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SATURDAY, AUGUST 5, AT 10 O'CLOCK A. M.
The formal closing session of the Congress of Engineering Societies was called to order in the Hall of Washington at 10 A. M. on Saturday, August 5, 1893, by Mr. Chanute, first vice-chairman of the general committee.
Mr. Chanute made a brief opening address in which he stated that an enormous amount of professional work of the best kind had been done since the opening session on July 31st, and that he would call up successively the chairmen, or secretaries, of the seven divisions of the Congress, who would give brief accounts of the nature and amount of work accomplished in their respective divisions.
The first speaker called upon was Mr. William Metcalf, Chairman of Division A, on Civil Engineering who made the following report:
Six sessions of this division had been held and the work accomplished can perhaps best be shown by the following general statement:
Sixty-three papers in all were presented. Of these fifty had been printed and distributed for discussion and covered about twelve hundred pages of printed matter, with numerous plates and cuts. The papers not printed were received too late to be properly prepared and put in type.
The subjects treated may be classified under the following heads: Common Roads; Railways—Terminal system, Signalling, Locomotives, etc.; Cable Railways; Bridges — Substructure and Superstructure; Canals; Foundations; Surveys and Surveying Instruments; Metals—Their Treatment for Structural Purposes; Grain Elevators; Paving Brick; Carbon-Its Uses in Electrical Engineering; Electric Light Plants; Hoisting Machinery; Inland Transportation; Navigation Works; Improvement of Rivers; Improvement of Harbors; The Plant of Commercial Ports; The Laying-out of Cities; Water Works; Sewers and Sewerage; Tunnels; and the Testing of Building Materials. Twelve countries are represented in the authorship of these papers as follows: Germany 20, Mexico 6, Portugal 5, England 3, Holland 2, France 2, South Amercia 2, Canada 2, Italy 1, Nova Scotia 1, Australia 1, United States 18, making a total of 63. The work of translation of these papers presented in foreign languages had been done, in every instance, by volunteers from the membership of the society, by members thoroughly conversant with the subject under consideration.
The interest manifested in the papers presented is evidenced by the fact that three hundred and eighteen engineers registered in this division during the sessions, and the average attendance at each session was about one hundred and twenty-five. The discussions had taken a wide range and on account of the limited time had been entirely confined to those presented orally. Many interesting and valuable written discussions were received which it had been impossible to present at the sessions, but which would be published in connection with the papers. The number of valuable additions to the literature on the subjects mentioned was so great that it was impossible in this summary to do them all justice, and it was thought best not to attempt it. It might, however, be asserted that the results of the sessions of this division of the Congress would be far reaching and productive of great benefit to the profession of Civil Engineering all over the world.
Mr. E. B. Coxe, chairman of Division B, Mechanical Engineering, next made a report for that Division, stating that he could only echo what his colleague, Mr. Metcalf, had said, as to the interest taken in the papers. The speaker said that the thing which impressed itself upon him most strongly at these meetings was the tendency of modern engineering to learn and to state exact facts. No designer who has to place his machinery in competition in the market of any civilized country can any longer neglect the thorough professional study of every question and every detail that comes into play in the construction or use of such machines. He also advocated an international system of tests.
Mr. Chanute then stated that Divisions C and D, Mining Engineering and Metallurgical Engineering, would be reported on jointly.
The report was made by Dr. Raymond, Secretary of the American Institute of Mining Engineers, who stated that something like twelve hundred pages of printed papers had been placed before their members, who had discussed the same with a great deal of interest and had accomplished useful results. The attendance had averaged about one hundred and twenty-five or one hundred and thirty. Both the theoretical investigator and the practical engineer were fully represented at the sessions. On the side of mining there had been representations of the best modern methods of mining as practiced here and abroad. Several modern machines had been described and discussed, particularly the latest achievements in applications of electricity. The speaker closed by expressing, on behalf of all divisions, their hearty recognition of the admirable services of the Committee of Arrangements and said that for the remarkable success of the Congress “We may render thanks to Heaven and thanks to them."
Mr. C. Frank Allen, Secretary of Division E, Engineering Education, then made a report for that division, giving a brief summary of the several papers, stating that a great deal of useful work had been accomplished by this division, and that a permanent society had been organized by the members of that division for the promotion of Engineering education.
The report from Division F, Military Engineering, was made by the chairman of the division, Major Clifton Comly, U. S. A., who stated that their sessions had been fairly well attended and had proved very interesting and advantageous. The subject of military engineering had been considered in its broadest sense and the thirty-seven papers presented covered a wide field. While principally contributed from officers in the United States service, yet many papers of great interest had been furnished by foreign officers.
Commodore George W. Melville, chief engineer U. S. N., then made the following report from Division G, Marine and Naval Engineering and Naval Architecture: “Mr. Chairman, it is very gratifying to me to be able to report to the Congress that the meetings of the division of marine and naval engineering and naval architecture have been eminently successful in the number and character of the papers read as well as the attendance and the discussion. The average attendance has been about seventy, and the discussion of the papers has developed many points of great value to the profession and to the marine interests of this and other countries. The most eminent naval architects and marine engineers of Great Britain, the continent of Europe and this country, by the free interchange of their ideas and the results of their great experience, have made the record of this division of the Congress of great value, and it gives me great pleasure to find my own opinion endorsed by the remark of one of England's foremost naval architects, 'that the published proceedings of this division would form one of the most valuable collections of information for naval architects and marine engineers that has ever been published.' While I can hardly say that any novelties were developed at our meetings, the free interchange of opinion by so many eminent members of the profession cleared up some points on which there was doubt, and has put our information in very satisfactory shape.