third cause of the greatness, safety, and happiness of this country. What has the change been 2 First, in the population. In 1780 our rural population was to the civic population as 2 to 1; now the proportions are exactly reversed, and the population of our cities and towns employed in manufactures and commerce are as 2 to 1 of those employed in agriculture. From the census of 1801 you will find there has been a general increase of the population of 15 per cent—in the rural population of 10 per cent, and in our great cities of 30 per cent. —that is, those who possess personal property in our cities have increased threefold as compared with the other portion of the population. I hold in my hand a little work (“Results of the Census of Great Britain in 1851”) from which, with your permission, I will read a few extracts, as bearing upon the great changes to which I have alluded:—

“The most important result which the enquiry establishes, is the addition in half a century, of ten millions of people to the British population. The increase of population, in the half of this century, nearly equals the increase in all preceding ages; and the addition, in the last ten years, of two millions three hundred thousand to the inhabitants of these islands, exceeds the increase, in the last fifty years, of the cighteenth century. Contemporaneously with the increase of the population at home. emigration has proceeded, since 1750, to such an extent as to people large states in America, and to give permanent possessors and cultivators to the land of large colonies in all the temperate regions of the world, where, by a common language, commercial relations, and the multiplied reciprocities of industry, the people of the new nations maintain an indissoluble union with the parent country. Two other movements of the population have been going on in the United Kingdom, -the immigration of the population of Ireland, into Great Britain, and the constant flow of the country population into the towns. The current of the Celtic migration is now divertel from these shores, and chiefly flows in the direction of the United States of America, where the wanderers find friends and kindred. * * “It is one of the obvious physical effects of the increase of population, that the proportion of land to each person diminishes; and the decrease is such, that within the last fifty years the number of acres to each jerson living has fallen from 5.4 to 2.7 acres in Great Britain—from four to tiro acres in England and Wales. As a countervailing advantage, the people have been brought into each other's neighbourhood; their average distance from each other has been reduced in the ratio of 3 to 2; labour has been divided; industry has been organized in towns; and the quantity of produce, either consisting of, or exchangeable for, the conveniences, elegancies, and necessaries of life, has, in the mass, largely increased, and is increasing at a

more rapid rate than the population. “One of the moral effects of the increase of the people is an increase of their mental activity, as the aggregation in towns brings them oftener into combination and collision. The population of the towns is not so completely separated in England as it is in some other countries from the population of the surrounding country; for the walls, gates, and castles, which were destroyed in the civil wars, have never been rebuilt, and the population has outgrown the ancient limits, while stone lines of demarcation have never been drawn around the new centres of population; tolls have been collected since a very early, period in the market-places, but the system of ctroi, involving the examination, by customs' officers, of every article entering within the precincts of the town, has never existed. The freemen in some of the towns enjoyed, anciently, exclusive privileges of trading, but the freedom could always be acquired by the !." of fines; and by the great measure of Municipal Reform (1835), every town has been thrown open to settlers from every quarter. At the same time, too, that the populations of the towns and of the country have become so cqually balanced in number–ten millions and a half against ten millions and a half–the union between them has become, by the circumstances that have led to the increase of the towns, more intimate than it was before; for they are now connected together by innumerable relationships, as well as by the associations of trade.

* # * * * * * +

“The vast system of towns in which half the population lives, has its peculiar dangers, which the high mortality and the recent epidemies reveal. Extensive sanitary arrangements, and all the appliances of physical as well as of social science, are necessary to ... the natural vigour of the population, and to develop the inexhaustible resources of the English race.

