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was about the year 1841, at which time he all sewing-machines, however, is the same, alwas married, and had a little family around though accomplished by different means. There him, for whom he had to labour hard through- | is a needle with its eye at the point which out the day. In after hours he might have thrusts a loop of thread through the material been seen labouring in his humble garret, at to be sewn, whilst on the under side there is Cambridgeport, contriving the various move- an arrangement by which this loop is caught ments of his machine. The patient endurance, and traversed by another thread, the fastening the intelligence, and the perseverance of this being accomplished in many diverse manners. mechanic were destined in the end to overcome It may be said that, for endurance, there is but all the difficulties in his way ; and on the 10th one kind of stitch that is truly valuable, and of September, 1846, he obtained his first patent. that is the lock-stitch—an arrangement by Singularly enough, his fellow-countryınen did which the under and upper thread interlock in not at once see the merit of his invention, and the centre of the material, and therefore is not its introduction to the public was first made likely to wear out in the washing, or the in England. Shortly after his patent was ob- friction to which all the surfaces of materials tained he sent over a machine to this country,
are liable. Howe's is the premier lock-stitch and disposed of the English patent to Mr. machine, the under thread being passed through Thomas, for, we believe, 2001.! Mr. Howe the loop made by the needle by nieans of a himself visited this country soon after the shuttle, which traverses backwards and forarrival of his machine, and superintended its wards just as it does in a weaving-machine. adaptation to the work required to be done by Sivger's sewing-machine also employs a shuttle. Mr. Thomas—staymaking. Beyond the 2001., These are large and powerful machines, espewe do not see that poor Howe did any good cially adapted for manufacturing purposes ; but for himself over here ; for in 1849 he returned the clatter they make certainly renders them again to America, so poorly off that he was objectionable for the drawing-room or workobliged to work his way home before the mast. Once again in America, however, fortune be- In the machines of Messrs. Wheeler and gan to favour him.
In 1853 he granted his Wilson, this implement, the shuttle, is done first licence, and by degrees was enabled to away with, and a rotating hook takes its repurchase the patents he had sold during the place. It is difficult beyond measure to deseason of his adversity. In 1855 he was in scribe popularly the action of intricate mapossession of the whole of them ; and he now chinery ; but this rotating hook may be dereceives a royalty upon every sewing-machine scribed as a stationary shuttle, catching the manufactured in the United States, which pro- upper thread, interlooping the under one with duces an income of 50,0001. a year : not so bad it, and doing its work with a noiseless a prize for a humble mechanic to earn in his rapidity which makes the machine
an alold age ; yet incomparably triling to the bene- most perfect invention. There is also one fit he has conferred upon the world at large, grand improvement in the Wheeler and Wilson by the gift of his labour-saving machinery, and machine which places it in the very first rank. especially his own country, where all labour is We allude to the four-feed apparatus,—an ar80 dear.
The establishment of the sewing- rangement which enables the manipulator to machine as a working fact set the minds of turn the work upon the plate in any direction ingenious mechanics at work to make improve with the utmost rapidity. This improvement, ments upon it; and since the first patent was together with the rotating hook, which saves all registered, more than 300 patents have been the time uselessly spent by the shuttle traverstaken out in this country for improvements in ing backwards and forwards, renders it the its different parts ; whilst in America, within most rapid and the most noiseless machine in the same time, upwards of 600 patents have been use for light household work, and for the sewing obtained, and no less than 1200 have failed. of all the ordinary household fabrics, especially The large majority of these patents, however, those requiring ornamental stitching : in collarare for trifling additions, added more for the stitching and in shirt-making it is especially purpose of enabling the makers to call them useful ; indeed, it is mainly used in the manutheir own machines, than for any other object. factories employed in the making of these articles There are, however, several valuablo sewing- of dress. We visited, the other day, the workmachines patented by Americans, which differ shops of Messrs. Blenkiron, at Hoxton, where in many points from Howe's, although the 150 of these machines and 500 young women whole of them are yet obliged to pay him a are employed in doing nothing but making royalty for some part or other of their ma- collars. A greater contrast to the scene in the chines which is identical with parts comprised garret, as drawn by Hood, where the wretched in his first patent. The principle of action of sempstress slowly dies rather than lives, could
