HOUSES, FURNITURE, FOOD,
BEING THE SECOND VOLUME
PUBLISHED UNDER THE DIRECTION OF
THE COMMITTEE OP GENERAL LITERATURE AND EDUCATION,
APPOINTED BY THE SOCIETY FOR PROMOTING
NEW AND IMPROVED EDITION.
JOHN W. PARKER AND SON, WEST STRAND.
PRICE TWO SHILLINGS.
DWELLING-HOUSES, AND THE ARTICLES USED
IN BUILDING THEM.
How to build a House............ 1
Timber used in Building......... 14
Metals used in Building:
Iron ............ .......... 19
L ead ...... ..... .. .. ...... .. 23
Plaster, Paint, and Paper-
hanging ...................... 26
How Water is obtained ......... 33
Uses of Fire .................... 38
Lighting a Fire ...................41
What are Coals? ............. 45
THE FURNITURE OF A DWELLING-HOUSE.
Household Furniture............ 49
Mahogany ..... ...... ....... .. 55
Metal Furniture: Iron......... 60
Knives and Forks ............ 64
Scissors, Razors, and Pen-
knives ................... ...... 6 67
Tin ............ .... ... ....... ......... 71
Copper and Brass .............. 78
Copper and Brass Furniture... 81
How Buttons are made......... 85
Gold ............... ................ 93
The Bed............................. 97
The Looking Glass ............. 102
Carpets ............................. 104
Earthenware (continued) ...... 111
A China Tea-cup ................ 114
Glass-ware ...................... 118
The Candle .................... 123
The Lamp ....................... 128
Articles used in Cleaning:
Pearl-ash- Soda-- Soap ... 131
How a Needle is made ......... 137
How a Pin is made ............ 141
Clothes: Spinning and Weav-
ing ............................ .. 145
Flax and Linen.................. 149
Linen (continued)................... 162
Cotton Clothing ................. 155
Cotton Clothing (continued)... 159
Silk and the Silk-Worm......... 164
Silk Clothing....................... 169
Woollen Clothing................. 172
Woollen Clothing (continued):
Broad-cloth and Stockings 175
Lace Making...................... 178
A Straw Bonnet ................. 182
A Beaver Hat .................... 186
Shoes ................................ 190
LESSONS ON FOOD.
Of Food in general ............... 193 Fruits................................ 245
The Corn-Field.................... 194 Fruits (continued) .............. 249
The Flour-Mill .................... 198 Wine-making .................... 254
Bread ................................ 202 Tea ................................... 260
Rice ................................ 205 Sugar .............................. 265
Meat ................................ 209 Coffee; Chocolate .............. 270
Milk-Butter-Cheese ......... 213 Spices .............................. 274
Poultry ............................ 218 Foreign-Fruits; the Orange,
Fish................................... 223 Lemon, and Olive ............ 279
Salt ................................... 228 Dried Fruits; Raisins and Cur-
Vegetables.......................... 232 rants ............................. 282
Brewing-Malt and Hops...... 237 British Commerce .............. 285
B eer ................ .............. 241
THE ARTICLES USED IN BUILDING THEM.
LESSON I. How to Build a.~Jiuse.
HOUSES are built of bricks, mortar, tiles, slate,
stone, wood, and iron.
Cottages are small houses; mansions are large
A few houses built near each other make a
village: many houses built together form a town,
or a city.
A street is two rows of houses with a road
between them: most villages have but one
street: towns and cities have many streets.
2 HOW TO BUILD A HOUSE.
A church is a building dedicated to the public
service of God. A cathedral church has a
Every village or town has at least one church:
some large towns and cities have many churches.
In England, a town which has a cathedral church
is called a city.t
Many persons are employed to build a house;
as the bricklayer, plasterer, carpenter, plumber,
glazier, painter, and paper-hanger.
When men begin to build a house, they dig
out the ground, and lay bricks in rows, one upon
another, with mortarspreadbetween them. The
bricks first laid are called the foundation of the
house; and the rows of bricks are called walls.
Every house is surrounded by walls, and is
divided into stories or floors; and the stories
are divided into rooms. The lowest, or under-
ground part, is the cellar. The kitchen is also
under-ground in many houses. The story above
it, level with the earth, is called the ground-
floor; next is the first-floor: above this is the
second-floor: and so on, until the top-floor, over
which is placed the roof.
As the walls are built, strong beams of wood
are let into the brick-work, and supported by
upright posts. Upon these beams are placed
smaller beams of wood, called rafters; and
HOW TO BUILD A HOUSE.
across the rafters are laid planks to form the
floors. Steps of wood, called stairs, lead from
floor to floor, and have side-railing, called
balusters, to prevent accidents by falling.
Frames of wood for doors and windows, or
door and window-cases as they are called, are
also built in with the brick-work. Chimneys,
or passages for smoke, are built in the walls;
and slabs of stone for hearths, or fire-places,
are laid down with the floor.
The roof is commonly of*4sloping form, so
as to cause the rain to run off through pipet
the ground. The roof consists of rafters, acro ~
which are fastened thin slips of wood, or laths;
and upon these are placed tiles or slates. The
chimneys rise above the roof to convey away
When the outside walls androof of the house
are finished, the plasterer covers the inner walls
and top of the rooms With laths, upon which he
spreads plaster. The top is then called the ceiling.
The chimney-piece, or mantel, of stone or
marble, is next placed at the opening of the
chimney idto the room; and an iron stoye-grate
is fixed there, for holding the fire.
The small wooden frames of the wirows are
next glazed, or filled with gloss; so that we may.
see through them the beautiful hills, trees, and
HOW TO BUILD A HOUSE.
green fields. These windows are also made to
open, in order to admit fresh air into the room,
and keep it healthy.
The doors of wood are so hung, as to open
and shut, on moveable pieces of iron, called
hinges, fixed in one post; and they are fastened
by locks and bolts, which are thrust into the
Many thousands of nails, or little pieces of
iron, are used by the carpenter to fasten the
wood-work together throughout the house.
When the bricklayers and carpenters have
finished, the painter spreads over the wood-
work, with a brush, a mixture called paint; this
gives a cheerful appearance to the room, and
preserves the wood.
In this manner a house is prepared for dwell-
ing, or living in. Fire is next lighted in the
grates, and smoke is seen rising from the chim-
neys above the roof.