The crowding of the people in houses in close streets, and the consequent dissolution of families, arising out of defective house-accommodation, are evils which demand attentive consideration." I have quoted these passages to show the vast change which has taken place in the state of this country within the last half-century, calling, as I submit, for corresponding changes in the laws affecting it. It may further be observed, that whilst the population has increased in the ratio I have mentioned, the average duration of life has also increased—showing that, with all these changes, persons are upon the whole more healthy than formerly. There is a statement of the increase of personal property in this country since 1815, as furnished by Mr. Porter. In 1815, land was valued at £34,000,000; messuages and houses at £15,000,000; mines, £600,000; railways put down nil. In 1818, the several values stood thus: land, £42,000,000; messuages, £30,000,000; mines, £2,000,000; railways, £6,000,000. Thus showing the increase of property which is leasehold or personal, or indicative of the prosperity of the middle classes, to be 250 per cent. in 23 years. Now, when we have these facts before us–facts which can be proved by returns to which I could refer you, I say when this is the case, does it not show the necessity there is for giving additional means for the safe investment of this largely increased amount of personal property of the middle classes of the population ?—additional means for those numbers of persons who have acquired it to make the most of that which they have acquired. I only ask for that fair-play to which I believe in my heart they are entitled. Here are other indications tending to the same result. In 1815, legacy duty was paid upon £24,000,000; in 1845, it was upon £45,500,000. The amount of property insured against fire was in 1815, £387,000,000, and in 1845, £722,000,000, and so also with savings banks and building societies; that is, property has been spread into the hands of a greater number of people than was formerly the case, instead of being congealed and conglomerated in large masses. But I may be considered as overloading the cause for which I am pleading, and you may think it is time for me to come to my deductions. Be it so. I think we are bound to take these facts as proved. What are the now means of investment 2 Is it land? We have already seen by the reports of the committees to which I have referred, that there is difficulty attending investments in land. The same may be said with respect to mortgages. Instead of being divided into debentures, like railway bonds, passing from hand to hand, as personal property does, they have around them all the difficulties which surround investments in land for the middle classes. You have to prove titles, and altogether the process is so difficult, that mortgages are all but a closed book as investments for the middle classes. And can you say that it is desirable for the humbler classes to put their money into farming operations. In this respect great changes have taken place. Small farms have been conglomerated into large ones, requiring more capital, and more intelligence, but fewer occupants. Then you may say there is the public funds! I have had that put to me. Why, the public funds, instead of increasing, have diminished during the forty years' peace we have enjoyed, as the means offered to pay off a portion of the public debt, and the proportion that comes into the public market is much less than it formerly was, inasmuch as large portions are locked up every year by trustees. Then, again, as to local enterprise for public or private profit. I have stated the immense increase that has taken place in the population, calling for numerous local improvements, gas works, water works, drainage of lands, markets, washhouses, and baths and lodging houses, but for these a separate act of parliament is required, which is both difficult and costly to obtain, thus creating obstacles in the way of investments of that kind. It was exactly so in respect to the enclosure of commons a few years ago, but when Parliament was wise enough to pass a general enclosure act, 250 commons might be enclosed in a year, and the expense reduced from 400l. or 500l. to 201, or 30l. Then the middle classes have, operating against them, the great difficulty which we are this evening met to discuss, that is to say, if any person takes part with them he is liable to his last shilling and his last acre. This unlimited risk, I contend, prevents union, and checks enterprise, and puts a stop to the combination of small capitals, by which the community at large would be benefitted. This is a view of the matter as regards the mere question of investment only, but I believe there is a higher and more important view than this; I believe it impedes rewards to faithful servants and clever workmen, and has also a tendency to widen the differences between the employer and the employed. What is the true principle of wages? It is the proportion between capital and numbers. If capital is free you would be enabled to try peacefully and quietly those useful experiments which would soon demonstrate that strikes are a mistake, and it would afford an opportunity of undeceiving them with their own capital. I know those who are the best friends of the working classes who earnestly wish for an opportunity, if strikes are a mistake, to prove the mistake through their own means; but at present I say they are hampered with a harsh law, and have not fair-play. I would quote the words of an eloquent and able judge, now no more; they were the last words he ever uttered. “If,” said he, “I were asked what is the great want of English society, I would say it is the mingling of class with class—I would say that want is the want of sympathy.” I ask what could be more valuable than to give the means whereby men of different classes might combine to try a useful experiment in this particular direction. The workmen think the profits of the master are too high and the wages too low. Now can they be better undeceived, if they are wrong, than by letting them try the experiment for themselves 2 I could point out many means in which moderate capitals could be beneficially employed, but to do so would be to occupy you too long. I will not now detain you further than to say I have expressed strong opinions on this subject, which opinions I have fortified by the facts and figures I have adduced. The experiment of limited liability has been successfully tried abroad, and I believe it would operate most beneficially in our own country; and in my mind, until this be carried out, with such checks and safeguards as the legisla: ture may see fit to impose, I think there will be just ground for thinking that in this law, at all events, fair-play, is not afforded between the classes of the people in this country. A discussion was commenced, but, on account of the lateness of the hour, it was moved and seconded, that it be adjourned to Monday; the 12th of June, at 8 o'clock, p.m., when Mr. John Elliott, who was in possession of the meeting, will open the proceedings. The Secrporary announced that on, W o: day next, the 7th of June, being the last ‘. nary Meeting of the present Session, o * § Chambers would read a Paper, 9n Indus lent Pathology; or the Injuries and Diseases incle to Industrial Occupations." == NE. ELECTRO MAGNETIC ENGRAVIN• * Br William HANSEN, of Go”.

