The gods, says the poet, have placed labour and toil on the way leading to the Elysian fields. Certain it is that no bread eaten by man is so sweet as that earned by his own labour, whether bodily or mental. By labour the earth has been subdued, and man redeemed from barbarism; nor has a single step in civilization been made without it.
Our food, our clothing, the furniture of our homes, the glass which admits the light to our dwellings at the same time that it excludes the cold, the gas which illuminates our streets, our means of locomotion by land and by sea, the tools by which our various articles of necessity and luxury are fabricated, have been the result of the labour and ingenuity of many men and many minds.
Mankind at large are all the happier for such inventions, and are every day reaping the benefit of them in an increase of individual well-being as well as of public enjoyment.
industry and the most carefully disciplined skill - the skill that comes by labour, application, and experience. Many men in his time knew far more than Watt, but none laboured so assiduously as he did to turn all that he did know to useful practical purposes. He was, above all things, most persevering in the pursuit of facts. He cultivated carefully that habit of active attention on which all the higher working qualities of the mind mainly depend. Indeed, Mr. Edgeworth entertained the opinion, that the difference of intellect in men depends more upon the early cultivation of this HABIT OF ATTENTION, than upon any great disparity between the powers of one individual and another.
engine of Watt.
he immediately separated.
However this may be, the idea at once took firm possession of his mind, and he proceeded to devise the process by which it was to be accomplished, Kay being able to tell him nothing on this point.Arkwright now abandoned his business of hair collecting, and devoted himself to the perfecting of his machine, a model of which, constructed by Kay under his directions, he set up in the parlour of the Free Grammar School at Preston. Being a burgess of the town, he voted at the contested election at which General Burgoyne was returned; but such was his poverty, and such the tattered state of his dress, that a number of persons subscribed a sum sufficient to have him put in a state fit to appear in the poll-room. The exhibition of his machine in a town where so many workpeople lived by the exercise of manual labour proved a dangerous experiment; ominous growlings were heard outside the school-room from time to time, and Arkwright, - remembering the fate of Kay, who was mobbed and compelled to fly from Lancashire because of his invention of the fly-shuttle, and of poor Hargreaves, whose spinning-jenny had been pulled to pieces only a short time before by a Blackburn mob, wisely determined on packing up his model and removing to a less dangerous locality.
The sum which the latter first paid for board and lodging was only 8S. a week; but Yates, considering this too little, insisted on the weekly payment being increased a shilling, to which Peel at first demurred, and a difference between the partners took place, which was eventually compromised by the lodger paying an advance of sixpence a week.
She possessed rare powers of mind, and was, on every emergency, the high-souled and faithful counsellor of her husband. For many years after their marriage, she acted as his amanuensis, conducting the principal part of his business correspondence, for Mr. Peel himself was an indifferent and almost unintelligible writer. She died in 1803, only three years after the Baronetcy had been conferred upon her husband. It is said that London fashionable life - so unlike what she had been accustomed to at home - proved injurious to her health; and old Mr. Yates afterwards used to say, "if Robert hadn't made our Nelly a 'Lady,' she might ha' been living yet."
Besides greatly benefiting Bury, the partnership planted similar extensive works in the neighbourhood, on the Irwell and the Roch; and it was cited to their honour, that, while they sought to raise to the highest perfection the quality of their manufactures, they also endeavoured, in all ways, to promote the well-being and comfort of their workpeople; for whom they contrived to provide remunerative employment even in the least prosperous times.
