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lar were the greatest (as observed by Mr. Birt,) because rain was then produced, and evaporation prevented from cooling the air at the regular diurnal period, and in that way prevented the rise of the barometer at that recurring period.
Statistics of Hosiery.
Mr. FELKIN read a paper on the statistics of the Hosiery manufactured by machinery in the United Kingdom, compiled from an actual census taken under his direction in the present year. He stated that before the age of Elizabeth, stockings were either knitted of coarse woolen thread or cut out of linen and silken tissue. Towards the close of the sixteenth century the Rev. W. Lee succeeded in producing the stocking-frame, and his ingenuity was appreciated by Queen Elizabeth, who visited him at his lodgings, and accepted specimens of his productions. Her kinsman, Lord Hunsdon, entered into a kind of partnership with Lee, and one of the Tudor family became the first stocking-makers' apprentice. James I. refused to follow the enlightened policy of Elizabeth; and Lee, neglected in England, accepted the offers made by the French minister Sully; he established a manufactory at Rouen, but after the murder of Henry IV. the patronage he had received was withdrawn, and he died of a broken heart. The stocking-frame spread rapidly over England, France, Spain, and the Netherlands; Lee's brother introduced the manufacture into London, where the "Frame-work Knitter's Company" still exists, though it has been long an empty name. Out of 660 frames, in 1669, there were 460 in London, three-fifths of the whole being employed in the manufacture of silk goods. In 1710 there were 100 frames destroyed in London on account of disputes about wages, and in 1714 there were 2,500 frames in London, 600 in Leicester, 400 in Nottingham, and about 8,600 throughout all England. From this time the trade began to leave London, probably from the vexatious nature of the company's regulations; and in 1753, when the total number of frames in England was 14,000, London had fallen to 1,000, while Nottingham had risen to 1,500, and Leicester to 1,000. The application of the stocking-frame to the manufacture of imitations of pillow lace, led the way to a great variety of ingenious inventions, and a consequent extension of the trade: in 1782 there were about 20,000 frames in England, of which 17,350 were 'in the midland counties.Though the stocking-makers and lace-makers started from the same point, their fate has been very different; the manufacturers of stockings are about the worst paid and those of lace among the best paid of the operative classes. Mr. Felkin stated that there are about 42,652 persons engaged in the manufacture of stockings, and as many more employed to wind, seam, and sew up the hose. He denied that as a class they were idle and negligent; he had known them from boyhood, having worked for his support at their frames, and he knew that they were no worse than hard work and small wages would make any class of the community. To explain the position of the stocking
manufacturers, Mr. Felkin stated that the frames were rarely the property of the workmen, but belonged either to the hosiers or to a class of middlemen, who let them to the operatives. Foreign competition has had little effect upon this branch of industry, for the amount of the exportation of hosiery has never been important. There were only 147,507 dozens exported in 1843, and that was nearly double the amount of the preceding year. Mr. Felkin then referred to some diagrams exhibited in the Section, to explain the nature of working the frames; the operation is one of considerable toil, but does not for ordinary goods require much skill and training; the employment is injurious to the sight. It is for the most part a domestic branch of industry, and has no connexion with the factory system. The total number of frames in the three midland counties is 39,442 employed and 4,298 unemployed. There are 1,572 frames in the rest of England, 265 in Ireland, and 2,605 in Scotland; and taking the whole of Great Britain there are 42,632 employed and 5,830 unemployed, (many of the latter, however, being under repair,) making a total of 48,482 frames available for the machinery of the trade. The earnings of the frame work knitters are subject to heavy deductions, for the rent of frames and other incidents, which frequently reduce the net earnings to a most miserable sum. The earnings, clear of shop deductions and expenses, range generally from 4s. 6d. to 7s. per week, and in some places, where cotton-hose is chiefly made, wages are even lower than the above minimum. Many cases of hardship from excessive frame rent were recorded; and it deserves to be remarked, that frames are not perishable articles, many of those now in use having been manufactured in the reign of Queen Anne. The general condition of the frame-work knitters is described as very deplorable; they work generally from fourteen to fifteen hours per day, and their net earnings are generally inadequate to procure subsistence for themselves and their families. The ultimate results of the hosiery trade are to turn imported raw materials and those of home-growth of the collective value of 705,9007. into the selling value of 2,562,7137. There are manufactured annually 84,000 dozen of silk stockings and socks, 2,164,000 cotton, and 1,770,000 of worsted. Including gloves and other hosiery products, the annual production is 5,705,600 dozen, which would not give more than one pair of stockings and one pair of gloves for each inhabitant of Britain.