not be presented than by the workwomen tend- high price of hand labour across the Atlantic ing these machines. The motion of the sewing- , is so great that it is reasonable to suppose the machine itself is a vast improvement upon the Americans are more ready than ourselves to acmonotonous movements used in common sewing. cept any contrivance to lessen it; the second, There is a certain diversion for the mind in the and perhaps the more forcible reason for the Fery action of guiding the work, which takes backwardness of the British manufacturers and off much of the weariness caused by mere hand- private persons in bringing these machines into sewing ; and then the exercise caused by using use, is to be found in the fact that up to the the treddle to drive the wheel produces an year 1860 the patents of Howe's machine, the active circulation throughout the system, which only one we had, were in the hands of Mr. tends to abolish the sempstress headache, to Thomas, who refused to allow any competing which all poor hand-sewers are but too subject. machines using his patents to enter the counWe saw these machines working at the rate of try, which, of course, he had a perfect right to 1200 stitches a minute, stitching on the average do ; but he also refused to admit them on a twelve gross of collars a day, or twelve dozen payment of a royalty for the parts of their madozen,-a number which must seem nothing less chines covered by the patents he held. The thau marvellous to the poor needlewoman. It consequence was that there was no competition, will be asked what can become of all the collars and, comparatively speaking, no sale ; inproduced at this extraordinary rate in all the deed, the great public knew but little about manufactories of these articles in the metro- sewing-machines until Thomas's patents for polis? The answer is plain ; the sewing-machines Howe's invention expired in 1860. Then, it have so cheapened the rate of production of will be remembered, Americans seemed to have all wearing apparel, in which the cost of sewing suddenly seized upon the corner shops, and forms a heavy item, that the increase in the all those well placed in great thoroughfares, in rate of their sale is absolutely prodigious ; in- which they exposed their various machines, deed, so great, we are told, is the increase in worked by handsome young girls, in full view the sale of shirts and collars, that one is lost in of the gaping crowd outside. The sudden pubwonder at the number of persons who must licity given to the mechanical sempstress in this either have gone without them, or at least manner sold more of them in six months must have used them in the most sparing man- than the English patentee had sold in the fourner, before these machines came into use. teen years it had been in his possession. In
There are some single-thread machines which America the system of giving other makers the are sold at a low price ; but these make what right to construct machines, after paying a is termed a chain-stitch, the disadvantage of royalty to the holder of the patent, works adwhich is, that it makes an unsightly ridge mirably, and is just to the public as well as on the under side of the cloth, and is apt to profitable to the inventor. We question if unravel ; indeed, you may take the end of the Howe, by becoming their sole manufacturer, thread and pull the whole sewing out. These would ever have realised the splendid income chain-stitch-making machines are therefore to he is now doing by the royalty other combe avoided. All sewing-machines, it must be re- panies pay him. Every year the manufacture membered, require special appliances for hem- aud sale of these machines are increasing in ming, binding, braiding, tucking, &c. These America and England in an extraordinary deare procurable with the machine at a very small gree. In America especially; for we find that extra cost; and with their aid every operation between the years 1853 and 1858 the number can be performed with two exceptions, namely, of sales had been from 2509 to 17,587, and in sewing on buttons and stitching button-holes ; the succeeding year they had risen to the exand we believe a special contrivance to perform traordinary number of 46,243. What the the latter operation is about to be brought numbers would have risen to, during the
reign of the great army-clothing contractors, we The sewing-machine is very much more should scarcely like to guess.
