A wire is laid between the rails on strong insulators fixed on the sleepers with cast iron brackets, all joints being made beneath the wire. The connection from the carriage (in which the instrument is placed) with the wire, is by means of a light copper wheel, as large as convenient, beneath the carriage. The parts bearing this wheel are perfectly insulated from the carriage. The connection is continued from a bearing connected with this wheel.
The pressure of the wheel on the wire would be very slight, being regulated by means of counteracting weights on pulleys, thus enabling the person in charge to maintain a pressure merely sufficient to meet any deflections of the wire, which would also avoid wear to the same.
In case of an earth being required, to complete the circuit, a connection is made with the iron axle of the carriage, which communicates with the iron rails, thus forming an earth.
The paper was illustrated by a model.
In the discussion which ensued the ingenuity evinced by the author in his adaptation of an old plan was generally admitted, but it was agreed that the
position of the telegraphic wire would render it liable to constant injury from accidental causes, and consequently deprived the invention of practical value.
2. “A Description of the Foundation of the Lighthouse in the Ponui Passage,” by J. Stewart, Assoc. Inst. C.E. (See Transactions, p. 135.) The paper was illustrated by numerous diagrams.
In the discussion which ensued it was stated that the mode of lighting adopted at the Bean Rock Lighthouse and the one now under consideration allowed the use of kerosene in the place of colza or other expensive oils, and required only a single attendant at each lighthouse.
3. “A. Comparison of the Indigenous Floras of the British Islands and New Zealand,” by T. Kirk, F.L.S. (See Transactions, p. 247.) In this paper were stated the chief points of resemblance and divergence exhibited by the two floras, first from a physiognomical point of view, and subsequently in a more detailed form, from a systematic comparison of the principal orders and genera.
Considerable discussion followed.
4. “Notes on the Local Distribution of certain Plants common to the British Islands, and New Zealand,” by T. Kirk, F.L.S. (See Transactions, p. 256.) The author gave a detailed statement of the distribution in New Zealand of the seventy species common to both countries, accompanied by a concise account of the British distribution of each form, interspersed with critical notes on structure and affinities.
The President stated that the Museum had been lighted with gas, and was kept open on Wednesdays until 9 p.m., with highly gratifying results as to the number of visitors. The question of the erection of new buildings was now absolutely forced upon the Council, as it had become imperative to take down considerable portions of the old structure on account of its dilapidated condition. He read a circular on the subject, which had been drawn up by order of the Council for distribution amongst its members, requesting their aid in carrying out the improvements, which received the unanimous approval of the meeting.