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No. 55. Vol. II.] JOURNAL OF THE
SOCIETY OF ARTS. [Dec. 9, 1853.
FRIDAY, DECEMBER 9, 1853. —oTHE PAPER DUTY. The Council has taken the earliest opportunity, at the commencement of a new session, to collect and place in a concise form before the members of the Society and the Institutions in Union, the substance of the information which it has received on the subject of the Paper Duty. The following considerations are urged by paper - manufacturers against the duty: 1st. That paper must be dried, to avoid paying duty on water, 2nd. That paper-making and printing cannot, from the interference of the Excise, be made a continuous process. 3rd. That the expense of employing hands, and of carrying out the Excise regulations, is added to the amount of the duty, 4th. That the duty renders it necessary to keep larger stocks, and to keep them longer than would be otherwise required. 5th. That the labels affixed by the Excise cause much trouble, 6th. That spoiled paper, instead of being sold, must be re-manufactured. 7th. That if an extra glazing is required, it can only be done without risk in London. 8th. That “re-sorting," if required, must be done in the presence of overlookers. 9th. That the manufacturer cannot make envelopes. 10th. That the receiver may lower the value of paper by frivolous objections to quality, which cannot be remedied, because the maker cannot take the paper back. 11th. That a duty on weight deteriorates the quality in proportion to the weight. 12th. That Excise superintendence hinders experiments, while there is a loss of duty when they are made and fail. 13th. That in “browns" the duty is nearly cent. per cent, on the value, and in cheap writingpaper two pence out of every seven-pence halfPenny, while, as the value of the paper rises, the duty becomes less oppressive. I4th. That the duty most limits the demand for those inferior kinds of paper where it would otherwise be greatest, increases the hardship of loss by bad debts upon them, and leads to frauds in the manufacture; that it also prevents the use of common papers in a variety of ways, curtails a manufacture well adapted for women in the rural districts, and checks an increased demand for printing. 15th. That the manufacturer is delayed seventy-two hours, thus rendering it impossible to execute orders for immediate delivery, and neutralising the advantages of quick railway transit. 16th. That ten per cent. is added to the duty by incidental expenses in carrying out the Excise regulations; and that penalties are incurred in thousands of cases, while very few are exacted. 17th. That the manufacturer is obliged to give unneces*ary notices to the Excise to charge, and to adopt
a system of having “dummies” charged, in order to surmount, in some degree, the delays and inconvenience which this duty unavoidably imposes. 18th. That to a certain extent the use of new materials is prevented in the manufacture. 19th. That small manufacturers are driven out of the field by the disadvantage at which the duty places them; and that they are obliged to accept any terms from the wholesale stationer who has capital. 20th. That the duty has to be paid immediately, while the customary credit in the trade is six months. 21st. That the manufacturer has only recently been brought in contact with the consumer, the larger number depending on the wholesale stationer for advances to meet the duty. 22nd. That the duty is submitted to as a protection not only against foreign but also against native competition. 23rd. That the duty is not paid by the consumer, being too small a proportion to add to the price, and that for common papers it falls very heavily on the producer. The paper-manufacturers favourable to the retention of the duty, deny some of the abovementioned statements, but do not enter into particulars. Their affirmative reasons for supporting the duty are : 1st. That it promotes order and regularity in a mill. 2nd. That the credit given for duty (two months), is an assistance in capital to the small manufacturer. 3rd. That the present price of paper is so low as to make further economy no object. 4th. That the removal of the duty would greatly increase the price of rags. 5th. That the public would derive little or no benefit from the reduction. Wholesale stationers adverse to the retention of the duty represent: 1st. That being on weight it encourages consumers to use too thin papers. 2nd. That foreigners use paper for packing where it would not be thought of here. 3rd. That from the duty risk and the consequent hazard to mill property, the trade is becoming yearly more restricted to a few rich capitalists. 4th. That were the duty removed, we could undersell the whole world. 5th. That double profits are required at present to cover the trouble of recovering the drawback; and that small and frequent consignments abroad are prevented, while foreign makers can ship direct to the shopkeeper or consumer. 6th. That discrepancies between the weight and Excise marks of paper occasionally lead to disputes. 7th. That the chief importation of foreign paper is in extra thin bank post, where the duty is small. 8th. That the maker, agent, wholesale dealer and retailer, all have their profit on the duty, so that the consumer has to pay fully double the amount of it, and sometimes more. The wholesale stationers opposed to the removal of the Paper Duty represent: 1st. That the drawback already gives a fair chance of proving
