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Since the commencement of the existence by the caprice of fashion, or the invention of the Citizen, we have embraced every of new modes of manufacture, he can apply opportunity which presented itself of impress himself to some kindred art, and even avail ing upon that numerous and important sec- himself of the change, to better his condition. tion of the community engaged in mechani. For this, he must be skilled. No labour is cal and manufacturing industry, the impor- ultimately remunerative unless it require tance of a correct knowledge of the princi- skill ; and to enable the workman to learn ples of their respective trades. To impart the principles by which his skill must be dithis constitutes a leading object of the Me- rected, should be the main object of the chanics' Institution, and on its successful Mechanics’ Institute, of Dublin. fulfilment must depend a great deal of the For successful industry, labour must ultimate welfare of its members, in a pecu- therefore be skilled, and workmen must be niary point of view. We attach the high- educated in the principles and practice of est value to the elevation of the mind of the their respective trades. This applies to all working-man-10 raising his standard of mo- classes of workmen,---to the superintendent ral and of social right-to teaching him to who earns £500 a year for general inspeclook upon his employers, not as men from tion of the progress of a factory,—to the whom it is his duty to get as much, and to labourer, who, engaged in the lowest offiwhom he ought to give as little as he can ef- ces, gains but a shilling daily ; it is necesfect, but as individuals associated with him in sary to the higher workman exactly in proproviding for the wants of the human race, portion to his income, for it is his superior and in furnishing, by the union of pecuniary skill
, joined to moral integrity, which quacapital with skilful labour, the means of sup- lifies him for the best situation. The maplying those objects for which the progress of nagement of a large factory requires indeed civilization continually creates new demand. a fertility of resource, which resembles in a But this is not enough. Individuals may rise great degree, the skill necessary to regulate above their class,-almost, we were going to the movements of an army in an enemy's say, above their nature,—and in poverty and country, and in presence of a superior force. rags, despised by those around them, and Every day, new and unforeseen circumstanunknown to all that might lend them sym- ces arise. Prices fluctuate, and when purpathy and support, manifest a dignity of chasing, we must be guided, not by the intellect and virtue, which would appear as if price at which the manufactured article specially bestowed to show what excellence could now be sold, but by our calculations humanity might attain. But a class of men of what the price may be when brought cannot be so gifted. An operative driven into the market, perhaps after an interval of out of work by the introduction of a new many months. We have seen
as much machine, or displaced by the excessive fluc- generalship displayed in avoiding loss from tuations in demand, to which commercial fluctuations of this kind, as might be paralgambling so often leads, cannot address his leled with the best retreat described in hisfamily, who cry for bread, on the excellence tory. of that science by which machinery is in- The qualifications necessary for the sucvented, or the advantages which arise by la- cessful management of a factory, indepenbour being assisted and directed by great dent of the capital and credit by which it capital. The operative must first be made is established, are of many kinds, of which comfortable in his worldly means; he must we only purpose alluding to a few. First, be able, when at work, to earn enough to en- the manager must be thoroughly conversant able him to enjoy, with his family, domestic with the means of determining the true vahappiness and content on the day conse- lue of every raw material that he requires to crated to bodily repose; and what is of equal buy. If he be obliged to take the word of value, he should be possessed of such re- the seller; if he be guided only by what sources, that when the branch of trade by others are paying for an article which he which he has lived has died away, whether believes to be the same, he is liable to continual loss and imposition. Of this, even in means, and leave him destitute of resources, Dublin, we have known very many and and incapable of devising new processes in gross examples. Thus, in glass making, it place of those that had become useless. If is necessary to use an alkali: for crown glass, a new dye-stuff be introduced ; if an ore, it is mixture of potash and soda that is which had been for a long time employed, used ; but for fint glass, potash alone becomes exhausted, and a new variety be should be employed, as soda colours the introduced instead, it requires consideraglass green. The price of good potash is ble scientific skill to determine the best pos£30 per ton; that of soda is £15 per ton ; sible way in which it can be treated. If in an and I have known glass makers to be pay- ordinary process, something unexpected and ing the high price for an alkali which was unusual occurs, it is necessary to trace its two-thirds soda, and was worth conse- origin, and determine the conditions by which quently, but about £20 per ton. The its recurrence may be avoided. The comquantity of glass made from a ton of alkali petition which exists in all departments of incost the maker therefore £10 more than dustry renders the slightest reduction of it ought, and besides, it was necessarily expense, in the making of an article that much softer and worse coloured than it is much used, of great importance; and it is ought to be. This fraudulent alkali melts only by a clear perception of the principles down the sand quicker than the true potash, of an operation, that the proper steps may be and hence, to save a little coals, the manu- taken for rendering it less costly. facturer was induced to buy it. Glass Examples illustrative of the necessity for makers buy also red lead at a high price, this two-fold skill, might be accumulated to in ignorance that a smaller quantity of any amount; we shall here only introduce a litharge, which is very cheap, might be few, and these belonging to the latter class, used with the same effect. In like manner
as it requires no examples to convince the soap boilers who do not make their own so- world that merely scientific men may be unda, and we believe that in Dublin none but successful in the direction of commercial Mr. Jones makes for himself, are very sel- matters. The benefits accruing to the arts dom able to determine the real value of from purely scientific labours are less genewhat is sold them; they buy at the price of rally appreciated. Before the discovery of the day, and it is generally, only when they chlorine, the bleaching of linen, by exposure fnd floating on their coppers, a great quan- to air and moisture, occupied from four to six tity of fat not saponified, that they discover months, and could only be carried on sucthat the alkali was not worth half what they cessfully in some countries, as Holland, paid for it.
