Page images


standing in the way of the prosperity of steam novelty in the construction of the ship. In .

navigation for long distances, was absolutely building her he had thought it the best and and entirely Mr. Brunel's, and not his in the safest course to make the lines the exact shape

smallest degree. It was true that very soon of those of his previous vessels which had proved LONDON, FRIDAY, AUGUST 12, 1859.

after the thought struck Mr. Brunel, he came to most successful—to make the mechanical struc

him and said, “ Now, I am not a shipbuilder, ture an exact copy, so far as circumstances THE GREATEST SHIP.

" and I am not an engine-builder, and I come to would allow, of those vessels which he had conHAVING twice in one week visited the greatest you to see if you will devote your mind and structed, and which had been successful ; and ship that ever swam—having wondered at her attention to the carrying out of this problem also to make the engines exact copies of those froin without and wearied over her within" to successful issue. You and I will go engines which he had built for similar purposes, -having examined, once more, her structure, together through the whole undertaking, pari but not upon the same scale." There is not, gone over her ponderous engines, seen their “passu, you shall design the ship according to " therefore, so far as I am concerned, a single massive forms in motion, marked their won

your own lines, make the engines upon your "untried experiment in the whole of the strucdrous ease of working-having exhausted, in own plan, and construct the ship according to ture which the company see before them.' short, all our powers both of inquiry and admi- " the best of your experience and knowledge, There is sound wisdom displayed here. Mr ration upon this last and greatest wonder of the "but we shall always agree in this—that I am Russell is neither slow to invent himself, nor world, we really feel it difficult to address our the father of the undertaking, and that I had opposed to invention in others. But he has had readers worthily upon so great a subject. “the original conception.” To this Mr. Russell the good sense to run no needless risks in carry

Our first business, however, appears to be to agreed, and to this he on Monday last grace-ing out the great work committed to him, and point out with as much exactness as is possible fully and warmly bore testimony, "for nothing even to avoid the very appearance of what, to whom the merit of constructing this marvel

had,” he said, “tended more to his unhappi- though sure enough to his own judgment, might lous ship is due. This is unquestionably of

ness than upon many occasions to have re- seem tentative or speculative to others. prime importance, because, as Lord Stanley

"ceived compliments for the invention, or ori- Those who recollect what the condition of the said on Monday, if the Great Eastern succeeds, he was totally innocent of it.”

"ginal idea, when he could assure the company | Great Eastern was when launched, and who she will be a greater step-indeed, apart from

have this week seen her as she now is, will not the contingencies of future experience, she is

The merit of another great suggestion which fail to recognise in her rapid and efficient comalrendy a greater step-in the art of ship has also been acted upon in the construction of pletion another ground for connecting the name building than has before been ae- the Great Eastern is due to Mr. Brunel. This of Mr. Scott Russell in the closest possible manner complished in one generation from the is the application of the tubular or cellular sys- with the history of this great ship. It has been “ day when man first began to traverse the tem of construction-before applied by Mr. our good fortune to have opportunities of ob“sca." It is impossible to look upon this Stephenson in railway bridges-to the hull of serving the progress of the works on board of ship, and to think of the promise which in a the ship. On this point, however, we must be her during the last nine weeks, and we hold it mercantile sense she holds out to us--of the very explicit. Mr. Brunel did not practically impossible to over - estimate the fertility of reenormous power of military transport with adapt this system to the new purpose ; that is source, the promptuess of action, and the skilful which she furnishes us--and of the services to say, the arrangement of the various parts of disposition of men and material which have which even as a ship of war she is capable of the ship's structure was not made

by him. Nor been displayed by the one directing and conrendering us—it is impossible, we say, to think, does Mr. Russell fail to state as much. In the trolling mind. Knowing something of the however imperfectly, of these things, and not speech before referred to he says : “My respon- manner in which our public departments are at at the same time to see that we probably owe sibility was the construction, as a naval ar- present handled, and seeing what a single inan far more to the man or men by whom she has “ chitect, of the lines of the ship. If the ship has accomplished in this private enterprise, we been produced than to the greatest soldier, or is slow, if she has bad qualities, the responsi- do not wonder that men sometimes grow weary of seaman, or statesman alive. A man cannot bility is mine alone ; if in regard to her the delays, the extravagancies, and the failures open his eyes and look abroad over the modern structure she is ill-made, ill-planned—if her of the former, and sigh to see the swiftness, world without sceing that the truly great men,

materials are ill-disposed or ill put together, the economy, and the success of the latter the veritable heroes of this age, are they who

that is my fault ; and if her engines do not, imparted to it. clearly conceive and laboriously execute under- "her paddle-wheel engine especially, work well Now the Great Eastern is all but finished, it takings of this kind. In old times, when as a

"--if her boilers are not equal to their work, becomes our duty to fix our mind once more nation we had to fight incessantly for mere life, " then I am almost entirely the only man to upon the true object with which she has been it was right enough to value our best fighting

blame. Messrs. Bolton and Watt are here to constructed. Trips to America and back can men above all others to adorn them with “ speak for themselves, and will take the re-afford no kind of test whatever of the commertitles and coronets and to cluster them about sponsibility of their own engines.”