what can be done in exporting. 2nd. That all the cheap publications would remain the same price still and the reduction on paper to any but large consumers be inappreciable. As a class, the wholesale stationers are for the retention of the duty; and the explanation given of this is, that the manufacturers being in want of money to meet the duty are under their thumb, and are not allowed by them to sell directly to booksellers in London. - Manufacturers from paper, and manufacturers using it, bring forward the following considerations for the repeal of the duty : 1st. That the duties on papers used for manufacturing and commercial purposes, such as packing, is 260 per cent. heavier than on those for luxury or ornament. 2nd. That the duty presses very heavily upon the binding of cheap books, and enters into the price of tea and sugar. 3rd. That it depresses the fancy-box trade, wherein thin wood is substituted for paper. 4th. That the cost of paper is sometimes, weight for weight, four times the price of articles packed in it. 5th. That pasteboard-makers, paperstainers, printers, booksellers, and other trades, are injuriously affected. 6th. That in goods for export and otherwise, where large quantities are used in packing, and in the case of hot-pressers and calenderers disadvantages arise. 7th. That our manufacturers and tradespeople are prevented from setting off their goods as ornamentally as the French. 8th. That pasteboard-makers are shut out from making railway tickets and rough cards. 9th. That the duty seriously affects our silk manufacturers in the cards for their Jacquard looms, preventing them from competing successfully with those of France, not only in cheapness but in the variety and excellence of their designs. 10th. That the book trade with America is subjected to an unfair competition thereby. 11th. That foreign paperboxes can be imported at a ten per cent, duty, while ours pay seventy or eighty per cent on the material. 12th. That the papier mache trade is greatly restricted, especially in barring the use of a material under one-quarter of an inch thick. 13th. That some firms of paperstainers pay 10,000l. a year in duty. 14th. That a papermaker's cuttings are exempt from duty, while an envelope-maker's or manufacturing stationer's are not, though they amount sometimes from a ton to a ton and a-half per week. No facts or arguments are brought forward by manufacturers from paper or manufacturers using it, that can in any way be considered favourable to the retention of the duty. On the part of the publishers, for the removal of the duty, the following considerations are urged : 1st. That the duty enhances the price of all books, but of cheap books particularly. 2nd. That the burthen of the duty, as a book tax, is much increased by the charges of the middle men, &c. 3rd. That one reason for resorting to
stereotyping is the risk of sinking capital in a large impression of a book on taxed paper. 4th. That the duty presses so heavily upon cheap works intended for large circulation as to absorb what would amount to a profit upon them. 5th. That it compels the use of thin paper upon such works, making an invidious distinction between literature for the few and the many. 6th. That it has greatly checked the production of reprints and serials. 7th. That it has hindered the public from obtaining easy access to works, the copyright of which has expired. 8th. That it contributes to the present system of limited impressions when new books are published. 9th. That it is a punishment by the Government upon an unsuccessful book, by becoming a tax on waste paper. 10th. That it has a tendency to encourage literary piracy. 11th. That its depressing effects upon popular literature includes school books. 12th. That it is a great hinderance to enterprise among publishers. Publishers opposed to the removal of the duty suggest a drawback on unsuccessful books, and that the Society should offer a reward for a cheap process of bleaching printed paper and taking out the ink. They also represent that, if the duty were taken off the public would look for reductions which could not be made. They attribute the literary piracy which prevails exclusively to the effect of the present Copyright Act. Newspaper proprietors favourable to the abolition of the duty urge: 1st. The perishable nature of newspapers, which increases the injurious operation of the duty upon them. 2nd. That there would, from this repeal, be a remission of 50,000l. a-year on the press, available for the employment of more talent, by which a better article would be supplied to the public. 3rd. That the duty contributes to keep dormant 25 per cent. of capital in their business. 4th. That objectionable advertisements would be rejected if there were more readers. 5th. That, without taxation, a newspaper might be published profitably at 1d., or even at a #d. Newspaper proprietors opposed or indifferent to the removal of the duty represent that consumers would derive no benefit from a change, because the fraction gained could not be allowed in the price. Authors in favour of the abolition of the duty urge: 1st. That it prevents the publication of works of profound science and literature. 2nd. ‘That it eats into their profits, especially in the case of cheap popular literature. 3rd. That it tends to give capitalists a monopoly of the publishing trade. The opinions of authors seem to vary considerably as to the importance, in their interests as authors, of having the duty repealed; but none of them defend it, except, perhaps, Mr. Charle s
Dickens, who says that its removal would be a personal gain to him, “without any benefit to the heavily taxed public.”