where the great dampness of the air, renThe management of all processes per- dered its action more decided; but when formed in the factory must be minutely un- Berthollet applied the power of chlorine, derstood, not merely as to practical details the process was rendered available in every and receipts, which have been handed down country, and reduced in duration to a week. from one time to another, and acted upon At present, it is usually completed in a day, with good results; but also, with the greatest and if there were any reason for such rapidminuteness possible; the scientific principles ity, 100 pieces of grey calico could be turned on which they are founded, and the theories out of an ordinary bleach works, finished in by which they are explained ; these depart- six hours. In addition to the time thus saved, ments of knowledge are equally necessary the process is cheaper, as the manufacturer for the successful management of a factory. may pass through his hands one hundred The success, particularly in an economic times as much goods: and it is safer ; the point of view, of manufacturing industry, goods are much less injured ; fabrics are depends upon an acquaintance with details now made so delicate, that the exposure neof which the mere man of science is totally cessary for the bleaching by the old process unconscious, and hence very frequently where would have totally disorganized the fibre. the direction of a factory has been given to The steam engine was created in its pera person whose scientific knowledge was ex- fect form by one of the most wonderful men tensive and precise, the result was total that ever lived, James Watt of Glasgow. He failure of the concern, and great loss to the was a working optician, but he did not improprietors. On the other hand, if the man- prove the steam engine by rule of thumb proager be only acquainted with such processes cesses or old receipts; he was a scientific man as he may have learned by rote from others of the highest order, and even before his not more skilled, the slightest change of cir- great invention, his society was courted, and cumstances may deprive him of his only his talents valued by the most distinguished
men. He first of all discovered the scien- / which France had been previously dependtific principles by which the structure of the ent; but since its extensive introduction into steam engine should be governed, and then England by Muspratt and Cookson, to have he made the engine. There was nothing reduced the price of soda to about one-third, merely practical in it. He never tried would and to have increased the soap manufacture any thing do. At no stage of his labours did in Great Britain tenfold. Watt give the engine any form that was not The necessity of this combination of an immediate consequence of scientific scientific and practical knowledge, becomes reasoning, or that does not remain part of remarkably evident on looking over the its most complete form at the present day. nature and history of improvements in the
This scientific education, which enables arts. Not one patent in one hundred ever the workinan to invent new processes or to repays to the inventor, a farthing of his outimprove those previously in use, assumes its lay. Many partially acquainted with greatest value, when it is necessary, not scientific principles, but destitute of memerely to sustain the success of manufactures chanical experience, fix on some idea of inwhich have already been established, but to creasing power, or of modifying mechanical create new manufactures for a country, to arrangements, which on actual trial is found develope its resources previously unexplored, to be inferior to numerous arrangements preor to introduce with safety branches of art viously established. On the other hand, where which flourished already in a neighbouring an individual takes out a patent for a mechaniand rival nation. It is ihen that science be- cal process, of which the theory remains uncomes the leader of the industry of the known to him, his patent is invalidated by country, and warning the too sanguine of the slightest alteration in detail, of which the false lights that might lead to unprofita- many at once present themselves to one who ble outlay, encouraging in their path those understands its principles. His labours are who are disheartened by the absence of im- therefore in such case at once appropriated mediate profit, it thus becomes the protector by his more skilful rivals, and they are led, and pioneer of the arts and of industrial | most likely, by their knowledge to improve progress, and inay give stability to what his process another stage, and so outstrip was at first but a praiseworthy exertion of him. patriotic enthusiasm.
