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Institution as that which they had this evening met to help forward. Government had now recognized the necessity of cducation, and had expended last year 400,000l. for purposes of procuring instruction in Science and Art. As an incentive to exertion, he pointed to what was being done by Holland, France, Switzerland, and the United States of America; while France with schools of Manufactures, Polytechiny, and Fine Arts, distanced all competitors in the race of supplying high class Industrial Education; and were they to permit France and the United States to make greater provision than themselves. They had hitherto been the foremost in the march of civilisation, and if they meant to maintain that position they must unite all their efforts, as by this alone would they be enabled to keep pace with their competitors. What were the special characteristics of their local industry? He was told—and he had taken the trouble to carefully ascertain it—that there were about two hundred trades in this locality. Amongst them were some which, by the excellence of their manufacture and the facilities possessed in manufacturing, they had made entirely their own; unless, therefore, they gave to the working classes opportunities of acquiring a knowledge of mechanical science, of artistic education, and of the application of steam power, no matter what their present reputation was, one generation would suffice to sweep it away. If he rightly understood the objects of the Birmingham and Midland Institute, it would educate the practical miner, the artisan, and others, in the principles involved in their daily avocations; it would afford to them a knowledge not only of the principles of mechanies, but also of those tools and machines which were best suitcd for the working of iron and metals generally. He considered that ignorance was a burden to the country, in the shape of poor and other rates; do away with it, and they would need fewer poor houses and jails. He then glanced at the effect of emigration in creating a demand for labour— alluded to the disastrous effect of strikes, such as are at present going on, and to the importance of the reformation of juvenile offenders. He would remind the working man that the paths of honour were in this country open to all; the working classes could point to hundreds of themselves who have risen to the proudest pinnacles of human ambition. Rome o the nations. She subdued by the cultivation of the Arts. This was a licy which might be followed with advantage by Cngland. He would urge the working classes to rally round the standard of Education; it would lead them not certainly to territorial conquests, but under the more benign influences of the Arts, it would extend the blessings of education to the remotest limits of the vast empire. Mr. Scholefield, M.P., in seconding the resolution, spoke of the need of such an institution as that contemplated. He pointed out the causes of failure in previous institutions which had been begun in the town. Their efforts, he thought, had been too isolated and too much scattered. They had failed, moreover, by looking upon these institutions too much as things of a class, though those that had been established possessed general advantages to a greater or less extent, but each had been of itself imperfect and inefficient. There was one feature in it that he regarded of the utmost importance, that which had reference to the cultivation of industrial science. They had for a great number of years flattered themselves that this country took the lead of the world in manufacturing industry. He said that the supremacy of this country in manufactures was now threatened. Not so much threatened, however, by France and Germany as by the United States. To the working classes, it was a matter of life and death; and let them remember that intellect and skill meant high wages, —meant moral, social, and political elevation. It was for these reasons he asked all classes—rich and poor, capitalist and labourer—to come forward and assist in this good work. Sir E. F. Scott supported the resolution. The Rev. E. H. Gifford, Head Master of the Free
Grammar School, then moved the resolution: “That the Birmingham and Midland Institute having for its primary object the cducation of our miners and artisans in the scientific principles of their daily avotations, and at the same time making provision for the literary and scientific acquirements of other classes, is entitled to the general and cordial support of the inhabitants of this town and district.” He remarked that he (Mr. Gifford) believed it would be recognised as a sound rule of the economy of labour to employ in each instrument, and in each agent, that particular quality which was most rare and valuable, and to apply each machine and each workman to those particular branches of work which could not be performed at all, or could not be performed so well, by inferior agents. Let them apply that rule to man, and he would venture to maintain that the chief value of man, viewed thus, lay not in hand or in arm, in bone or in muscle, but in that intellect which enlightened and informed, that moral will and purpose which animated and controlled every movement of the frame so fearfully and wonderfully made. It was perfectly obvious that by rendering the artisan more intelligent, and so more skilful, we were