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confidered, it will appear to every judicious observer, that a more proper object of the attention and encouragement of the Society can hardly be found.
Under the Clafs of Polite Arts, the Society have this year offered their Silver Medallion, in conformity to the Will of the late John Stock, of Hampstead, Efq. for a Drawing of the Statue of the late Joshua Ward, Efq. which was prefented by the heir of that gentleman to the Society, and placed, with peculiar propriety, in their Great Room, Mr. Ward having been the perfon to whom this kingdom owes the discovery of making Vitriolic Acid, on a large scale of business, from Sulphur, and thereby establishing a Manufacture of the utmost importance to the Dyers, CalicoPrinters, &c. of this country.
The frequent accidents which happen to paffengers in carriages, from the horfes taking fright, and the dreadful confequences to perfons employed in the manufacturing Gunpowder, from the explosion of the mills, have induced the Society, this A 4 year,
year, to offer confiderable Rewards for the discovery of fuch means as may obviate those inconveniences and prevent such disasters in future.
It has hitherto been the custom, fince the feparation of the United States of America from this Country, to confine the Premiums offered by the Society, under the Class of Colonies and Trade, to the Islands in the Weft-Indies; but information having been received that a particular species of Cotton was produced in fome of the British Settlements in Indoftan, which might be of use in the Manufactures of this kingdom, an honorary Premium has been this Seffion offered for importing a quantity of fuch Cotton, that a fair trial may be made of it. The fame alfo may be faid of Annatto and Cochineal, both which used to be imported at a confiderable annual expence from foreign countries, but which, from accounts lately received, there feems great reafon to believe, may, under proper encouragement, be produced in fome of
thofe parts of the East-Indies that are under the dominion of the British Government.
It is prefumed, that whoever attentively peruses the various Papers which form the most confiderable part of this Volume, will receive fatisfaction at finding the progress making in the feveral Departments that are the more immediate objects of the Society's attention and encouragement :-as, in Agriculture, it must be highly pleasing to obferve the quantity of Trees of various forts planted; the number of Acres of Land improved by draining, and other kinds of culture, fome of which have taken place in the distant and mountainous parts of the kingdom, where, in general, cultivation has hitherto made but flow progress; but it is hoped and believed the examples now fet before the inhabitants of those districts will be attended with the moft beneficial advantages, not only in their immediate neighbourhood, but ultimately to the country at large.
It was mentioned in the Preface to the Fourteenth Volume of thefe Tranfactions,
that the Society had been induced, from the high price of Wheat, to offer a Premium, in the Clafs of Chemistry, to any person who should prepare a quantity of Starch from a material, not the food of Man: in confequence of this offer, the Society has this Seffion received a proper quantity of Starch, manufactured from the Roots of the Arum Maculatum, a plant hitherto not generally applied to that purpose, but which is known to grow fpontaneously in almost every county.
The Reader will find, in the fubfequent pages, a full account, under the head of Polite Arts, of a method that has been fuccefsfully practifed for transferring Pictures from Pannels or Walls to Canvafs-an art univerfally allowed to be highly useful: and as three Pictures fo transferred, one of them from the wall of a ftair-cafe, and the others from oak boards, were produced to the Society, there can be no doubt of the practicability of the procefs. It must be allowed that, in the Gentleman's Magazine for the year 1753, the firft account of a process for
reftoring decayed Paintings feems to have been published in the English language; and, in the Appendix to the Second Volume of the Handmaid to the Arts, printed in 1764, a procefs very fimilar to that in the Gentleman's Magazine is inferted; but, from the nature of the Aqua-fortis, and fome other materials therein recommended to be used, it seems altogether improbable that either of thofe methods could anfwer the end propofed and as what Mr. Salmon has now given to the Society, and is printed in this Volume, has been fairly and experimentally tried, it will be very pleafing to the Society to be further informed of the merits of the procefs by any perfons who may be induced to make further trials of it.
It is now feveral years fince the Society first offered a Premium for the best practical and economical plan for the Maintenance and Employment of the Poor in Parish Workhoufes. A claim for that Premium has this Seffion been produced; and although the Differtation fent in difcovered confiderable