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Grammar School, then moved the resolution: "That the
Institution as that which they had this evening met to help forward. Government had now recognized the necessity of education, and had expended last year 400,000l. for purposes of procuring instruction in Science and Art. As an incentive to exertion, he pointed to what was being done by Holland, France, Switzerland, and the United States of America; while France with schools of Manufactures, Polytechiny, and Fine Arts, distanced all competitors in the race of supplying high class Indus trial Education; and were they to permit France and the United States to make greater provision than themselves. They had hitherto been the foremost in the march of civilisation, and if they meant to maintain that position they must unite all their efforts, as by this alone would they be enabled to keep pace with their competitors. What were the special characteristics of their local industry? He was told-and he had taken the trouble to carefully ascertain it-that there were about two hundred trades in this locality. Amongst them were some which, by the excellence of their manufacture and the facilities possessed in manufacturing, they had made entirely their own; unless, therefore, they gave to the working classes opportunities of acquiring a knowledge of mechanical science, of artistic education, and of the application of steam power, no matter what their present reputation was, one generation would suffice to sweep it away. If he rightly understood the objects of the Birmingham and Midland Institute, it would educate the practical miner, the artisan, and others, in the principles involved in their daily avocations; it would afford to them a knowledge not only of the principles of mechanics, but also of those tools and machines which were best suited for the working of iron and metals generally. He considered that ignorance was a burden to the country, in the shape Mr. S. H. Blackwell, of Dudley, seconded the resolution. of poor and other rates; do away with it, and they would He trusted that as an employer of labour he might be need fewer poor houses and jails. He then glanced at allowed to congratulate the meeting on the fact that the very the effect of emigration in creating a demand for labour-presence of so large and so important an assembly was, inalluded to the disastrous effect of strikes, such as are at present going on, and to the importance of the reformation of juvenile offenders. He would remind the working man that the paths of honour were in this country open to all; the working classes could point to hundreds of themselves who have risen to the proudest pinnacles of human ambition. Rome reconciled the nations. She subdued by the cultivation of the Arts. This was a policy which might be followed with advantage by England. He would urge the working classes to rally round the standard of Education; it would lead them not certainly to territorial conquests, but under the more benign influences of the Arts, it would extend the blessings of education to the remotest limits of the vast empire.
Mr. Scholefield, M.P., in seconding the resolution, spoke of the need of such an institution as that contemplated. He pointed out the causes of failure in previous institutions which had been begun in the town. Their efforts, he thought, had been too isolated and too much scattered. They had failed, moreover, by looking upon these institutions too much as things of a class, though those that had been established possessed general advantages to a greater or less extent, but each had been of itself imperfect and inefficient. There was one feature in it that he regarded of the utmost importance, that which had reference to the cultivation of industrial science. They had for a great number of years flattered themselves that this country took the lead of the world in manufacturing industry. He said that the supremacy of this country in manufactures was now threatened. Not so much threatened, however, by France and Germany as by the United States. To the working classes, it was a matter of life and death; and let them remember that intellect and skill meant high wages, -meant moral, social, and political elevation. It was for these reasons he asked all classes-rich and poor, capitalist and labourer-to come forward and assist in this good work.
deed, a convincing proof that they were at length arousing themselves to a sense of the necessity of giving to the working classes a higher class of education than had hitherto been afforded to them. It was no wonder to him that in Birmingham, the centre of a great industrial district, this truth had been discerned. It was, on the contrary, a wonder that it had not been acted on long ago for if they regarded the question involved in the establishment of the Institute even in the lowest point of view-that of self-interest-they would be convinced that they could not work more efficiently for their own interests, or to the advantage of those connected with them, than by the circulation of education over as wide a range as possible. He would ask those who doubted this truth to compare the past life of the world to that of the present day. He would ask to whom they owed the railroads ?-the electric telegraph?-the steamships bridging over the vast waters of the Atlantic? The answer was the same there. These things were the result of the combined wisdom, science, and skill, not of individuals but of great classes, in which they saw the energy and enterprise of the capitalist, and the educated hand of the artisan, as well as the rude labour of the unskilled workman. And he would ask if the progress which the world had made up to this time was a boon-if the progress towards a clearer knowledge of the natural laws by which the world was governed was a boon? Who would doubt this? And if that progress was the expression of the knowledge which society had acquired, ought they not to hail every opportunity of making that knowledge as universal as the name of man?