The Council having collected the foregoing body of evidence, with reference to the operation of this duty, cannot doubt that it is one which inflicts very serious injury upon the progress of our Arts, Manufactures, and Commerce.
A tax is indefensible which presses injuriously upon the manufacturing processes, the supply, and the varied uses of that material through which so large a portion of the business of life is transacted, by which the communion of mind with mindis so vastly facilitated, and to which, for the benefit of future ages, the past records of the world are chiefly intrusted. The Council has therefore determined to exert the influence of the Society in obtaining, at the earliest possible period consistent with State exigencies, the repeal of this duty. The Institutions in Union with the Society are also earnestly invited to consider this subject, and, if they approve of the course which the Council is pursuing, to cooperate.
held on the 26th March in that year, and which ||
was published in the Notices of Proceedings at
the time. Dr. Branson only contemplated the . application of the process to ferns, leaves, seaweeds, and other flat plants. The method he adopted was to impress the object itself into gutta-percha, or other soft material, and then to obtain an electrotype from the mould. The novelty in the present process consisted in the use of lead for receiving the impression in place of gutta percha ; and also in applying to the polished surfaces of minerals a weak acid, which acted with different degrees of intensity on the materials of which the mineral was composed, and so caused a greater or less indentation. The moulds from the fossils were taken by liquid gutta-percha. Specimens were also exhibited by Messrs. Bradbury and Evans, who are working the process in this country. Samples were exhibited from Dr. Forbes Royle, of cultivated Rheea fibre, from Assam, produced by Boehmeria Nivea, which was the plant which yields the Chinese grass, of which the fine grass cloth is made; also of the wild Rheea fibre. An account of this plant will be found at page 60. The Anglo-Franco-Algerian Vegetable Fibre Company also exhibited some specimens of jute, palm, and ditz fibres, in various stages of manufacture, prepared by Claussen's process. An account of these will appear in the next number. The paper read was
ON A NEW SAFETY LAMP, AND THE INVENTION OF THE SAFETY LAMP. BY Rob ERT MORTIMER GY.OVER, M.D., F.R.S.E., LECTURER ON CHEMISTRY AT THE ROYAL FREE HOSPITAL.
In offering the new safety lamp invented by myself, in conjunction with my friend Mr. John Cail, of Newcastle-on-Tyne, to the notice of the Society, it was at first my intention simply to present the lamp, with the shortest possible notice of the practical experiments to which it has been subjected, but as there are some matters connected with the history of the invention of the safety lamp with which I am particularly cognizant, I think it advisable, as this is the Society of Arts, to premise what I have got to say about the present invention with a few preliminary remarks.
