The SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN has.now been in existence upwards of twenty-four years. From a small beginning it has grown to a large and prosperous enterprise, and its weekly issues reach every latitude and longitude where the English language is read. Its aim has been from the first to stimulate inventive talent, to educate the masses and familiarize them with the great landmarks of science, io give the earliest information in regard to discoveries important in their industrial applications, or likely to become so, to discuss general topics relating to health and the welfare both cf individuals and society, and to aid in -the development of the great industrial resources of this country, which, when the first number of this journal was published, had but scarcely emerged from an embryonic condition into permanent prosperity and enlargement. The extent to which these resources could be developed were but dimly recognized by the statesmen of that day. The vast network of railroads which was to cover this continent had only been commenced. The first electric-telegraph line, as now employed, had just been erected, and its brilliant history had yet to be written. The art of daguerreotyping, from whic'h was to spring such immense results, had but just been introduced into the country, and in all departments of the arts and manufactures there remained a wide field for improvement and invention. We may, without assumption, claim to have done much towards the rapid onward march of improvement since that period. The records of the United States Patent Office will show that of all the patents issued a very large share has been taken out through our agency, and the history of these inventions would doubtless show that many of them originated either in some want made known, or information imparted through our columns. Since the' commencement of the SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN, many branches of industry have been created, and old ones have been revolutionized. The severe labor of the farm has been superseded by the work of most admirable and efficient' machinery, the value ot which to the world it is impossible to estimate. The sewing machine, that marvel of mechanical skill, has added its help to modern progress, and the metal- lurgic arts have extended beyond what the boldest prophet would at that time have ventured to predict. The printing- press, that great disseminator of light and knowledge, has also had its capacities more than doubled, and electro- typing has become general. The records of our office show that in all these great im. provemeuts our readers and clients have played an important part, and that the inference is just that the SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN has done more to advance the industrial interests of the United States than any other journal ever published in the country. Begun at a time when scientific information was very sparsely diffused among the masses, it has grown with the distribution of such knowledge, until it now circulates more widely than any similar journal published in the world. It has made this v,igcrous and healthy growth against much competition, and has succeeded because it has steadily striven to deserve success. We are fast approaching the close of the seventh decade of the eighteenth century. This period is crowded with the most remarkable events of American histo.ry. It has wit nessed the connexion of the two hemisphePflS bf telegraphic cables, and of the two great oceans by the Pacificr Railway. The origin of these great works was American, and they have, to a large extent, been carried to successful and unprecedent- edly rapid completion by American enterprise. The next ten years will witness the birth and maturity of other giant enterprises and will be crowded with important discoveries. With all future progress we shall, as we have in the past, endeavor to keep pace, and our readers may depend that no effort will be spared to make and keep the SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN the leading paper of its class. The more extended our circulation the better shall we bl' able to perform this task, and if our friends and patrons second our efforts, as they have hitherto done, and our subscription list shall continue to increase in the same ratio for the coming ten years as it has done since 1860, we shall enter the year 1880 with one hundred thousand subscribers.
This article was originally published with the title "Our Work and Its Results" in Scientific American 21, 22, 345 (November 1869)