cial success of this ship. Only continuous voythe throne of our monarch. But fighting men Thus, with this wonderful ship in all its ages of several weeks' duration—to India, China, are our greatest men no longer. The great ship- great features and complex details before us, or Australia, and back, for example—can give builder, the great engineer, the great merchant, we have to separate from her first the original her a fair chance of proving her value. As she these are the foremost leaders of this time, al conception of such a ship, and next the concep-is to go down the river on the 21st or 23rd inthough we have not yet begun to call them tion of a tubular or cellular mode of construction, stant, and will make her trial trip early in dukes and earls, and to lift them to the fellow and then all the rest is Mr. Russell's. That is September, it should be understood, as Mr. ship of our sovereigns. To say the least, such to say, the ship itself, as a vast and novel Russell said on Monday, that she never was inmen are inferior to no others. It is well worth mechanical structure, is his alone. The merit tended for short voyages ; and though she would while, then, to inquire to whom we owe the of the naval architect who designed her, the be tested on a short voyage, she was not to be Great Eastern.

merit of the shipbuilder who built her, the finally tried by such a trip. What the great Fortunately for ourselves and for the future merit of the engineer who placed her engines ship must be tried by is that for which she was historian, the authorship, so to speak, of this in her--all this merit is, strange to say, con- originally intended, viz., a voyage to Australia vessel is pretty accurately defined. In so far centrated in one man. The abstract conception or India in thirty-three or thirty-six days. “It as the mechanical design and construction of of her is Mr. Brunel's ; the actual embodiment is most important," said he,"“ to bear this in her are concerned-and these are all with which of that conception in the noble vessel which is mind, because if our distant colonies can find we have to do-Mr. Brunel and Mr. Scott so soon to see blue water is solely Mr, Scottthemselves brought by the ship within thirtyRussell are the only two gentlemen who make Russell's. Surely no man could wish to have a " three or thirty-six days of the mother country, any claim to the merit of it. Nor is it difficult prouder thing said of him !

“they will not remain long satisfied without to define with great accuracy how much of the Mr. Russell has frankly told us the secrets of having fleet of such ships, and without merit is due to each of these gentlemen respec- his success in this unparalleled undertaking. making such commercial arrangements as will tively. The statement made by Mr. Russell in With respect to the manner in which he had “admit of their being established to make rehis speech on board the ship on Monday last endeavoured to carry out his work, he had “gular voyages." was conceived in so fair a spirit, and agrees so made, he said, a resolution which he was happy There is another consideration connected with exactly with statements which Mr. Brunel has to say he had maintained—that he would not this unexampled vessel which must not be foron former occasions made or sanctioned, that permit, so far as he was concerned, any new gotten. Without in the least degree detracting we cannot do better than repeat it here. It scheme, invention, or crotchet of his own to from her commercial qualities, or increasing her was part of his (Mr. Russell's) understanding with enter into the construction of the ship; and cost, Mr. Scott Russell has só constructed her Mr. Brunel, he tells us, that the original con- also, if possible, that no new, clever, or ingeni. that no less than three hundred and sixty 10-ins. ception of a large steam-ship to carry her own ous but untried invention of his friends should guns might be placed on board of her and fought, coal upon the longest voyage, so as to avoid all have anything whatever to do with it. He if the Government should at any time desire to the waste of time and expense which was then therefore confessed at once that there was no convert her into a ship of war, either temporarily



[ocr errors]

or otherwise. This is no small matter. She is tions were mixed up with it from beginning to work efficiently. This was one of the most already, it should be understood, proof to ordi- end. It was therefore both a bad and a vulner- vital questions that called for the decision of nary round shells, and her speed will at least able object, and it became our duty to assault the Admiralty, and this, we fearlessly assert, be Afteen knots an hour in all probability. it. This we did with earnestness, but at the neither Admiral Smart, Mr. Laws, nor Mr. Moreover, her bow is both fine and strong enough same time with perfect fairness. We did not, Bowman was in any sense competent to form a to secure her against material injury should of course, attempt to bludgeon the vitality out judgment upon. she encounter a foe after the fashion of a “ram.” of it with mere angry speech. We intended Three methods of accomplishing the object She is likewise divided into numerous water- that our blow should be fatal, if possible, and have been proposed, and two of them tried. tight compartments. We need take no pains aimed it accordingly at a vital part. That vital The first consisted in introducing a class of apto express what the value of such a ship, armed part was, we admit, in a curious place. Like prentices from a grade of society superior to as we have said, would be to us, as a weapon of Paris, we had to drive our arrows at the heel that from which dockyard apprentices are ordieither offence or defence..

rather than at the head or the breast of our narily derived, and in affording them an excluIn many other ways this, the greatest of ships, Achilles. But, if our object was a just one, sive training under masters and professors is suggestive to us. She is, we believe, the be- our means of attaining it cannot, we think, be specially appointed for the purpose. The whole ginning of a new era in ocean navigation, and questioned.

