Air brake (aeronautics)
In aeronautics, air brakes or speed brakes are a type of flight control surfaces used on an aircraft to increase drag or increase the angle of approach during landing. Air brakes differ from spoilers in that air brakes are designed to increase drag while making little change to lift, whereas spoilers reduce the lift-to-drag ratio and require a higher angle of attack to maintain lift, resulting in a higher stall speed; the earliest known air brake was developed in 1931 and deployed on the wing support struts. Not long after, air brakes located on the bottom of the wing's trailing edge were developed and became the standard type of aircraft air brake for decades. In 1936, Hans Jacobs, who headed Nazi Germany's Deutsche Forschungsanstalt für Segelflug glider research organization before World War II, developed blade-style self-operating dive brakes, on the upper and lower surface of each wing, for gliders. Most early gliders were equipped with spoilers on the wings in order to adjust their angle of descent during approach to landing.
More modern gliders use air brakes which may spoil lift as well as increase drag, dependent on where they are positioned. Characteristics of both spoilers and air brakes are desirable and are combined - most modern airliner jets feature combined spoiler and air brake controls. On landing, the deployment of these spoilers causes a dramatic loss of lift and hence the weight of the aircraft is transferred from the wings to the undercarriage, allowing the wheels to be mechanically braked with much less chance of skidding. In addition, the form drag created by the spoilers directly assists the braking effect. Reverse thrust is used to help slow the aircraft after landing. All jet powered aircraft have an air brake or, in the case of most airliners, lift spoilers that act as air brakes. Propeller driven aircraft benefit from the natural braking effect of the propeller when the engine is throttled back, but jet powered aircraft have no such innate braking effect and must use air brakes to control descent speed.
Many early jets used parachutes as air brakes after landing. The Blackburn Buccaneer naval strike aircraft designed in the 1950s had a tail cone, split and could be hydraulically opened to the sides to act as a variable air brake, it helped to reduce the length of the aircraft in the confined space on an aircraft carrier. The F-15 Eagle, Sukhoi Su-27 and other fighters have an air brake just behind the cockpit. An air brake is a panel conforming the shape of an aircraft that can be opened with hydraulic pressure in order to create drag, similar to spoilers which are on the edges of the aircraft wings and open in an upward position forcing the plane towards the ground. Air brakes are used when the aircraft needs to reduce its airspeed, while spoilers are only able to be opened when the airplane is approaching the runway and about to touch down. Lift dumpers, a type of air brake, are mounted on the top of a fuselage; when the panel is opened, it acts as a small spoiler pushing the aircraft down.
Flaps increase drag and decrease airspeed, but are for reducing the stall speed, allowing the aircraft to land at a slower speed. Following the invention of powered flight, the rapid development of fixed-wing aircraft in the early 20th Century, man endeavoured for several decades to make airplanes faster than before. A universal goal for all manufacturers for some time, was to reach the speed of sound 740 miles per hour. Apart from the challenge of developing an engine capable of producing such a speed, preventing the aircraft from breaking apart under the stress, one major concern was how to keep the aircraft in stable flight and return it to a normal flying speed using a stronger braking system. In the 1930s, air brake systems were still using simple flaps that were manually controlled by a lever in the cockpit, with mechanical devices running through the wings. However, in order for the air brakes to be effective at 740 mph, they needed to be mounted on the fuselage for improved wing control, operated through some form of dampener or hydraulic system, allowing the pilot to physically pull a lever in order to create an excessive amount of air resistance.
The concept of fuselage-mounted air brakes, or speed brakes, spread throughout the 1930s becoming more commonplace in the 1940s. In the 1930s, pilots would land with the nose of the plane tilted upwards at a 45-degree angle for short landings in order to effect rapid deceleration. With this method, "the drag or resistance is increased by 300 percent, the distance required to land is cut down to one third of the usual stopping distance". However, there was an urgent need to develop an alternate way of drastically reducing speed on landing that would not cause the pilot to lose sight of what was ahead of him; this led to the development of a new air braking system with additional flaps, mounted on the wing, that opened in two directions simultaneously. This wing-mounted design allowed the effective surface area of the flaps to be increased by 100 percent for landing, producing more drag than the conceptual fuselage design and resulting in a sharper reduction in air speed; this meant that the pilot was able to see the landing strip in front of the aircraft as there was no longer the need to tilt the nose upwards at a steep angle at close to stalling speeds.
