For an understanding of the modern conditions of mineralogy, or of any other science, it is well to cast a glance backward to see what our predecessors have or have not done; we may learn from their errors of omission or commission, or we may find that some things now regarded as novel were discovered many years ago. In his presidèntial address of 1922, Professor T. L. Walker2 has traced “The Development of Mineralogical Methods,” so that I need say little of this aspect of the matter. But the attention of mineralogists may be called to a book, little read nowadays but of perennial value, by William Whewell, D.D.3 As Whewell was a mineralogist of note in his day, the native calcium oxalate being named after him, his chapter on the early history of mineralogy is of special interest to members of the Society.

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