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A Scientific Discovery., Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2424, 8 May 1890
A Scientific Discovery.
The "Pall Mall Gazette" says :— " There is qtiite a nutter of excitement in the world of art and music over a curious scientific discovery, made by Mrs WattsHughes. Mrs Hughes, whose maiden I name was Megan Watts, is a Welsh lady, a born singer, whose wonderful gifts made it certain a few years ago that the highest position in the musical world lay within her reach if she chose to strive for it. Her first professional tour after the training of her voice by Signor Garcia, and after she had carried off the King's Scholarship at the Royal Academy of Music, was proof of her rare talents. Partly on account of ill-health y partly because she had married, this greafc singer retired almost before her name was known. She sings now only for charities, but has taken to investigating all the subjects connected with.the human voi.ee.
, A representative of the paper called on her and found the room full of beautiful figures—rs .9me transparent, having been transferred'to glass, others j'l ■' V' 1:. ■'! on china others [aii hour ■•'•\. •■■ :: ■.■ tints yet drying on them. > Some idea of their striking variety and loveliness may be gathered from the reporter's description. "The lower window panes were ornamented with the tone pictures, which are harmonious in color as well as in sound. On some of them a shell, pearly gray, and exquisitely shaded, lay. half hidden tin a bed of daintiest green'seaweed, through the branches of which the water of aolear blue pool could be seen; on another twigs of tender ferns drooped gracefully over the mouth of a miniature cavern or mingled with the fantastic forms of sea anemones or corals. Again, a small palmtree grew out of the side of a steep rock, high above the plain, illustrating in every minute detail Heine s little love-song of the palm which mourns lonely on the burning height. Then there were daisies, large and small, pimsies and' anemones, and^ quite a host of other forms, all beautiful with a, somewhat uncanny
And then Mrs Hughes told him, howshe had stumbled on the discovery. It was while trying to. discover some means to register the vibrations of the voice, and for testing its quality and tone that she one day found, to her intense surprise, that grains of sand, "with' which she was ( _. .•.-•.,--•.-j~v.~ -—.--.Tred themselves into ,'■■;■,■.. i' : ■■■.■: ; her investigations, she slowly and gradually discovered that various .substances — sand, lycopodium, coloured liquids, etc. —could be sung into certain figures. Every single note produces a figure differing according to, its pitch, intensity' and ' duration. The daisy, pansy and geometrical figures can be produced by any note; for others, certain distinct points have to be observed, which Mrs Hughes did not disclose, but she showed him the practical part of the business.
" A deep, full note was sung into the eidophone, and immediately a miniature storm swept over the disc. Tiny clouds of dust arose and whirled about. Slowly* the chaos was reduced to order, and when the last vibration ceased an accurate, clear, geometrical figure lay before us, formed by the yellow powder on the dark disc." Next Mrs Hughes "sung" a daisy. ." The' substance placed upon the disc creeps together in the centre of the membrane at the command of the first note as unhesitatingly as the soldier obeys the bugle call. Another note follows, and from the centre all round shoot out small petals—not quite so symmetrical as they ought to be, for the note was not so full as should have been the case. Once more the voice commands and they all rush back into the centre to reappear at the next n6to smooth and shapely. ? The process poe.s on till the last nobe brings out the perfect daisy form. Pitch and intensity together with the quantity of the substance bo be set in motion determine the size of the figures, and they are marked with the mosb perfectly shaded ilufccd lines representing each vibration of the voice,
HOME AND FOREIGN.
[i'ER 1 press Association.]
London, May 7.' Stanley lias received the Royal command to attend at "Windsor Castle. It is reported that Germany is negotiating for the acquisition ;of Dutch New Guinea. \\> ' • The " World " asserts that Parnell's colleagues have expressed indignation at the slackness of his attendance, in Parliament. Mr Ritchie's Licensing Bill provides for the payment of compensation, but leaves it optional with County Councils to buy publicans out. The latter, however, are compelled to sell. Reinsurances have been effected on the ship Marlborough, now overdue, at a premium of 48 guineas. The vessel left Lytteltosi on January 11, and is now 116 days out.
Prices at the wool auctions are unchanged. Greasy sorts , ar.e selling well. The sales close on Saturday. The third series will begin on June 124 th, the limit having been fixed at 350,000 bales. The fourth series is set down for Septemher 16th; the amount is unlimited. The Committee on the "Western Australian Bill recommend the omission of clauses 4 to 8, and the adoption of the remainder of the measure, except that the qualification of .£SOO for members should be withdrawn.
' Zanzibar, v May 7., The Sultan has accepted German control of his foreign relations. Paris, May 7. Boulanger's followers are stated to be disgusted at his inertness and alleged cowardice in rejecting their advice to return ao Paris. Berlin, May 7 The statement that Captain Casati has joined the German service is denied. The German Ambassador threatens to leave Constantinople unless those guilty of ill-usage of German sailors are punished,,, The Sultan in consequence is yielding. ! Home, May 7. The Senate lias rescinded the resolution throwing out the Bill to abolish requests to religious institutions, and the Premier is satisfied. v
Montreal, May 7. A terrible calamity has occurred through the burning of a lunatic asylum at Tongue Point. No less than one hundred and fifty of the un-1 fortunate inmates perished in the flames. There were, 1300' patients in the asylum;- Hundreds were paralysed by fear and resisted attempts to rescue them. ■ A number of firemen were injured. St. Petersburg,' May 7. ' It is now stated that Schmidt, who was arrested on a charge of betraying the plans of Cronstadt "to a German official, was released, as his guilt was not proved, but ho was dismissed from the navy,; - < . ' , < \ ' Vienna, May 7. Extraordinary rumors are afloat,,but sre ■not, however, generally believed, \ that tho Emperor Francis intends to ) adopt Prince' Henry of Prussia with a j view to his. ultimate succession to the I Austrian throne.
New York, May 7. ' Immigrants by the steamer Britannia during the voyage to -N/ew . York become dissatisfied with their treatment, and organised a plot to drown the officers of the steamer. ' Their designs were discovered, and the ; conspiracy suppressed. • • , Panama, May *I. The Government of the Republic of Colombia has been requested by the Liquidators of the Canal Company to extend the time, as it is believed the necessary capital to continue operations may be obtained on an interI national basis. '"
A Scientific Discovery., Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2424, 8 May 1890
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