The rate of deceleration and foot pounds of force applied to each brake is dependent upon where the brake is located. Upper and lower surface flaps positioned along the wings provide the steadiest braking curve, but the flaps are subjected to greater stresses at theoretically hi
A blue plaque is a permanent sign installed in a public place in the United Kingdom and elsewhere to commemorate a link between that location and a famous person, event, or former building on the site, serving as a historical marker. The term is used in the United Kingdom in two different senses, it may be used narrowly and to refer to the "official" scheme administered by English Heritage, restricted to sites within Greater London. The "official" scheme traces its origins to that launched in 1866 in London, on the initiative of the politician William Ewart, to mark the homes and workplaces of famous people, it has been administered successively by the Society of Arts, the London County Council, the Greater London Council and English Heritage. It remains focused on London, although between 1998 and 2005, under a trial programme since discontinued, 34 plaques were erected elsewhere in England; the first such scheme in the world, it has directly or indirectly provided the inspiration and model for many others.
Many other plaque schemes have since been initiated in the United Kingdom. Some are restricted to a specific geographical area, others to a particular theme of historical commemoration, they are administered by a range of bodies including local authorities, civic societies, residents' associations and other organisations such as the Transport Trust, the Royal Society of Chemistry, the Music Hall Guild of Great Britain and America and the British Comic Society. The plaques erected are made in a variety of designs, shapes and colours: some are blue, others are not. However, the term "blue plaque" is used informally to encompass all such schemes. There are commemorative plaque schemes throughout the world such as those in Paris, Oslo, Dublin; the forms these take vary, they are more to be known as commemorative plaques or historical markers. The original blue plaque scheme was established by the Society of Arts in 1867, since 1986 has been run by English Heritage, it is the oldest such scheme in the world.
Since 1984 English Heritage have commissioned Frank Ashworth to make the plaques which have been inscribed by his wife, Sue, at their home in Cornwall. English Heritage plans to erect an average of twelve new blue plaques each year in London. Many are unveiled by prominent public people: for example, in 2010 a plaque dedicated to John Lennon was unveiled in Montagu Square by Yoko Ono, at the house where the couple shot the cover of the album Two Virgins. After being conceived by politician William Ewart in 1863, the scheme was initiated in 1866 by Ewart, Henry Cole and the Society of Arts, which erected plaques in a variety of shapes and colours; the first plaque was unveiled in 1867 to commemorate Lord Byron at his birthplace, 24 Holles Street, Cavendish Square. This house was demolished in 1889; the earliest blue plaque to survive put up in 1867, commemorates Napoleon III in King Street, St James's. Byron’s plaque was blue, but the colour was changed by the manufacturer Minton, Hollins & Co to chocolate brown to save money.
In total the Society of Arts put up 35 plaques. The Society only erected one plaque within the square-mile of the City of London, that to Samuel Johnson on his house in Gough Square, in 1876. In 1879, it was agreed that the City of London Corporation would be responsible for erecting plaques within the City to recognise its jurisdictional independence; this demarcation has remained since. In 1901, the Society of Arts scheme was taken over by the London County Council, which gave much thought to the future design of the plaques, it was decided to keep the basic shape and design of the Society's plaques, but to make them uniformly blue, with a laurel wreath and the LCC's title. Though this design was used from 1903 to 1938, some experimentation occurred in the 1920s, plaques were made in bronze and lead. Shape and colour varied. In 1921, the most common plaque design was revised, as it was discovered that glazed ceramic Doulton ware was cheaper than the encaustic used. In 1938, a new plaque design was prepared by an unnamed student at the LCC's Central School of Arts and Crafts and was approved by the committee.