increasing the industrial resources and the profitable powers of our country. He was not one of those who thought or seemed to think that ignorance was the only soil in which religion could flourish. Their Institute did not encroach upon the province of general education. By it they now sought to give to those who either had been or were still receiving a general education in their schools, the opportunity of extending their knowledge by studying such branches of science as might be useful to them in after life. Mr. S. H. Blackwell, of Dudley, seconded the resolution. He trusted that as an employer of labour he might be allowed to congratulate the meeting on the fact that the very presence of so large and so important an assembly was, indeed, a convincing proof that they were at length arousing themselves to a sense of the necessity of giving to the working classes a higher class of education than had hitherto been afforded to them. It was no wonder to him that in Birmingham, the centre of a great industrial district, this truth had been discerned. It was, on the contrary, a wonder that it had not been acted on long ago—for if they regarded the question involved in the establishment of the Institute even in the lowest point of view—that of self-interest—they would be convinced that they could not work more efficiently for their own interests, or to the advantage of those connected with them, than by the circulation of education over as wide a range as possible. He would ask those who doubted this truth to compare the past life of the world to that of the present day. He would ask to whom they owed the railroads?—the electric telegraph?—the steamships bridging over the vast waters of the Atlantic? The answer was the same there. These things were the result of the combined wisdom, science, and skill, not of individuals but of great classes, in which they saw the energy and enterprise of the capitalist, and the educated hand of the artisan, as well as the rude labour of the unskilled workman. And he would ask if the progress which the world had made up to this time was a boon—if the progress towards a clearer knowledge of the natural laws by which the world was governed was a boon? Who would doubt this? And if that progress was the expression of the knowledge which society had acquired, ought they not to hail every opportunity of making that knowledge as universal as the name of man? The IIon. and Rev. Grantham Yorke, in introducing the third resolution, namely,– “That the study of ornamental art in this town will be greatly promoted by the proposed association of the Government School of Design with the Institute,” dwelt more particularly on the value of elementary instruction ; if such was not attended to, he felt assured the proposed Institution would lack students. It was essentially necessary that education, in its earlier stages, should be remodelled, and an element introduced into it at present in abeyance. In this view of the matter he was borne out by the letter of Dr. Playfair and the observations of Sir R. Kane, in respect to the Queen's College at Cork. They should endeavour to unite the interests of the Institute with the elementary schools, from which they would draw from time to time a class of youths fitted to receive its class instructions. Now he very heartly supported that resolution; but it needed some explanation. He thought that the association of the Government School of Ornamental Art with the Institute would be a mutual advantage; but he could not assent to the proposition that it required that combination to promote the study of ornamental art in the town. They must either teach elementary branches in the Institute, or they must provide that those who came there must have elementary instruction before. It was an absurdity– it would never do—to provide elementary schools in the Institute—and he did not see how it could be done except by giving a sort of premium to the schools below it. Mr. Peter Hollins, in seconding the resolution, alluded to the importance of Art to Birmingham, and explained, at some length, the causes which led to the foundation of the Society of Artists. By transferring the present School of Design to the buildings of the Institute, when erected, two bodies would be benefited, namely, the School of Designb increased accommodation, and the Society of Artists with rooms better fitted for their annual exhibitions. Nobody would tell him that the manufacturer did not need education as well as the artizan; they must educate the emplayer and the public to. Mr. H. Cole, C.B., said the proposer of the first resolution had reminded them that the year 1831 was memorable in connection with the Reform Bill, and that the present year would in times to come be regarded as an equally important epoch in the history of the Education question. Now, he (Mr. Cole) would say, that as Birmingham took perhaps the lead in the political movement of 1831, so he thought he might fairly say that it was now the first town to take the lead in the movement for promoting industrial education. It seemed to him perfectly natural that it should be so, for if there was any one town in the kingdom where mind, and hand labour, and machinery, were all so united together—where machinery alone did not bear a preponderance, as it did in many towns—where, in fact, the human agent guiding that inachinery and guided by it, was able to produce