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Photographic Society, which was founded within these walls, at the conclusion of our late Exhibition of Photography, the first of its kind that has ever been held in this country. Our first regular exhibition of useful inventions appears to have been held in 1761, when a Mr. Bailey attended for seven weeks, for a payment of 10s. 6d. a day, to explain the models and other articles to all comers. In 1756 one, and in 1757, eight, standing committees were appointed. From that time to 1851, the number of those committees varied exceedingly; but at the latter date the present establishment of thirty standing committees, founded on the classification used at the Great Exhibition of the Industry of all Nations, was happily adopted. There are now four classes for raw materials; six for machinery; ten for textile fabrics; nine for metallic, vitreous, and ceramic manufactures; and one, with four sub-classes, for fine arts. In addition to these standing committees, special committees for occasional or temporary purposes are frequently appointed by the council. It is unnecessary for me to remind you of the distinguished part which was played by the Society in reference to the Great Exhibition. It is sufficient to state that the exertions of this Society prepared the public mind for the idea of the Exhibition; that here originated the connexion between our illustrious President and the other founders and conductors of that wonderful enterprise; that it was first announced to the world by his Royal Highness as President of the Society of Arts; and that almost every name which is familiar to our memories as having had a very important share in the glories of that greatest work of these times is to be found on the roll of our members. The Indian portion of the late Exhibition at Dublin was collected at the instance of this Society, and was intended to be exhibited here. It was transferred to Dublin at the suggestion of his Royal Highness the President. It has been already intimated that the operations of the Society of Arts have not been confined to these islands. From the very outset the colonies of Great Britain have received a large share of attention. On the 18th of August, 1756, the following record was entered –“A letter from Benjamin Franklin, Esq., dated Philadelphia, November 27, 1755, was read, wherein he mentions he should esteem as a great honour to be admitted a corresponding member of this Society; and though it is not required that corresponding members should bear any part of the expense of the Society, yet he desires he may be permitted to contribute twenty guineas, to be applied in premiums.” Many other eminent persons have been corres
ponding members in the colonies and in foreign countries throughout the century; but it was not until the session of 1851-2 that our colonial correspondence was placed on its present very important footing. A special committee was then appointed for the purpose “ of making the Society useful in advancing the knowledge of the resources and capabilities of the numerous British colonies in all parts of the world, and in furnishing the colonies themselves with such information as may be required on subjects connected with arts, commerce, and manufactures.” The committee took measures to establish a correspondence with similar societies in the larger colonies, and with committees of correspondence in those colonies where no such societies exist. The co-operation of the Colonial Office was solicited, and promptly accorded; and the results have been highly valuable. The 44th number of the Journal contains a very important communication, received through the Colonial Office, from the New Zealand Society on the subject, particularly of the Phormium tenaac, or New Zealand flax. This communication is referred to merely as a specimen of the kind of correspondence which the Society now carries on with the colonies. See also the 49th JourNAL Cn the subject of the Long-haired Angora Goat, and the 40th and 49th numbers respecting certain substitutes for Gutta Percha. It will be remembered that the last-mentioned substance was introduced into this country by the Society of Arts; and that the first specimen ever received is deposited in our Museum. It is not only beyond these islands, however, that we have extended our commuuications and our means of usefulness. In the United Kingdom we have entered into an alliance, for mutual benefit, with 309 independent institutions. The resolution to establish the union of institutes was passed under the happy auspices of Lord Lansdowne's presidency, on the 18th of May, 1852. It was established in the summer of that year; and has for its object, on the one hand, to raise the institutions, on the basis of perfect local freedom and self-government, to a position of power and utility which, isolated and centreless, they could scarcely attain; and, on the other hand, to secure for the Society of Arts the powerful cooperation of numerous and widely-spread bodies of intelligent, locally-influential, and publicspirited men. Such, very imperfectly presented, is the venerable but vigorous Society of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce. The bye-laws require that at the commencement of each annual session the chairman of the council shall declare the policy which the council will adopt during his year of office. This duty I shall now endeavour briefly to discharge. It will probably be thought right that some special demonstrations should celebrate our first centenary, but it would best be signalized by more than ordinary fruits of utility in our ordinary proceedings; by extending and consolidating our resources and means of action, by large additions to our roll of members; by a marked improvement of our valuable journal; and by the acquisition of premises more suitable to our present condition than these which we have completely outgrown.