When the plaster of the walls is dry, the
paper-hanger covers them with paper of different
colours and patterns. Some of these patterns
are almost as amusing as pictures.
The several rooms being ready for furnishing,
the floors are covered with carpets, or painted
cloth, called flooracloth. In the lower rooms are
placed chairs, tables, and other furniture; and
HOW TO BUILD A HOUSE. 5
in the upper rooms, or chambers, are placed
bedsteads and beds, on which persons sleep.
Curtains, or blinds, are often added to the win-
dows, by which the glare of the sun can be shut
out during the day; and shutters keep off the
cold air by night.
Such are some of the contrivances which en-
able us to enjoy close shelter from wet and cold,
with health and comfort. Though the con-
trivances are our own, let us not forget that the
power to contrive is given to us by God; and
that the goodness of God causes the earth to
supply all the materials with which a house is
built. Let us then give to the Creator the praise
which is due.
Of what articles are houses chiefly
How do men begin to build a
In what manner is a house di-
How is the wood-work fastened
How do you ascend from one floor
to another ?
Describe a chimney.
Of what form is the top or roof of
a house ?
How are doors made to open
and shut, and how are they
With what articles is a house ge-
nerally furnished ?
What is the principal enjoyment
which a house affords ?
How do we contrive to build a
To what source are we indebted
for the materials with which a
house is built?
LESSON II. Bricks; Tiles; Slate.
BEFORE the art of making bricks was known in
England, houses were built of wood and stone,
and covered with reeds or straw, or heavy slabs
of stone. Houses are now generally built with
bricks, and covered with tiles or slates.
Bricks are made of clay, which is a kind of
earth, and is dug in many places. Clay is very
abundant round London, and millions of bricks
are made in the neighbourhood every year.
Bricks are made in open fields,in avery simple
manner. The clay is first mixed into a paste
with water, and with ashes, such as you see in
the fire-place. -Recollect that the remains of a
coal-fire, or ashes, are used to make bricks for
The clay, or paste, when it has been made
ready by a woman for moulding, is handed to
the brickmaker, who stands beside the woman
before a bench.
The mould is a box of wood, fitting upon a
bottom, fixed to the brickmaker's bench. The
workman first sprinkles a little sand over the
mould: he then throws into it the clay, which
he works with his fingers, so as to fill up the
corners of the mould; then, with a wetted stick,
he scrapes off the clay level with the sides of the
mould. He next lifts the mould from the bench,
and shakes out of it the newly-formed brick upon
a piece of board. It is then placed upon a wheel-
barrow by a child, and when a certain number
of bricks are thus made, they are removed by
another workman .to a place for drying. The
engraving at the head of this lesson shows brick-
makers at work.
The workman who shapes the bricks is called a
moulder. An industrious moulder can,in a long
summer's day, mould from five to six thousand
bricks. But to do this, hemustbegin at five o'clock
in the morning,and work till eight o'clock atnight.
The bricks are next placed in rows, one above
another, and at a little distance apart, so that the
air is admitted between the bricks to dry them.
They are, to prevent their drying too fast, and to
keep offrain, covered with straw. In fine weather
they will become, in a few days, hard enough to
be removed for baking.
Bricks are commonly baked in stacks, made of
the bricks themselves, with cinders scattered be-
tween each layer. At one end of the stack is the
fire place, from which run flues, or open passages,
through the pile of bricks. The flues are filled
with wood, coals, and cinders. The fire is then
lighted, and spreading throughout the whole
stack, it bakes the bricks. -
Bricks are likewise baked in a kiln; that is,
by placing them upon flat arches, within walls,
and lighting a fire beneath them. The bricks are
thus left until the flame appears at the top of the
kiln, when the fire is slackened, and the kiln is
allowed to cool. This heating and cooling is
repeated until the bricks are sufficiently baked.
A kiln will hold about twenty thousand bricks.
Tiles, of various kinds and forms, are made
of finer clay than bricks; but they are moulded
and baked in a similar manner.
Slate for roofing houses is found in rocks of a
coarser kind of slate. The pits in which it is dug
are called quarries. Many of these quarries are
in,North Wales, and in the following counties of
England: Westmoreland, Yorkshire, Leicester-
shire, Cornwall, and Devonshire.
That slate which has the smoothest surface,
and splits into the thinnest plates, is best for
covering houses. The slate used for writing is
of a still finer kind.
A slate-quarry is a great curiosity; and the
masses of slate, when the sun shines on them,
exhibit all the beautiful colours of the rainbow.
The pieces of slate are split from the rock by
iron bars and large hammers; they are next
shaped with edged iron tools, and scraped
smooth with a piece of thin steel. The slates
are then conveyed away in iron wagons upon
rail-roads. These are roads which have iron-
work grooves, or ruts, in which the wheels of
the wagons run. L, ...
Great quantities of slate are sent every year
from North Wales, in ships, many thousand
miles across the sea to North America; for, in
North America, as well as in England, slate is
used for roofing houses*
What are bricks made of? How are bricks baked in stacks ?
How is a brick shaped or How are bricks baked in kilns ?
moulded ? What are tiles made of?
How many bricks can an indus- In what places is slate found?
trious man mould in a day? How are slates prepared for roof-
How are bricks prepared for ing houses?
baking ? Where are slates sent to by sea ?
LESSON III. Stone; Marble; Lime.
STONE is dug out of deep pits, or quarries, in
many parts of the country. In Somersetshire
and Gloucestershire is found a kind called Bath
Stone, from the city of Bath being built with it.
Another kind of stone is found in the isle of Port-
land, on the south-western coast of England, and
is called Portland Stone. St. Paul's Cathedral,
Somerset House, and many other publicbuildings
in London, are constructed with Portland Stone.
A third kind of stone is brought from Yorkshire.
Stone is found in immense rocky masses.
These are shaped into blocks, which are cut into
thin pieces with saws. Some stone is as soft as
paste when it is taken from the quarry, but it
becomes hard on being exposed to the air. This
kind does not long keep its beautiful white or
yellowish colour, but soon decays.
All these kinds of stone are employed in
building churches and mansions. They are also
used for chimney-pieces and hearths of fire-
places, the steps of doors, and the sills of
windows, in houses.