of the present master shipwrights of the dockthis, if we mistake not, not as a mercantile On another page we print a protest against yards (with a single exception) were trained in agency only. But further consideration of this our last week's article, from the pen of Mr. this manner. This first plan was incontinently subject must be deferred. We must not, how- Murray. The only portion of this protest which put an end to by Sir James Graham many ever, omit to notice the few sensible comments greatly concerns the public is that in which he years since. The next method consisted in offered by Mr. Russell on the launching of the disclaims the “prominence” which he considers selecting by competitive examinations from the Great Eastern. There had been a great difi- we have given to his name.” This is not ex- ordinary apprentices of the dockyard (all of culty with respect to the launching of this actly what Mr. Murray means, we presume, be- whom, be it remembered, have been under the vessel, he said. But the mode of launching had cause his "name" had not, so far as we are instruction of good schoolmasters for many nothing whatever to do with the principles on aware, any considerable prominence given to years past) a very limited number of the most which the ship was constructed. It was en- it. What is doubtless meant is not the promi- promising, and in sending these to Portsmouth tirely an afterthought. The plan tried was one nence given to his name, but the preponderance to be trained by special masters and professors which, he considered, ought never to have been attributed to his influence. The context im- in all that pertains to the shipbuilder's profesadopted. It would never, he hoped, be resorted plies that this was intended, because we are sion. This plan was put in operation about to again for the launching of any ship. “The told that we “have formed a very false estimate eleven or twelve years since, and continued in "Great Eastern might have been launched with of the part taken by the other members of the existence only four or five years. The third "a great quantity of grease and oil upon smooth“ Committee.” In support of this view of the plan is that which the Committee before us has “ oak planking-a mode which succeeded every matter Mr. Murray does not give us the slight- proposed, and this consists in entering the sons "day in practice, and with respect to which est assurance of the activity of these gentlemen of gentlemen in the dockyards, to be trained " there was no difficulty whatever. In future, in shaping the evidence received by the Com- expressly for master shipwrights and assistant “therefore, whenever any large ship like this mittee, or in penning its Report. He contents master shipwrights, all promotion to these “ was to be constructed it would not be at all himself with pointing out the antecedents of offices being for the future almost exclusively “ necessary to invent any new method of launch- Admiral Smart and Mr. Laws, and referring reserved for these young gentlemen. Now, we “ing, but simply to adhere to the good old plan vaguely to Mr. Bowman's experience. Admiral have no space here to discuss the relative merits " of the shipbuilders, of oak planking and plenty Smart, he reminds us, was Superintendent of of these three systems with any minuteness ; " of oil and grease." This is precisely what we Pembroke yard—a yard from which the great suffice it for us to state one great principle said at the time, and we only quote Mr. Russell's “ - repairing.” branch of the shipbuilder's craft is which we would lay down for our guidance in words for the sake of showing that the scheme almost wholly excluded, by the bye, and to this matter. It is this : Seeing that no known adopted by Mr. Brunel was no shipbuilder's which we believe the Committee never went- or conceivable system of training youths can by device, but purely his own.

and Mr. Laws has been a clerk, a secretary, and possibility make all who are trained fit for re

a store-receiver. It may suit Mr. Murray's sponsible office, or can be expected to do more THE DOCKYARD COMMITTEE OF purpose to pretend that these circumstances are than turn out a small per centage of eminently ECONOMY.

sufficient to fit the gentlemen in question to sit able men, we ought to adopt a plan which will One may write on great public topics for in judgment upon the whole art and mystery of enable us to leave a majority of our trained a year and never have his statements ques

the naval architect and shipbuilder, the engi- men, if need be, in inferior positions without tioned, provided his facts be false and his neer, the blacksmith, the joiner, &c. But we doing them injustice. In other words, we inferences erroneous. But only let his informa- address a class of readers who know much better. ought to adopt a system which, while it will tion be sound and his conclusions certain, Let us consider, for example, the subject to furnish us with a goodly number of efficient and he will inevitably be speedily and which Mr. Murray himself alludes in his letter officers in high positions, will saddle us with no flatly contradicted to his face.

Let no

--that of the training of naval architects-and bad ones. Any man of sense will see in a reader of ours suppose, therefore, that we let us inquire what qualifications these gentle moment that the Committee's system will not expected our last week's article on the Dock- men have for pronouncing, we will not say a

bear this test. For every thoroughly good yard Committee of Economy to pass unchal- decision, but an opinion even upon this ques- officer it would in all probability give us at least lenged. Had we taken any other than a plain tion. By all who have the slightest claim to be three bad ones, and thus largely help to ruin and simple course—had we turned our back consulted upon such a topic, it is held essential the service which it is vainly designed to aid. upon facts and started into the region of fancy that the superior shipwright officers of a dock- We may say much more on this important sub-had we shut our eyes and dreamed instead of yard should be well skilled in the science as ject, but we cannot say it now. keeping them steadily open and using them- well as the art of ship-construction. But this We have thus far dealt with Mr. Murray's then we might have written ourselves gray, and science cannot be at all thoroughly studied letter in its general aspect. There remain, never elicited a sign, either of praise or dis- without a preliminary mastery of many of the however, a few words of another kind to be praise. The great sin in all such cases is to higher branches of mathematics. We have said. We have inserted that letter, not because know where the vulnerable point is to be found, lately seen in our own columns that the rules the writer has any just claim upon us for the and to aim at that. Strike there, and the by which the most elementary calculations of publication of a single line of it—for he in no way wounded creature-even although it be an Ad- the naval architect are made cannot be conve- helps the public to form an altered judgment miralty Committee--must writhe and rage. niently investigated without recourse both to upon the merits of the Committee-we have

