Full text: Executive & formal meetings, resolutions etc. (Part 1)

must appear as an old man with one foot in the grave, and I am afraid that is true. How 
ever, I want to say to you that I have lived my life during one of the most interesting 
periods in the whole development of mankind, I have seen three of the most remarkable 
developments take place, and in each of them I have had the supreme joy of being in 
at the start. If you are in at the start of a subject you will always be interested in it as it 
develops and, although at the end things become so specialized that unless you special 
ize they are beyond you, they will still be of outstanding interest to you. I was in at the 
beginning of this science of photogrammetry, 1 love you all and I am still interested in 
the subject. 
Let us consider one or two of the things that have occurred in my life. It was, of 
course, early in my life when the great J. J. Thomson determined the charge and 
weighed the electron. It was described in the Press of those days as a “philosophical 
curiosity”. That was the only thing it portended to the Press of the day, and yet it has 
led to the enormous electronics industry which has done so much for the world in its 
radio and in its television. I had a spark transmitter — would you believe it? — before 
the First World War, and I also remember the enormous pleasure and excitement of 
hearing sound over the radio due to the advent of the valve. Such excitement could 
never again occur in the development of electronics. I understood it all then, but I 
would not like to design a first-class television set today. It shows how things get 
specialized as time goes on. 
I was also, if you will believe it, driving a motor car in 1899. 1 am not going to 
pretend that motor cars have advanced in design very much, because frankly the early 
Panhard of 1900 was very nearly the same design as the modern motor car. That will 
shake the industry a bit, but I am prepared to substantiate it. What people do not seem 
to realize now is that there was a tremendous hatred of the motor car when it came in, 
and young people will not appreciate why it was so disliked. It was disliked not because 
it made a smell, not because it made a noise, not because it displaced the horse, but 
because of the appalling dust it caused. You forget that today because there is no dust, 
but in the early days if a motor car went down an ordinary lane it left a permanent fog 
which was extremely anti-social. 
The third thing I want to mention is the birth of flight. The great Lord Kelvin had 
laid it down that dynamic flight was an impossibility. Consequently, in those early days 
you got no help whatsoever from scientific people. You were looked upon as a sort of 
amiable lunatic. It is rather nice to be amiable anyhow, but that was the attitude that 
people had towards you. Those of you who know their English well will remember that 
there is an expression, “Pigs might fly”, which is the same as saying something is im 
possible. I am not going to recite to you any of my early activities in aviation, but I do 
claim to be remarkable in this respect, that I took the first pig up in an aeroplane. The 
development in aeronautics has been nothing short of astounding, much more astound 
ing than the development of the motor car. We have been a prime mover and we have 
shifted from machines capable of forty miles an hour to commercial machines averaging 
six hundred miles an hour with regularity. Here again, in the early days I understood it 
all, but I would not like to be given the job of designing today a supersonic aeroplane 
with a speed of Mach 3 because I feel I should probably make some mistakes. 
What I am trying to impress upon you is how interesting it is to see great things 
grow from these small beginnings, because those three things that I have spoken to you 
about have, in fact, transformed the world from a social and a mechanical point of view. 
In your particular subject stereo comes in very prominently. I have had a good 
deal to do with stereophotography all my life and some of it, although you may know it, 
may interest you. The first stereo camera which was really popular was one made by 
the great French firm of Richard and was known as the Veriscope. The size was 
45 X 107 mm. There was a rival 6X13 cm, but the 45 X 107 mm Veriscope was a

Note to user

Dear user,

In response to current developments in the web technology used by the Goobi viewer, the software no longer supports your browser.

Please use one of the following browsers to display this page correctly.

Thank you.