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With the advent of the autumn-winter sessions the various societies and institutions which exist for the purpose of furthering the interests of the sciences, pure or applied, or the arts or crafts to which they are devoted, resume the activities which the holiday season had interrupted; the schools and colleges commence their terms, and there is a general quickening of men's thoughts and intellectual preoccupations, which is in marked contrast to the "hibernation" to which some other orders of animals are addicted when winter approaches. The opening session in the case of many societies which do not, by tradition, employ the annual spring meeting as the occasion of the function, is marked by the delivery of a presidential address. This, also in virtue of tradition, is in most instances not subject to discussion; very often a topic is selected that does not lend itself to that purpose, or a review of progress is the theme, as to which there is little that, can be said by way of comment, and a vote of thanks is the only mode of expressing recognition. Yet there have been delivered, during the past month, several presidential addresses which have not been confined to the traditional subjects, and could have lent themselves to discussions of the most illuminating and beneficial kinds. They have been delivered before audiences composed of members of our sister institutions and they appear to have been inspired by some degree of doubt as to whether the general body of tradition which attaches to such institutions, and especially the older ones, is quite abreast of the needs of the day. Dr. Daniel Adamson, in the thoughtful address he gave the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, emphasised the need for a broad outlook; for closer co-operation between science and practice- to be brought, about by the action of the Institution itself-and, in particular, invited constructive criticism of the affairs of the Institution, from the individual member's point of view. To the question which he assumed some nmembers might feel disposed to ask: what has the Institution done for the individual member? he quoted the reply, "Qui facit per alium facit per se."
The new building of the Underground Railways Headquarters in Broadway, Westminster, has more than usual claims to distinction. In its planning, structural design and architectural grouping, it is probably the most notable building of modern times. With its central tower 180 ft. above pavement level, it is the highest commercial block in London, overshadowing that 12-storied aristocrat of residential buildings opposite (Queen Anne's Mansions), which for some three generations has enjoyed the distinction of being the highest inhabited building in the Metropolis. Much has already been published in the leading architectural journals, as well as in the daily press, concerning the building itself and its furnishings, but as so frequently happens, the treatment of the foundations and methods employed in erection of the framework have not perhaps received the studied attention desirable from the structural engineer's viewpoint. Hence the purpose of this paper, to endeavour to throw a little more light upon such matters. Before, however, passing on to the essentials, it will be as well to touch briefly on some leading features of the building which may assist in appreciating the importance of firm foundations for its support. M.J. McCarthy
MR. H. GARDINER LLOYD (Member), speaking as one who for many years had been engaged on the supervision of constructional work as well as laboratory work, first expressed agreement with Mr. Worsdale that metal and not wood should be used for moulds, and also pointed out that different results might be obtained in the compression test by using different packings between the cubes and the platens. He believed that a great deal of work had been done by the American Society for testing materials in this connection, and reference to that work would be helpful. Referring to Mr. Worsdale’s statement that, "if a cube face were seriously pitted, probably the best results could be obtained bv covering the surface with a layer of neat plaster, this being allowed to set, either between the plates of the machine or in contact with a plane glass or metal surface,” he said it should be borne in mind that this layer should be exceedingly thin, because if one put on a layer 1/4-in. thick, and the material happened to be weaker than the cube, the strength as indicated by the test would be much lower than if no such layer were used. One must be very careful to ensure that such a mistake was avoided. With regard to the concrete cubes mentioned at the top of page 360, which were tested in two different laboratories and yielded results which differed considerably, it woidd be interesting to know who had filled the moulds.