Now, had the Committee in question been the differential and to the integral calculus. given it a place simply because we see no reaproperly constituted, it would have been invul- Every mathematician knows that many subjects son whatever for refusing to comply with Mr. nerable at all points. Had it been designed must be gone through before even these are Murray's request that it might be inserted, and framed for the honest purpose of ascertain reached, and every educated naval architect What Mr. Murray's object is in the last half of ing and correcting such defects as might have is aware that these are by no means the limit it we cannot divine. One thing, however, we been found to exist in our dockyard establish- of that which he has had to master. The diffi- hasten to say respecting it, and that is, ments, and had that purpose been purely and culty is, then, to provide generation after gene- that he need not speak so bitterly as he faithfully carried out, any attempt to discredit ration of men trained in all the science of the does about our insinuations against his “chaits decisions--whether made by us or by others naval architect, and fit also in other respects to “racter.” Mr. Murray's character is not a ---must have brought only shame and confusion become mechanical officers of the highest class, legitimate object for our criticism, and we npon its authors. But it was not so. This while, at the same time, they shall have had have not, we think, ventured to criticise Committee, as is well knovn, was not appointed sufficient practical acquaintance with the work it. If Mr. Murray will take the pains to in simple good faith, Mcan aims and considera- | of the dockyard to enable them to conduct that I calmly re-peruso what we said, he will find that it amounts only to this, viz., that he for his weapon what a Hyde-park orator lately | evidence on this point, for our columns have appears to have, perhaps, a somewhat over-called "the bright and cutting intellect.” If been the vehicle for conveying to the public a Weening consciousness of ability; that he was he can then show us that his weapon is well knowledge of all the disadvantages attending thought by some to have been too pliant to the tempered, and wielded nervously, we will not the present coinage, and earnest appeals to the desires of Mr. Corry; that he has no claim to be ask him on whose milk he was suckled, or Ministry for their correction. Reference, inesteemed as a naval architect by the public; that where his sword was forged.-E. J. R.

deed, to a file of the MECHANICS' MAGAZINE for as an engineer even he has not distinguished

the past six or eight months might have saved himself in any remarkable manner; and that he THE NEW MIXED METAL COINAGE.

the Chancellor of the Exchequer from some is guilty, perhaps, of a peccadillo or two in re- It will have been observed by the public that statistical errors into which he inadvertently gard to the re-distribution of official responsibility the Chancellor of the Exchequer asked the and therefore, pardonably fell. Instead, for in our dockyards. Now, to call statements like House of Commons on the 4th instant for example, of there being in circulation--as the these a“ personal attack,” when they are simply £10,000 only on account of the new coinage of daily press makes Mr. Gladstone assert, only directed against a member of a Committee, or to bronze, instead of £50,000, which was the sum

£800,000 worth of the deteriorated and uncall them insinuations against a man's charac- originally set down in the estimates. This wide savoury coins of copper, weighing 3,500 tons,

reasons for thinking lightly of an official report, is, we Government is puzzling, and we regret to say certainly not have told the House of Commons, departure from the original intention of the there is about £1,250,000 worth, weighing 6,000

tons. Again, the right hon. gentleman would submit, to wrest language from Against Mr. Murray, as Chief Engineer of Ports- / that the subsequent remarks of the right. hon. I had he consulted our pages, that the 1 lb. of mouth Dockyard, we have not a word here to the change. Mr. Gladstone is reported—and copper is coined at present into 26 pence, and

no doubt accurately reported-to have said that, against his character. All that we contend for, and all that we say is, that the Report in ques- metal was first contemplated, it was supposed since 1823, when the Irish coinage of such " when the operation of coining money of mixed farthings, when, in fact, no copper monies

coined in these realms have been so proportioned tion is mainly Mr. Murray's, and that we have good reason for refusing to accept Mr. Murray's “ rapidity Government would have to purchase pieces ceased. Twenty-four pence, forty-eight manifesto as a basis for great and sweeping presses and supply them to the contractors; the rates of pieces to the lb. avoirdupois

from changes in our dockyard establishments. We distinctly assert that we have made no attempt "this.” Hence

, by inference, the reduction of that year to this day. Apart from these trifling whatever to filch from Mr. Murray or from his the sum asked for. Now, there is something so colleagues "such good names as they have.” All we ask is, that if he or they have any special completely contrary to the practice of the Go- yote to a point which makes it almost valueless claims to public esteem or homage, they will tell Government contractors, and, it must be added, great reformation, there is not much to object

vernment in the purchasing of machinery for in promoting the first movement towards a us so. We will gladly make them known. There is one thing which, for Mr. Murray's at a loss to know who could have a supposed” the Government ; but about the means of re

contrary also to common sense, that we are quite for which we have contended are agreed to by own sake, we most sincerely hope : it is that such a course necessary in the first instance, or his remarks about one of ourselves were not how a gentleman of Mr. Gladstone's

sagacity ducing those principles to practice in a speedy put forward with any paltry or vain desire to de- conld with gravity mention it in the House of and successful manner we as yet differ. We, tract from the influence of our present labours Commons. Evidently there is another reason

for example, do not approve of putting any porby a reference to our mode of starting life. This than this for the alteration, and in time possibly tion of the

new coinage into the hands of com: part of Mr. Murray's letter is written in such it may ooze out. peculiar English that we cannot discern exactly

If the Government thought seriously about Madras, they are increasing the resources of the what he means. parently to this--that he does not consider it most likely to erect them on their own premises, His statement amounts ap. buying new coining presses, they would be respective mints so as to render them equal to

the demands likely to be made upon them. necessary to reply to what we said last week, and not on those of other people ; and certainly Why not do the same with the Royal Mint of because we studied naval architecture under a the cost of such machinery would soon be London ? Eight coining, presses were erected system of which he disapproves! That appears covered by the profits of the bronze coinage. therein in 1810, and eight are all that that esto us a curious kind of unnouncement, and we Coining presses of the most modern and im- tablishment boasts in 1859, although the doubt not it will appear so to others. On a

proved make cost about £200 each, and the quantity of work required of them is fourfold question of this kind we shall, we trust, be par- Royal Mint itself contains only eight of these greater now than then.

