“The query of the utility of comets has generally held a conspicuous put. S. W. Fullom, perfectly recognized as the creator of some enjoyable books, implies a use for comets in his Marvels of Science: Descartes, Euler and numerous other folks considered that there is a refined media pervading all space, which they named ‘ether,’ and which forms the ocean in which the planets and preset stars swim. In this media the comets act as scavengers, stopping any accumulations of ether, and retaining it in these types of a suitable and equable state of tenuity that the forces of nature—as gravity, electric power and light—always act with regularity and precision.”

Scientific American, January 1859

Additional gems from Scientific American’s to start with 175 yrs can be identified on our anniversary archive website page.