The inheritance of our predecessors is accepted by the council of the current year. We shall endeavour to carry on with good vigour what has been commenced with good judgment; and, at Our retirement, to leave behind us some things that may be worthy of record. We shall not think it necessary to pursue the very objects that William Shipley pursued. He was particularly anxious to promote the growth of madder; but we think it not at all needful in these days to take extraordinary measures to make the world grow madder. We hope, however, to do some things that Shipley and his coadjutors would have gladly seen done.
The council will continue to develop the union of institutions, and the foreign and colonial correspondence. The council will carefully consider tle results of the Exhibition at Dublin, with a View to their profitable use. The Society of Arts feels a deep interest in the success of the intended Exhibition at Paris, and desires that therein the arts, manufactures, and comlierce of the United Kingdom and its dependencies may be fully and honourably represented. The council will do what it can to Promote this object. The council will readily *ist the promoters of provincial exhibitions Which may be held in connexion with any of the associated institutions. The efforts of the Society will be continued to procure an amendment of the Law of Partnership; to prePore the mind of the public for the adoption of a decimal system of weights, measures, oils, and accounts; and to abolish those too, e.g. the Duties on Paper, which are speo: injurious to arts, commerce, and manufaclires, ... The quinquennial Swiney prize, of 100l. sterling, contained in a goblet of the same value, (losigned by Mr. Maclise, R.A.) will be adj"ged by the council, in January next, to the "thor of the best published work on JurisProlence—attention being particularly directed "that branch of Jurisprudence which relates to arts and manufactures.
and perceived many of their bearings upon the prosperity of those interests which we are chartered to promote. By the merciful arrangements of Providence, our interests, rightly understood, are always in harmony with our duties; and we have much cause to be thankful that this truth, in relation to the health and homes of our brethren, is now peculiarly obvious. The council will not neglect its grave admonitions. The progress of mechanical invention, and the applications of machinery to arts, manufactures, and trades, and to the uses of daily life, are now more important than ever. The forthcoming report of Mr. Whitworth, on the Manufacturing and Mechanical Industries of America, is anxiously expected by the council. The well-known competency of the author, and the vital importance of the subject, will secure the fullest attention to his work. The reports of the other Commissioners on the Exhibition at New York, will, doubtless, be of great value. The “strikes” which afflict the manufacturing districts are regarded by the council with deep regret. The Society feels an equal interest in the well-being of the masters and men. Experience of the past evils of former strikes is found insufficient to prevent their recurrence Its sad lessons must be again and again learned; but it may be hoped that, when we have a real education of the people, these lamentable spectacles may be no more seen; and it is worth conjecturing whether, when education is improved, an amendment of the law of unlimited liability, and the introduction of partnerships en commandite, by placing the men in the position of masters in such partnerships, might not have some effect towards restraining workmen from taking up, as such, a position which is inconsistent with the essential conditions of mastership, and has an inevitable tendency to destroy the means of employment. You have seen that in its first century the Society of Arts has been an active promoter of education—I hope that, in this respect, our second century will be no discredit to its elder brother. The council is thoroughly convinced that an improved education for the whole people, rich and poor, adult and child, is the first requisite for the improvement of manufactures, commerce, and arts; that a liberal measure of science must enter into that education; and that it is the duty of this Society to promote vigorously this great object. We shall not involve the Society in any religious or political controversies; but we shail lend a helping hand to make education industrial, scientific, and practical. In the pursuit of this purpose, we ought to be powerfully aided by the associated institutes. We rely on them for cordial, energetic, and continuous aid. It is important that they should continue to do what they do at present; but they might do it better and do more. They generally lament that they are unable to maintain in efficiency their classes for systematic instruction. The council is of opinion that the mechanic, artisan, or labourer, has at present no sufficiently obvious inducement to pursue continuous studies in his local institute. His previous education has not prepared him for it. There is little or no emulation to incite him; there are no examinations to test his progress, no certificates or diplomas to record it, no present and tangible rewards for his success. Wanting such encouragements the youth who, after his daily work, purely for the love of knowledge, pursues it in regular attendance at his institute, is a hero of no mean order, and such youths are not abundant in any class of society. It is hoped that during the present session the council may be able to establish a system whereby examinations may be held in several districts, and certificates of progress and attainments, and possibly prizes, may be awarded to the class-students of the institutions in union with the Society of Arts. It is hoped also that an exhibition of educational apparatus, foreign as well as British, may be opened when the present
very interesting exhibition of “useful inventions".