We have selected our illustrations of the Thus at the close of her first revolution, necessity for this mechanical and scientific France found that all Europe was arrayed skill from the ordinary manufacturing trades; against her independance, and that by the but in other departments it is just as necesfleets of England, all intercourse with sary. In Cornwall, not many years ago, an foreign nations was prevented. At every ore of copper, which is now extensively and point of her frontier she was menaced by a profitably worked, was thrown aside because foreign foe, and there did not exist in her it differed in appearance from that with which arsenals a pound of powder, for making alone the miners were conversant, and it was which the vitre had always been brought by the accidental visit of a skilful chemist from the East Indies. There was not in that its value was recognised. In Cornwall the country the means of making a pound also, although not in the same mine, a valuof soap, or of importing from the Colonies able ore of manganese was for a long time a particle of sugar. The scientific men of thrown away, because the persons managing France came to their country's aid, they the concern, and who were only copper iinitated the processes by which nitre forms miners, mistook it for common ironstone. It naturally between the tropics, and within a has come to our knowledge, that ores have month battles were gained with gunpowder, been bought and sold at prices sometimes fabricated of home-made nitre. Inexhaust- far above, and sometimes far below their real ible sources of sugar were discovered in value, from the inaccurate mode of assaying native plants; the carrot, the parsnip, and used by the unskilled persons to whom that finally the beet-root were found to yield important office was entrusted, and thus minsupplies, which from the last-named "sub- ing adventure rendered still inore uncertain stance were so abundant and so cheap, that and hazardous, than the varying conditions its cultivation now furnishes the sugar used inseparable from underground operations reby the greater part of Central Europe. For. quired. the manufacture of artificial soda, the pro- In engineering, the necessity of this comcess of Leblanc was invented, which has bination of skill, is more evidently remarkbeen so successful as not only to have sup- able than in, perhaps, any other branch of plied the place of the Spanish Barilla on practical science. În striking out lines for
55 25 118 917 108 13
22 2 3 3 20
4 5 47
railways or canals ; in deciding upon the hundred and twenty; of these, about ten proper angle to be given to slopes for em- either die or leave the school from various bankments, and the precise relation between causes, and hence, the number appointed the amount of cutting and filling, which is generally about one hundred and ten. may bring hill and valley to the most de- The following list contains the distribution, sirable inclination at the least possible ex- according to the latest returns we have been pense; there is required an amount of able to obtain : knowledge of scientific principles upon the
Prior to 1837. In 1837. In 1838. one hand,-of experimental facts for which no principle can rigidly be assigned, upon
47 lutions, is very limited. Experience, or ex- Gunpowder and Saltpetre
Works periment unenlightened by principle, explains still fewer, and is especially danger- Troops of the Line
Tobacco Works ous from its tendency to class together, facts, superficially agreeing, but differing completely in their essence. The combination of the two, is alone capable of guiding the great works, whether public or of It is evident that this school is really private enterprise, on which so much of a military institution ; its main object being European progress, and especially the im- to supply the army and navy with compeprovement of our own country, at present tent engineers. Hence it is observable that essentially depend.
prior to 1837, the numbers entering the It is, however, only recently that the ne- army preponderate enormously; but that of cessity for this peculiar practical education late years the proportion is completely has been felt; the enormous developement changed. The change is, however, much given to every department of social indus- greater than at first sight would appear. try, by the long peace with which Europe has At the final examination, the pupils are been blessed, and the intense spirit of com- catalogued in the order of their excellence, petition which it created between countries and the first man chooses his own apas well as individuals, with the desire to econ- pointment, then the second, and so on; omise time as well as money, led to the no man can select his place until all those trial of new processes of manufacture, as well more distinguished than he is, have been as new modes of communication, for which served. But it is found that the military the spirits of the preceding epoch, engrossed places are left for the inferior men; the with schemes of military aggrandizement, four or five best men always become minhad not sought. In one respect indeed, ing engineers, and pass to the school of this education had been required, and it mines, according as there are vacancies. was, in that department,given with splendid The great crowd of good men then distrisuccess; the colossal enterprises of Napo- bute themselves as civil and military engileon depended upon rapid execution for neers, and the artillery and the troops of most of their results, and hence, a corps of the line are supplied with those only who skilful engineers was wanted; to create cannot get any thing else. But although that
corps the Polytechnic school was formed, it be in a civil capacity that the best polyand a course of engineering study, com- technic students enter the service of the bining the highest scientific, with the best state, yet they all become dependent on the practical instruction, was drawn up, which government, and the nation at large cannot has produced more beneficial results in claim their services. It is only by special France, up to the present day, than almost grace, that a mining engineer belonging to any other of her institutions. But the the school of mines can pass to a private men educated in that school were, and are employment, and then only, as it were, on still reserved to the state; they all receive furlough, for a specified time, and liable to government appointments. The number of be recalled if the government require his students admitted annually is about one services. It is the same with the civil en
gineers (Ingenieurs des Ponts et Chaus- / selves to the same objects, in order to obtain sées).