It omitted the decorative elements of earlier plaque designs, allowed for lettering to be better spaced and enlarged. A white border was added to the design shortly after, this has remained the standard since. No plaques were erected between 1915 and 1919, or between 1940 and 1947, owing to the two world wars; the LCC formalised the selection criteria for the scheme in 1954. When the LCC was abolished in 1965, the scheme was taken over by the Greater London Council; the principles of the scheme changed little, but now applied to the entire, much larger, administrative county of Greater London. The GLC was keen to broaden the range of people commemorated; the GLC erected 252 plaques, the subjects including Sylvia Pankhurst, Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, Mary Seacole. In 1986, the GLC was disbanded and the blue plaques scheme passed to English Heritage. English Heritage erected more than 300 plaques in London. In January 2013 English Heritage suspended proposals for plaques owing to funding cuts; the National Trust's chairman stated.
In the event the scheme was relaunched by English Heritage in June 2014 with private funding (including support from a new donors' club, the Blue Plaques
Finsbury Park is a public park in the London neighbourhood of Harringay. It is in the area covered by the historic parish of Hornsey, succeeded by the Municipal Borough of Hornsey, it was one of the first of the great London parks laid out in the Victorian era. The park borders the residential neighbourhoods of Harringay, Finsbury Park, Stroud Green, Manor House; the park has a mix of formal gardens, avenues of mature trees and an arboretum. There is a lake, a children's play area, a cafe and an art exhibition space. Sports facilities in the park include football pitches, a bowling green, a skatepark, an athletics stadium, tennis and basketball courts. Unusually for London, the park hosts two facilities for "American" sports: an American football field, home to the London Blitz, diamonds for softball and baseball, home to the London Mets. Parkland Walk, a linear park, provides a route that links the park with Crouch Hill Park, Crouch End, Highgate Underground station; the park was landscaped on the northeastern extremity of what was a woodland area in the Manor or Prebend of Brownswood.
It was part of a large expanse of woodland called Hornsey Wood, cut further and further back for use as grazing land during the Middle Ages. In the mid-18th century a tea room had opened on the knoll of land on which Finsbury Park is situated. Londoners would travel north to escape the smoke of the capital and enjoy the last remains of the old Hornsey Wood. Around 1800 the tea rooms were developed into a larger building which became known as the Hornsey Wood House/Tavern. A lake was created on the top of the knoll with water pumped up from the nearby New River. There was boating, a shooting and archery range, cock fighting and other blood sports; the Hornsey Wood Tavern was demolished in the process of making the area into a park, but the lake was enlarged. Once the park had opened, a pub across the road from its eastern entrance along Seven Sisters Road called itself the Hornsey Wood Tavern after the original; this pub was renamed the Alexandra Dining Room and closed for business in April 2007.
It was subsequently demolished. During the early part of the second quarter of the 19th century, following developments in Paris, Londoners began to demand the creation of open spaces as an antidote to the ever-increasing urbanisation of London. In 1841 the people of Finsbury on the northern perimeter of the City of London petitioned for a park to alleviate conditions of the poor; the present-day site of Finsbury Park was one of four suggestions for the location of a park. To be named Albert Park, the first plans were drawn up in 1850. Renamed Finsbury Park, plans for the park's creation were ratified by an Act of Parliament in 1857. Despite some local opposition, the park was opened in 1869. During the First World War the park was known as a location for pacifist meetings. During the Second World War, the park was used as military training grounds and hosted anti-aircraft guns. Through the late 20th Century the park began to fall into a state of disrepair with most of the original features gone by the 1980s.