The history of all inventions presents nearly the same character. It is rarely given to any one individual to at once excogitate a great fact. Whether we take the invention of the steam engine, or gunpowder (a), or the recent applications of anaesthetic agents in medicine, we shall always find a fact or great truth dawning dimly on the mind of some obscure observer, and gradually elaborated, and at last developed, by some one more fortunate than his predecessor. In these matters it is often as at the storming of a town, where the forlorn hope is
(a) I am prepared to prove that what we call the invention of unpowder was merely the substitution of solid shot for th: inflammable projectiles, such as the Greek fire, shot from coppel
tubes (cannon) by means of gunpowder.
sacrificed, and the rest of the army march through the breach with banners displayed. A recent writer on inventions has said, that “he invents who perfects.” It is certain that this is the vulgar doctrine, and that whatever previous labour may be employed, or ingenuity exerted, the solid reward is always given to the individual who presents an invention in a practical form before the public. But it is not in this way that the merits of inventors should be judged. All who conduct a great discovery in the true paths of science should have their respective merits recognised, and a Society like this is especially the one to make amends for the deficiency of popular applause which the early labourers in any useful effort may have to lament, and which, I am happy to say, this Society did in the matter of the safety lamp. Dr. Clanny, the inventor of the first safety lamp, was, for many years, my most attached and venerated friend, and I am proud that I was the means, in his old age, of presenting him with a testimonial calculated to prove to him, with the gold and silver medals of this Society, that his services in the cause of science and humanity had not passed without some recognition. Questions with regard to the invention of the safety lamp are often urged and much misunderstood. The simple facts are these: Dr. Clanny, so far back as the year 1806, conceived the idea of a safe lamp to burn in mines. In the year 1813, a paper by him on the subject was read to the Royal Society, and published in the “Philosophical Transactions.” Dr. Clanny's first lamp, although cumbrous, was quite safe. His plan was to insulate the light by means of water, and to supply the flame with air by a bellows. What I claim for Dr. Clanny is simply the original idea, and the merit of having commenced the work in the right spirit of scientific investigation, and to prove this I beg to refer to the fact, little known, that Sir Humphrey Davy, before the production of his wire-gauze lamp, proposed four others, all modifications of that of Dr. Clanny. At length his attention was drawn to the researches of Tennant, “On Flame.” Tennant, of Cambridge, had discovered that flame would pass along tubes in a ratio compounded of their breadth and length. The smaller the caliber, the shorter would be the length that flame could traverse. Davy improved upon the idea, and with that happy and sagacious genius which belonged to this wonderful man, came to the conclusion that wire gauze was as it were an abstraction of this principle, and that here we had tubes of the shortest possible length, and narrowest diameter. Hence his invention of the safety lamp. But as the object of these preliminary observations is to do justice to all, it must not be denied that there is indisputable proof that GeoRGE STEPHENson, absurdly called by a biographer of Davy, a Mr. Stephenson, had, when a humble miner, ascertained the same fact practi
cally; and it is also quite clear that these two great men knew nothing of each other's inventlOnS. The invention of the safety-lamp was hailed with a tumult of applause. It was not merely that it contributed to the safety of the miner— through it mines that had not hitherto been deemed capable of being worked for ages, could now be worked. The inventor of the safety-lamp was splendidly rewarded; and Mr.George Stephenson, too, presented with a sum of money, the foundation of his future fortunes. The only party who escaped remuneration was Dr. Clanny, the originator of the whole investigation, except from this Society. But after the invention of the wire-gauze safety-lamp, certain imperfections began gradually to reveal themselves. In the first place it was found to give so little light that the pitmen seized every opportunity of removing the gauze, finding, in point of fact, that their work could not be done with the imperfect light. And, in the second place, the great fact began to be developed, that this lamp, however secure in a still atmosphere, was not safe in a current. - * Davy himself, with his profound sagacity, was not ignorant of the latter important fact. He convinced himself by experiments at a blower in one of Mr. Lambton's (Lord Durham's) pits, that, when opposed to a current of the gas of mines in rapid motion,the gas would pass through his lamp, and burn inside and outside, and recommended a tin shield for protection on the side from which the current came. Strange to say, this practical observation of his has been to all intents ignored practically by miners up to the present time.