Stone is chipped into elegant forms by work-
men, called masons, with a mallet and chisel. In
this manner, also, are cut the letters upon tomb-
stones in churchyards.
The labour of cutting and chipping stone is
very tedious. IWften takes many weeks, and
even months, to form one pillar, such as we see
at the entrance to a church.
A very hard and lasting kind of stone, called
granite, is sometimes used for paving streets, and
for building. London and Waterloo bridges are
built with this durable stone. It is speckled,
black, white, and red ; and it glitters beautifully
when the sun shines upon it.
Marble is a more beautiful kind of stone than
any yet mentioned. It is found in quarries, in
large blocks or masses; and is so fine in grain
that it is easily polished.
Marble is used for mantel-pieces and hearths,
and sometimes for floors. There are many va-
rieties of marble. Some kinds arc of one colour,
as white or black; others have stains, streaks,
and veins, of different colours. That marble
which is quite white is most prized.
Beds of marble are common in most of the
mountainous countries of Europe. In England,
Derbyshire affords the greatest quantity and
finestkinds. Westmoreland and Devonshire also
yield fine varieties; and a beautiful green kind
is found in Anglesey, an island in Wales.
The finest kind of marble, used for mantel-
pieces, is called statuary, and is sometimes orna-
mented with elegant figures. These are sculp-
tured, or cut out from the s iflt of the marble,
with sharp chisels, and they occupy much time
Marble is likewise used for tombs, and for
pillars in churches, temples, and palaces. The
purest marble is used for busts and statues,
such as are to be seen in churches, palaces, and
Lime is of important use in building, espe-
cially in making mortar, to spread between the
bricks. To make mortar, the bricklayer pours
water upon quick lime, when it swells, cracks,
and becomes a white powder; it is next mixed
with sand in hard and sharp grains. The mortar
thus made is used without delay, and, in time,
becomes nearly as hard as the bricks between
which it is spread. Mortar always contains
more sand than lime; and without the sand
mortar would not harden.
Lime is also used in making plaster and
whitewash, with which the walls and ceilings
of houses are covered.
Lime is likewise much used in making cement.
Good cement, spread over brick-work, becomes,
in a short time, as hard as stone. Houses built
of brick, and covered with this cement, are often
made to look as handsome as if built of stone.
Lime is made by burning limestone in kilns,
which may b# s noking in many parts of the
open country. Tb lime-kiln is a hollow building,
in the shape of a cup or awine-glass upside down.
It is open at the top, and has a grate at the
bottom, above which is an iron door. In the grate
is placed fuel, as wood and coal, upon which is
laid limestone broken in pieces not larger than
the fist; upon the limestone is placed more wood
or coal; then limestone again, and so on, keeping
the kiln always full. The fire being lighted, the
,pieces of limestone fall towards the bottom of the
kiln, as the fuel is burnt; and, in about forty-
eight hours, the limestone thus becomes quick-
lime. It is then separated from the ashes of the
fuel, and is ready for the bricklayer's use.
The natural history of clay, slate, stone, mar-
ble, and lime, belongs to the science called
Geology, or the discourse of the earth," as all
these substances are dug out of the earth.
Why is some stone called Bath What are the principal kinds of
stone ? marble ?
Why is another kind called Port- What kinds of marble are found
land stone ? in England ?
For what parts of houses is stone Name a few of the uses of marble.
employed ? Of what use is lime in building ?J
What is granite used for ? How is mortar made ?
How is lime burnt ?
LESSON IV. Timber used in Building.
TREES which are highly prized for their wood
are called timber. They form forests, which
grow in most countries, and supply the in-
habitants with materials for building houses.
The wood-cutter lays his axe to the root of
the tree, and after many blows, the tree falls.
The branches are then cut off; the bark, or rough
outer covering, is stripped off; and the trunk of
the tree is cut into posts and planks. The above
engraving represents wood-cutters at work.
But Great Britain is so thickly inhabited,
that her forests would not supply timber enough
to build our houses. We therefore obtain large
quantities of timber from other countries, in
exchange for articles which our own country
produces in abundance.
TIMBER USED IN BUILDING.
The timber employed in building is chiefly oak
and deal. Oak isthe strongest and most lasting
of all timber; and English oak ranks before all
other kinds. It is very durable in air, in earth,
and in water; and it is said that insects of this
country will not eat into the heart of oak so soon
as into other timber. Our finest oaks are raised
in Cumberland and Yorkshire.
Great quantities of white oak-timber are re-
ceived or imported into England from North
America. This oak is much cheaper than the
British; and it is the kind commonly used in
houses, for the largest beams, and the posts and
sills of doors.
Oaks which grow in thick groups yield the
best beams, posts, and planking; for the trunks
often rise forty or fifty feet withoutbranching out.
Deal, or the wood of the pine-tree, or fir, is
used more commonly than oak in building. Deal
is generally lighter, straighter, and of much
greater length than oak timber. It is also more
easily worked by the carpenter than oak; and
is named the Builder's Timber." It is called
white deal, red deal, or yellow deal, according
to its colour.
Pines grow in almost every country, and few
trees are more useful to man. They not only
supply timber for building, when cut down, but
TIMBER USED IN BUILDING.
while growing, they yield turpentine which is
used in mixing paint.
The Scotch fir produces better timber than
any other pine; but it grows slowly, and not in
great numbers. Sweden and Norway, two very
cold countries, are nearly covered with forests
of fir-trees. There are also vast forests of firs
in North America. From these countries we
obtain our supply of deals.
The trees are cut down and thrown into the
nearest river, by which they float to the sea,
where they are taken into vessels, and thus
brought to England. In some places, the trees
float down the river to saw-mills on the banks,
where the trunks are cut into planks before
they are brought to this country.
The most extensive pine-forest in Europe
covers the slopes of the mountains, and the
banks of the rivers, in the middle of Sweden
and Norway. This forest consists 'chiefly of
Scotch fir, which yields red and yellow deal;
and spruce fir, which yields white deal. Each
tree, when it has been cut down, is conveyed
to the water-side on a separate carriage, drawn
by horses, and driven by women.