This decline was worsened in 1986 when the owner, Greater London Council, was wound up and ownership was passed on Haringey Council but without sufficient funding or a statutory obligation for the park's upkeep. A £5 million Heritage Lottery Fund Award, made in 2003, enabled significant renovations including cleaning the lake, building a new cafe and children's playground and resurfacing and repairing the tennis courts; the park now contains tennis courts, a running track, a softball field and many open spaces for various leisure activities. The park has hosted several live music performances and music festivals. 1967: Jimi Hendrix, 1986: The Damned,1987: Acid Daze Festival, 1990: The Mission, 1990-2003: Fleadh Festival, 1992: Madstock!, 1992: A Gathering of the Tribes,| 1993: Bob Dylan, 1993: Great Xpectations Festival. 1996: Sex Pistols, as part of the Filthy Lucre Tour, 1997: KISS, 1998:Pulp, 2002: Oasis, New Order, 2003: Limp Bizkit, 2006-2010: Rise Festival, 2010: Rage Against the Machine, 2011: Feis festival, 2013:The Stone Roses, 2014: Arctic Monkeys, 2014-2017: Wireless Festival, 2016: Hospitality in the Park festival, 2017: Community Music Festival, 2018: Liam Gallagher, Queens of the Stone Age and Iggy Pop.
In 2007 Groove Armada filmed their music video for Song 4 Mutya at the park. In 2009, Rachid Bouchareb filmed London River in Finsbury Park
A candle is an ignitable wick embedded in wax, or another flammable solid substance such as tallow, that provides light, in some cases, a fragrance. A candle can provide heat, or be used as a method of keeping time; the candle can be used during the event of a power outage to provide light. A person who makes candles is traditionally known as a chandler. Various devices have been invented to hold candles, from simple tabletop candlesticks known as candle holders, to elaborate chandeliers. For a candle to burn, a heat source is used to light the candle's wick, which melts and vaporizes a small amount of fuel. Once vaporized, the fuel combines with oxygen in the atmosphere to form a constant flame; this flame provides sufficient heat to keep the candle burning via a self-sustaining chain of events: the heat of the flame melts the top of the mass of solid fuel. As the solid fuel is melted and burned, the candle becomes shorter. Portions of the wick that are not emitting vaporized fuel are consumed in the flame.
The incineration of the wick limits the exposed length of the wick, thus maintaining a constant burning temperature and rate of fuel consumption. Some wicks require regular trimming with scissors to about one-quarter inch, to promote slower, steady burning, to prevent smoking. Special candle-scissors called "snuffers" were produced for this purpose in the 20th century and were combined with an extinguisher. In modern candles, the wick is constructed; this ensures that the end of the wick gets oxygen and is consumed by fire—a self-trimming wick. The word candle comes from Middle English candel, from Old English and from Anglo-Norman candele, both from Latin candēla, from candēre, to shine. Prior to the candle, people used oil lamps. Liquid oil lamps had a tendency to spill, the wick had to be advanced by hand. Romans began making true dipped candles from tallow, beginning around 500 BC. European candles of antiquity were made from various forms of natural fat and wax. In Ancient Rome, candles were made of tallow due to the prohibitive cost of beeswax.
It is possible that they existed in Ancient Greece, but imprecise terminology makes it difficult to determine. The earliest surviving candles originated in Han China around 200 BC; these early Chinese candles were made from whale fat. During the Middle Ages, tallow candles were most used. By the 13th century, candle making had become a guild craft in France; the candle makers went from house to house making candles from the kitchen fats saved for that purpose, or made and sold their own candles from small candle shops. Beeswax, compared to animal-based tallow, burned cleanly, without smoky flame. Beeswax candles were expensive, few people could afford to burn them in their homes in medieval Europe. However, they were used for church ceremonies. In the 18th and 19th centuries, spermaceti, a waxy substance produced by the sperm whale, was used to produce a superior candle that burned longer and gave off no offensive smell. In the 18th century, colza oil and rapeseed oil came into use as much cheaper substitutes.
The manufacture of candles became an industrialized mass market in the mid 19th century. In 1834, Joseph Morgan, a pewterer from Manchester, patented a machine that revolutionised candle making, it allowed for continuous production of molded candles by using a cylinder with a moveable piston to eject candles as they solidified. This more efficient mechanized production produced about 1,500 candles per hour; this allowed candles to be an affordable commodity for the masses. Candlemakers began to fashion wicks out of braided strands of cotton; this technique makes wicks curl over as they burn, maintaining the height of the wick and therefore the flame. Because much of the excess wick is incinerated, these are referred to as "self-trimming" or "self-consuming" wicks. In the mid-1850s, James Young succeeded in distilling paraffin wax from coal and oil shales at Bathgate in West Lothian and developed a commercially viable method of production. Paraffin could be used to make inexpensive candles of high quality.
