of scientists and exploit them for hard cash. E.R. Laithwaite
President’s diary The President hopes to join members at the meeting of the Newcomen Society to which they are invited on Wednesday 14 January when, at the Science Museum, London, at 6 pm, Mr John James is to present a paper ‘Early iron truss bridges to 1849’.