is closed. The time will not allow me to particularize any of the articles in the present exhibition, and indeed it would be a work of supererogation to do so; for, though we have not engaged Mr. Bailey at 10s. 6d. a day to explain them, we have
the pleasure of seeing here the major part of
the exhibitors themselves; and they, doubtless, will give explanations of their own inventions. A full explanatory catalogue is also provided. The Prize List for the present session has been very carefully prepared by the Secretary, in communication with the standing committees. In this list the wants and capabilities of the colonies, as well as of the United Kingdom, have been attentively considered. Some of the premiums offered are suggestive that articles now imported from foreign countries might advantageously be produced in the colonies. Others point to the opening of fresh sources for the supply of materials for our manufactures, and for facilitating processes in the arts. Our textile manufactures have made rapid progress of late years from the frequent introduction of new substances—e.g. Alpaca—from which good or useful articles of attire have been produced at low prices. Other premiums again point to the utilization of substances, such as peat, refuse coal, imperfect coal, refuse ores, slag, &c. Why should British India use only the seed of the flax plant (Linum usitatissimum), and let its valuable fibre rot in the soil? Why should Australia export only the wool of the sheep, and boil down thc carcasses merely for fat? Is it impossible to preserve the flesh and to export it in a satisfactory condition to this country, where butcher's meat is not overabundant?,
Again, some of the premiums have reference to
such developments of our famous mechanical skill as may be applicable to the further saving of human labour in manufactures, trades, and households, e.g. the sewing machines, the washing machines, &c. We have offered no premium for a shaving machine, but we are quite ready to reward one, if it can be used by men with ordinary nerves. The premiums for the meteorological instruments were suggested by the report of the Conference at Brussels. It is desirable that the Society should hold an exhibition of meteorological instruments. We hope to have attractive and useful meetings on the Wednesdays of this session. The following subjects of discussion have been determined on:—“Gold Crushing and Pulverizing," “Consumption of Smoke,” “Ventilation of Collieries,” “Sewing Machines,” “Manufacture of Carpets,” “Gas and its applications to domestic uses.” We hope, also, to have a good discussion on “Patents,” that the subject may be fully elucidated; and that measures may be taken to procure such amendments of the law as may be deemed requisite. And now, apologising for having detained you so long, I will conclude by reminding you that, as the council is only the executive of the mind and will of the Society, it is to the members of the Society that we must look for the maintenance of its high position. The council will do its best; but we hope that you will aid us by increasing the number of subscribers, by taking part in discussing, both here and in the Journal, those subjects with which experience has ren: dered you familiar in arts, manufactures, and commerce; and by aiding us generally in the Society's works. To the members of the standing committees I venture to make a particular appeal. It is very much, indeed, to be desired that they would furnish us with an annual report on the condition, progress, wants, and capabilities of those arts, manufactures, or trades to which the committees have reference, and also with short occasional communications on points of special interest. The Journal would be greatly enriched by the shorter documents; and the annual reports, simultaneously presented by all the committees, would form a volume of vast interest and no slight national importance.
Mr. W. Tooke, F.R.S., proposed, and . Mr. MURCHIson seconded, a vote of thanks to the Chairman, for the address he had read, which was carried by acclamation.
The SECRETARY announced that at the meeting of Wednesday, the 23rd instant, the following paper would be read, “On Machines for Pulverizing and Reducing Metalliferous Ores,” by Mr. Geo. F. W. Stansbury.
EXHIBITION OF INVENTIONS. THE Fifth Annual Exhibition of articles of utility invented, registered, or patented, during the last twelve months was opened on Wednesday last. Notices of this Exhibition will appear in the Jours.AL from time to time.