It was a bluish-white wax, which left no unpleasant odor, unlike tallow candles. By the end of the 19th century candles were made from stearic acid. By the late 19th century, Price's Candles, based in London, was the largest candle manufacturer in the world. Founded by William Wilson in 1830, the company pioneered the implementation of the technique of steam distillation, was thus able to manufacture candles from a wide range of raw materials, including skin fat, bone fat, fish oil and industrial greases. Despite advances in candle making, the candle industry declined upon the introduction of superior methods of lighting, including kerosene and lamps and the 1879 invention of the incandescent light bulb. From this point on, candles came to be marketed as more of a decorative item. Before the invention of electric lighting and oil lamps were used for illumination. In areas without electricity, they are still used routinely; until the 20th century, candles were more common in northern Europe. In southern Europe and the Mediterranean, oil lamps predominated.
In the developed world today, candles are used for their aesthetic value and scent to set a soft, warm, or romantic ambiance, for emergency lighting during electrical power failures, and
Heath Robinson (codebreaking machine)
Heath Robinson was a machine used by British codebreakers at the Government Code and Cypher School at Bletchley Park during World War II in Cryptanalysis of the Lorenz cipher. This achieved the decryption of messages in the German teleprinter cipher produced by the Lorenz SZ40/42 in-line cipher machine. Both the cipher and the machines were called "Tunny" by the codebreakers, who named different German teleprinter ciphers after fish, it was an electro-mechanical machine, containing no more than a couple of dozen valves, was the predecessor to the electronic Colossus computer. It was dubbed "Heath Robinson" by the Wrens who operated it, after cartoonist William Heath Robinson, who drew immensely complicated mechanical devices for simple tasks, similar to Rube Goldberg in the USA; the functional specification of the machine was produced by Max Newman. The main engineering design was the work of Frank Morrell at the Post Office Research Station at Dollis Hill in North London, with his colleague Tommy Flowers designing the "Combining Unit".
Dr C. E. Wynn-Williams from the Telecommunications Research Establishment at Malvern produced the high-speed electronic valve and relay counters. Construction started in January 1943, the prototype machine was delivered to Bletchley Park in June and was first used to help read current encrypted traffic soon afterwards; as the Robinson was a bit slow and unreliable, it was replaced by the Colossus computer for many purposes, including the methods used against the twelve-rotor Lorenz SZ42 on-line teleprinter cipher machine. The basis of the method that the Heath Robinson machine implemented was Bill Tutte's "1+2 technique"; this involved examining the first two of the five impulses of the characters of the message on the ciphertext tape and combining them with the first two impulses of part of the key as generated by the χ wheels of the Lorenz machine. This involved reading two long loops of paper tape, one containing the ciphertext and the other the χ component of the key. By making the key tape one character longer than the message tape, each of the 1271 starting position of the χ 1 χ 2 sequence was tried against the message.
A count was amassed for each start position and, if it exceeded a pre-defined "set total", was printed out. The highest count was the most one to be the one with the correct values of χ 1 and χ 2. With these values, settings of the other χ wheels could be tried to break all five χ wheel starting positions for this message; this allowed the effect of the χ component of the key to be removed and the resulting modified message attacked by manual methods in the Testery. The "bedstead" was a system of pulleys around which two continuous loops of tape were driven in synchrony; this was by means of a pair of sprocket wheels on a common axle. This was changed to drive by friction pulleys with the sprocket wheels maintaining the synchrony when it was found that this caused less damage to the tapes. Speeds of up to 2000 characters per second were achieved for shorter tapes, but only 1000 for longer tapes; the tapes were guided past an array of photo-electric cells where the characters and other signals were read.