The Americans largely employed in America than in England, estimate that the annual value of the saving and is far more universally known.
effected by the sewing-machines in their counstrange, considering that it was introduced to try is not less than 29,000,0001. the British public two or three years before it In England their use is rapidly spreading. was in use in the States. We are told that All our great army contractors now use them ; whilst in America the number at work is esti- and in the manufacture of shirts, collars, stays, mated at 300,000, in Great Britain and Ire-mantles, dresses, coats, trousers, caps, trimland, with a larger population, only from mings, and boots and shoes, they are being 50,000 to 60,000 are at work. This singular adopted. Upwards of 3000 sewing-machines fact is accounted for in two ways. Firstly, the are employed by the boot and shoe makers alone;
and the rapid fall in the price of these articles The ordinary Wheeler and Wilson machine is is to be attributed to their use. It certainly is par excellence the domestic machine,—the cheery somewhat extraordinary that in England, where sprite in the house, saving the eyes and the so much mechanical genius exists, so little yet time of the housewife. It will work all kinds has been profitably employed in the invention of linen, do mantle work, and sew ordinary of sewing-machines. There is, we believe, but cloth ; but it is not adapted for manufacturing one effective machine of this kind of home purposes. The heavy works of harness-making, production. Possibly we have allowed the the tough sewing of boots and shoes, the great Americans so far to get the start of us in this pilot-coats of seamen, and the sacks of comparticular mavufacture, that there is no inclina- merce, are more fitted for the powerful machines tion to contest the point with them.
of Howe, Singer, Grove, Baker, and others; The sewing-machine across the Atlantic has indeed there is the same difference between acquired such renown, and is so much in de- the nature of the work the former instrument is mand, that joint-stock companies with ample capable of doing and that accomplished by the capital are engaged in their production. For latter, as there is between the rough strong instance, the Wheeler and Wilson Company, at hands of the sail-maker and the delicate fingers Bridgeport, Connecticut, manufactured no less of the fine-work sewer. The home of the one is than 38,285 of these machines in the year the domestic hearth and the female workroom; 1861. Labour is so dear in America that that of the other the crowded man's workshop ; labour-saving machines are exclusively em- and this distinction should not be lost sight of ployed in producing every portion of these ma- by the public when about to make their selecchines, even down to the minutest screw. By tion of instruments. Messrs. Wheeler and this means absolute accuracy and identity Wilson make a special machine indeed for of parts is obtained ; and the various portions heavy work ; but the two machines are adapted of these sewing-machines may be gathered pro- for different purposes, and both kinds of sewing miscuously from every part of the world, and cannot be expected out of either of them. then put together immediately without the But it has been argued, of what use is there necessity of being touched by a tool for the in introducing machinery which does the work sake of proper adjustment. Those who have eight or ten times as quickly as the human seen how the rifles are made at the Govern- fingers, whilst so many poor sem pstresses are ment factory at Enfield, will be able to realise starving for want of work? It is the old cry of the exact method employed by the Wheeler iron arms against human muscles, and it is an and Wilson Company in the construction of equally ludicrous one. When the locomotive was their useful sewing implement. The advantage first started it was asked, with as much sense, of this identity of parts is of the greatest value what will become of the old coachmen? and yet to the public, as any portion of a machine may we now see that for one of these worthies disbe renewed by simply obtaining a duplicate of placed a thousand artisans are now employed. the damaged part at the depôt of the company. The introduction of sewing-machines will have The Wheeler and Wilson machine can be driven just the same effect upon the employment of by steam-power at the rate of 2000 stitches a female labour. Where one miserable wretch minute ; and the following estimate has been earns her pitiful sixpence a day, a thousand, made of the time the hand is capable of pro- by means of the introduction of the sewingducing certain garments in, as compared with machine, will be earning good wages ; and not those made by the machine driven by the only doing so, but in a manner a hundred manipulator's foot :
times more healthful and happy. We were
delighted to witness the cheerful, merry labour By Machine. By Hand.
in the crowded workroom of the Messrs. Gentlemen's shirts
14 26 Blenkiron. In place of squalor and hunger Frock coats.
and dirt, haggard eyes and tired frames, Satin vests
7 19 Linen vests.
worked for sixteen hours a day, we saw health0 48
5 14 0 51
5 10 ful faces, heard merry voices—for the talking Summer pants
50 was perpetual, and that alone, we are conSilk dress. 1 13
vinced, is a great source of health and comfort Merino dress
to the female mind; and, moreover, we heard Calico dress
10 31 that the wages were very liberal, so liberal that Moreen skirt
28 to the ordinary sempstress they would appear Muslin skirt.
marvellous, ordinary hands earning twelve shilDrawers
4 Night dress.
lings a week, and superior ones twenty shil1 7 10 2 15
16 lings ! The sewing-machine, then, is one of Plain apron .