the deoils of his work in exact proportion as he was educated— on that town was Birmingham. It therefore seemed to him that they were consulting exactly their own interests in endeavouring to procure the best possible industrial “losion—but he would be misleading them if he did * show that there were difficulties to be overcome * they could hope to attain success. After they got their Institute erected—let their building be as ** as it might, their professors the most eminent """A could be found, their capital not at all stinted— ""uld undoubtedly prove a lamentable failure unless * "as taken to sow the seed beforehand in the manner i. had been explained by Mr. Yorke. The past iseen Yoans' experience of the department of Government **hich he was connected had proved that the plant. "#" institutions such as that, and expecting them to *","Pin soils where no seed had been sown, was as !. * the expectation that oak trees would grow n "orns being thrown into the ground. Govern* and individuals had been trying their hand at the ...! of Schools of Design, but for want of good na o . been more or less failures. Birmingation for th refore, in primary education, lay the founany reli their new Institute. He cautioned them against Ort o the bogging box or private munificence supportiu 1. of the institution. It must be self. on: § School of Design, with 500 pupils, of eleven or twelve hundred pounds a year,
derived one-half from Government, and the other part from low fecs (or no fees at all) and charitable subscriptions. Now this was after sixteen years' existence; but in Dudley an elementary School of Design had been founded within the last six months, which, with no subsidiary from Government except in the shape of a welltrained master whom the pupils themselves paid, and yet more students in it than they had in Birmingham. The Ven. Archdeacon SANDFond, then moved, “That the artisans of this town and district, being especially interested in the success of the undertaking, be invited to co-operate with the committee in the establishment of the Institute.” He was glad, he said, that a resolution had been assigned to him that spoke of the artisans of Birmingham, with whom he had every sympathy—the men whose the ws and sinews, whose intelligence, industry and talents had made Birmingham what it was ; their cousins across the Atlantic had for their principle, progression; they could even teach a lesson, to l. yacht clubs and the Admiralty of England; 13eigium could do a good stroke of business in hardware; and France, with whom might they never have any rivalry but that of peace—would be glad to outstrip Birmingham in the same line. It was therefore of the first importance that their workmen should be intelligent and well-educated; that those who worked in metals should be well acquainted with chemistry, metallurgy, and the kindred sciences. Mr. Geo. Wallis seconded the resolution, because he believed if the artisans did not co-operate, the Institute would be established in vain; and as to how much they could do, he would merely instance that the working men of Manchester raised £3,000 towards a public park; and the artisans of Cincinnati had contributed funds sufficient to put up a splendid observatory. The artisans of America were the most intelligent of their class to be found in the world. In the city of Philadelphia £120,000 was spent in primary education, and £80,000 in the city of Boston. They could not suppose that a people so alive to the importance of such instruction Wolf be very long behind in the question of secondary education, in the question of the application of science and ait, in the question in which they would ere long be very much forwarder than they now were. Mr. Thomas Preston said, that as a working man, he felt great pleasure in supporting the resolution, believi, g that the proposed Institution would confer a great and last. ing benefit on this great and important town. In his opinion it would fill up a gap in the measure of scientific knowledge which had hitherto been so sparingly dealt cut to the working meu of Birmingham ; for his own part he could say that he looked back with pleasure to the instruction he derived from the lectures at the old Mechanics' Institution; and he hoped soon to find a similar source of pleasure and usefulness in the new Institution. He thought that Birmingham was badly off in this respect; at present the working man had no means of employing his 'leisure hours in such a manner as would most conduce to his instruction and advantage; and if an Institution like the one now sought to be established were once in existence it would be found to be better not only for the working man but for society at large. The Society of Arts has long had its attention turned to this most important subject, as one vitally affecting the future interests of this country, in its trade end miej wealth. In the report on Industrial Education, is d’i, the Council some months since, an education o artistic, and more scientific, and one more in comfor it with the realities of life than has been hitherto . is strongly insisted upon, and enforeed by a mass of evidence, collected from men of all ranks and o Mini The Council cannot but for a pilothon...". this great work has been practically taken up ty Olle . the most important centres of manufacturing industry.
ON THE FOOD OF MAN. (a) By Dr. Lyon PLAYFAIR, C.B., F.R.S.