LONG-HAIRED ANGORA (30 AT.
The following Report has been forwarded to His Royal Highness Prince Albert, in reply to the inquiry received, through the Board of Trade, from the Swellendam Agricultural Society at the Cape of Good Hope. This communication was published in No. 49 of the Journal, page 5:3. It will be remembered that the object of the inquiry was to ascertain how far the statements which had been brought forward by Captain Conolly, in the Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, and by Mr. Thomas Southey in his work on Colonial Sheep and Wools, might be relied on; and that in the event of satisfactory replies being received, efforts would be made with a view to the importation of a flock of Angora goats into that colony, and the export of their wool to the mother country:
. The Council of the Society of Arts have much pleasure in reporting, for the information of his Royal Highness the Heident, that on the receipt of the documents from the Swellendam Agricultural Society, they immediately entered into correspondence with the leading brokers and manuissues importing, or using Angora-goats' wool (called tilik" or “filik" in that country, and "mohair" in Great Britain, and that the following is the substance of the ommunications with which they have been favoured. It is Proposed to deal with the questions seriatim, and then to make such general remarks as have been elicited in the course of this inquiry. in reply to * first question, Whether a breed of goats exists in Angora bearing only one description of hairy overing of a silkenfineness, which can be annuallv clipped? the answers have invariably been in the affirmative. It would appear that this wool or hair has a peculiar glossy, * lippery feel, is white in colour, and grows in staples * locks, so that it is somewhat curled and wiry. The 'heating takes place annually, and the process is perfectly imple, the fleece being of pretty uniform length and quaity on the root to the point or apex. The ayesage length of the staple is from five to six inches. It is said out it has sometimes been clipped twice in the year, when the market value has been . but it is thus rendered
* less valuable, length of staple being required. . "As to the second question, Whether such fleece is Pohoedin Europe as it comes from the goat's back, and X"hout requiring the expensive picking process which Cohmere or Thibet, or other shawl-woo's containing an underdown must undergo? it is said that Angora goats' ** is persectly free from underdown"—unlike the Tieto Cashmere, which has a downy covering on the P* with long coarse hairs or kemps at the top, the sepaon of which is both tedious and expensive. It is packed ** and shipped as it comes from the animal's back: *ionally but which is in all cases recommended) a few of the core looks at the skirting are taken off at the time of shearing and packed separately. Locks, or pieces of *Which are triling in amount, and are easily separated, "o be taken out where they occur. On the other It is asserted that washing is necessary, as there is
a prevalence of “burrs” or seeds in the wool, which “burrs” are a disparagement, but not very serious, unless taey are excessive in quantity. It is also imported in the whole fleece. On its reaching this country, and before putting it to the combing machinery, it has to be assorted and classed by our manufacturers, according as their purposes may require. This has to be done with all our homegrown wool, and the process costs but little more in the one case than in the other. In sorting mohair about onesixth part is taken out which is too short in the staple and not applicable for combing purposes; and in the process of combing about one-fifth part is made into what is technically termed ‘noils;’ these together are bought by woollen manufacturers, from which they make cloth of different kinds and other materials. “With respect to the third question, What the value of such fleeces would be per pound? it would seem that the present value is about 2s. 8d. per pound. During the last four years it has varied from 1s. to 2s. 8d. per pound, the average over that period being about 1s 8d. per pound. “In reference to the fourth question, Whether any large quantity of it, would be required by the European manufacturers? it is said that there has been a greater demand for this article for some years past thanour imports could supply, and these have amounted on the average of the last four years to about two and a half million pounds. As a proof of this it is asserted that for a long period it has been sold by the Greek merchants without the buyer having a chance of seeing his o: beforehand, the buyer's only protection being the assurance of the seller that it shall be of good merchantable quality. This fact goes far to show how extremely desirable it would be to increase the production, as it must undoubtedly be limited in its employment by the impossibility of obtaining a sufficient supply, no less than by the difficulties and impediments in the way of getting the present limited one. The spinning of this