26 the greatest boons that has ever been presented
to the sempstress. The manufacturer knows the army contractors will sweep the Hinde this; all those who have inquired into the sub- Street Institution from the face of the earth, if ject know it ; every one but those, apparently, it continues the battle on the present unequal who should have taken the trouble at least to terms. There is one office, however, in which inquire into the matter. We allude to those needlewomen's institutions such as this may be societies supported by charitable ladies, whose legitimately employed—the education of the mission is stated to be the amelioration of the needlewomen in the use of the machine. There condition of the London needlewomen. With- is a large demand for women so instructed ; out wishing to use any harsh expression to- there is a fast-failing demand only for those wards societies established with such a charit- who stick to the needle. Why should not able intent, we cannot help saying that their these societies employ themselves in accomalmsgiving and their attempts to support the plishing this transition of labour ? It would poor needlewoman in her present avocation are require but a small expenditure of money. the greatest curse that can be inflicted upon Two or three machines, presided over by one her. The attempt to back up human fingers or two skilled workwomen practised in their against the machine is not only a waste of the use, would be sufficient to instruct a large money of the charitable, but also of that of the portion of the needlewomen still left among workwoman. Nothing struck us with greater This would be indeed a legitimate way of surprise than a passage in the “Victoria Maga- putting women in the way of earning good zine,” the organ of poor oppressed women. The wages, without degrading them by too much remark in question occurs in an article in the patronage. It seems to us that these machines May number, and is to this effect:
will be the means, moreover, of furnishing a
livelihood to many who have seen better days. The future prospects of the London needlewomen seem dreary indeed. The sewing-machine is making
Of old, the mangle was an ignoble instrument inroads on their humble avocation, and in another
to which many persons of refinement, who had generation they will probably be extinct. Those at been reduced in life, were forced to submit; present in existence will fall into still deeper poverty but the sewing-machine, whilst it would entail than they are at present, and, despite of their horror of
no such sense of degradation, would prove a the poor-law authorities, the workhouse (terminating in the still more dread parish funeral) is in store for a
little fortune to many a poor woman.
The gift large proportion of their numbers.
of such an article would be a real charity; and
we shall be pardoned, perhaps, for making the The writer is indeed but a Job's comforter ; | suggestion to the benevolent. and if the working of the societies for the support of needlewomen is calculated only to con
A BLOW TO “ THE PROFESSION.” duct them down to death in this deplorable fashion, God help them ! We can, however, The blow alluded to was dealt by our friend give them far better comfort. Instead of look- John Blankman, of Blank Hall, in the county ing upon the sewing-machine as an enemy that of Blank, esquire, son and heir of John Blankis taking the mouldy crusts out of their mouths, man, late of the same place, esquire, deceased; let them regard it as a friend that is willing to and “the profession was represented by feed them as they have never been fed before. Horatio Twaddle, of the firm of Twaddle and It is a fact, that the demand for women who Twist, a solicitor of the High Court of Chancan work these machines is unprecedentedly cery, &c., &c. (for which see
“ Law List”), great. In the shops where they are used, ap- carrying on a snug practice in the town of plications are continually being made by other Blank, and for many years the legal adviser of shops to have any superfluous labour sent on the Blankman family. to them. What, we may ask, are the Needle- The departed Blankman was in that high women Societies about that they do not recog- description of repute which is most readily renise this fact ?
presented by saying that he was known in the At the Hinde Street Institution, we are told, on neighbourhood as “the Squire,” and it is not the authority of the article quoted, a kind of com- surprising that when the news got about the munity of sempstresses is lodged and regulated village, that the Squire lay sick to death at by charity. The good offices of the War Office the Hall, it furnished topic for much grave are entreated, in order that the inmates may be comment. The doctor's gig was seen to drive enabled to compete with the army contractors through the avenue more frequently, day by (who work with machinery) for a portion of the day, and day by day his visits grew longer, military clothing work. Such patronage would until one night the horse and gig were sent be very damaging, and such exotic means of round to the stables, and the man of physic attempting to keep up the fight in the open mar- was to remain till morning. Mr. John had ket would be entirely delusive. Sooner or later | been telegraphed for from London, where he
was making arrangements to engage his some- Mr. Twaddle elevated his eyebrows, and what restless and active mind in mercantile trusted not. pursuits, and when he arrived he was owner “But I am going into business in London, of “all that messuage or tenement known as and therefore want to raise as much money as Blank Hall.”