At Calcutta they doned for a remark that may appear somewhat

money makers. egotistical ; and we venture to say that the train which is the extent of the reduction in the es

Forty thousand pounds will presently possess twenty-four, at Bombay

sixteen, and at Madras eight presses. Why ing which Mr. Murray seems disposed to put a timate-represents therefore the purchase not, with the new coinage before it, give the slight upon, is precisely that which the Times money of two hundred coining presses.' Would English Mint double its present number-sixlately put forward in repeated leading articles, Mr. Gladstone in seriousness invite us to believe teen? Ten thousand pounds' worth of mixed as the ground upon which it based its confidence that when the sum of £50,000 was jotted down metal coins would, in such case, without the coin our statements

, and claimed for them the in the Civil Service estimates, class 7, for the new operation of Birmingham, soon pass into circuhighest authority..

coinage, he thought two hundred presses would lation, and the profits of the coinage would pay If Mr. Murray can really be so mistaken as have to be paid for out of it and supplied to the for the presses. With respect to the mixture to suppose that we are in the least degree sensi- contractors ? Surely not, unless he deems his of metal chosen for the new money, it may be tive as to our origin, we can only invite him to audience much more credulous than it is. Why, said that in all respects it is a good selection. change his mind. We do not scorn his supposi- two hundred

coining presses, working at their Copper, 95 parts ; tin, 4; and zinc, 1, form totion ; we merely smile at it. In this day, when minimum rate, would stamp into existence gether a hard, clean, agreeable-looking, and not nine out of ten of our eminent engineers and 12,000 coins of bronze, or any other mixed bad smelling composition, and will show off the shipbuilders, to say nothing of other classes, beyan metal, per minute ; 720,000 per hour; 7,200,000 engraving and devices of the coins to great adlife in some form of apprenticeship, it is too per day; or between forty and fifty millions vantage of the sizes of the yarious denominalate for any one to attempt to produce even a per week! But really, with all deference to tions of coin something may be said, for it is a blush on such a subject, especially when intel- the Chancellor of the Exchequer, we must say

question of importance. lectual competitions have, from the first, been the there is something preposterous in the whole As we last week gave the exact and indivionly steps by which a man has ascended. We story. Contractors would rather buy coining dual weight of the copper coins circulating do not ask where Mr. Murray sprang from, be- presses than receive them from the Government, throughout the British dominions, so it may be cluse we do not feel an atom of interest in the and the Government would rest content with a as well to give as a guide now their individual question, and because if we did we should have fair price for the contractor's coinage rather diameters. The British penny of the coinage of no right to make the inquiry. On the contrary, than be “bothered" with finding machinery and Victoria is decimally 1:335 inches in diameter ; we would urge him to lose sight of such frivolous complicating the bargain. There is a class of the halfpenny, 1:108 ; the farthing (identical in questions altogether. A man is now estimated, Her Majesty's servants whose duties lie partly size with the sovereign), -863 ; the half-farthing, not by the station of his father, but by his own afloat and partly on shore: to these the tale of 688; the one-third farthing, •590 ; the quarter endowments; and Mr. Murray is perfectly wel- the coining presses may be told.

farthing, -515; and the oboli, .625. Now, in come to the support of the few who think other- The Minister's statement with regard to the all probability the circulation of the colonial wise.

deplorable condition of the existing copper small coins will remain as heretofore ; but since If Mr. Murray be fair and friendly he is free coinage, however, was, as every person is aware, it is determined to lessen the weight of the either to write to us in a suitable spirit or to re- perfectly true ; and the necessity for supplant- three superior denominations, it would be right muin silent. If he be hostile, and must fight, ing it was very forcibly demonstrated. It is to reduce their diameters as well as their thicklet him not babble of our boyhoods, but take not necessary to recapitulate Mr. Gladstone's ness, maintaining a proper proportion between them. If the bronze penny was to be made of species or for the contrary. If they fail, it will

THE REAPING MACHINE. a diameter say 1.200 inches, the halfpenny 1:00, be in effecting great things. Their


. We have this season witnessed several successand the farthing •800, there would be given, as we imagine, quite enough of superficies in each Greenwich, nor to feel the dearth which their ful operations with the reaping machine, and to afford ample room for the design of the splendid contempt of the speculations of theorists, have to congratulate Messrs. Burgess and Key engraver ; and, supposing the 1 lb. weight of respecting the annual loss of so many tons of upon the important results thus obtained. We metal to be coined, as we think it will be, phosphates, may produce throughout the land. cannot, however, altogether acquit the farmers respectively into 48, 96, and 192 pence, half- Let civilization supply these phosphates from in some districts from a yet lurking shadow of pence, and farthings, there will be enough distant rocks, if they must exist wherever the prejudice against this mode of rapidly getting thickness to “get up” a bold impression waving wheat and barley is to spring from the in their harvests. In many districts visited by upon them.