A vicious mode of reasoning with regard to the causes of explosions, appears to me to have prevailed with viewers on this subject. An explosion takes place: the inquest shows that all known causes of accident are excluded. The men were working with Davy's. A goaf had been tapped, or a blower; and the inference is that the Davy was not the cause of the explosion, all the Davy's being perfect as far as the evidence goes—simply because no one returned to tell the tale. Now in such a case, by way of exclusion, I should conclude that it was the Davy, just as Euclid proves that, no other point being
possible, a certain point is the centre of the circle. Be- .
sides, in the South Shields report, positive evidence appears to be given of the insecurity of the Davy. The objections then to the Davy amount to these: 1st. deficiency of light; and, in a lamp, light is a great object. It would be easy to have a perfectly safe lamp, by passing the air through such an apparatus as is used in the safety, jet of the oxy-hydrogen blowpipe; but then it would give no light. ... Davy's proposed shield, if it were known from what direction the blower would come, might be safe; but as that cannot be known, according to the inventor's own admission, to make the Davy safe there should be a shield all round. It may further be observed, that deficiency of light is deficiency of safety, as it leads to candles being used where lamps ought to be used. An account of the various attempts made to remedy the defects of the Davy, viz., insecurity in a current and deficiency of light, would fill a volume. As far as I am aware, the only lamps that have to any extent superseded the Davy, are the Clanny and Müseler lamps. Dr. Clanny did not abandon his efforts to improve the
safety lamp with the discovery of the Davy; he never believed the Davy safe, and produced in succession several lamps. At length he found that if the lower part of a lamp were made of thick glass, and the wire gauze cylinder retained above this, two things arose: 1st, the current of air descended to feed the flame in converging curves, and the gaseous products of combustion ascended in diverging curves, so that there was a double current, which prevailed in the whole cylinder. This double current he contended rendered a lateral current less likely to pass through; and, 2nd., owing to the use of the glass, the gauze being no longer required to give light, could be made much finer, or even doubled and trebled. The Mūseler lamp differs from the Clanny only in having a chimney in its interior just above the flame. The sim. plicity of the Clanny lamp, and the excellent light it affords, have brought it into extensive use. The pitmen, who are very careless of their Davys, and in fact appear in some instances almost to delight in injuring them, are very careful of their Clanny lamps; and as far as I am aware, no accident has yet occurred from their use. But there are two objections to the Clanny launps, viz., the liability of the glass to fracture on being heated, from a drop of water falling upon it in this state, and also its liability to fracture from mechanical causes. The latter objection has been grossly exaggerated. The glass can be made so strong, and is so protected, as to be little liable to mechanical injury; nor in this respect is the wire gauze of the Davy beyond objection. Shortly after the invention of the lamp now produced, I was conversing with one of the most extensive viewers in the north, when a government inspectorof mines joined us. The viewer asked the inspector what he thought of the new lamp. The latter replied that he only objected to the glass. The viewer said, “Why it issafer than gauze!" meaning mechanically safer. But the liability to fracture from water falling upon the heated glass is a serious objection, and one which has been felt in practice. To remedy these defects as far as possible, the present lamp has been invented. Instead of the single glass cylinder of the Clanny lamp, a double cylinder is used. The outer cylinder is a quarter of an inch thick, the inner one a good stout glass, a full eighth of an inch thick. The air to feed the flame enters at the top of both, through wire gauze and passes downward between them, entering the inner cylinder through gauze. The double cylinder, kept packed as it were together by the gauze, is thus much stronger than a single one would be, and the double §ylinder is a double protection, as if either cylinder be broken the lamp is still a safe lamp, and there would be ting at least to remove the lamp and replace the injured cylinder, which could easily be done, all the §lasses for the different lamps being of the same gauge. The current between the glasses keeps the outer cylinder Sool, so that it can always be held in the hand, while a Museleror Clanny soon gets so hot that it would burn the flesh. The light is even superior to the Clanny, owing probably to the more perfect combustion, the air entering the inner