Many streams pass from the mountains through
forests of the finest pines. On the banks of these
streams, sawing-mills are built with the rough
TIMBER USED IN BUILDING.
trunks of large firA The mills are worked
by huge wheels, w re kept in motion by the
running water. In one of these mills is a
wheel, which drives at once seventy-two saws;
and the saws are so placed as to divide a whole
tree into planks, in the same time that it would
take to cut a single plank by one saw.
The common mode of dividing a tree into
planks is by two men cutting it through with a
large upright saw; one standing in a pit, and the
other above him, as shown in the engraving at
the end of this lesson. But a saw-mill will cut
timber into planks thirty or forty times faster
than two men can in the above manner.
In some countries, as in Germany, timber is
floated down the rivers in immense rafts, con-
sisting of several layers of trunks of trees, placed
one on the other, and lashed together. These
rafts are often eight hundred feet long, and sixty
feetwide; and their timber is worth many thou-
sand pounds. Little wooden huts are built upon
them, in which live the workmen and rowers,
who conduct the rafts down the river.
Houses, except the chimneys, are sometimes
built entirely of wood. In countries where the
pine-tree abounds, wooden houses are almost
universal, and last for many ages: stones and
bricks being only used there for palaces and
18 TIMBER USED IN BUILDING.
publicbuildings. In Russla,ready-made wooden
houses are sold at fairs: they are set up for show
and taken to pieces for removal.
What trees are called timber? In what respect does the timber of
What tinker is chiefly used in Scotch and Spruce fit difer ?
building ? Where is the most extensive pine-
In what counties of England does forest in Europe ?
the finest oak grow ? How are trees cut into planks ?
What kind of oak is commonly How is a saw-mill worked?
used in building ? Describe a raft df timber ?
Which tree affords deal timber ? In what country are wooden
Where do pines grow? houses most commOn
What kind of fir yields the finest
LESSOo V. Metals used in Building:
METALS are mostly found in veins, which run
through the earth; nearly as veins may be seen
through the skin, on the back of your hand.
The pits out of which metals are dug, are called
mines; the workmen are called miners; and
to dig in mines is to work them.
Metals are seldom found pure, or by them-
selves. They are mixed with other substances,
called ores, from which they must be separated
before they are fit for use.
The metals chiefly used in building, are iron
and lead; both of which are found in abundance
in Great Britain. Iron is sometimes called the
"king of metals," and is the most serviceable
of them all.
Iron is separated from the ore by melting in
furnaces; which are immense round buildings,
larger at bottom than above, with huge chimneys.
The ore is taken from the mine, and broken into
pieces; it is then mixed with limestone, and
thrown into the furnace upon lighted fuel. This
fire is blown with vast bellows; when the violent
heat melts the ore above, while the iron dtIps
down through the fire, and collects at the bottom
of the furnace. More ore and fuel are supplied
above, and blown with the bellows,till the melted
metal nearly fills the furnace. It is then let out
by piercing the sides of the furnace; the metal
is allowed to cool, and is then melted again.
Some iron furnaces are two hundred feet
round the outside, and as high as a house with
three floors. They are kept heated or burning
for many months, and even years, by continually
supplying ore, limestone, and fuel. In the ex-
tensive Butterley iron-works, in Derbyshire,
upwards of fifteen hundred men are employed,
as miners, furnace-men, and smiths.
Articles are cast by pouring the liquid iron
into moulds, and letting it remain till it is cool.
In this manner are sometimes cast vast beams,
which are used in building houses; also fire-
grates, knockers, and bolts of doors, railings,
lamp-posts, and water-pipes. Balconies, or rails
before windows, are often cast in elegant forms
of iron. They last longer, and are much lighter
in appearance, than wooden rails.
Large columns are often made of cast-iron,
which are painted to imitate stone. The frame-
work of house-roofs is also sometimes of cast-
iron. Southwark and Vauxhall bridges, across
the Thames, and many other bridges in England
and other countries, are of cast-iron.
Very large quantities of iron, both cast and
wrought, are now used in the construction of
railways, and of the carriages and engines which
travel on them.
Wrought-iron is that which is heated in a
furnace till it becomes tough. It is then rolled,
hammered, and cut into bars, or thin sheets.
This iron will bend, and can be spread by
beating; but the form of cast-iron can never
If we observe the smith at work in his forge,
we shall see that by putting a piece of iron in the
fire, and blowing the coals with the bellows, the
iron soon becomes red-hot, and so soft, that he
can shape it as he pleases: this he does by striking
it upon a block of hardened iron, called an anvil.
Or the smith can weld or join two pieces of iron,
by making them red-hot, and hammering them
together. By quickly dipping into water the
hot iron, the smith cools and hardens the metal,
which is then said to be wrought.
Nails and spikes, which are driven into the
timbers of a house to hold them together, are
made by rolling or slitting iron into rods. These
rods are of various sizes, to make spikes a foot
long, or the smallest nails, a quarter of an inch
in length. The iron rod is made red-hot, and,
while it is hot, each nail is drawn out, cut off,
and flattened at the head. Another mode of
making nails is from sheet-iron, by a machine
which cuts nine hundred nails in a minute, or
fifty-four thousand nails in an hour.
The carpenter's tools are mostly of steel, which
is one of the hardest substances known. Steel
is made of pure iron, heated between charcoal,
and suddenly cooled, when it becomes very hard.
It is then ground upon a stone wheel, to a fine
edge; in this manner, axes, chisels, saws, and
the like, are made.
Before edge-tools were made of iron and steel,
stones, flints, the horns and bones of animals,
reeds and thorns, were employed for such pur-
poses as we now use tools. In some parts of
the world edge-tools are unknown in the present
day: and an axe, a saw, or a chisel, would be
a handsome present to a chief or ruler of the
Where are metals found ? In what way are large quantities
Which are the metals chiefly used of iron now employed ?
In building ? How is iron wrought ?
Which is the king of metals ?" What is the difference between
Is iron found in Great Britain? cast and wrought iron ?
How is iron separated from the How does a smith join two pieces
ore ? of iron?
How is iron cast ? Why does a smith dip the hot iron
What articles in a house are of into water ?
~-iron ? How are nails made ?
What other purposes is cast-iron Of what are carpenters' edge-tools
applied to? made?
