On the Economy of Machinery and Manufactures eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 358 pages of information about On the Economy of Machinery and Manufactures.

262.  It appears then, that, to an expenditure of L224 necessary to produce the present volume, L42 are added in the shape of a direct tax.  Whether the profits arising from such a mode of manufacturing will justify such a rate of taxation, can only be estimated when the returns from the volume are considered, a subject that will be discussed in a subsequent chapter.(5*) It is at present sufficient to observe, that the tax on advertisements is an impolitic tax when contrasted with that upon paper, and on other materials employed.  The object of all advertisements is, by making known articles for sale, to procure for them a better price, if the sale is to be by auction; or a larger extent of sale if by retail dealers.  Now the more any article is known, the more quickly it is discovered whether it contributes to the comfort or advantage of the public; and the more quickly its consumption is assured if it be found valuable.  It would appear, then, that every tax on communicating information respecting articles which are the subjects of taxation in another shape, is one which must reduce the amount that would have been raised, had no impediment been placed in the way of making known to the public their qualities and their price.


1.  These facts are taken from Crawford’s Indian Archipelago.

2.  These charges refer to the edition prepared for the public, and do not relate to the large paper copies in the hands of some of the author’s friends.

3.  Readers are persons employed to correct the press at the printing office.

4.  Slips are long pieces of paper on which sufficient matter is printed to form, when divided, from two to four pages of text.

5.  Chapter 31.

Chapter 22

On the Causes and Consequences of Large Factories

263.  On examining the analysis which has been given in chapter XIX of the operations in the art of pin-making, it will be observed, that ten individuals are employed in it, and also that the time occupied in executing the several processes is very different.  In order, however, to render more simple the reasoning which follows, it will be convenient to suppose that each of the seven processes there described requires an equal quantity of time.  This being supposed, it is at once apparent, that, to conduct an establishment for pin-making most profitably, the number of persons employed must be a multiple of ten.  For if a person with small means has only sufficient capital to enable him to employ half that number of persons, they cannot each of them constantly adhere to the execution of the same process; and if a manufacturer employs any number not a multiple of ten, a similar result must ensue with respect to some portion of them.  The same reflection constantly presents itself on examining any well-arranged factory.  In that of Mr Mordan, the patentee of the ever-pointed pencils,

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On the Economy of Machinery and Manufactures from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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