soil ; or let our cereals come from other lands- us, the scarcity of labour was such that 25s. and These pieces would be valuable, too, as mea- from France, for instance, their work is in and in others labour was not to be obtained at

even 30s. were being cheerfully paid for labour, sures, for 10 pence would, if piaced flatly in line the present, après eux le déluge !

any price beyond that afforded by neighbours, and in contact equal one foot; 12 halfpence would In France they are managing these things the militia, and schools. Yet is this machine also equal one foot ; and so would 14 farthings. better, certainly in regard to the future and its scarcely known in such parts ; and where best This would be at once a simple and useful ar- inevitable necessities--perhaps also with respect known, we regret to add, fairplay is not altorangement, and we offer the suggestion of it to the present ; since no putrefying organic gether accorded to it. A field of wheat, of barhumbly to the Government. The profit of such compound, no choleic acid from the human ley, or of oats, standing proudly before it, falls a coinage as this would certainly be great, for bile will now be allowed to evolve its sulphur with a rapidity perfectly marvellous ; and the whilst the market prices of the metals compos- in deadly miasma from the waters of the Seine. bye-standers are not slow to testify their wonder ing the bronze mixture would make it little The intercepting sewers on either side of this and admiration. But let a portion of the crop more expensive than copper alone, it would be river are already finished, and their contents, be laid low by wind or storm, with the grain nominally of double the value of copper when properly deodorised, and retaining all their from the machine, and the machine must necescoined. Thus, though a ton of the existing valuable constituents for their due purposes in sarily, from its very construction, pass over it. copper coin represents a value of £224, a ton of the economy of nature, are to contribute to the Here, then, is food for derision and prejudice. the new bronze coin would represent £118-a fertility of the surrounding land. Public But is this justice ? There is not a man amongst tolerably wide margin of gain for Her Majesty's opinion, when founded on the dictum of men the spectators who, when on the best of bone and minters.

of science-whose researches, based upon close blood, would put a horse to an impossible fence.

investigation, accurate experiment, and exact Yet even this, which is apparently impossible THE MAIN DRAINAGE SCHEME. deduction, have given to the world those facts with the machine, can be rendered facile if

upon Most of our readers will remember that, shortly tions-appears to be held in greater respect leave those portions of the crop thus circum

which will depend the prosperity of na- fairplay is accorded to it ; for we have but to after the great bell” at St. Stephen's began under the “ enlightened despotism” of France stanced until the last, and then meet the diffifirst to vibrate through the heavy atmosphere of than it is by the Boards and Commissions of culty in a rational way, and remove it. Indeed, London, an honourable member considered that our own free country. It is not from any want there is not a portion of a crop that may not be the proper time had arrived to make certain of general enlightenment that such plans as the cut if tact is exercised, and this tact will assuruncomplimentary remarks upon its lugubrious Main Sewage Scheme are allowed to pass cursedly be acceded as the want of labour is more tones, and to propose that since it could not be rent in England. A Member of Parliament and more felt. The corn alone that has fallen made to sound more like an ordinary bell, it may inform us, in presence of the testimony to out of ear this season, and which might have should be put a stop to altogether, and allowed the contrary of Dr. Hoffman and Mr. Witt and been saved had the machine been in reach, would to remain as a monument of mis-spent money, of Dr. Letheby, that in his opinion the lime have paid for its use in perpetuity upon many a labour, and engineering skill. It is with some thrown into the Thames " has already been pro- farm. degree of apprehension that we look forward to

“ductive of a beneficial effect ;". but apart

from a similar objection in the case of another great the evidence of one important organ of sense, cultural Society have awarded the first prize to

We hear that the Royal Highland and Agripublic undertaking, when it shall have been everybody who has made any inquiry upon the Burgess and Key's machine. This is remarkduly completed. Then, of course, we, in com- subject knows that this is not the case, and able, inasmuch as no less than eleven Scotch, mon with Members of Parliament and others, that about 65 per cent. of organic matter is only three English, and one American machine were the wisdom that prompted it ; although, it is days or hours from its original sphere of decom- opposedhara och er

. true, our judgment may be of little avail , and position. Our representatives, engrossed with well accredited, is that effected upon a farm in

Amongst other extraordinary performances of that description which bears no relation

many other important matters, may for an inship either to foresight or inductive obser- stant be arrested by the wonderful plan of a

Surrey, where 141 acres of wheat and twenty vation,

acres of oats were cut in eighty-eight hours by foreigner for concreting the bottom of the river ;

one machine at a cost of 4s. per acre. The small A detailed account of the scheme of metro- but the generality of the “intelligent classes ”

cost of the wear and tear of these machines is politan main-drainage was lately given to the can better appreciate the difference, with respect something equally worthy of notice. Alderman public in the columns of the Builder. It is to the practicability of this method, between Mechi has used his reaping machine for eight not our intention at the present moment to the Thames and the lake in St. James's Park, enter into a résumé of the same ; nor even to and are more inclined to bestow their attention years, and its annual cost has not exceeded an pay tribute to the vastness of the enterprise or upon the more feasible arrangements proposed average of 25. 6d. per year for repairs. the ingenuity of the elaborate contrivances at by Mr. F. O. Ward or Mr. George Coode. the pumping station, overflow chambers, storm Never yet, perhaps, was a public enterprise THE CASE OF HENRY CORT, outfalls and penstocks. Our admiration for each of a similar character begun and continued -detail and for the magnitude of the general un- we will not say ended-amid such universal re-HIS INVENTIONS IN THE MANUFACTURE dertaking is lost in our bewilderment that such probation as that which has attended the main

