It has been so common in our town to pay goods instead of money, that a number of my neighbours have been obliged to pay articles for articles, to pay sugar for drugs out of the druggist’s shop; and others have been obliged to pay sugar for drapery goods, and such things, and exchange in that way numbers of times. I was credibly informed, that one person paid half a pound of tenpenny sugar and a penny to have a tooth drawn; and there is a credible neighbour of mine told me, that he had heard that the sexton had been paid for digging a grave with sugar and tea: and before I came off, knowing I had to give evidence upon these things, I asked this friend to enquire ofthe sexton, whether this was a fact: the sexton hesitated for a little time, on account of bringing into discredit the person who paid these goods: however, he said at last, ’I have received these articles repeatedly—I know these things have been paid to a great extent in this way.’
1. See Chapter XV, p. 87
On Combinations of Masters against the public
376. A species of combination occasionally takes place amongst manufacturers against persons having patents: and these combinations are always injurious to the public, as well as unjust to the inventors. Some years since, a gentleman invented a machine, by which modellings and carvings were cut in mahogany, and other fine woods. The machine resembled, in some measure, the drilling apparatus employed in ornamental lathes; it produced beautiful work at a very moderate expense: but the cabinetmakers met together, and combined against it, and the patent has consequently never been worked. A similar fate awaited a machine for cutting veneers by means of a species of knife. In this instance, the wood could be cut thinner than by the circular saw, and no waste was incurred; but ‘the trade’ set themselves against it, and after a heavy expense, it was given up.
The excuse alleged for this kind of combination, was the fear entertained by the cabinetmakers that when the public became acquainted with the article, the patentee would raise the price.
Similar examples of combination seem not to be unfrequent, as appears by the Report of the Committee of the House of Commons on Patents for Inventions, June, 1829. See the evidence of Mr Holdsworth.