Tuesday, December 17, 2002

Michael Faraday and John Fuller

"Up to 1833 Faraday was bringing the forces of nature in subjection to man on a salary of only £100 per annum, with house, coals, and candles, as the funds of the Institution would not at that time afford more; but among the sedate habitues of the place was a tall, jovial gentleman, who lounged to the lectures in his old fashioned blue coat and brass buttons, gray smalls, and white stockings, who was a munificent friend in need. This was John Fuller, a member of Parliament. He founded a Professorship of Chemistry, with an endowment that brings in nearly £100 a year, and gave the first appointment to Faraday for life. When the Institution became richer, his income was increased; and when, on account of the infirmities of age, he could no longer investigate, lecture, or keep accounts, the managers insisted on his still retaining in name his official connection with the place, with his salary and his residence there. Nor, indeed, could they well have acted otherwise; for, though the Royal Institution afforded in the first instance a congenial soil for the budding powers of Faraday, his growth soon became its strength, and eventually the blooming of his genius, and the fruit it bore, were the ornament and glory of the Institution."

Extracted from: MICHAEL FARADAY by J. H. GLADSTONE, PH.D., F.R.S.
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