cylinder at the bottom. In the interior of the Wire gauze cylinder is placed a tin cone; the object of this is to force the air to enter the lamp through the two glass cylinders, and so to regulate the supply of air as to make the lamp self-extinguishing in an explosive mixture. The wire gauze could be done without, and a tin 9 copper tube substituted with holes at the top, as in the Eloid lamp; but in practice we find such a tube get hot; and it is thought that it is an advantage to have the whole lamp as cool as possible. Strange to say, the most extensive viewer in the north of England, who long ofused to admit any insecurity in the Davy, now advises that all gauze should be done away with in this lamp ! We, however, do not see the reason, believing in the *Port of an eminent viewer to us on the subject, in which he states that our lamp unites the maximum of light with the maximum of safety. I hold very elabo* reports from Mr. Reid, viewer of Pelton, Mr. Arm
strong of Haswell, and others; but as the lamp has been publicly tested, and evidence given on the subject before the House of Commoas, I prefer referring to their reports. Thus Mr. Wood states the results of some experiments made in Killingworth pit. By an ingenious contrivance the lamps were made to revolve in a current of gas, so as to be brought to a white heat, then water was thrown upon the glass lamps. Under this severe trial almost all the lamps passed the flame. Respecting the present lamp, he says, “I tried Dr. Glover's lamp. . . . subjected that lamp to a considerable velocity; we could not produce a white heat, and the flame did not, therefore, pass; it went out, although the wire gauze was much longer and of larger size than that of some other lamps which I had exploded; but l attribute this to the chimney in the inside of it diminishing the area of wire gauze and burnt air for the wick, casting down the explosive mixture within the gauze. I alm, however, of opinion that the construction of this lamp may be improved, as I see no reason why the insecure gauze should be placed on the top.” So the vaunted security of wire gauze is abandoned for ever! He further says, “In my opinion, Dr. Glover's lamp is likely to be a very useful one.” He goes on to say, that when the lamp was thus intensely heated, more so than is possible except in an actual explosion in a mine, water thrown upon it (which, of course, cracked all the glass lamps), only cracked the inner cylinder. This is the most decisive test of the success of our plan, because we do not expect the inner cylinders to be kept cool. It is, moreover, little exposed to water; but if, under these circumstances the inner cylinder was cracked, it was not injured so as to be unsafe, and the outer thick glass was safe; the whole lamp being still safe, the success of our plan in every respect was perfect. Again—in answer to the question : “At present your opinion is that Dr. Glover's contains the two principles of giving the greatest quantity of light and the greatest safety, more than any other lamp that you have seen 2"—he answers: “I tilink Dr. Glover's is the best lamp of that construction I have seen.” Mr. Forster states that he thinks Dr. Glover's is the best lamp. On the other hand, Mr. Mackworth thinks the lamp “very safe and ingenious," but objects to its weight, the fact being that it is tên ounces lighter than the Clanny. And Mr. Henderson, the inventor also of a safety lamp, considers that there is a difficulty in uniting the gauze so as to prevent the flame passing. What he means I do not profess to understand. I have only to add that the lamp is now in pretty extensive use.
In reply to the Chairman, whether any gentleman wished to address the meeting on the subject,
Mr. GLYNN said he had listened to the paper with great interest * as it so happened he was intimately, acquainted with the early history of miners' safety lamps, more especially that of the late George Stephenson, who was for a long time engaged in experiments in endeavouring to shorten the tubes. About that time, Sir Humphry, Davy produced the best lamp that had been seen, it being an improvement on that of Dr. Clanny; the object was that the light might be fed with air, without coming sufficiently into contact with it to cause an explosion. Mr. Stephenson shortened the tubes, and made his lamp of a glass cylinder, with brass ends, perforated with small holes, it being considered a great desideratum to get as good a light as possible. Sir Humphry Davy's was made with the wire gauze, which was found to be quite as liable to fracture from mechanical causes as the glass, whilst the flame would occasionally come into contact with the foul air and produce an explosion. Indeed, every one knew the miners were very reckless, and would open their lamps, or incline them, so as to bring the flaume to the side, for the purpose of lighting their pipes, by which many accidents were caused. Dr. Glover's lamp appeared to him to go a long