The author commenced by adverting to our very imperfect acquaintance with the statistics of Food. We are still ignorant regarding the quantity of the different proximate constituents of aliment necessary for man's sustenance, even in his healthy and normal condition. If the question were asked—How much carbon should an adult man consume daily 3– there would be scarcely more than one reliable answer, viz., that the soldiers of the body-guard of the Doke of Darmstadt eat about 11 oz.(b) of carbon in the daily supply of food. If again the question were asked—How much fleshforming matter supports an adult man in a normal condition ?—no positive answer could be given. Even, as respects the relation between the carbon in the flesh-forming matter and that of the heat-givers, we have no reliable information. It is true that certain theoretical conclu. tions on this head have been drawn from the composition of flour, but no real stati-tical answer deduced from actual experience exists. When we inquire into the cause of our ignorance on these points, it is found that the progress to knowledge is surrounded with difficulties. Neither chemistry nor physiology is in a sufficiently advanced state to grapple satisfactorily with the subject of nutrition. For example, we know that albumen in an egg is the starting-point for a whole series of tissues; that out of the egg comes feathers, claws, fibrine, membranes, cells, blood corpuscles, nerves, &c., but only the result is known to us; the intermediate changes and their causes are quite unknown. After all, this is but a rude and unsatisfactory knowledge. Hence, when we approach the subject it is only to deal with very rough generalities. Admitting that the experience of man in diet is worth something, it is possible to arrive at some conclusions by the statistical method-– that is, by accepting experience in diet and analyzing that experience. Take, for example, the one general line of Pauper Diet for the English counties placed in the table at the end of this notice. The mode of arriving at the result of experience, in the case of paupers, was to collect it from every workhouse in the kingdom, and then to reduce it to one line. Iłut the labour of this is immense. In the preparation of this one line the following work had to be performed in acquiring the data. : Number of Unions applied to . . . . . 542 Number of Explanatory letters sent to them 700 Number of Calculations to reduce the results 47,696 Number of Additions of the above calculations 6,868 Number of Extra hours, beyond the office hours, paid to a Clerk for the reduction . . . . 1,248 The statistical method, besides being very laborious, is extremely tedious, and has thus deterred persons from encountering it. In giving, therefore, an example of some of the results which have been collected within the last few years, they will represent much labour, but very little or no originality. The lecturer then alluded shortly to the conditions in nutrition, which must be borne in mind in looking at these results. It was now admitted that the heat of the body was due to the combustion of the unazotised ingredients of food. Man inspires annually about 7 cwt. of oxygen, and about one-fifth of this burns some constituent and produces heat. The whole carbon in the blood would thus be burned away in about three days, unless new fuel were introduced as food. The amount of food necessary depends upon the number of respirations, the rapidity of the pulsations, and the relative capacity of the lungs. Cold increases the number of respirations and heat diminishes thern : and the lecturer cited well known cases of the voracity of residents in Arctic I'egions,
(a)This is an Abstract of a Lecture given at the Weekly Evening Meeting at the Royal Institution. Friday, May 6, 1853.
(?, Liebig states it at a higher amount, but this is a re-calculation from the new food tables.
although he admitted, as an anomaly, that the inhabitants of tropical climates often show a predilection for fatty or carbonaceous bodies. He then drew attention to the extraordinary records of Arctic dietaries shown in the table, which, admitting that they are extreme cases, even in the Arctic Regions, are nevertheless very surprising. Dr. Playfair then alluded to the second great class of food ingredients, viz., those of the same composition as flesh. Beccaria, in 1742, pointed to the close resemblance between these ingredients of flesh, and asked “Is it not true that we are composed of the same substances which serve as our nourishment 2." In fact the simplicity of this view is now generally acknowledged ; and albumen, gluten, casein, &c., are now recognized as flesh-formers in the same sense that any animal aliment is. After alluding to the mineral ingredients, attention was directed to a diet-table, which contained some modifications, but was based on the one published in the Agricultural Cyclopædia under the article Diet ; the table as shown being used in the calculation of the dietaries. The old mode of estimating the value of dietaries, by merely giving the total number of ounces of solid food used daily or weekly, and quite irrespective of its composition, was shown to be quite erroneous; and an instance was given of an agricultural labourer in Gloucestershire, who in the year of the potato famine subsisted chiefly on flour, consuming 163 ounces weekly, which contained 26 ounces of flesh-formers. When potatoes cheapened, he returned to a potato-diet, and now eat 321 ounces weekly, although his true nutriment in flesh-formers was only about eight or ten ounces. He showed this further, by calling attention to the six pauper dietaries formerly recommended, to the difference between the salt and fresh meat dietary of the sailor, &c., all of which, relying on absolute weight alone, had in reality no relation in equivalent nutritive value. Attention was now directed to the diagrams exemplifying dietaries. Taking the soldier and sailor as illustrating healthy adult men, they consumed weekly about 35 ounces of