The Hon. and Rev. Grantham Yorke, in introducing the third resolution, namely,―
"That the study of ornamental art in this town will be greatly promoted by the proposed association of the Government School of Design with the Institute," dwelt more particularly on the value of elementary instruction; if such was not attended to, he felt assured The Rev. E. H. Gifford, Head Master of the Free the proposed Institution would lack students. It was
Sir E. F. Scott supported the resolution.
essentially necessary that education, in its earlier stages, should be remodelled, and an element introduced into it at present in abeyance. In this view of the matter he was borne out by the letter of Dr. Playfair and the observations of Sir R. Kane, in respect to the Queen's College at Cork. They should endeavour to unite the interests of the Institute with the elementary schools, from which they would draw from time to time a class of youths fitted to receive its class instructions. Now he very heartily supported that resolution; but it needed some explanation. He thought that the association of the Government School of Ornamental Art with the Institute would be a mutual advantage; but he could not assent to the proposition that it required that combination to promote the study of ornamental art in the town. They must either teach elementary branches in the Institute, or they must provide that those who came there must have elementary instruction before. It was an absurdityit would never do-to provide elementary schools in the Institute-and he did not see how it could be done except by giving a sort of premium to the schools below it.
derived one-half from Government, and the other part
and the artisans of Cincinnati had contributed funds
question in which they would ere long be very much for
warder than they now were.
Mr. Peter Hollins, in seconding the resolution, alluded to the importance of Art to Birmingham, and explained, at some length, the causes which led to the foundation of the Society of Artists. By transferring the present School of Design to the buildings of the Institute, when erected, two bodies would be benefited, namely, the School of Design by increased accommodation, and the Society of Artists with rooms better fitted for their annual exhibitions. Nobody would tell him that the manufacturer did not need education as well as the artizan; they must educate the employer and the public to. Mr. H. Cole, C.B., said the proposer of the first resolu-ing men of Manchester raised £3,000 towards a public tion had reminded them that the year 1831 was memora-sufficient to put up a splendid observatory. The artisans ble in connection with the Reform Bill, and that the of America were the most intelligent of their class to be present year would in times to come be regarded as an equally important epoch in the history of the Education found in the world. In the city of Philadelphia £120,000 question. Now, he (Mr. Cole) would say, that as Bir- of Boston. They could not suppose that a people so alive was spent in primary education, and £80,000 in the city mingham took perhaps the lead in the political movement to the importance of such instruction would be very long of 1831, so he thought he might fairly say that it was now behind in the question of secondary education, in the the first town to take the lead in the movement for pro-question of the application of science and art, in the moting industrial education. It seemed to him perfectly natural that it should be so, for if there was any one town in the kingdom where mind, and hand labour, and machinery, were all so united together-where machinery felt great pleasure in supporting the resolution, believing Mr. Thomas Preston said, that as a working man, he alone did not bear a preponderance, as it did in many that the proposed Institution would confer a great and lasttowns-where, in fact, the human agent guiding that machinery and guided by it, was able to produce the de- ing benefit on this great and important town. tails of his work in exact proportion as he was educated-opinion it would fiil up a gap in the measure of scientific then that town was Birmingham. It therefore seemed to knowledge which had hitherto been so sparingly dealt cut him that they were consulting exactly their own interests to the working meu of Birmingham; for his own part he in endeavouring to procure the best possible industrial could say that he looked back with pleasure to the instruceducation-but he would be misleading them if he did tion he derived from the lectures at the old Mechanics' not show that there were difficulties to be overcome Institution; and he hoped soon to find a similar source of before they could hope to attain success. After they pleasure and usefulness in the new Institution. He thought had got their Institute erected-let their building be as that Birmingham was badly off in this respect; at present spacious as it might, their professors the most eminent the working man had no means of employing his leisure men that could be found, their capital not at all stinted-hours in such a manner as would most conduce to his it would undoubtedly prove a lamentable failure unless instruction and advantage; and if an Institution like the care was taken to sow the seed beforehand in the manner it would be found to be better not only for the working man one now sought to be established were once in existence, which had been explained by Mr. Yorke. The past fifteen years' experience of the department of Government but for society at large. with which he was connected had proved that the plant ing of institutions such as that, and expecting them to grow up in soils where no seed had been sown, was as hopeless as the expectation that oak trees would grow without acorns being thrown into the ground. Government and individuals had been trying their hand at the establishment of Schools of Design, but for want of good foundations they had been more or less failures. Birmingham must, therefore, in primary education, lay the foundation for their new Institute. He cautioned them against any reliance on the begging box or private munificence for the maintenance of the institution. It must be selfsupporting. Their School of Design, with 500 pupils, had an income of eleven or twelve hundred pounds a year,
to this most important subject, as one vitally affecting the The Society of Arts has long had its attention turned future interests of this country, in its trade end material the Council some months since, an education more wealth. In the report on Industrial Education, issued by artistic, and more scientific, and one more in conformity with the realities of life than has been hitherto afforded, is strongly insisted upon, and enforced by a mass of evidence, collected from men of all ranks and opinions. The Council cannot but feel a pride that the initiative in this great work has been practically taken up by one of the most important centres of manufacturing industry.