LESSON VI. Metals used in Building:
LEAD is employed to cover parts of the roofs of
houses, and to make gutters, pipes, and spouts,
to carry off rain-water. It is also used for tubes
in pumps, and for pipes to convey water under-
Lead is abundantly found in Somersetshire,
Derbyshire, Yorkshire, Northumberland, and
several other parts of Great Britain. The mines
yield pot only sufficient lead for our own use,
but large quantities which are exported to other
To obtain purelead, the picked ore is broken
and washed. It is then roasted in a furnace with
coals, so as only to soften it, and cause the im-
purities to rise from the ore like smoke. It is
next melted, when the liquid lead runs out into
moulds, and cools. More ore is then let down
into the furnace, from the top; and the melting
is thus sometimes continued for many days
Sheet-lead is used op roofs,and is either melted
and cast, or rolled out by a mill. To cast sheets,
melted lead is poured upon large tables, with
raised edges. Upon the tables is spread sand,
which soon causes the metal to cool, The lead
thus cast, is next passed between two iron
rollers to reduce it to the required thickness.
There are also mills for reducing lead into
sheets by immense rollers, which are worked by
a steam-engine. A sheet of rolled lead, made in
this manner, is from five to six feet wide, and
weighs about one thousand pounds.
Leaden pipes are made by bending flattedlead
until the edges meet, over an iron or wooden
rod; which on being drawn out, leaves the
passage for the water. Pipes are also cast by
pouring melted lead into a mould, in the middle
of which is a steel rod, to be taken out when
the lead has cooled.
Cisterns, for containing water, are commonly
made of sheet-lead, in wooden cases; but they
are unsafe for this purpose if they are left open
to the air. The water will then become coated
with white rust, which is poisonous. Such water
is therefore unfit for cooking food. t
Although lead is in itself poisonous, it is of
important use in the arts. Paint is made from
lead. It is also used as glaze for earthenware.
Lead is likewise employed in making some
kinds of glass, in dyeing, and calico-printing.
These several uses of lead will be described in
The leaden toys for children, as coaches,
horses, &c., are cast in brass moulds, which
open; and within which are cut the figures to
The powder used for polishing stoves is im-
properly named black lead; for it does not con-
tain a particle of lead, but is, in part, iron. It
not only polishes iron, but prevents it rusting
from damp. It is only found in one mine in
England, which is at Borrodale,in Cumberland.
When soft and fine, a pound weight of this sub-
stance is worth several guineas; and one thou-
sand pounds' worth has been obtained from the
above mine in a day! Drawing pencils are made
of this mineral: each pencil consisting of two
pieces of cedar-wood, glued together, with the
"lead" in a grove between them.
All substances dug out of mines are called
minerals; and the natural history of such sub-
stances is called Mineralogy,
For what purpose is lead used in How is sheet-lead made ?
building ? How are leaden pipes made ?
In what part of Great Britain is What is black lead?
lead found ? Can you name any of the purposes
Is lead very abundant in this for which it is used?
country ? What is Mineralogy ?
How is pure lead obtained ?
LESSON VII. Plastering, Painting, and
THE outer walls of the house are now built;
but much remains to be done before the house
will be fit to live in.
The ceiling and inside walls, which have
been covered with laths, are next plastered.
This is done by covering the laths with plaster
mixed with hair; the use of the hair being to
make the plaster bind or hold together.
This coating is covered with finer coats, in
which are mixed fine cement and plaster of Paris,
to malk the surface beautifully hard and white.
Ceilings are sometimes ornamented with ele-
gant plaster figures of leaves, flowers, shells,
&c., which are made in moulds, and fixed on
The plasterer uses but few tools to execute
this tasteful work; yet his art is requisite in
every kind of building. With great skill, he
makes plaster to imitate valuable marble, as
well as figures, which it would occupy much
time to cut in stone.
Paint is necessary to preserve the outside
woodwork of a house, as the window-framesi
door-posts, doors, &c. If the wood were not
painted, the heat of the sun would soon split it,
and the rain would cause it to decay. Wet and
the damp of the air would also rust and destroy
iron work, if not painted. Paint is therefore
as useful as it is ornamental.
The substances of which paint is made are
commonly obtained from metals and minerals;
and the art of preparing them is a branch of
chemistry. White lead, of which white paint
is made, is produced from lead by the fumes of
vinegar. It is mixed with oil and turpentine,
and then becomes paint; and paint of all colours
is similarly prepared for laying on the wood-
work with a brush.
Yet paint is not entirely made of mineral sub,
stances, for the turpentine and oilare vegetable
juices. Turpentine is extracted from several
trees, and abundantly from the pine, as you have
been told in the lesson on timber; the wood of
the pine-tree is, indeed, so full of turpentine, that
slips of it are burnt instead of candles; and the
oil used in painting is pressed from linseed, or
the seed of flax. The use of the turpentine and
oil is to soak into and fill up the pores of the
wood, and to cause the paint to dry and harden.
The painter's art is more difficult than plas-
tering. He sometimes colours the wood-work of
rooms to imitate fine woods, with beautiful veins
and knots, as they are seen in a plank. Thus
doors are painted to imitate mahogany an oak;
and wood is veined or streaked to resemble
marble. In these cases the paint is coated with
varnish, which gives the surface a fine glossy
Paper-hanging is an elegant covering for
walls, and increases the warmth of rooms. The
paper is made from coarse rags, ground with
water to a pulp, shaken upon wire net, and
dried upon rollers. It is then stained, or printed,
by means of wooden blocks, with various
patterns and colours.
Such patterns often represent curious trees
and flowers, with views of charming countries.
These scenes are printed in their natural colours;
and they remind us of the beautiful productions
with which God has enriched the earth for the
happiness of his creatures.
What is done after the outer walls What kind of oil is used in
of the house are finished ? liainting, and how is it ob-
How are ceilings plastered ? tainted ?
What is the use of hair in plaster? What is the most difficult branch
What is the principal use of paint of the painter's art?
on iron and wood-work ? How is paper-hanging made and
Of what does white paint consist? stained ?
What is turpentine, and how is it What are often the patterns of
obtained ? paper-hanging ?
LESSON VIII. Window Glass.
GLASS is one of the most beautiful inventions
of man. It admits the light of the sun, and
excludes the violence of the wind." Its manu-
facture is very curious; for, although glass is
transparent, not one of the materials of which
it is made is so.