OF BRITISH IRON. gigantic and perfect appliances should be em- drainage scheme. Every print within whose THOMAS WEBSTER, M.A., F.R.s., &c., Barrister-at-Law. ployed to such an end as that proposed by the scope it falls has in turn raised its voice against Main Drainage Committee and the Metropoli- the plan. Reprobation is far too mild a term To the "State of Facts” published in 1787, tan Board, and tacitly sanctioned by the repre- to express the feeling with which

men of science relative to the making of bar iron, by Henry sentatives of the nation at large, who delegated as well as the general public regard the gigan- Cort, is added, by way of Appendix, the followto these bodies their responsibility in the matter. tic blunder by which, at the enormous expen: ing authentication of its contents :: With regard to this responsibility we are aware diture of money, and a sacrifice of time which that Mr. Thwaites and his coadjutors are in the in this instance is not money but life, the con

Extract from Lord Sheffield's “Observations category of those great men who are answerable centrated sewage of London is to be discharged on the commerce of the American States" :only to themselves and to posterity; and we at Barking Creek and Crossness Point. Execra- “If Mr. Cort's very ingenious and meriaccordingly look upon them with the same de- tion would, perhaps, be a more appropriate torious improvements in the art of making and gree of awe and respect that would be inspired word for that which met the birth and which working iron, and his invention of making bar by any other impersonation of the power of follows the progress of this scheme in the minds iron from pig iron, either red short or cold good and of evil. Whether any incense save of men who can realize the full enormity of the short, and the great improvements on the steam that arising from their own works will reward outrage against sanitary science, the well-under- engines by Messrs. Watt and Bolton, of Birtheir herculean labours, they will at least pos- stood laws of national agricultural economy, mingham, and Lord Dundonald's discovery of sess the fame which men award equally to those and common sense, which is comprehended in making coke for the furnace at half the prewho have done much for the advantage of their | this measure.

sent expense, should all succeed, as there is


[ocr errors]


reason to think they will, the expense may be “ The process, as I saw it three or four times | impression of the rollers in the softest state of reduced so greatly, that British iron may be over, is something to this effect : Between two welding heat. It is to be observed, likewise, afforded as cheap as foreign, even if the latter and three cwt. of common iron ballast is melted that the common blooms, as they are called, in should be allowed to enter duty free, perhaps in an air furnace with sea-coal. When melted, ordinary forges of iron, are nearly three times cheaper, and of as improved a quality, and in it spits out in blue sparks the sulphur which is as thick and solid as the slabs in Mr. Cort's quanlity equal to the demand. It is not assert- mixed with it. The workman keeps constantly process, and therefore much less affected by the ing too much to say that event would be more stirring it about, which helps to disengage the blow of a hammer than his slabs are under advantageous to Britain than thirteen Colonies. sulphureous particles, and, when thus disengaged, the effect of the rollers. His slabs are small, It would give the complete command of the they burn away in blue sparks. In about an soft, and ductile, and therefore easily suffer the iron trade to this country, with its vast advan- hour after melting the spitting of these blue expulsion of the dross by the squeezing of the tages to navigation ; and our knowledge in the sparks begins to abate (the workman stirring all rollers. iron trade seems hitherto to have been in its the time), and the melted metal begins to “These appear to me to be the principles of infancy."

curdle, and to lose its fusibility, just like solder Mr. Cort's discovery. They appear to be conExtract of a letter from Doctor Joseph Black, when it begins to set ; the cause of which I formable to chemical reasoning, and to the Professor of Chemistry at Edinburgh, dated take to be this--the stirring not only disen- general principles of metallurgy. The deMay 15, 1786:

tangles the sulphur, but it gives opportunity for metallized particles of ballast iron, so demetal“I meant also to have explained to you my like to meet with like, by which means me- lized by the sulphur in the ore, form the alloy opinion of Mr. Cort's process of making iron ; tallic particles meet and coalesce, never to sepa- of iron ; when the sulphur is carried off by the it is this: I have never analyzed the iron made rate again, and then they become unfusible. fire, and by stirring the metal about while in by that process, as I always considered direct The unmetallic particles, which, being of a fusion, and when the alloy of unmetallic parexperiments to prove its toughness in its hot vitrifiable nature, contribute to flux the whole ticles is expelled by the application of the and cold state, as also its strength and other mass, are partly calcined and partly burnt away. hammer and rollers in the softest state of weldgood qualities, as the most interesting and de- The whole mass at the end of the first part of ing heat, the metallic parts thus kneaded and cisive trials, and I like the process, and the the process consists of metallic particles and consolidated together form the refined and iron, for these reasons

dross sticking together, but not incorporated. homogeneous metal iron. Mr. Cort may there“First, it does not require the expense of The clotting of the metallic particles by the fore be said to have discovered for this country charcoal, but is preformed with raw pit-coal.

stirring about may be compared to churning. an immense iron mine above ground, as all " Secondly, The iron is heated and wrought As the stirring of cream, instead of mixing and pig iron and common ballast iron may by his with flame only, instead of being mixed with uniting the whole together, separates like par- process be purified into good metal. It is not the burning fuel and ashes, which is the case ticles to like, so it is with the iron; what was improbable that this discovery may produce a in the common process ; and it is difficult to at first melted comes out of the furnace in great revolution in iron matters between imimagine how these extraneous matters can ever clotted lumps, about as soft as welding heat, ported and home-made iron. be completely disentangled from it again in the with metallic parts and dross mixed together, “The proof of facts forms the basis of the common process.

