It is well known to our readers, that F. M. lay, of this city, offered $3,000 to be divided lto four premiums for railroad improvements. Ve published his advertisement on page 159, four last volume, where all the conditions re set forth. The improvements were exhi-lited (that being one of the conditions) at the ist Fair of the American Institute held at Castle Garden, this city. The Committee of Sxamination was appointed by the American nstitute, in whose charge the whole matter vas left ; they were to examine, report, and .ward the prizes. The offer of these prizes [rew out an amount of talent which was ex-libited in the greatest amount of railroad in-rentions ever brought together since railroads vere invented, and we are sure that those ofr red prizes were the means of drawing many o the fair, both as exhibitors and spectators, vha otherwise would not have gone there ; jerhaps the American Institute drew no less han five or six thousand dollars extra on that rery account. We hoped and said that those prizes would be the means of doing good, and lo doubt they would, if the business had been :onducted honorably by an Institute governed jy verity and manly dignity. But the manner n which the whole affair has been conducted jy the American Institute deserves the scorn ind contempt of all honorable men. Not a report on those railroad inventions which :ompeted for the respective prizes has yet been made, and not a single prize awarded. We have received a great number of letters from exhibitors who live in different parts of Dur country, and one now before us says :" I travelled 1,200 miles, and was detained in New York under heavy expenses for one month as a competitor, in the expectation of winning a, prize, or of being satisfied (as I would have been) to see a better invention get it." Was Mr. Ray made a dupe himself in offering these prizes, and was it intended to dupe the exhibiting inventors ? If not, why have those exhibitors been treated and are now treated like dupes by the American Institute ? We make no charges, we only state facts and ask questions which naturally arise from the circumstances of the case. As the Scientific American is the defender of our inventor's ligKtoj -we daxc iioL ije oilciib lt Buch a. case as this ; the rights, the honor, and the integrity of our country is involved in the public, broad, and extensive principle of a public award offered to a competing public through a chartered institution which pretends to be founded on, and governed by the principle of encouraging American industry. The fair fame of Mr. Ray is also involved, and the public demands some explanation about the conduct ot the American* Institute, in whose charge he placed the whole business. We cannot charge any person with fraud, because no evidence of this has been presented, but we cannot speak truth and use less strong language than to say, "the business has not been justly nor honorably performed by the American Institute." We do not call upon that body of men to do anything ; they know their duty but they do it not.