Possible tape lengths on the bedstead were from 2000 to 11,000 characters. The perforated tapes were read photo-electrically at a "gate", placed as near as possible to the sprocket to reduce the effect of stretched tapes. Successive characters on the tape were read by a battery of ten photocells, an eleventh for the sprocket holes and two additional ones for the "stop" and "start" signals that were hand-punched between the third and fourth and fourth and fifth channels; this was designed by Tommy Flowers of the Post Office Research Station at Dollis Hill in North London. It used thermionic valves to implement the logic; this involved. In the following "truth table", 1 represents "true" and 0 represents "false". Other names for this function are: "not equal", "modulo 2 addition" and "modulo 2 subtraction". Note that modulo 2 addition and subtraction are identical; some descriptions of Tunny decryption refer to addition and some to differencing, i.e. subtraction, but they mean the same thing. The combining unit implemented the logic of Tutte's statistical method.
This required that the paper tape containing the ciphertext was tried against a tape that contained the component of the Lorenz cipher machine generated by the relevant two chi wheels at all possible starting positions. A count was made of the total number of 0s generated, with a high count indicating a greater probability of the starting position of the chi key sequence being correct. Wynn-Williams had obtained his PhD at Cambridge University for his work at the Cavendish Laboratory with Sir Ernest Rutherford. In 1926 he had constructed an amplifier using thermionic valves for the small electrical currents arising from detectors in their nuclear disintegration experiments. Rutherford had got him to devote his attention to the construction of a reliable valve amplifier and methods of registering and counting these particles; the counter used gas-filled Thyratron tubes. The counters that Wynn-Williams designed for Heath Robinson, subsequently for the Colossus computers used
Tales from Shakespeare
Tales from Shakespeare is an English children's book written by brother and sister Charles and Mary Lamb in 1807. The book is designed to make the stories of Shakespeare's plays familiar to the young. Mary Lamb was responsible for the comedies. Marina Warner, in her introduction to the Penguin 2007 edition, says that Mary did not get her name on the title page till the seventh edition in 1838. Tales from Shakespeare has been republished many times, it was first published by the Juvenile Library of William Godwin and his second wife, Mary Jane Clairmont, who chose the illustrations by William Mulready. Illustrators included Sir John Gilbert in 1866, Arthur Rackham in 1899 and 1909, Louis Monziès in 1908, Walter Paget in 1910, D. C. Eyles in 1934. In 1893-4, the book was supplemented with some additional tales by Harrison S. Morris, was re-published in the USA as a multi-volume set with colour plate illustrations; as noted in the authors' preface," words are used. The book contains the following tales: The Tempest A Midsummer Night's Dream The Winter's Tale Much Ado About Nothing As You Like It Two Gentlemen of Verona The Merchant of Venice Cymbeline King Lear Macbeth All's Well That Ends Well The Taming of the Shrew The Comedy of Errors Measure for Measure Twelfth Night Timon of Athens Romeo and Juliet Hamlet, Prince of Denmark Othello Pericles, Prince of Tyre Graham Greene uses Tales from Shakespeare for a book code in Our Man In Havana.
Tales From Shakespeare is referenced in the 2018 Netflix film The Guernsey Literary And Potato Peel Pie Society. Full text and images by William Paget on the University of Florida's Digital Collections Full text and images by Robert Anning Bell on the University of Florida's Digital Collections Text at shakespeare.palomar.edu Text at ibiblio.org Tales from Shakespeare public domain audiobook at LibriVox Tales from Shakespeare ebook from Project Gutenberg Tales from Shakespeare written by Morris, Harrison S. 1856-1948
The Water-Babies, A Fairy Tale for a Land Baby
The Water-Babies, A Fairy Tale for a Land Baby is a children's novel by Charles Kingsley. Written in 1862–63 as a serial for Macmillan's Magazine, it was first published in its entirety in 1863, it was written as part satire in support of Charles Darwin's The Origin of Species. The book was popular in England, was a mainstay of British children's literature for many decades, but fell out of favour in part due to its prejudices against Irish, Catholics and the poor; the protagonist is Tom, a young chimney sweep, who falls into a river after encountering an upper-class girl named Ellie and being chased out of her house. There he appears to drown and is transformed into a "water-baby", as he is told by a caddisfly—an insect that sheds its skin—and begins his moral education; the story is thematically concerned with Christian redemption, though Kingsley uses the book to argue that England treats its poor badly, to question child labour, among other themes. Tom embarks on a series of adventures and lessons, enjoys the community of other water-babies once he proves himself a moral creature.