flesh-formers, 70 to 74 ounces of carbon, the relation of the carbon in the flesh-formers to that of the heat-givers being 1 : 3. If the dietaries of the aged were contrasted with this, it would be found that they consumed less flesh-formers (25–30 ounces), but rather more heat-givers (72–78 ounces); the relation of carbon in the former to that of the latter being about 1 : 5. The young boy, about ten or twelve years of age, consumed about 17 ounces weekly, or about half the flesh-formers of the adult man; the carbon being about 58 ounces weekly, and the relation of the two carbons being nearly 1 : 54. The circumstances under which persons are placed influence these proportions considerably. In workhouses and prisons the warmth renders less necessary a large amount of food-fuel to the body : while the relative amount of labour determines the greater or less amount of fleshformers. Accordingly it is observed that the latter are increased to the prisoners exposed to hard labour. From the quantity of flesh-formers in food, we may estimate approximatively the rate of change in the body. Now a man weighing 140 lbs. has about 4 lbs. of flesh in blood, 273 lbs. in his museular substance, &c., and about 5lbs. of nitrogenous matter in the bones. These 37 lbs. would be received in food in about eighteen weeks; or, in other words, that period might represent the time required for the change of the tissues, if all changed with equal rapidity, which is, however, not at all probable. All the carbon taken as food is not burned in the body, part of it being excreted with the waste matter. Supposing the respirations to be 18 perminute, a man expires about 8.59 oz. of carbon daily, the remainder of the carbon .# in the excreted matter. In conclusion, Dr. Playsair explained how the dietarytables elucidated the various admixtures of food common to cookery, and how they might even be made to bear on certain national characteristics, which were in no small degree influenced by the aliments of different nations.
CoNTRIBUTED’BY WM. CHARLEY, SEYMoUR IIILL, BELFAST. LETTER iv.
In several of my previous communications, extracts of interesting matter, collected in the published reports of the Linen Board, have been freely made, and in this paper, which is devoted to the elucidation of Mr. Lee's “patent flax-preparing process,” I think I cannot do better than allow your readers to have the description of the patent written by the inventor himself. This gentleman, though greatly unsuccessful, must have possessed a good deal of talent and ingenuity, as he converted to his views the intelligent gentlemen composing the Linen Board. For several years they paid very large sums for the patent machines, and offered premiums for cloth made from flax prepared in this new way; but all of no avail, thousands of pounds were lavished in vain on this “dazzling but illusory experiment.” The blazing beacon of radical reform burned brightly for a time, but soon subsided, and the gentler light of conservative progress happily occupied its place. In everything reforms, to be successful, must be gradual, and theories, however beautiful on paper, must stand the automatic test of practical experience before they can be crusted. No doubt all improvements must have a moderate beginning, and I am aware of several trials, scientifically eonducted, that were not at first particularly flattering, ventually lead to great results. The truth was in the newly-discovered principle; but it required time for its clear development from the dark clouds of ignorance in which it was almost entirely concealed. Mr. Williamson's able letter, a copy of which I intend sending hereafter, with the resolutions of 34 of the leading merchants, agreed to at Belfast, will explain very clearly the main objections to Mr. Lee's system. I have also been told by an old friend that the quantity of fibre Mr. Lee's expensive machinery turned out was so observably small in comparison with the cost and bulk of his utensils, that this defect in itself would have condemned the entire affair. While agreeing in this condemnation, all but universally pronounced on Mr. Lee's patent, I have carefully looked for some redeeming quality, the discovery of which might be some compensation for the time and money spent. The only point pressed by Mr. Lee that to me appears of much value, is the use of soap in bleaching. I have no hesitation in saying that if saponaceous compounds were more applied in our bleaching process than they com. monly are, the strength of the fibre would be greatly increased. After the many severe and caustic preparations the linen has to pass through, the soap has #. effect, so to speak, of balm; it restores the essential oil extracted by the alkalies and acids, and keeps the fibre in a mellow and healthy state. I do not mean to say that Mr. Lee was the inventor of saponaceous applications in bleaching, but in his patent system he advocated their use, and it is therefore only fair to give him credit where he is evidently right. With these prefatory remarks I submit Mr. Lee's description of his own patent:—
* Letter of Mr. James Lee, % Old Ford, in the County of Middleser, Inventor of the New Process for preparing Flar and Hemp, to James Corry, Esq., Secretary to the Trustees of the Linen and Hemp Manufactures of Ireland. “I beg leave to lay before you, for the information of the trustees of the linen and hempen manufactures, the results of my observations during the two visits which I made to Ireland, in the course of the last year, for the purpose of introducing and jo's there the improved process for preparing and dressing flax and hemp.” After some further introductory observations Mr. Lee proceeds:—
“The subject divides itself into two parts; first, that which relates to the culture and treatment of the Flax ; secondly, that which relates to my new Machinery, intended to prepare it for the manufacturer. I will, therefore, endeavour to confine my remarks, as far as it may be practicable, under the heads to which they respectively belong.
