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1852: Planetary attraction lacking at the Talbot

The Victorians were fascinated by science, and the new knowledge and ideas were often shared at public lectures. Cuckfield occasionally hosted them, but sadly, on this occasion, not so enthusiastically attended.

Mr HL Watts delivered a lecture in the large Assembly Room of the Talbot Hotel, on Tuesday last, on the ‘Natural History of the Earth’. The most interesting feature of the lecture was the introduction of the new theory, propounded by the lecturer himself, explanatory of the earth's motions.

These motions, he asserts are caused by the rotay motion of the sun. He proved this by shewing the necessity which exists of contiguity with the thing moved and the moving power. He contradicted the ascribed property of attraction altogether, and entered into lengthy and very interesting illustrations to prove this.

He asserted that it was not the effect of any attractive power in the load-stone, that a piece of iron, when brought into community with the loadstone, was seen to more towards it; but that the iron was controlled by the magnetic current, which permenates [sic: permeates?] the loadstone with greater rapidity than it does any other substance. The lecture was not so numerously attended as could be wished, considering the importance of the subject.

Sussex Advertiser, 10 February 1852

Contributed by Malcolm Davison.

Picture: A mechanism for a model of planetary motion. Engraving by W. Kelsall after J. Clement. Iconographic Collections. Wikimedia public domain image.

Visit Cuckfield Museum, follow the link for details

Sussex Advertiser, 10 February 1852



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