Proposition to be tested: that the black carbonic substance pitch is a viscous or flowing material. Test method: place a quantity of pitch in a funnel, set the funnel in a jar, and wait.
Trinity College began this experiment in 1944. Several times they thought they’d caught a drop in the bottom of the jar, but there never seemed to be someone around to observe the phenomenon — until this year, when an observer thought he’d seen a drop beginning to form. The department set up a 24/7 webcam to catch the drip in motion. (If only they’d had that in 1944, right?) Finally, they had their proof.
A similar experiment in Australia began in 1930, and has reportedly yielded eight drops, but not one of them ever managed to drip in front of an observer. (“Technical glitches” have been blamed.)
Conclusion of the Trinity team:
viscosity of pitch : viscosity of honey :: 2,000,000 : 1
We should probably not expect pitch to be packaged in bottles — or, for that matter, jars — any time soon.