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"Business or Occupation. Assistant Butcher. "A Native of what Country. A true Briton. "Age. Nineteen.
66 Height. Five feet four inches.
"Slender or Robust.
"Are you of Healthy Constitution. I should hope so. "What are your Habits. Beaming.
"Are you fond of Society (sic in orig.). Just let her try me.
"If any accomplishments say so. Imitations of animals, chuck-farthing, horsemanship, and the Jew's-harp.
"If a widow, how many Children, and respective ages. Not a widow.
If a widower, ditto ditto. Not a widower. "What are your Prospects. Marrying well. "Supposed Income-by Business, Property, or Annuity. Income by trade, ten pound a year-by chuck-farthing, say three pound; total, say thirteen pound.
"Would you give References in the event of a successful Interview. Yes. Mr. Smith, the surgeon, and an eminent scholar, Mr. Brown.
"The Description of Person you want, or would appreciate for a, and the Prospects, Fortune, or Capital required, if such is desirable. A beauty of noble birth, with good prospects, large fortune, and a capital house in
"I aver the above statement to be the truth,
That, Mr. Conductor of Household Words, was the Form I sent in, properly filled up; and I was told that there were a number of lovely candidates upon the books, of
various positions in society. I suppose my form is circulated among them; but if so, why haven't I had an answer? If you will be kind enough to publish my Application Form in your widely circulated journal, you will confer an inestimable favour on your most obedient servant.
The Wonders of Lails and Screws.
EVENTY-FIVE years ago our fathers were told, by a man of high character whose testimony could not be doubted, that he had himself seen several boys under twenty years of age, each of whom could make two thousand three hundred nails in a day. This gentleman— Adam Smith-explained that, to produce so surprising a result, these boys must have passed their whole lives in nailmaking; for that a smith, who had been pretty well accustomed to making nails but not wholly devoted to it, could not make more than from eight hundred to one thousand in a day; while a smith who could handle his tools cleverly but was unused to making nails, could not turn out more in a day than two or three hundred. The making of nails, Adam continues, is by no means a simple operation: he tells how the bellows have to be blown and the fire mended, and the iron heated, and every part of the nail forged; and how the tools have to be changed when the head comes to be shaped. Considering all this, it seemed, in 1776 (when this account was published), a wonderful example of dexterity, that young people should be able, with due effort, to make two thousand three hundred nails in a day.
That year seems not so very long ago: 1776 was the date of the American declaration of independence and we are fond of saying how extremly young a nation is that of the United States. It is the date of our compulsory permission to that young nation to take care of itself, and to see what it could do by its own faculties. It has done a great many wonderful things; and, among others, it has invented, and sent over to us, a machine by which boys cau make more nails in a day than our readers would remember, if we were to set down the long row of figures. These Americans used to buy our nails, made in the way that Adam Smith describes. But in a few years, they found they had the iron and coal, and the heads and hands necessary for making steam-engines and nail-cutting machines-all at home and instead of taking our nails, they have shown us how to make so many, that, if the same number were made in the old way, it would take half the nation to accomplish the work.
We do not want all these nails ourselves. Of the smallest kind of nail (tacks), some are still made on the anvil ; and those are probably for home use. They must be regarded as a humble manufacture, remaining from old times, on account of the expense of the new machinery. The establishment we saw, the other day, at Birmingham, makes twenty tons of nails per week, of all sizes together; that is, about four tons of the largest size commonly made-six inches long-and sixteen tons of other sizes, descending to the little tack which measures only three sixteenths of an inch. No one can tell precisely how many are made in the kingdom, because there are numerous small manufacturers in the inland towns, whose sales are not ascertainable. But it is supposed that Birmingham alone may supply two hundred tons a week; and the whole kingdom, perhaps, five hundred tons. Now let the imagination follow this ;-let 10*
us think of a handful of tacks, or the household box of nails, and follow these up to the pound, and the hundred-weight, and the twenty hundred-weights which make a ton, and think of five hundred of these tons, as a weekly supply; and we shall be full of wonder as to what becomes of such heaps of uncountable masses of nails.
The fact is, we send them very far over the world; even to Australia, where they are wanted in large quantities by the growing people there, who are always building more and more houses, and edifices of other kinds. We send vast quantities to the German ports, whence they spread over the interior of the continent. Canada is too near the United States to need any supply from us; and, indeed, there is nail-making going on at Montreal, which nearly satisfies the wants of that colony.
The sheets of iron brought as material to the establishment which we saw at Birmingham are six feet in length and two in width. These have to be cut into strips. The strips must not be cut the long way of the sheet, because that would bring the grain of the iron (for even iron has a grain) the wrong way for the nail, and a bad article would be produced, as surely as the wrist-bands of a shirt would look ill, and soon wear out, if they were cut the wrong way of the linen. As the nails are cut across the strip of iron, the strip of iron must be cut across the sheet. Thus, it is clear the nails will be cut from the long way of the sheet.
As for the width of the strip, it must be somewhat more than the length of the nail, because the head must be allowed for. The longest nail that has been made in these machines is one of nine inches. A strip which is to make inch nails, must be an inch and one-eighth in width. It is a marvellous thing to see the cutting of these strips, which might seem to be thin pasteboard, but for the noise they