ON THE FOOD OF MAN. (a) BY DR. LYON PLAYFAIR, C.B., F.R.S. The author commenced by adverting to our very imperfect acquaintance with the statistics of Food. We are still ignorant regarding the quantity of the different proximate constituents of aliment necessary for man's sustenance, even in his healthy and normal condition. If the question were asked-How much carbon should an adult man consume daily ?- there would be scarcely more than one reliable answer, viz., that the soldiers of the body-guard of the Duke of Darmstadt eat about 11 oz.(b) of carbon in the daily supply of food.
If again the question were asked-How much fleshforming matter supports an adult man in a normal condition ?-no positive answer could be given. Even, as respects the relation between the carbon in the flesh-forming matter and that of the heat-givers, we have no reliable information. It is true that certain theoretical conclu tions on this head have been drawn from the composition of flour, but no real statistical answer deduced from actual experience exists.
although he admitted, as an anomaly, that the inhabi-
The old mode of estimating the value of dietaries, by merely giving the total number of ounces of solid food When we inquire into the cause of our ignorance on used daily or weekly, and quite irrespective of its compothese points, it is found that the progress to knowledge is sition, was shown to be quite erroneous; and an instance surrounded with difficulties. Neither chemistry nor was given of an agricultural labourer in Gloucestershire, physiology is in a sufficiently advanced state to grapple who in the year of the potato famine subsisted chiefly on satisfactorily with the subject of nutrition. For example, flour, consuming 163 ounces weekly, which contained we know that albumen in an egg is the starting-point for 26 ounces of flesh-formers. When potatoes cheapened, a whole series of tissues; that out of the egg comes he returned to a potato-diet, and now eat 321 ounces feathers, claws, fibrine, membranes, cells, blood corpus-weekly, although his true nutriment in flesh-formers cles, nerves, &c., but only the result is known to us; the was only about eight or ten ounces. He showed this intermediate changes and their causes are quite unknown. further, by calling attention to the six pauper dictaries After all, this is but a rude and unsatisfactory knowledge. formerly recommended, to the difference between the salt Hence, when we approach the subject it is only to and fresh meat dietary of the sailor, &c., all of which, deal with very rough generalities. Admitting that the relying on absolute weight alone, had in reality no relation experience of man in diet is worth something, it is possible in equivalent nutritive value. to arrive at some conclusions by the statistical method-that is, by accepting experience in diet and analyzing that experience. Take, for example, the one general line of Pauper Diet for the English counties placed in the table at the end of this notice. The mode of arriving at the result of experience, in the case of paupers, was to collect it from every workhouse in the kingdom, and then to reduce it to one line. But the labour of this is immense. In the preparation of this one line the following work had to be performed in acquiring the data. :
Number of Unions applied to .
Number of Explanatory letters sent to them Number of Calculations to reduce the results Number of Additions of the above calculations Number of Extra hours, beyond the office hours, paid to a Clerk for the reduction The statistical method, besides being very laborious, is extremely tedious, and has thus deterred persons from encountering it. In giving, therefore, an example of some of the results which have been collected within the last few years, they will represent much labour, but very little or no originality.
