458 Life and Letters_ of Franeis Galton
It is difficult now to determine exactly what the temperatures signify; presumably the fall in temperature of the teapot in the intervening number of minutes ; a plus sign seems to denote a filling up or repeated experiment, while 11 signifies second cup. By the middle of March the record is systematised, but more cabbalistic
1st cup 2nd cup
March 13 119280° 186° 8 Gb. Db 174174° 179° Gc. Dc
March 16 190° 5m+ 185° 10 Gb. Cb 179° 14 185'3m
About March 27 the experiments appear to have been discontinued, but were started afresh in November of the same year. Presumably the same tea was used throughout. But no conclusions are drawn, and we are left in doubt as to the meaning of the values recorded. We are not left in doubt as to Galton's taste for a very strong cup. " Quite good, I think it would bear strengthening. L. G. says not." "Admirable, strong and fresh and pure (there was plenty of tea put in), excellent." There is evidence that visitors were occasionally present during these experiments, and the mistress of the house must have had some difficulties when the tea was weighed out and the thermometer popped in and out of the teapot.
I have not cited these experiments for any result that flowed, or indeed was likely to flow, from them, but solely to indicate how strong was Galton's passion for measurement, and that, already in 1859, he was giving full play to his statistical tastes. These teapot data are indeed' the "Puffing Billy
stage of Galton's statistical career
CAMBRIDGE. August 3, 1863.
MY DEAR GALTON, In consequence of Phillips's* retirement from the Office of General Secretary, which he has held temporarily for the last year, a Committee was recently appointed by the Council of the Brit. Assoc. to recommend a successor to the Office. According to the general rule of the Association there ought, as you are probably aware, to be two General Secretaries, and one paid Assistant Secretary. Now Mr Griffith of Jesus Coll. Oxford, has succeeded Phillips in that office, and during the past year Phillips has nominally held the office of one of the General Secretaries in consequence of my illness last autumn. The purpose at present is to elect a second permanent General Secretary as my coadjutor, Griffith taking the labouring oar as Phillips had done before him. Now comes the question-Will you accept the office if offered to you? The Committee are Sir R. Murchison, Sabine, Vernon-Harcourt, Phillips and myself, and I think I may venture to say that in proposing you there will be no dissentient voice: -The Office is a very pleasant and gentlemanly one, requiring of course attention and courtesy, without much time or trouble. On account of my absence last year Phillips will act with me at Newcastle this year. After that he will retire entirely, but I am now getting pretty au fait at the work, and should of course take it as much as might be necessary on myself till my future coadjutor should have gained the requisite experience. I need scarcely say, I hope, how much I should rejoice if you could be installed as my partner.
Believe me, Yours very truly, W. HOPKINS 1.
Professor John Phillips, the geologist. He was Assistant Secretary of the British Association, 1832-1859.
t Galton's instructor in mathematics, the famous Cambridge Coach.