One of the principal ingredients of all kinds
of glass is silex, or flint, pieces of which are often
seen on roads, or in thousands upon the sea-
shore, or beach. But these flints would be diffi-
cult to break; and glass-makers use, instead of
them, sea-sand, which is flint alreadyin powder.
Crown glass, used for glazing windows, is
made of fine white sand; kelp, or burnt sea-
weeds, containing soda; and quick-lime. These
ingredients are melted in pots, placed in the
midst of a strong coal-fire,within a kind of oven.
When the mass is mixed, it is taken out, cooled,
picked over, and washed; it is then called flt.
A certain quantity of old broken glass is next
added to the frit, which is put into melting-pots,
or crucibles, to be placed in the furnace.
The furnace is a round-topped building, ter-
minating in a wide chimney; and is furnished
with holes all round, to put in and take out the
pots. Within this furnace, the frit in the pots
is placed amidst strong flames; it is allowed to
remain there until the dross rises to the top,
and is removed; when the mass in the pots
becomes clear, and the glass is made.
The workman now dips one end of an iron
pipe into a pot, and takes. out glass enough in
a lump to make a sheet. He then applied his
mouth to the other end of the pipe, and blows
the soft glass into the form of a globe; just as
bubbles of soap-and-water are blown from a
tobacco-pipe. The globe is next taken from the
pipe by another workman, upon an iron rod,
to be flattened into a plate.
The glass is now held upon the red to one of
the openings of the furnace, until it has bgotone
hot. The workman then twitls the rod, slowly
at f~At, and then tiore and mtort quickly; wheti
the glass is also carried round upon the rod,
until it spreads out and becomes a circular red-
hot table. This spreading of the glass round the
rod may be compared to the circle which
spreads round a stone let fall in a pond of
water. The iron rod is then removed from the
centre of the plate, and leaves a coarse thick
lump, called the bull's-eye.
The glass is next placed in another furnace,
and gradually removed from the hottest to the
coolest part, till the plate is cold enough to be
taken out for use. But if the glass be cooled too
suddenly it will be extremely brittle.
The glass being thus made in tound pieces, is
divided, and shaped into panes for windows;
the centre, or bulls-eye, being mostly used for
sky-lights, or garden-frames.
Glaziers cut glassby passing along its surface,
guided by a ruler, the point of a diamond;
which is the hardest substance known, and cuts
or scratches every other.
The clearest glass used for windows is called
plate glass, from its being cast upon metal
plates, as lead is cast upon tables.
Plate glass is composed of fine white sand,
soda, and lime; two metallic substances, named
manganese and cobalt; and fragments of good
glass. These ingredients are melted together,
32 WINDOW GLASS.
and poured upon a hot copper-plate, upon a
table. As the glass spreads, all roughnesses are
pressed out by passing a roller over it. The
glass is then removed to an oven, to be heated
and cooled gradually. Lastly, it is polished, by
grinding two plates together with finely-pow-
It is difficult to produce a perfect plate of
glass, without specks, bubbles, or waves; and
this makes a large plate very expensive.
The superiority ofplate-glass windows to those
of common glass is very great. Objects seen
through plate glass appear of their real forms,
as if no glass were before them; but when seen
through common glass, they seem more or less
out of shape. Plate glass is also thicker, and
less liable to be broken, than common glass.
Glass is fastened into window-frames with a
kind of paste, called putty, made of whiting
and drying oil; it soon hardens, and will last
securely for many years.
What is the principal ingredient of How is window glass made in
glass ? round plates ?
Why is sand used instead of flints How is glass divided?
in making glass ? Of what ingredients is plate glass
Of what ingredients is window made?
glass made ? Why is plate glass so expensive ?
How is glass blown ? In what respect is plate glass
superior to common glass?
LESSON IX. How Water is obtained.
WATER is one of the greatest blessings which
God has given to his creatures. It supports
every living thing. Neither man, nor any other
animal that exists on the earth, could live without
water; and trees and plants would soon wither
and die, if they were not supplied with it.
Water is found in seas, rivers, lakes, and
springs. Sea-water is salt and bitter, disagree-
34 HOW WATER IS OBTAINED.
able to the taste, and unfit for the drink of man.
Water from springs and rivers is tasteless and
fresh, and is used for domestic purposes. Al.
most every house is supplied with this kind of
water, for drinking, washing, and cooking food.
It is employed in brewing beer, making tea, and
Springs are little collections of water, flowing
through cracks beneath the surface of the earth.
Sometimes this water rises, and forms springs
above ground; as we often see them in beauti-
ful green valleys, and by the road-side, in the
country. To ensure a better supply of water
than such springs afford, wells are dug to a great
depth in the earth, so as to reach these springs,
and sink so much below them as to form a store,
or reservoir, of the water under-ground.
The form of the well is generally circular;
and to prevent the earth crumbling down, or
falling in from the sides, the well is lined withy
brick-work. As the water seldom rises to a great i
height, there is letdown into it a bucket, fastened
to a rope on a roller across the mouth of the
well: when the bucket is filled, it is drawn up
by winding the rope again on the roller. Some
times two buckets are used; when, by drawing
one bucket up to be emptied, you cause the
other to descend to be filled.
HOW WATER IS OBTAINED.
Wells are dangerous places, and many lives
have been lost by persons falling into them: we
,should therefore be careful inapproaching them.
They are of different depths, varying from a few
feet, when only sunk to obtain the water from a
land-spring, sometimes to three or four hun-
dred feet deep, when sunk or bored for the
deep-seated springs. The air at the bottom of
deep wells is unwholesome.
The pump is a safer contrivance for drawing
water than the bucket; as the mouth of the
well is not open when the pump is used. A
pump consists of a hollow pipe, which is placed
in the well; and the water is drawn up the pipe
by a sucker, which is worked up and down by
Cities are generally built upon the banks of
rivers, from which water is conveyed to the
houses through pipes under-ground. Thus,
London is built upon the banks of the Thames;
and, from the Thames and other rivers, this vast
city is supplied with upwards of twenty-nine
millions of gallons of water every day.
The mode of supplying houses with water is
very simple. The water is first collected into a
reservoir, or large basin, high above ground; it
s then forcedthrough the pipes, whichare under
ground, and it rises through them to the same
36 HOW WATER IS OBTAINED.
height as the reservoir. By these means every
room in a house may be supplied with water.