“THE FLAx.—The culture of the plant is so well understood in Ireland, that very little is necessary to be said in respect to it, and that little I have condensed into a paper attached to this report, in order to pass, without interruption, to other topics, about which public opinion seems to be less established. It has been contended, that the humidity of the climate of Ireland renders it unfavourable to the adoption of a process for preparing flax and hemp which purports to dispense with either water or dew-rotting. I am not of that opinion, and I am ready to be judged by a reference to the flax which the country produces. Sutter me to state what I saw. I found most of the flax plant which was managed according to the instructions of this process, well saved, both in colour and quality; its fitness to meet the machinery was proved by the facility with which it was brought into that state of softness and whiteness which was so much admired in the English flax prepared in a similar manner. “The seed was in . respect fit for sowing or crushing. I refer you to the two small parcels of flax which I lately sent you as they came from the field. One, with the seed thrashed out, was taken from some fo by Sir Thomas Foster, near Dundalk; the other, with the seed on, was taken from what was grown by Mr. Curtis, near Lisburn; both of them are, like other parcels that I collected, fit for the finest purposes; all, to be sure, was not equally good, for some appeared sour and discoloured, which, I am disposed to believe, arose from having been sown too late, and from want of attention after the flax had been pulled. Flax of this description produces but little fibre, and what it gives is of inferior quality, and is not easily preared by any process. I am rather confirmed in this opinion, !. observing, that of the large quantities of flax grown in the neighhourhood of London, under my own inspection, whatever is sown early is uniformly superior, both in colour and quantity, to what is sown late, and I have observed that this difference has taken place in aii places where the land has been equal in uality * condition. The same causes are found to produce the same effects in other parts of England, and in all other countries where flax is cultivated—but the spring frosts of Ireland are said to be inimical to early sowing. “They are, it is said, ‘fatal to a plant the native of a warm climate.' I am not well enough acquainted with the climate of Ireland to know the prevalence or severity of those frosts, but I have yet to learn why flax, which is j to grow in so many different climates, and to prosper principally in those that are cold, can be said to be the native of a warm one. In England it meets, without injury, the night frosts of March, and is considered a healthy plant in every country where it grows. The new process recommends, therefore, early sowing and early pulling; that is, at the periods and under the circumstances stated in the annexed paper. . It requires, in short, like other processes, an attention to the directions given, and, with that attention, all the objects which it holds out to the country may, and must be, accomplished. “The former practice of steeping the flax of Ireland, and the roposed means of avoiding it in future, naturally interest the rish public. Opinions seem a little unsettled on the subject, in consequence of a letter from Mr. Robert Williamson, of the county of Antrim, dated the 1st of December, 1815. He states, first, ‘That with respect to flax pulled green and fit for the manufacture of fine linens it o: cleaned and prepared by the new machinery, and that the steeping process is the best yet discovered for separating its woody parts from its fibre; and 2nd, that if the unsteeped flax of Ireland be found answerable for the manufacture of the coarser fabrics, it can be cleaned with greater facility by the old method.' Preferring, therefore, to persevere in conducting the linen manufacture of Ireland according to the old modes of steeping, spreading, drying, beetling, and scutching, with all their manifold objections, to the advantages available to the country from modern discovery. Mr. Williamson was one of those gentlemen of Ireland who did me the honour of supporting the new process on its introduction. “His fullest approbation of it was expressed in a letter to our Board of the 7th of July last, and I was the more flattered y his opinion from the pains that he took to make himself acquainted with the subject before he pronounced it.' [This letter of Mr. Williamson's is too long to transcribe here : though cautiously worded, the expressions therein are rather in favour of Mr. Lee's invention.]