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.


1.  The average price per ton of pig iron, bar iron, and coal, together with the price paid for labour at the works, for a long series of years, would be very valuable, and I shall feel much indebted to anyone who will favour me with it for any, even short, period.

2.  The accurate proportions are, by measure, oxygen 21, azote 79.

3.  A similar reasoning may be applied to lamps.  An Argand burner, whether used for consuming oil or gas, admits almost an unlimited quantity of air.  It would deserve enquiry, whether a smaller quantity might not produce greater light; and, possibly, a different supply furnish more heat with the same expenditure of fuel.

4.  Deutoxide of hydrogen, the oxygenated water of Thenard.

Chapter 25

Enquiries Previous to Commencing any Manufactory

298.  There are many enquiries which ought always to be made previous to the commencement of the manufacture of any new article.  These chiefly relate to the expense of tools, machinery, raw materials, and all the outgoings necessary for its production; to the extent of demand which is likely to arise; to the time in which the circulating capital will be replaced; and to the quickness or slowness with which the new article will supersede those already in use.

299.  The expense of tools and of new machines will be more difficult to ascertain, in proportion as they differ from those already employed; but the variety in constant use in our various manufactories, is such, that few inventions now occur in which considerable resemblance may not be traced to others already constructed.  The cost of the raw material is usually less difficult to determine; but cases occasionally arise in which it becomes important to examine whether the supply, at the given price, can be depended upon:  for, in the case of a small consumption, the additional demand arising from a factory may produce a considerable temporary rise, though it may ultimately reduce the price.

300.  The quantity of any new article likely to be consumed is a most important subject for the consideration of the projector of a new manufacture.  As these pages are not intended for the instruction of the manufacturer, but rather for the purpose of giving a general view of the subject, an illustration of the way in which such questions are regarded by practical men, will, perhaps, be most instructive.  The following extract from the evidence given before a Committee of the House of Commons, in the Report on Artizans and Machinery, shews the extent to which articles apparently the most insignificant, are consumed, and the view which the manufacturer takes of them.

The person examined on this occasion was Mr Ostler, a manufacturer of glass beads and other toys of the same substance, from Birmingham.  Several of the articles made by him were placed upon the table, for the inspection of the Committee of the House of Commons, which held its meetings in one of the committee-rooms.

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