Attention was now directed to the diagrams exemplifying dietaries. Taking the soldier and sailor as illustrating healthy adult men, they consumed weekly about 35 ounces of flesh-formers, 70 to 74 ounces of carbon, the relation of the carbon in the flesh-formers to that of the heat-givers being 1: 3. If the dietaries of the aged were contrasted with this, it would be found that they consumed less flesh-formers (25-30 ounces), but rather more heat-givers (72-78 ounces); the relation of carbon in the former to that of the latter being about 1: 5. The young boy, about ten or twelve years of age, consumed about 17 ounces weekly, or about half the flesh-formers of the adult man; the carbon being about 58 ounces weekly, and the relation of the two carbons being nearly 1:54. The circumstances under which persons are placed influence these proportions considerably. In workhouses and prisons the warmth renders less necessary a large amount of food-fuel to the body; while the relative amount of labour determines the greater or less amount of fleshformers. Accordingly it is observed that the latter are increased to the prisoners exposed to hard labour. From the quantity of flesh-formers in food, we may estimate The lecturer then alluded shortly to the conditions in approximatively the rate of change in the body. Now a nutrition, which must be borne in mind in looking at man weighing 140 lbs. has about 4 lbs. of flesh in blood, these results. It was now admitted that the heat of the 27 lbs. in his muscular substance, &c., and about 5lbs. body was due to the combustion of the unazotised ingredi- of nitrogenous matter in the bones. These 37 lbs. would ents of food. Man inspires annually about 7 cwt. of oxy-be received in food in about eighteen weeks; or, in other gen, and about one-fifth of this burns some constituent and produces heat. The whole carbon in the blood would thus be burned away in about three days, unless new fuel were introduced as food. The amount of food necessary depends upon the number of respirations, the rapidity of the pulsations, and the relative capacity of the lungs. Cold increases the number of respirations and heat diminishes them; and the lecturer cited well known cases of the voracity of residents in Arctic Regions, (a)This is an Abstract of a Lecture given at the Weekly Evening Meeting at the Royal Institution. Friday, May 6, 1853. (b)Liebig states it at a higher amount, but this is a re-calcula tion from the new food tables.
words, that period might represent the time required for the change of the tissues, if all changed with equal rapidity, which is, however, not at all probable.
All the carbon taken as food is not burned in the body, part of it being excreted with the waste matter. Supposing the respirations to be 18 per minute, a man expires about 8.59 oz. of carbon daily, the remainder of the carbon appearing in the excreted matter.
In conclusion, Dr. Playfair explained how the dietarytables elucidated the various admixtures of food common to cookery, and how they might even be made to bear on certain national characteristics, which were in no small degree influenced by the aliments of different nations.
FLAX, AND ITS PRODUCTS, IN IRELAND. CONTRIBUTED BY WM. CHARLEY, SEYMOUR HILL, BELFAST.
In several of my previous communications, extracts of interesting matter, collected in the published reports of the Linen Board, have been freely made, and in this paper, which is devoted to the elucidation of Mr. Lee's "patent flax-preparing process," I think I cannot do better than allow your readers to have the description of the patent written by the inventor himself. This gentleman, though greatly unsuccessful, must have possessed a good deal of talent and ingenuity, as he converted to his views the intelligent gentlemen composing the Linen Board. For several years they paid very large sums for the patent machines, and offered premiums for cloth made from flax prepared in this new way; but all of no avail, thousands of pounds were lavished in vain on this 'dazzling but illusory experiment."
The blazing beacon of radical reform burned brightly for a time, but soon subsided, and the gentler light of conservative progress happily occupied its place. In everything reforms, to be successful, must be gradual, and theories, however beautiful on paper, must stand the automatic test of practical experience before they can be
No doubt all improvements must have a moderate beginning, and I am aware of several trials, scientifically conducted, that were not at first particularly flattering, ventually lead to great results. The truth was in the newly-discovered principle; but it required time for its clear development from the dark clouds of ignorance in which it was almost entirely concealed. Mr. Williamson's able letter, a copy of which I intend sending hereafter, with the resolutions of 34 of the leading merchants, agreed to at Belfast, will explain very clearly the main objections to Mr. Lee's system.
I have also been told by an old friend that the quantity of fibre Mr. Lee's expensive machinery turned out was so observably small in comparison with the cost and bulk of his utensils, that this defect in itself would have condemned the entire affair. While agreeing in this condemnation, all but universally pronounced on Mr. Lee's patent, I have carefully looked for some redeeming quality, the discovery of which might be some compensation for the time and money spent.
The only point pressed by Mr. Lee that to me appears of much value, is the use of SOAP in bleaching. I have no hesitation in saying that if saponaceous compounds were more applied in our bleaching process than they commonly are, the strength of the fibre would be greatly increased. After the many severe and caustic preparations the linen has to pass through, the soap has the effect, so to speak, of balm; it restores the essential oil extracted by the alkalies and acids, and keeps the fibre in a mellow and healthy state. I do not mean to say that Mr. Lee was the inventor of saponaceous applications in bleaching, but in his patent system he advocated their use, and it is therefore only fair to give him credit where he is evidently right. With these prefatory remarks I submit Mr. Lee's description of his own patent :
"The subject divides itself into two parts; first, that which relates to the culture and treatment of the Flax; secondly, that which relates to my new Machinery, intended to prepare it for the manufacturer. I will, therefore, endeavour to confine my remarks, as far as it may be practicable, under the heads to which they respectively belong.