[ocr errors]

- 5 more long been felt, and Gyeo, day the necessity be. and more urgent.

[ocr errors]

and requires the en artist." Various chemi

ical inventions

of surface printing have been made, and modifications of the electrotype processes have been used for this purpose.

None of these means are sufficiently satisfactory or com

ply with the necessary condition of rapidity and cheapness

of production. Recourse has been taken therefore to me

chanical means for obtaining the desired end, and a machine

has been invented by Mr. W. Hansen, which appears to

perform its work well. The machine is somewhat on the principle of the well-known planing machine. The

drawing to be copied and the plate to be engraved are placed side by side, on the moveable table or lid of the machine; a pointer or feeler is so connected, by means of a horizontal bar, with a graver, that when the bar is moved, the drawing to be copied passes under the feeler, and the plate to be engraved passes in a corresponding manner under the graver. It is obvious that in this condition of things, a continuous line would be cut on the plate, and, a lateral motion being given to the bed, a series of such lines would be cut parallel to and touching each other, the feeler of course passing in a corresponding manner over the drawing. If, then, a means could be devised for causing the graver to act only when the point of the feeler passed over a portion of the drawing, it is clear we should get, a plate engraved, line for line, with the object to be copied. This is accomplished by placing the graver under the control of two electro magnets, acting alternately the one to draw the graver from the plate, the other to press it down on it. The coil enveloping one of these magnets is in connection with the feeler, which is made of metal. The drawing is made on a metallic or conducting surface, with a rosined ink, or some other non-conducting substance. An electric current is then established so that when the feeler rests on the metallic surface, it passes through the coils of the magnet, and causes it to lift the graver from the plate to be engraved. As soon as the feeler, reaches the drawing and passes over the non-conducting ink, the current of electricity is broken, and the magnet ceases to act, and by a self-acting mechanical arrangement the current is at the same time diverted through the coils of the second magnet, which then acts powerfully and ". the graver down. This operation being repeated until the feeler has passed in parallel lines over the whole of the drawing, a plate , is obtained engraved to a uniform depth, with a sac-simile of the drawing. From this a type-metal cast is taken, which, being a reverse in all respects of the engraved plate, is at once fitted for use as a block for surface printing. The illustrations which are given below have been pro

[merged small][graphic]
[merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

duced by this process; they must not be looked upon as perfect specimens, but simply as the first productions of the machine and an earnest of what may be produced hereafter. The annexed diagram shows the arrangement of the instrument. A, B, C, D, is the frame on which the bed E, F, G, traverses; m, k, b, n, the drawing to be copied: j, q, h, i, the plate to be engraved, a, the feeler connected with the graver c, which works on a lever carrying the armatures of the two electro-magnets, d and e, which act alternately to raise or depress the graver, as the feeler passes over the conducting or nonconducting surface of the drawing.

[merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors]


SIR,--I have endeavoured in the following communication to meet one of the suggestions of Doctor Royle, in his valuable and comprehensive paper on Indian fibres, by offering a few observations of a practical nature, the result of some attention to the subject during my residence in India, confining myself however in this letter to that branch of the matter more especially referring to materials suitable as cheap substitutes for rags in the manufacture of paper, and the best methods of collecting them in that country for commercial purposes on an extensive scale. We have abundance of experimental knowledge on the subject, all indicative of the great resources of our Indian possessions in fibrous materials—Doctor Royle very properly refers to the superabundance of riches at his disposition— whole regions of his subject, he admitted, were still untouched. We have therefore a rich mine to work upon, only requiring a combined effort in its exploration. The latter object would be best accomplished, I believe, by the formation of a Central Committee in London, composed of arties interested in the development of these resources, in communication with agents in India, who, being acquainted with the requirements, trade values, and suitability of fibrous materials, should be provided with the means of operating in the various substances which might

present themselves. The subject of paper materials is one of great magnitude, and must be entered on with enlarged views, and on an extensive scale; articles of small price are peculiarly sensitive of charges, and it is only by large operations

suitable fibrous substances, into the state of of what is called half-stuff, that is, fibrous matter reduced to a crude pulp and dried, so as to render it convenient for transport, and calculated for being submitted to the further process and superior machinery of this country. For the purpose in view we find ready as it were to hand in India a simple and admirable machine in universal employ by the natives, and to be found in almost every

house, where it is used in many of the processes of their simple arts, such as the cleaning or husking of rice, the preparation of drugs, dye stuffs, brickdust (in building pur

that an average of low charges can be accomplished.

Without occupying time in discussing various points of the subject which present themselves to my mind, I shall

endeavour as briefly as possible to offer a sketch of such a method of procedure as I think would be found calculated to eliminate the undoubtedly immense resources of our Indian possessions for supplying our wants in the material in question, presuming that some such arrangement as I have mentioned, of forming a Central Committee or Company in fact, in London, were in existence, and proper agents selected acquainted with the subject, and empowered to act in India.

I propose that the raw materials be §. from

locks or bricks

poses), tobacco, tan, and a multitude of other uses, amongst which the manufacture of paper, the subject which now interests us in this inquiry, takes an important rank. The machine in question is called a Dhenkee, and resemblesin

principle our European tilt hammer.

The accompanying sketch of the machine in question will at once explain its nature, better perhaps than a page of description, it represents an oriental paper mill, admi: rably adapted for the objects we propose. Its cost would be, erected in place—engineers, foundations, and all charges included, three shillings, and this charge supposes

[subsumed][merged small][ocr errors]

the more than usually heavy machine employed for paper making. It consists of a log of any heavy wood, about 8 inches square, and 9 or 10 feet long, shod with iron, striking on a block of wood or stone. Two women placed at the tail of the lever raise it about 60 times per minute. One woman, seated at the head of the machine, turns over the substance being operated on. The mill occasionally stops, in order that a child may be suckled, or to take a smoke, but nevertheless its daily work might be estimated (depending of course on the description of stuff) at about 20 to 30lbs., reduced to the state of a crude halfstuff. The three women would be remunerated, (if paid labourers and not members of a family), at one ana, or 1. each. . . An additional male hand would be requisite, (probably the master or contractor), whose business it would be to wash and pass the crushed material through a simple search or seive, into a vessel of water, returning the insufficiently prepared portion to the Dhenkes; and, to form the pulp into blocks and bricks, in a 12-inch brick-mould, and drying them in the sun. His wages would be two anas or 3 pence per day of ten hours, so that the total wages for the preparation of 20 to 30lbs. of such material would amount to seven-pence half-penny.* On the head of the materials to be employed for this Preparatory manufacture, it has been already stated that they are of great variety, more or less suitable to the produćtion of good paper. The native paper-makers generally employ old bags—sunn hemp, which they prefer to all other materials—old fishing lets, or any such refuse. Rags are very scaree, inasmuch as the labouring classes require or wear but little clothing, which at their demise is burnt with them. .*heoretically, almost any vegetable substance will yield a fibre which may be converted into paper; but the requisite conditions of an abundant and cheap source require discrimination. The attempts to manufacture paper from straw, wood, peat, &c., in this country, can never, compete with the resources of tropical countries, *nd the result of the laudable efforts made in the former direction have shown that by the time the fibre has been **tricated from these materials in a fit state for the art, the cost in labour and chemicals has resulted in an *count, showing that as good a material might have been obtained as cheaply in the ordinary rag market. Any discovery, however, which will tend to keep down

