Mr. Chairman, Gentlemen,
Wherever life exists we find a constant struggle for its maintenance. In every animal, and vegetable substance, so soon as the vital force ceases to act, we see that there is at once a tendency toward the resolution of the atoms of the highly organized structure into simpler compounds. All nature seems to lend its aid to effect this change. The chemical affinities of the constituent substances encourage it, the lower forms of life assist it, and the combined influence of air, moisture and heat complete the change. Everywhere these forces are active and decay and destruction threatens.
All of the products of life which we employ either for food or clothing or for constructing our habitations, our ships, or our tools are exposed to this danger; and one of the most important industrial problems, which man has had to meet, has been the protection of these substances from decay.