"THE FLAX. The culture of the plant is so well understood in Ireland, that very little is necessary to be said in respect to it, and that little I have condensed into a paper attached to this report, in order to pass, without interruption, to other topics, about which public opinion seems to be less established. It has been contended, that the humidity of the climate of Ireland renders it unfavourable to the adoption of a process for preparing flax and hemp which purports to dispense with either water or dew-rotting. I am not of that opinion, and I am ready to be Suffer me to state what I saw. I found most of the flax plant judged by a reference to the flax which the country produces. which was managed according to the instructions of this process, well saved, both in colour and quality; its fitness to meet the machinery was proved by the facility with which it was brought into that state of softness and whiteness which was so much admired in the English flax prepared in a similar manner.
"The seed was in every respect fit for sowing or crushing. I refer you to the two small parcels of flax which I lately sent you as they came from the field. One, with the seed thrashed out, was taken from some grown by Sir Thomas Foster, near Dundalk; the other, with the seed on, was taken from what was grown by Mr. Curtis, near Lisburn; both of them are, like other parcels that I collected, fit for the finest purposes; all, to be sure, was not equally good, for some appeared sour and discoloured, which, I am disposed to believe, arose from having been sown too late, and from want of attention after the flax had been pulled. Flax of this description produces but little fibre, and what it gives is of inferior quality, and is not easily prepared by any process. I am rather confirmed in this opinion, by observing, that of the large quantities of flax grown in the neighhourhood of London, under my own inspection, whatever is sown early is uniformly superior, both in colour and quantity, to what is sown late, and I have observed that this difference quality and condition. The same causes are found to produce has taken place in all places where the land has been equal in the same effects in other parts of England, and in all other countries where flax is cultivated-but the spring frosts of Ireland are said to be inimical to early sowing.
They are, it is said, 'fatal to a plant the native of a warm climate. I am not well enough acquainted with the climate of Ireland to know the prevalence or severity of those frosts, but I have yet to learn why flax, which is found to grow in so many different climates, and to prosper principally in those that are In England cold, can be said to be the native of a warm one. it meets, without injury, the night frosts of March, and is considered a healthy plant in every country where it grows. The new process recommends, therefore, early sowing and carly pulling; that is, at the periods and under the circumstances stated in the annexed paper. It requires, in short, like other processes, an attention to the directions given, and, with that attention, all the objects which it holds out to the country may, and must be, accomplished.
The former practice of steeping the flax of Ireland, and the proposed means of avoiding it in future, naturally interest the Irish public. Opinions seem a little unsettled on the subject, in consequence of a letter from Mr. Robert Williamson, of the county of Antrim, dated the 1st of December, 1815. He states, manufacture of fine linens it cannot be cleaned and prepared by first,That with respect to flax pulled green and fit for the the new machinery, and that the steeping process is the best yet discovered for separating its woody parts from its fibre; and 2nd, that if the unsteeped flax of Ireland be found answerable for the manufacture of the coarser fabrics, it can be cleaned with greater facility by the old method.' Preferring, therefore, according to the old modes of steeping, spreading, drying, beetto persevere in conducting the linen manufacture of Ireland
"Letter of Mr. James Lee, of Old Ford, in the County of Middlesex, Inventor of the New Process for preparing Flax and Hemp, to James Corry, Esq, Secretary to the Trusteesling, and scutching, with all their manifold objections, to the advantages available to the country from modern discovery. Mr. Williamson was one of those gentlemen of Ireland who did me the honour of supporting the new process on its introduction.
of the Linen and Hemp Manufactures of Ireland. I beg leave to lay before you, for the information of the trustees of the linen and hempen manufactures, the results of my observations during the two visits which I made to Ireland, in
"His fullest approbation of it was expressed in a letter to your Board of the 7th of July last, and I was the more flattered the course of the last year, for the purpose of introducing and by his opinion from the pains that he took to make himself acestablishing there the improved process for preparing and dress-quainted with the subject before he pronounced it.' ing flax and hemp."
After some further introductory observations Mr. Lee proceeds:
[This letter of Mr. Williamson's is too long to transcribe here; though cautiously worded, the expressions therein are rather in favour of Mr. Lee's invention.]