article has now become an extensive and steady trade. Ten or fifteen years ago it was found that the yarn spun by English machinery was very superior to Turkish hand-spun yarn, so that about that period nearly all spinning in Turkey ceased; and this, no doubt, will account for the falling off in the export of mohair-yarn in 1837 as compared with 1836. We now import the raw material—the wool—and export it again in a partiallymanufactured state, as yarn. On account of the present searcity of mohair, and its consequent dearness, quantities of goods are made from English wools as an imitation, and passed off to the consumer as genuine. Although the rice may be subject to a little fluctuation, as the material is principally used for fancy fabrics, and though the limited quantity produced has kept it up for the time, there seems to be little doubt that the parties engaged in the trade have so established it, that it will not only continue but increase, and especially if the price is kept moderate—say from 1s. 6d. to is. 9d. per pound. “For a time mohair was chiefly used for the list ends of woollen cloths, and cominanded little attention; but for some years past it has been greatly gaining in favour for the fancy trade. Formerly it was used for thick heavy fabrics, as coatings, shawls, &c.; but recently it has been almost exclusive # wrought ". in plain and fancy worsted stuffs, and other lighter articles for female attire. The yarn is generally spun at Bradford and Norwich, and the great bulk of it is used for the manufacture of Utrecht velvet, a material which is now largely employed for decorative purposes, and for the linings of private and railway carriages. Utrecht velvet is now manufactured on a limited scale at Banbury and Coventry, but the chiet seat of the manufacture is in France and Germany, especially the former, to which countries the yarn spun in England is exported. I’lush and lace are also made from it, and recently it has been introduced into the manufacture of a cheap imitation of black silk lace, now so generally worn, for which, from its glossy silky appearance, it is well calculated. Yarn composed of mohai and natural coloured alpaca mixed together, in various shades,
is also largely used in the Bradford trade, in the manufacture (with cotton twist warps) of an immense variety of materials for ladies' dresses, gentlemen's summer coats, &c. It is also extensively used both alone and in combination with silk, for making a description of goods called lustres, tabinets, and fringes. “There are several distinct breeds of goats in Angora and the surrounding districts, as well as the one which produces the mohair wool, which is larger than the ordinary goat. The wool of one is called “cambello,” and is of a brown colour, short and downy underneath, with long coarser hairs at the surface of the fleece. The import of this wool from Turkey is irregular, perhaps 5,000 pounds one year, and none the next. The value has varied during the last four years from 7d. to 1s. 5d. per pound, and it is now worth from 1s. to 1s. 2d. per pound. The value is uncertain and the demand depends entirely on fashion. There is another description of wool which is obtained from the ordinary goat. Its colour is mostly grey, brown, and black, but seldom white. It partakes somewhat of the nature of Thibet, only it is much coarser. It is close and fine, full at the bottom of the staple, with long coarse hairs mixed and growing through it. Its present value is 64d. per pound. It is only suitable for very low-priced carpetings, &c. “Up to this point the information furnished by our different correspondents has been almost identical; but here we have to record a great diversity of opinion, on a branch of the inquiry on which after all the whole question depends—the probability of naturalising or acclimatizing the Angora goat in the Cape Colony, or indeed in any other country but its own. “Mr. Geo. Shaw Pollock (Liverpool) thinks the Angora goat might be located with success and great advantage at the Cape of Good Hope." Messrs. R. M. Scholefield and Co. (Liverpool) ‘suppose that the Cape colonists could not do better than naturalize the animal there.' Mr. Titus Salt (Bradford) highly approves of the plan proposed by the Swellendam Agricultural Society. He considers that the propagation of the Angora goat should be promoted as much as possible. He has long thought that we had colonies suitable for its propagation, and if it should be found that they can be acclimatized at the Cape, he is persuaded the scheme proposed would be a very profitable investment. In February 1852, Mr. Salt ordered from Angora one male and two female goats; they arrived in Bradford last December. They have had young ones and are doing well. The hair is of a beautiful quality. The old ones have been clipped this year, and the second coat has not in the least degenerated. Mr. Salt has therefore sent to Angora for a further supply.” On the other hand Messrs. W. Greame and Co. (Liverpool) say “that as regards Angora goats' wool, or mohair, we may at once inform you from the best information, gathered from parties, from that quarter, that, from an extraordinary peculiarity of the animals in that locality, there is no probability of their being transported to other regions with any chance of success, for, when removed even 50 or 100 miles only from their immediate locality, the wool degenerates and loses the soft silky character which constitutes its chief value. Under these circumstances we can hold out no hopes of succeeding in the views suggested by the Agricultural Society at the Cape of Good Hope. It would appear from the same authority also that this peculiarity is not confined to the goats,but that even
