It is a very curious fact in scientific discovery, that the most profitable invention which was ever patented in this or any other country, accidentally arose out of an application to government to admit sugar for agricultural purposes.
The Government applied to Mr. HOWARD, the accomplished chymist, brother to the Duke of Norfolk, to try some experiments for the purpose of ascertaining id sugar could be so effectually adulterated that it could not be again converted for culinary uses. For this purpose he mixed all kinds of noxious materials with it, but the question remained whether they could be again separated, and in the experiments to ascertain this he discovered that not only could they be separated , but that sugar was better and purer.
Out of this arose HOWARD’s patent for sugar refining and the use of the vacuum pan; the annual net income of which from licenses granted for it’s use, at the rate of one shilling per cwt., yielded in some years between twenty and thirty thousand pounds per annum.