The major spiritual leaders in his new world are the fairies Mrs. Doasyouwouldbedoneby, Mrs. Bedonebyasyoudid, Mother Carey. Weekly, Tom is allowed the company of Ellie. Grimes, his old master, drowns as well, in his final adventure, Tom travels to the end of the world to attempt to help the man where he is being punished for his misdeeds. Tom helps Grimes to find repentance, Grimes will be given a second chance if he can perform a final penance. By proving his willingness to do things he does not like, if they are the right things to do, Tom earns himself a return to human form, becomes "a great man of science" who "can plan railways, steam-engines, electric telegraphs, rifled guns, so forth", he and Ellie are united, although the book states that they never marry, claiming that in fairy tales, no one beneath the rank of prince and princess marries. The book ends with the caveat that it is only a fairy tale, the reader is to believe none of it, "even if it is true." In the style of Victorian-era novels, The Water-Babies is a didactic moral fable.
In it, Kingsley expresses many of the common prejudices of that time period, the book includes dismissive or insulting references to Americans, Jews and Catholics the Irish. These views may have played a role in the book's gradual fall from popularity; the book had been intended in part as a satire, a tract against child labour, as well as a serious critique of the closed-minded approaches of many scientists of the day in their response to Charles Darwin's ideas on evolution, which Kingsley had been one of the first to praise. He had been sent an advance review copy of On the Origin of Species, wrote in his response of 18 November 1859 that he had "long since, from watching the crossing of domesticated animals and plants, learnt to disbelieve the dogma of the permanence of species," and had "gradually learnt to see that it is just as noble a conception of Deity, to believe that He created primal forms capable of self development into all forms needful pro tempore and pro loco, as to believe that He required a fresh act of intervention to supply the lacunas which He Himself had made", asking "whether the former be not the loftier thought."In the book, for example, Kingsley argues that no person is qualified to say that something that they have never seen does not exist.
How do you know that? Have you been there to see? And if you had been there to see, had seen none, that would not prove that there were none... And no one has a right to say that no water babies exist till they have seen no water babies existing, quite a different thing, from not seeing water babies. In his Origin of Species, Darwin mentions that, like many others at the time, he thought that changed habits produce an inherited effect, a concept now known as Lamarckism. In The Water Babies, Kingsley tells of a group of humans called the Doasyoulikes who are allowed to do "whatever they like" so lose the power of speech, degenerate into gorillas, are shot by the African explorer Paul Du Chaillu, he refers to the movement to end slavery in mentioning that one of the gorillas shot by Du Chaillu "remembered that his ancestors had once been men, tried to say,'Am I Not A Man And A Brother?', but had forgotten how to use his tongue." The Water Babies alludes to debates among biologists of its day, satirising what Kingsley had dubbed the Great Hippocampus Question as the "Great hippopotamus test."
At various times the text refers to "Sir Roderick Murchison, Professor Owen, Professor Huxley, Mr. Darwin", thus they become explicitly part of the story. In the accompanying illustrations by Linley Sambourne and Owen are caricatured, studying a captured water baby. In 1892 Thomas Henry Huxley's five-year-old grandson Julian saw this engraving and wrote his grandfather a letter asking: Dear Grandpater – Have you seen a Waterbaby? Did you put it in a bottle? Did it wonder if it could get out? Could I see it some day? – Your loving Julian. Huxley wrote back a letter: My dear Julian – I could never make sure about that Water Baby. I have seen Babies in Babies in bottles. My friend who wrote the story of the Water Baby was a kind man and clever, he thought I could see as much in the water as he did – There