The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 46 pages of information about The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction.

There are Seven Plates and a Vignette, and a glazed, ornamented cover which will withstand the wear and tear of the little play or book-room.

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(Concluded from page 396.)

In the manufacture of a razor, it proceeds through a dozen hands; but it is afterwards submitted to a process of grinding, by which the concavity is perfected, and the fine edge produced.  They are made from 1 s. per dozen, to 20 s. per razor, in which last the handle is valued at 16s.6d.

“Scissors, in like manner, are made by hand, and every pair passes through sixteen or seventeen hands, including fifty or sixty operations, before they are ready for sale.  Common scissors are cast, and when riveted, are sold as low as 4s. 6d. per gross!  Small pocket knives, too, are cast, both in blades and handles, and sold at 6 s. per gross, or a halfpenny each!  These low articles are exported in vast quantities in casks to all parts of the world.

“Snuffers and trays are also articles of extensive production, and the latter are ornamented with landscapes, etched by a Sheffield artist, on a resinous varnish, and finished by being dipped in diluted nitric acid for a few seconds or minutes.

“Messrs. Rodgers also introduced me to an extensive range of workshops for the manufacture of plated and silver ware, in which are produced the most superb breakfast and dinner services.  The method of making the silver plate here and at Birmingham merits special notice, because the ancient method was by dissolving mercury in nitrous acid, dipping the copper, and depending on the affinity of the metals, by which a very slight article was produced.  But at Sheffield and Birmingham, all plate is now produced by rolling ingots of copper and silver together.  About the eighth of an inch in thickness of silver is united by heat to an inch of copper in ingots about the size of a brick.  It is then flattened by steel rollers worked by an eighty horse power.  The greater malleability of the silver occasions it to spread equally with the copper into a sheet of any required thickness, according to the nature of the article for which it is wanted.  I saw some pieces of plated metal, the eighth of an inch thick, rolled by hand into ten times their surface, the silver spreading equally; and I was told that the plating would be perfect if the rolling had reduced it to the thinness of silver paper!  This mode of plating secures to modern plate a durability not possessed by any plate silvered by immersion.  Hence plated goods are now sought all over the world, and, if fairly used, are nearly as durable as silver itself.  Of this material, dinner and dessert services have been manufactured from 50 to 300 guineas, and breakfast sets from 10 to 200 guineas, as sold on the spot.

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The Mirror of Literature, Amusement, and Instruction from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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