On a Method of Electrotype, by which the Deposition on Minute Objects is easily accomplished. By L. B. IBBETSON. From the difficulties which arose from the application of plumbago, in the ordinary manner, a portion of the plumbago was united with a solution of phosphorus in oil, and the article to be electrotyped immersed in it. It thus became covered with a coating, on which the metal was deposited in a beautiful and uniform manner. Such specimens of cactuses thus covered with metal were exhibited.
Extract from an account given in the London Mechanics' Magazine of the late Boiler Explosion at Messrs. Samuda & Co.'s Manufactory.
We now publish full details of the circumstances of this deplorable accident, so far as they have been yet brought to light; and though they do not, perhaps, comprehend everything which it might be desirable to know, they disclose quite sufficient, we apprehend, to enable every one to form a tolerably correct opinion of the causes to which it is to be ascribed. The verdicts of the jury impute blame to the head of the establishment, Mr. Samuda, and something more than blame to his foreman, Lowe; blame to the former, for the general inefficiency of the engineering arrangements of his manufactory, and "manslaughter" to the latter for the fatal recklessness with which he endeavored to make up for the fault of his master. The buying of an old and discarded boiler to do the work of a considerable manufactory, the employing a low-pressure boiler to do the work of a highpressure one-the complicated and defective character of the arrangements for ascertaining and regulating the pressure-and the distance at which the boiler was placed from the engine, involving as it did a difficulty in keeping up the steam, and leading to all sorts of clumsy and hazardous expedients to obviate it-are all matters which came within the peculiar province of the head of the establishment, and which seem to us fully to justify the censure passed upon him by the jury. Indeed, rather more; for if a man sets another to do a thing manifestly perilous to life or limb (as this was,) and if especially he has the authority of a master over that other to command or forbid, he it is who is the real author of any calamity which may ensue.— VOL. IX, 3RD SERIES. No. 6.-JUNE, 1845.
Qui facit per alium facit per se is an old and sound maxim. Mr. Samuda did not, to be sure, direct Lowe to prop up the valve lever, to prevent the valve from easing the boiler when charged beyond its power of bearing, (the ground apparently of the heavier offence of which the latter has been found guilty.) and cannot be supposed to have ever imagined that the man would act so foolishly; but it is, at least, equally true that if Lowe had had better machinery and tools to work with-such machinery and tools as a judicious and discreet master would have provided him with-there would never have been any occasion for his committing the gross indiscretion of which he was guilty.
The jury denounce "the application of low-pressure boilers to highpressure purposes" as "highly dangerous," and recommend that "some legislative enactment" should be applied for, "to prevent, if possible, the fearful destruction of human life which arises under the present imperfect system." We agree with them that the practice is a "highly dangerous" one; but do not see that there is any necessity for invoking the aid of the legislature to put it down. The practice is an exceedingly limited one, and wholly unknown to all our first-rate engineering establishments (with the exception, perhaps of one or two, not of the Thames.) An instance here and there, or now and then, does not constitute a "system," nor a couple of fatal accidents in one establishment, such "a fearful destruction of human life" as the Collective Wisdom of the country alone can grapple with. A sufficient check to the spread of the practice will probably be found in the public obloquy, which every established case of disaster arising from it, must entail on the individuals guilty of it; and it is from a belief, that such checks can be administered through no channel so well as the public press, that we now contribute the aid of our columns to make the particulars of the present case as widely known as possible.
The engravings, Figs. 1 and 2, represent the boiler which was blown up; they have been reduced from the drawings exhibited at the inquest. Fig. 1 is a side elevation, and Fig. 2 a section on the line AB of Fig. 1. The boiler was on the tubular plan, and contained 182 tubes, each 5 feet 63 inches long, 24 in diameter at the back, and 24 ins. at the fire door. The boiler plates were of in. iron. The steam-chest (K,) which was 4 ft. 6 ins. in diameter, and 4 ft. 6 ins. deep, was made of in. iron. The crown of the boiler had no stays; an omission, the consequences of which the reader will find well pointed out in the intelligent evidence of Mr. Barnes. The dotted lines on the right hand, in Fig. 1, show the position in which the upper row of tubes (made of copper) was found after the accident-completely bent over, but still adhering at one end to their seats. The dotted lines in Fig. 2 show how the external case of the boiler was blown out to the right and left, in consequence of the steam taking the line of least resistance, that is, upwards through the unstayed crown. Fig 3 represents, on a larger scale than in Fig. 2, the steam-valve arrangements. A, was the pipe leading to the engine; B the safety-valve, the inner diameter of which was 43, ins.; the outer, 4 ins. C waste-pipe leading to the chimney; D the interior of the valve-box, 51, ius.; E the fulcrum of F the lever. The length of the lever was 3 feet; the distance from the fulcrum to the centre of the valve and spindle 3 ins. G rod, 134 ius. long, which carried two weights, one circular and the other square, suspended