[blocks in formation]

the prices of the latter matters, should receive encourage ment. It is to India we must look for extensive and cheap supplies, for it is there alone we find the necessary conditions of very low-priced and intelligent labour, with an abundance of elementary suitable materials. Advantage should be taken at the source of these conditions, by rough-shaping the work, as I may term it, and then bringing to bear on it, our civilized labour and beautiful machinery. It would occupy too much space and time to attempt to enumerate the varieties of vegetable matter in India which might be applied for obtaining fibre; a few of them, however, may here be noticed, such as the banana, or plaintain leaf-stalk; the aloe; the abundant mudar, Asclepias gigantea, which contains a very fine silky fibre in its bark, probably equal to flax for our purposes, and something resembling gutta perchain its milky juice; bamboo leaves, employed by the Chinese; the shéeal khanta, Argentea mericana, the most abundant of weeds, and containing a very large quantity of good fibre, easily pounded out of it (as also an abundance of seed, which produces an oil with the qualities of linseed oil); the stems of the ginger plant, now quite worthless, as they will not burn; as also, all the scitamenea family—all containing a large quantity of very strong silky fibre, somewhat like that of the pine apple. In the hills we have various tree barks, of unsurpassed quality; also the rheea nettle fibres.- The Chinese employ one of the mulberry family for their very beautiful papers, which induced me to experiment on the bark of the refuse stems of the mulberry plants employed by the silk growers. From this material I obtained a very good tough half-stuff, suitable for bank note paper. From the great abundance and extensive cultivation of the banana or plantain, which surrounds almost every house, it is probable this material would form one of the first objects of attention by paper-material collectors; but, from its coarse, stringy nature, it would be cheaper in the state of fibre than as half-stuff. This plant offers great advantages for our views generally, for it is truly in the position of refuse, inasmuch as it has already paid the charges of its cultivation by its products in fruit; the interior of the plant, or true flower-stem, is eaten as a . vegetable, by the natives, the lower part being perfectly mild, whilst the upper extremity, near the bunch of fruit, pours out, on cutting it across, a limpid fluid, which is very acrid and deleterious, and is a true substantive olive dye on, cotton cloth, as indelible as marking ink for which it may be substituted. I may shortly have it, in my power to cxhibit to the Society some specimens which I expect from India of bricks of half-stuff, or of such

materials as we have now under consideration.


We now coine to consider the very important head of price, or the rate at which supplies of paper half-stuff might be imported from India, referring more especially to Calcutta, where Fo the best grand centre for such an operation would be found. Iteviewing the subject from a knowledge of its general character and elements, I am of opinion that contracts could be made, according to the ordinary usages of the country, with the middle men, village dulals or brokers, at the rate of from one rupee eight anas, or three shillings, to two rupees eight anas, or five shillings per maund of 82\bs., deliverable at any central depot within a radius of twenty miles. These prices are equal to from about 4l. 4s. to 7 l. a ton. The charges of collection, transport to Calcutta, warehousing, packing, and shipping, &c., I estimate at two pounds per ton. The charges to London, including freight, insurance, exchange, dock, and in fact all commercial charges, I estimate at £7 per ton weight. It is necessary to specify o ton weight, as the ton for freight would be only cwt. I have assumed the charge for freight at the full average rate for ordinary times of peace, or £3 10s. per ton of 16 cwt. The present rate for that item would at once amount to £7 or £7 10. A summary of the above costs and charges gives us for the lowest-price materials:—

s. d. Cost per ton - . . . 4 4 0 Charges in the country . - . 2 () () Freight and charges to London . 7 0 0 Total #13 4 () And for the more expensive limit, which would probably include articles equal to linen rags: - it. s. d. Cost per ton - - - . 7 () () Charges in the country about . 2 2 0 Freight and charges to London . 7 3 O '#16 5 O