Water is hard or soft. Spring-water is hard,
and unfit for washing; but it is more refreshing
as drink than soft water, from the air which it
contains. This causes the bubbles to sparkle in
a glass of pump-water. Its hardness is caused
by its having flowed through lime in the earth;
and it is known that one grain of lime will
change two thousand gallons of soft into hard
water. River-water is soft, and rain-water is
still softer. Springs do not freeze, because the
hardest frosts penetrate but a few inches into
the earth. Thus, water never ceases to flow
HOW WATER IS OBTAINED.
under ground in the most severe weather; but
above ground, water freezes in pipes, and often
In some places, water is obtained by boring
the earth, and pushing down pipes until the
spring is reached; when the water rises up
through the pipes in abundance. These are
called Artesian wells.
How wonderful are the wisdom and goodness
of God displayed in the provision of water;
wonderful is the dispensation by which the
springs and rivers of the earth are made to sup-
ply the wants of man and the lower animals;
and by which the rains of heaven are sent to
make fruitful the fields and valleys, for man's
subsistence and enjoyment!
Why is water one of the greatest Describe a pump.
blessings we enjoy? Why is a pump a safe contrivance
Where is water found ? for drawing water ?
In what respect does sea-water How are large cities supplied with
differ from that of rivers and water ?
springs? Why does pump-water sparkle in
Describe a spring, a glass ?
Why are wells dug? Why is spring-water hard ?
How is water drawn out of a Which is the softest water ?
well ? Why do not springs freeze?
Do wells vary much in depth ? What are Artesian wells ?
LESSON X. Uses of Fire.
THE important uses of fire in various arts have
been already explained. Without fire we could
not prepare the materials for building a house.
Bricks could not be made without fire to bake
them. Metals could not be melted or wrought
without the heat of the furnace, and the smith's
fire. Iron and lead would be useless, if they
were not separated from their ores by fire.
Carpenters' tools could not be made to cut
without heat; and glass would be mere powder,
unless melted by fire. The attentive reader
has observed all these uses of fire in the pre-
Fire ensures us the countless comforts of heat
and light within doors. We enjoy its warmth
from the cheerful blaze of the parlour hearth;
and its beautiful light from the steady flame of
the candle or lamp.
Heat from fire makes dreary winter an agree-
able season: and when the sun hides his face,
and darkness covers the earth, the taper or lamp
lights up the air. Thus light adds to the length
of our lives, by making hours pleasant and
useful, which must otherwise be lost in dark-
ness, and given to inactivity or sleep.
It is to fire that we are indebted for almost
USES OF FIRE. 39
every comfort that we enjoy throughout the day.
Thus, our food owes its savour and nourishment
to heat. Bread could not be baked, if the oven
were not heated by fire. The refreshing drink
which forms our morning's repast could not be
made without the aid of fire; for water must be
heated before it will extract the flavour of the
tea-leaf, or coffee-seed. By heat alone the meats
of the dinner are fitted for our use, as in boiling
and roasting; and most vegetables would be un-
wholesome without boiling. Beer, that refreshes
us when we are fatigued, is brewed by the aid of
heat. Cleanliness and health are promoted by
the washing of clothes, in which heat is neces-
sary. By heat many medicines are extracted
from plants, to restore health to the sinking
patient. And, when we are laid upon the bed
of sickness, what is more cheering to our droop-
ing frame than warm nourishment?
In all these domestic uses, fire is seen to ad-
vantage; and its other benefits are too numerous
to be explained here. But the effects of fire are
sometimes terrific from accident or carelessness;
when a spark escapes from a blazing fire, orfrom
a lighted candle, it sometimes falls on something
which takes light, and fills the room with smoke
and flame. The fire spreads from floor to floor,
flames burst from the windows, and rise through
40 ACCIDENTS FROM FIRE.
the roof to the sky. In their progress, they
burn all the furniture and wood-work of the
house; and only the walls remain.
Let children beware of approaching too near
A blazing fire, or carelessly using a candle. The
sparks or flame of either will sometimes set their
clothes in a blaze; and the fire, if it be not
extinguished, will burn them to death. Playing
with fire, as lighting wood and paper, has caused
the destruction of many houses, and the loss of
When accidents occur, and the clothes are on
fire, it is recommended to wrap a table-cover, a
piece of carpet, a hearth-rug, a blanket, or any
other woollen substance, round the body; and
to avoid all currents of air, particularly an open
door or window. The person should also lie
down; else the flame will 'soon ascend to the
arm-pits and throat, and thus cause death.
Mention a few of the most im- When is fire terrific?
portant uses of fire. Why is playing with fire dan-
What are the comforts of fire ? gerous ?
Of what use is fire in preparing What should be done when the
food ? clothes catch fire?
LESSON XI. Lighting a Fire.
THE common method of obtaining fire is by
striking flint and steel together, and thus pro-
ducing a shower of sparks. By the violence of
the striking small portions of the flint and steel
fly off; the particles of the steel burn in passing
through the air, and form the sparks. These set
fire to the tinder, or burnt linen; from which, on
applying a match dipped in sulphur, we easily
obtain a flame, as sulphur readily takes fire.
In countries where the above use of flint, steel,
and sulphur is unknown, savages light their fires
by rubbing together two pieces of wood; in doing
which much time is lost. The saving of time by
lighting a match, therefore, shows the advantages
of a civilized country, like that in which we live,
over countries where the arts are unknown.
In lighting a fire, we employ three articles,
paper,wood, and coals. Paper being most easily
lighted, is first laid in the grate; over this are
placed small sticks of wood,which soon take fire
from the lighted paper; and above the wood are
At first, a thick smoke rises from the fire.
This is caused by the moisture of the wood, and
the pitchy damp of the coals; but the smoke
is soon carried up the chimney by the draft of
42 LIGHTING A FIRE.
air in the apartment, through the bars of the
As the fire increases,this thick smoke becomes
flame; and the coals continuing to burn become
cinders, or red-hot without flame; the cinders
next fall to ashes, which are applied to useful
purposes, as the making of bricks; or they are
scattered over land to render it more productive.
A pair of house-bellows is a simple contrivance
for increasing the draught of air through a fire.