According to some accounts, he was the heir to a small freehold, while according to others he was a poor scholar, (6) and had to struggle with poverty from his earliest years. He entered as a sizar at
and rapid process of weaving by the stocking frame, was indeed an astonishing achievement, which may be pronounced almost unequalled in the history of mechanical invention. Lee's merit was all the greater, as the handicraft arts were then in their infancy, and little attention had as yet been given to the contrivance of machinery for the purposes of manufacture. He was under the necessity of extemporising the parts of his machine as he best could, and adopting various expedients to overcome difficulties as they arose. His tools were imperfect, and his materials imperfect; and he had no skilled workmen to assist him. According to tradition, the first frame he made was a twelve gauge, without lead sinkers, and it was almost wholly of wood; the needles being also
stuck in bits of wood. One of Lee's principal difficulties consisted in the formation of the stitch, for want of needle eyes; but this he eventually overcame by forming eyes to the needles with a three-square file. (9)
eventually became an important branch of the national industry.
The first practical improvement he succeeded in introducing was in the warp-frame, when, by means of an ingenious apparatus, he succeeded in producing "mitts" of a lacy appearance, and it was this success which determined him to pursue the study of mechanical lace-making. The stocking-frame had already, in a modified form, been applied to the manufacture of point-net lace, in which the mesh was LOOPED as in a stocking, but the work was slight and frail, and therefore unsatisfactory. Many ingenious
Some of these men died in poverty, some were driven insane, and all alike failed in the object of their search. The old warp-machine held its ground.
He accordingly put himself into that night's mail, and went down to Nottingham to get up his case as perhaps counsel never got it up before. Next morning the learned sergeant placed himself in a lace-loom, and he did not leave it until he could deftly make a piece of bobbin-net with his own hands, and thoroughly understood the principle as well as the details of the machine. When the case came on for trial, the learned sergeant was enabled to work the model on the table with such case and skill, and to explain the precise nature of the invention with such felicitous clearness, as to astonish alike judge, jury, and spectators; and the thorough conscientiousness and mastery with which he handled the case had no doubt its influence upon the decision of the court.
The masters themselves were doomed to death; many of them were assaulted, and some were murdered. At length the law was vigorously set in motion; numbers of the misguided Luddites were apprehended; some were executed; and after several years' violent commotion from this cause, the machine-breaking riots were at length quelled.
He was also a man of singularly cheerful and buoyant disposition, a favourite with men of all classes and most admired and beloved by those who knew him best.
Jacquard was the son of a hard-working couple of Lyons, his father being a weaver, and his mother a pattern reader. They were too poor to give him any but the most meagre education. When he was of age to learn a trade, his father placed him with a book-binder. An old clerk, who made up the master's accounts, gave Jacquard some lessons in mathematics. He very shortly began to display a remarkable turn for mechanics, and some of his contrivances quite astonished the old clerk, who advised Jacquard's father to put him to some other trade, in which his peculiar abilities might have better scope than in bookbinding. He was accordingly put apprentice to a cutler; but was so badly treated by his master, that he shortly afterwards left his employment, on which he was placed with a type-founder.
figured goods. The result was, that he was provided with apartments in the Conservatoire des Arts et Metiers, where he had the use of the workshop during his stay, and was provided with a suitable allowance for his maintenance.
The saying that the poet is born, not made, applies with equal force to the inventor, who, though indebted, like the other, to culture and improved opportunities, nevertheless contrives and constructs new combinations of machinery mainly to gratify his own instinct. This was peculiarly the case with Vaucanson; for his most elaborate works were not so much distinguished for their utility as for the curious ingenuity which they displayed. While a mere boy attending Sunday conversations with his mother, he amused himself by watching, through the chinks of a partition wall, part of the movements of a clock in the adjoining apartment. He endeavoured to understand them, and by brooding over the subject, after several months he discovered the principle of the escapement.
One of these was his mill for thrown silk, which so excited the anger of the
Thus the drawboy and the reader of designs were both at once superseded. The first use Jacquard made of his new loom was to weave with it several yards of rich stuff which he presented to the Empress Josephine. Napoleon was highly gratified with the result of the inventor's labours, and ordered a number of the looms to be constructed by the best workmen, after Jacquard's model, and presented to him; after which he returned to
But he did not live to enjoy it. Scarcely had his long labours been crowned by success than he died, and his son, who had shared in his privations, shortly followed him.