Many valuable discoveries and improvements have been made by which great benefits have been conferred upon society, the names of the authors of which are unknown, or the honors which they justly deserved have been conferred upon others. The successful commander in battle is generally awarded all the honors, although his success may have been due to some daring and skillful feat of a subordinate officer, like Keller-mans charge at Marengo. The hero worship is centred in the word success ; but as Mr. Fairbairn said in claiming his share of the invention of the Britannia Tubular Bridge, honor to whom honor is due, but not all j to the first engineer. Many men have invent- ed good improvements, but from the poverty and the obscurity of their position, have not been able to introduce them into public notice, or bring them into public use ; this was especially true in the days when no public press was employed to spread abroad light and knowledge. At present (and perhaps it will be so in every age,) there are many useful improvements invented, the authors of which are not able to bring their inventions into use but the honor of their discoveries is safe, as has been, that of inventors for many years past. Uninformed literati often do great injustice to original inventors, by attributing their discoveries to mere copyists, who, under iavorable circumstances, subsequently had brought their inventions into more prominent notice. As the advocate of inventors rights, we have oftentimes to correct public reports respecting the authors of inventions, in order to do justice to every inventor according to the extent of his improvement—the real value of what he has invented. Thus, for example, it has been stated, that a new mode ot ship-building has been invented in England, by which the timbers are dispensed with, and the whole vessel built ol plank. It is also stated that the Peninsular and Oriental Company has launched a new steamship at Cowes, which is made with two thicknesses of diagonal planking, and a longitudinal planking outside, constituting the whole thick- 1 ness of the sides. _ A notice of this system was published in the New York Daily Times of the 10th inst., the editor of which remarks upon it, if the mode is practicable, it must be a great improvement. It cannot reasonably be expected, that any person can be posted up in the history of inventions un less he has long devoted himself to the study, and at the same time has had practical experience in his profession. This system of shipbuilding is not new. A steamboat on this plan was built by R. V. De Witt, Esq. of Albany, ?. Y., and ran for some years on Sena-ca Lake, this State, and a United States schooner named the Experiment, on the same plan, was built in 1841 or 42. A book containing plates illustrative of the whole system was published by J. L. Sullivan, of Troy, ?. Y., in 1823, and was termed Annesleys System of Shipbuilding.
This article was originally published with the title "To Inventors—“Honor to Whom Honor Is Due”"