It may be useful to offer a few words on the subject of the organization necessary to be given for collecting such materials on an extensive scale in Phdia. On this head I have to observe that it would be necessary to have recourse to the usual Indian system of making cash advances to contractors ere a pound of the goods had any existence. Such, however, is the universal custon of the country, and one which it would be almost impracticable to deviate from. The Government itself advances to its contractors about one-third of the amount of contract. Indigo planters, silk collectors, having frequently ranges of country extending over sixty miles, carry on their transactions under this system, and, if it have its bad points, on the other hand it has some very important advantages. The natives, from ages of custom, expect this assistance from their employers, and it must be admitted, are wonderfully faithful on the whole in adhering to their bargains. They live on from year to year, prematurely eating the produce of their labour, and under the system become steady, industrious, and contented labourers. The wealthiest portions of these vast countries are those where European capital or intelligence has penetrated for the production of the various staples of Indian commerce. There are losses from deaths and defalcations which form a charge on the operation, but experience proves that it has not annihilated any branch of trade which comes within its influence. I might extend this subject much further, but I shall have fulfilled what I proposed to myself in addressing you, if I have succeeded in fixing attention on what I believe will be found to be the proper direction to be given to any efforts which may be made for obtaining from India extensive supplies of low-priced raw materials for the important manufacture in question. To recapitulate, the method I have suggested is applicable to whole regions of country now teaming with an intelligent and

industrious population, inasmuch as it proposes to avail itself at once of their own simple arts; it brings the ques. tion as near as possible to the state of a domestic industry, ever the most economical in such countries; it reduces to the lowest point the charge of collecting from extensive districts the various elementary matters which might present themselves. European machinery and methods could only be employed advantageously in localities where refuse or very low-priced materials presented themselves in considerable quantities within a moderate radius. In reference to plaintain or banana fibre, these conditions would be found in the neighbourhood of Madras or Calcutta, or other large Indian towns. Alluding to Calcutta, it is probable that the refuse of the consumption of the fruit in question by a million and a-half of people might be concentrated in that locality on very econonomical terms, aided by the immense network of rivers and nullahs with which that city is connected, affording cheap and easy communication. To remove the paper duty at this present epoch would afford but little assistance either to the manufacturer or the public, inasmuch as, the supply of raw materials being a fixed quantity at this moment, any remission of duty would pass over as a simple, bonus to the rag collectors– a very uncalled-for gift, and to the positive detriment of the revenue at a very inconvenient time. With the immense resources which this country possesses in her tro: pical dependencies, more especially India, she should have the supply of the world with paper as she has of other manufactures, instead of being undersold; but new ground must be opened, and the proper direction should

be—India. T. F. HENLEY. 81, Cambridge st., Pimlico, May 20, 1854.


Sir-In my communication on the Decimal Notation of Money, to which you kindly gave insertion in your number of the 19th of May, I suggested a certain quantity of silver to befixed on as the “coin” of account,the adoption of which would render unnecessary any immediate change in our present currency, while it would not disturb in the slightest degree the prevailing motions of value.

Now it is found that a cubic foot of water weighs 1000 ounces avoirdupois; consequently the tenth of a foot cubed weighs one ounce, of which the weight (13 grains) of the proposed silver “coin” is exactly the 250th part. By making this the standard unit of weight, 1000 weights” will of course be equivalent to 4 ounces, and 4000 to a pound. Thus a decimal notation may be introduced which will not require the sudden abrogation of the popular terms “pound” and “ounce;” reduction between the present and proposed systems not presenting the smallest difficulty.

Let the government only begin by establishing an improved notation, and the people will of themselves ere long perceive the advantages and necessity of a more convenient system of coinage, weights, and measures.

I am, Sir. Your obedient Servant, SAMUEL A. GOOD. Her Majesty's Dockyard, Pembroke-Dock, May 31st, 1854.

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]
« ElőzőTovább »