« EelmineJätka »
THE WORKING MAN.
brother, I beseech you go and study Christianity sisty
king- s fins 146 upon him." The principle of the world is selfishness the principle of Christ is benevolence. The work says—"Look to number one--it is every man fo himself." But Christ says—“You must look to number two as well as number one ; and you mus love your neighbour as yourself.” But you are read: to tell me, that many Christians don't practis Christ's teachings. Alas! my brother, it is too true I know it: I told you it was no very easy thin to be a Christian. It is vastly easier to become good mechanic, a good cotton spinner, or a gooe merchant,—than to become a good Christian. How ever, you must not condemn Christianity on accoun of the imperfections of its professors. That i unfair. If I were to condemn the people's charte because some Chartists have burnt down mills an factories, you would say that is not fair. You mus judge the charter on its own merits. So I say Christianity. You have been looking at it throug a false medium, and therefore your impressions ar erroneous.
What a very imperfect idea a ma would have of the sun, who had only looked at the through a Manchester fog! And just so it is with men who look at the Sun of Righteousness througcam. the imperfections of professing Christians. the life of Christ, and you will soon say~ "LORD, BELIEVE !"
And now, I have done. I com to your thoughtful consideration you have many difficulties to m
hardsh to bear. But go forth like st in the strength to de
(A Paper read at a meeting of the Masters, Foremeu, and Draughtsmen's
Association, Manchester, 1858.)
Is speaking of the mechanical trades of Great Britain, I do so with much diffidence, because I know it embraces interests of such magnitude; and because I feel my inability to deal with the subject in a way that its importance deserves. If we contemplate for a moment the vastness of our manufactories in the preparation of our textile fabrics,-our engineering and machine making establishments,—our steamship building and railway accommodation,-and contrast our present position with that of some sixty years ago only,- we shall readily perceive the elevated position attained by the industry, ingenuity, and enterprise of the mechanical trades of Great Britain; without which, England would at this time have been a comparatively poor and insignificant spot.
- True we are rich in minerals, especially of coal and iron, which are a source of much wealth ; but previous to the introduction of the steam engine, these valuable stores and providential gifts were concealed in the secret recesses of the earth, hid from human view; and if the mind of man could penetrate into the bowels of the earth, and thus discover the rich treasures therein contained, the arts and sciences were not so far advanced as to enable us to obtain the same, except under very favourable and rare circumstances. By the aid of the steam engine, the position of our mines is immaterial, and the depth of little consequence. By this power, we are now raising to the surface of the earth 70,000,000 tons of coal annually in Great Britain alone; and an amount of iron-stone from which is annually made about 4,000,000 tons of pig-iron. Thus our minerals are raised in abundance, and by the further aid of our railways, coals are brought from the most distant parts of the country, and distributed throughout at a cheap rate ; which promotes the comfort and civilisation of the people, and is especially a manifest blessing to the poorer classes of society. Our system of railway and commercial marine, facilitates business, and saves much time, by quick transit, and punctuality; cheapens every article of produce and manufacture by low rates of carriage; and places our competitive system in a more favourable and healthy position; and is at all times contributing to our wants, convenience and comfort. What could have brought our friends to us this evening, from distant parts of the country to enjoy this rich repast, but this wonderful power-steam-which gives us an opportunity of seeing their good-natured faces; to partake of their intellectual ideas; and to have that mutual interchange of thought and social good. will, which is so agreeable to ourselves, and truly beneficial to the general good of mankind.
The most important era in connection with the mechanical trade, was near the termination of the last century.
Inventions were introduced at that time, which gave a footing to all the prosperity and wealth—not only of Great Britain, but to the greatest part of the civilized world. Previous to the inventions alluded to, we had no factories erected; spinning and weaving were done by the workpeople in their own dwellings. Spinning by the wheel was a slow process, and also that of weaving; but more inconvenience existed for want of yarn and weft, similar purpose.
than that of weaving; for the spinners could not supply the looms, which were all worked by hand.
In 1769, a patent was taken out by Richard Arkwright, a native of Preston, for the application of rollers for spinning. The following year, another patent was secured by James Hargreaves, of Blackburn; and in 1779 Samuel Crompton, of Halli'th'- Wood, near Bolton, also took out a patent for a
The produce of yarn and weft from these machines, was very considerable, and necessitated improvements in the loom.
In 1789, Dr. Cartwright obtained a patent of a loom intended to be worked by power; but not being a practical man, and having no connexion with the inechanical trades, he did not carry it out effectually: Others, however, subsequently took it in hand, and brought it to a state of comparative perfection. In 1809, parliament granted Dr. Cartwright the sum of £10,000 for his exposition of natural talent, deep thought, and ingenuity as to the practicability of applying power to the loom. The men of the mechanical trades at this time performed their work, as may be expected, in a rude way; and their mechanical genius was as much required in the making of tools for the due performance of their work, as in the making of the patented machinery they had to construct. The spinning, weaving, and other machinery soon came to be in a very efficient state. A great drawback was however experienced in the want of steam power adequate to the times; and it is remarkable how circumstances dove-tailed, as it were, into each other, for the promotion of comInercial developement. About this time, as if by a providential act, the renowned James Watt, a native of Greenock, and mathematical instrument maker at the College of Glasgow, had occasion to repair a todel of an atmospheric engine of Newcomb's, which drew his attention more particularly to its improvement; the result of which, was one of the most important discoveries ever made, viz. :—the practicability of forming a separate condensation apart from the cylinder. This being fully accomplished, he soon after applied steam to force down the piston in the cylinder, instead of using the atmosphere for that purpose as heretefore. The double-acting steam engine being now made, the importance of which cannot be over estimated, the demand for them was very great, and they were distributed through the country as rapidly as circumstances would permit. Men capable of managing them were in active demand; factories were built in rapid succession, and driven by steam power; the members of the mechanical trades of Great Britain became a highly distinguished class, -and I may venture to say, that by their industry, enterprise, and ingenuity, Great Britain's greatness was secured, and her position made enviable to all the world !
At this stage of prosperity, the manufacture of cotton and other goods became immense ; but the means of transit were inadequate,—the only means of carriage being by waggons and horses on the highway, or boats drawn by horses on the canal. The demand for conveyance became so extensive that the companies became haughty, independent, and insolent,--and it was too common for cotton, timber, and other merchandise to remain at Liverpool and other seaports for weeks, and in some cases months, and no possibility of the owners obtaining their removal to their places of business. Before a committee of the House of Commons, in 1925, Mr. Adams, in opening the case of the promoters of the bill for the construction of the Liverpool and Manchester Railway, said—“It was a curious fact, that in the year 1790, there was not one steam engine in Manchester, though in 1824 there were above two hundred. In 1814, there was not one loom in Manchester worked by steam, whilst in 1824 there were thirty thousand I” He also said, in reference