a well grounded knowledge of those departFor the foundation of an institution fit- ments of science and art which are necested to render the country independent of sary to all practical occupations. At the the whim of its rulers, in the matter of end of the year there is an examination, practical education, and to place at the dis- and such students as do not give promise of posal of the public a class of well informed distinction from their intelligence and inengineers, directors of manufactories and dustry, are dismissed from the school. architects,—France is indebted to the exer- This examination having been successfully tion of one of her most eminent and elo- undergone, the student is required to dequent scientific men, M. Dumas, and one clare what is to be his profession, as his already distinguished for activity and bene- subsequent studies must be directed spevolence, M. Lavellée. To the former the cially with reference to it. The profesconception of the idea, and the inanage- sional departments are,ment of all the details is due ; but without First. Construction of machines and the spirit and single-mindedness of the latter mechanical arts. the project could not have been achieved. Second. Construction of edifices and In a country like France, where every thing public works, including railways, canals, was done by the government and with its roads and bridges, heating and lighting of aid; where all funds for science and edu- buildings and cities. In a word, civil encation came from the state, a school was gineering and architecture. to be founded in direct opposition to the
Third. Technical chemistry, including dearest object of the governinent; and the tanning, manufacture of pottery, glass, oil experiment, an important one in France,- of vitriol, chloride of lime, prussiate of of professional education in private hands, potash, alum, soda; vinegar making; prewas to be tried. When Dumas spoke of paration of colours, sugar, the chemistry of the scheme to Lavellée, the difficulty was dying; in a word, the chemical arts in their the funds. Lavellée said, I am worth so most extended sense. much a year, I must retain a small sum to Fourth. Wu.king of mines and metallive upon, I place the rest at your disposal | lurgy. for the support of the school till its capabi- During the second and third years of lities are fairly tried, and if it fails I shall their studics, the candidates apply themregret the loss of so good an institution, but selves, by reading, by lectures, and by not of the money. His noble self-denial working practically, to the acquisition of a was not put to the proof beyond the first complete knowledge of the branches that few weeks. On the day on which the they may have selected. At the end of the school was opened, the number of applicants second year another examination is underwas double that which the building could gone, to test the progress made, before the accommodate; and there issues from its student is admitted into the third and final walls, annually, for the last six years, an class; and at the termination of the entire average of one hundred and eighty fully course, a strict and practical examination educated practical men, conversant with must be passed through, before the diploma every means of combining art and science, of capability to exercise the profession so that they may most benefit each other. chosen, can be granted.
This institution is called the central What renders the final examination of school of arts and manufactures, (Ecole great interest to the students, and a secuCentrale des Arts et Manufactures). Its ob- rity to the public that they shall be properly ject, as stated in the prospectus issued by qualified, is the following :the managers, is, to educate civil engineers, A few days before the examination, a superintendants of workshops, managers problem is given to each student, of the of factories, and teachers of the sciences ap- following kind, according to his profesplied to the arts.
sion, The complete range of study to fulfil Let us suppose he is to be a manufacthese objects extends over three years. turing chemist. A capitalist places at his The student at entrance is strictly examined disposal £10,000 to commence manufacin arithmetic, vulgar and decimal,— in al- turing hard soap; and for that, to prepare gebra and geometry; and to obtain a re- his own soda. He is required to draw, acspectable place at entrance, an elementary cording to a scale, plans of every portion knowledge of the calculus is necessary. of the factory, of such magnitude that the For the first year all students apply them- capital in his hands should get it fairly into