but not incorporated. These lumps when cold case. The illustration which flows from the “ Thirdly, Mr Cort's method of forming the resemble great cinders of iron : they are called discussion of principles confirms the interpretabars by means of rollers is better fitted for loops.

tion of the facts into proof of the merit of the squeezing and forcing out the melted slag from The next part of the process is to heat invention ; because those facts proceed through every pore of the iron, and, therefore, for giving these loops to the hottest welding heat in an every stage of the process coherently with the such iron perfect solidity and close contact and air furnace, and to put them under a great forge principles which constitute the invention, and cohesion of its parts more than the common hammer, which by a few strokes at the very consistently with the general and acknowledged method with the hammer.

highest point of the welding heat, consolidates principles of metallurgy, and because the per“Fourthly, By the experiments made here, the metallic parts into a slab of malleable iron, fection of the metal results from the strict adI saw that Mr. Cort's iron was exceedingly soft about three feet and a-half long and three herence in the operation to the principles of the and malleable when hot, and very tough when inches square. The hammer at the same time process.” cold ; and I have heard of much more decisive expels and scatters the unmetallic dross. These Extracts from Dr. Black's “Remarks on the experiments made in England, which prove it slalos are brought to a wedge point at one end. Experiments made to Prove the Strength of to be possessed of 'very good strength and They are malleable iron, but still with a con- Mr. Cort's Iron, dated Nov. 2nd, 1786": toughness : for these I refer to Mr. Cort, who, siderable mixture of dross.

“The bar iron made by Mr. Cort was distriI suppose, can give evidence of them. The

“The last part of the process is to heat these buted to the different dockyards, and manufaconly point which remains undecided with me slabs to the hottest welding heat in an air fur-tured by the King's smiths into anchors, bolts, is, whether Mr. Cort's iron can be afforded suffi- nace, and then to pass them through the rollers rings, hooks, and other articles belonging to ciently cheap ; and this point will be surely of a rolling mill ; the slabs being extremely soft shipping which occasionally resist very violent decided by any company who may establish at the highest point of welding heat, the force pulls, or support great weights ; and similar works on his plan. I am informed that a great of the rollers consolidates the metallic parts into articles were at the same time made of the best deal of bar iron is now made in England suffi- bar iron, and the dross is squeezed out and falls Swedish iron, as exactly alike to the former in ciently cheap, by another process, in which also under the rollers. This is the whole process ; weight, size, and form as possible. The experithe expense of charcoal is avoided, but such and thus in about six hours I have seen a piece ments to compare the strength of the two kinds iron is not of the best kind.”

of common iron ballast rolled into a ship’s bolt ; of iron were afterwards made by opposing an Extract of a letter from David Hartley, Esq., I have seen this bolt laid hollow across the eye article made of the one to the similar article dated Golden Square, June 19, 1786:- of a large forge hammer and receive two hun- made of the other; and from the description of

“Having heard that Mr. Cort had discovered dren and fifty strokes of the heaviest sledge the experiments it is plain that they have been a method of making the very best of iron out hammer, and thus bent double, but without made in the most fair and decisive manner. of common iron ballast, by a short and simple breaking, or suffering the least apparent injury. The two kinds of iron were tried in each experiprocess, I went to his works, and, as far as I “I conceive the two principles of this inven- ment with the same force or strain gradually could judge, his invention appeared to me to tion to be, first, burning off and calcining the increased until one of them gave way, which, be founded on simple principles, for reducing sulphur and the demetallized particles of ballast however, did not happen in general until after iron to its natural and heat state, by the expul- iron, instead of endeavouring to restore the de- the strain was increased to a far greater degree sion of all heterogeneous and unmetallic par- metallized parts with charcoal at a great ex- than any to which the same articles are exposed ticles ; the fundamental principle being, that pense, and still leaving the business undone; in actual service. iron is in itself a simple homogeneous metal, and, secondly, expelling the dross and consoli- “When we sum up the results of these experiand that all iron is equally good when purified dating the metal by squeezing it through the ments, it is evident that Mr. Cort's iron is from heterogeneous and unmetallic particles. rollers, instead of the common mode of hammer- superior in strength to the very best Swedish

" The ordinary mode of converting cast iron ing, which requires a considerable length of iron ; for such alone was employed on this occainto malleable iron is by the use of a very great time, during which time the metal loses the sion. quantity of charcoal, which contains what the softness of a welding heat, and becomes too “There were six comparative trials of anchors; chemists call philogiston, and which has the hard to suffer the expulsion of the unmetallic Mr. Cort's iron was found stronger than the quality of remetallizing demetallized particles, parts. The common mode, therefore, operates Swedish in five of these trials. which are mixed up with iron while in fusion with much less effect than Mr. Cort's mode, “ The comparative trials of hooks and ironThe method used by Mr. Cort is not by char- because it operates upon a less degree of heat bound blocks were twenty-eight in number. Mr. coal. He uses sea-coal entirely, because it is and softness. It consolidates heterogeneous Cort's iron proved stronger than the Swedish in not his principle to remetallize any of the de particles into the body of the iron, instead of ten of these trials ; equal in fifteen ; weaker in metallized particles, but to expel them. expelling them by the expeditious and forcible three only.

« EelmineJätka »