the cats are subject to the same change when removed
from that locality, and they account for it as being some atmospheric action only peculiar to that district.’ Messrs. Hughes and Ronald (Liverpool) say that ‘some attempts have from time to time been made to introduce the breed into other parts of Asia, Minor, but the quality and character of the wool has been found soon to retrograde. The want of success may, we think be chiefly attributed to the little care, attention, and encouragement, ever bestowed in that country on any measure of useful progress or improvement, and the total absence of all energy
or enterprise; besides, in many parts of Asia Minor a weed or “burr” is found to exist very generally, which is very detrimental to the wool. From all the information we are possessed of, we have great confidence that the fine Angora goat might be successfully introduced, and would thrive well on the table-land at the Cape of Good Hope. It is a hardy animal. We would, however, suggest as desirable, to send out at first with the animals a few shepherds who are accustomed to their habits.”
Mr. Titus Salt “considers that not only the Angora goat, but the Alpaca is an animal particularly worthy the attention of the government with a view to its propagation in our colonies. Mr. Salt has a flock of Alpacas (about a dozen); they have been bred in the neighbourhood of Bradford, and no difference is perceptible between the foreign and the English clip. The animals only require to be kept from wet; cold does not injure them. They require housing in this climate, and no doubt would thrive well in a dry elevated temperature. There might, however, be some difficulty in obtaining them, as those imported are smuggled over, the government of Peru having passed a law prohibiting their exportation, in consequence of some person who had a correct notion of their value having some years ago shipped off 300 to England, of which, however, only six survived the voyage. Alpaca wool is now 2s. 9d. per lb.” Messrs. John Foster and Son (Bradford) also say that “if this animal (the Alpaca) could be introduced into the Cape or Australia, it would be of great benefit to the grower, as well as to the manufacturer.” Mr. George Shaw Pollock (Liverpool) likewise confirms this opinion, and says that, , the Alpaca is a hardy, graceful animal, and would, he presumes, thrive on the bleakest mountain lands, either at the Cape or in Great Britain.” Messrs. R. M. Scholefield and Co. (Liverpool) say that, “there is also an animal called the Vicuna, in South America, which the Cape climate would suit, and the wool from which is worth 6s. to 7s. per pound.’
The Council of the Society of Arts are anxious to avail themselves of this opportunity of expressing their readiness to undertake the collection of evidence and information on all matters affecting the material progress of this country and her dependencies. They believe that in the British possessions in various parts of the world, there are many substances as yet unknown to commerce, which might be beneficially employed in the arts and manufactures, and they conceive that it is in the highest degree important that wherever the supply of any particular raw material falls short of the demand, the greatest publicity should be given to the fact, so that colonists and others may thereby be led to inquire whether it be possible to find or rear any substitutes for the same in their own immediate localities. It is extremely desirable that no occasion should be lost in studying and making known the rude and primitive methods of the natives themselves, as it is by the publication of such statements that the attention of individuals in other countries, where the arts have attained to a greater pefection, are led to apply their knowledge and experience to the improvement of the mechanisin and processes adopted in less civilized states.
The Council have to thank the following gentlemen for the ready manner in which they responded to their communication:—Messrs. Armstrong and Berey; Mr. Edward Barstow: Messrs. Buchanan, Browne, and Co.; Mr. Edmund Buckley; Messrs. Abram Gartside and Co.; Messrs. Greame and Co.; Mr. James Haley; Messrs. Hughes and Ronald; Messrs. Law and Wylie; Mr. George Shaw Pollock; and Messrs. R. M. Scholefield and Co.; all of Liverpool. Messrs. John Foster and Son, and Mr. Titus Salt, of Bradford; and Messrs. E. and R. W. Blake, and Mr. George Jay, of Norwich.