I can get, after paying off the mortgages which The mourning at the Hall was not prolonged. already exist.” John Blankman had not been necessary to the Mr. Twaddle's eyebrows plainly said that existence of his father any more than his the last-named course was by far the most father was indispensable to his. He had preferable. hunted with him, and watched him get drunk “And therefore I wish to know exactly in afterwards ; he had talked country politics what condition the title is at present. I think with him, and they had generally differed. you have all the deeds." Beyond this there had been little community Mr. Twaddle had. In the last mortgage and less sympathy. It is for the companions transaction he had acted for both parties. The of our minds, for the intimates of our heart, money, in fact, was found by his London the sharers of our sympathies, that we mourn, agents—Messrs. Fiddle and Faddle, of Lincolu's not for our mere physical associates.
Inn. And, by-the-way, the late lamented had it fell out that, as soon as a decent time had not paid the last bill of costs. Amount? Oh! olapsed, the new Squire ” sought that inter- trifling ; under two hundred pounds. Oh! view with “the profession” (as represented by not pressing. By no means.
We will carry Mr. Twaddle) which ultimately induced him it on to the next transaction. No doubt Fiddle to inflict the “blow" to which attention was and Faddle would oblige the present owner ; in the first place directed.
but, you see, the title would have to be gone “Good morning, Mr. Twaddle. How's into again. Yes. You see, between ourselves, Twist? Oh! there you are, Twist. How d’ye F. and F. advanced more on the strength of T. do? I want just to have a little talk with Mr. and T.'s acting in the matter than anything. Twaddle—family matters—50—perhaps- The sum was small, and-Oh! yes, there Ah! thank you ;” and Mr. Twist was bowed was a deed, of course ; but in raising full out into the clerks' office just to air his curi- | value, you see, it would be different. The osity.
title is intricate-been dealt with by mortgage “Now, Mr. Twaddle, I am aware that you before late lamented purchased, and of course enjoyed my late father's confidence to a con- a good many
deeds. Oh! title good enough, siderable extent, and I am of course desirous
no doubt. that you should continue on my behalf those “ By George !” said Blankman, at last, good offices which
“ what a devil of a nuisance these titles are. “My dear sir,” interrupted Mr. Twaddle, A fellow can never feel that his property's his taking Mr. John's hand with great display of Whenever he wants to do anything with feeling, “I have so long been connected with it everybody seems to look suspiciously at him, the Blankman estates, that I shall feel, apart and begins to think that he stole it.
Confrom mere business considerations, a deep in- found it.” terest in assisting you in your views.
Twaddle smiled, and suggested that “ Nosure your late lamented father would have thing could be more complete or more equitbeen pleased to know that you were thus in- able than the law relating to real property. dorsing the good opinion which I believe, in Ahem!" fact, I know, he entertained of myself and ”. " By-the-way,” resumed Blankman, withadded the lawyer at a judicious conversational out appearing to notice the lawyer's remark, distance—"and partner.”
“ what is this new method of registering titles “I am quite aware of the estimation in we have heard so much about? Would it suit which you were held,” rejoined Mr. John our case at all ? " Blankman.
“We have heard so little about, I suppose “A friendship, sir, having for its basis, you mean.
Land Transfer Act-dead letter. mutual and unshaken respect." “ And,” he One of the most fallacious ideas, my dear might have added, “a few pretty heavy bills young friend, that was ever propagated. No, of costs." But he didn't.
we are not quite so far gone as that, I "Well,” said Blankman,“ my time is rather hope—not quite, I hope.” short, for I am going to London by the express, “But I thought that when a title was once so I will at once say what I have to say. In registered at the Land Registry Office it was the first place, my mother and sister would like good against the world. That surely must be to remain at the Hall; and, therefore, I don't a benefit." intend to sell the property.”
“ In the first place, my good sir, I am not