This causes it to burn brighter, and is called
blowiug the fire. The form of the bellows is
well known, and it works as follows:-
When the top board is lifted up, the piece of
stiff leather, which covers the hole underneath,
is also lifted, and air is drawn into the bellows.
Then, if the top board be pressed down, the air
within will close the leather over the hole, so
that such air can only escape through the pipe
or nozle to the fire.
By the chimney, the smoke is conducted away
into the open air, where it soon disappears. But,
many hundredyears since,before chimneys were
known, the fire was lighted in the middle of the
room, and the smoke found its way out through
a hole in the roof. Thus the chimney is a con-
venience which our early ancestors did not pos-
sess in their houses. I
LIGHTING A FIRE.
Chimneys not only allow smoke to escape,
but also admit fresh and cool air into rooms;
making houses more healthy to live in than if
the rooms were closely shut up.
Stoves or grates are so contrived as to throw
the heat of the fire, which is contained in them,
to all parts of a room, and to make the air equally
warm throughout. Without stoves, much of the
heat of coal would be wasted or lost.
In winter evenings, a common fire is a cheer-
ful and instructive object. It gladdens us with
its warmth; and it reminds us how bountifully
the Creator has provided for our happiness at
all seasons. Forests supply us with fire-wood;
and the earth yields coal, which is the most
useful of all its treasures. The pitchy matter
of coal, when it is properly heated, furnishes the
gas of our lamps; and the smoke which bursts
from cracks in the coals of a fire is gas in an
The boiling of water in a kettle, on a fire, is
a simple and ordinary process. The water first
becomes heated in the lower part of the kettle,
nearest the fire: it then rises up through the
colder water, which, being heavier, sinks down,
and is fully heated in its turn. By degrees, the
water in the kettle becomes so hot, that the parts
next the bottom are changed into steam, or
LIGHTING A FIRE.
vapour, which rises in bubbles to the top. The
water then boils, and a beautiful transparent
vapour, or steam, can just be seen coming from
the spout of the kettle. When a thick, cloudy
vapour appears, the water in the kettle is de-
creasing, and will continue to decrease, until
the kettle is emptied, unless it be removed from
In a similar manner, but in larger vessels,
called boilers, is produced the steam that gives
motion to the steam-engine, which causes
vessels to move rapidly through rivers and seas,
and wheel-carriages to travel with great speed
Thus, by our fire-side, we may witness the
production of gas from common coal; while the
boiling of the kettle will acquaint us with the
method of making steam; 'and gas-lighting and
the steam-engine are two of the most useful
discoveries that have yet been made by man.
*Iow do you strike a light ? Name the use of chimneys.
What are the sparks ? What are the advantages of stoves
How is a fire lighted ? or grts ?
Why does smoke rise from a fire Why may a common fre be con-
when it is first lighted ? sidered an instructive object ?
Why does the smoke disappear as How is a kettle of water boiled ?
the fire burns ? f How is steam produced ?
Are the ashes of coals of any ser- Mentionza few of the uses of steam.
vice ? Which ate the most useful disco-
How is a pair of bellows worked ? series yet made by man ?
LFSSON XII. What are Coals?
COALS are the remains of forests which have
been swallowed up by the earth. They have
been buried for many hundred years, and have
become changed from growing trees to a black,
Coals are dug out of deep mines, and are
found in beds or layers, of different thickness,
and at various depths. Some of the coal-mines
of England are nearly one thousand feet below
the surface of the earth.
The substance of coal consists of charcoal,
bitumen, or pitchy matter and earth. That
coal which contains most bitumen burns with
most flame; and that coal which contains most
earth leaves the greatest quantity of ashes.
No country, of the same size, in the world,
affords so much coal as England. We not only
possess sufficient coals for our own consumption,
but export great quantities to many parts of
Europe, and even to Egypt, and the EastIndies.
And, although we are constantly digging and
consuming coals, it is known that rich stores of
coals are treasured up in the bowels of the earth
for man's use, for many centuries to come.
The places which have coal-mines are called
coal-fields. The most important of these are the
WHAT ARE COALS ?.
Northumberland and Durham fields in the north
of England. Here are the Newcastle mines,
which yield the greatest quantity and best
quality of coals, or twenty-eight million tons'
weight every year.
The Newcastle coal is the rich caking kind,
which abounds in bitumen, softens in the fire,
swells, and throws out jets of flame; it burns
hollow, requires poking, and leaves cinders,
but few ashes.
London is chiefly supplied with coals from
the Northumberland and Durham fields.
The coals are conveyed from the mines in
wagons, upon railroads, to the banks of the rivers
Tyne, Wear, and Tees, where they are put into
ships, which convey them, by the river Thames,
to the port of London. In one year upwards of
two million tons of coal have thus been brought
to London by more than seven thousand vessels.
Coals are also conveyed to all parts of England
in boats upon canals. These canals are channels
cut from rivers, in every direction. In Great
Britain, canals extend nearly three thousand
miles; and the cost of cutting them has been
thirty millions of money.
A coal-mine is one of the greatest curiosities
of England. It consists of a deep pit, from which
galleries are hollowed out in the direction in
WHAT ARE COALS ?
which the coal lies under ground. In these gal-
leries the miners break down the coal with
pickaxes; it is then put into large iron buckets,
and drawn up by vast machinery to the mouth
of the pit.
A coal-mine resembles a little world under
ground: for men, women, and children work
there; there also are rail-roads, wagons, and
horses, &c. In the Newcastle mines, upwards
of eight thousand persons are thus employed
The danger of working in coal-mines is very
great. The air is sometimes so unwholesome as
to suffocate the workmen: when they approach
this foul air with a light, it takes fire, explodes
with great violence, throws the workmen, with
horses and machinery, through the pit into the
air, and bursts forth' at the mouth in flames.
To enable the miners to work in such places,
they use a lamp, covered with fine wire gauze,
called the safety lamp, which burns without set-
ting fire to the foul air. In places where the
air is not so foul, the mine is lighted up by large
blazing fires, and by the men carrying candles
with them. Fresh air is let down through pipes
from the opening of the pit; by pipes also the
unwholesome air is discharged from the interior
WHAT ARE COALS ?
of the mine and replaced by fresh; so as to
allow the working to proceed in safety.
In digging, the miners meet with many
springs; and water sometimes rushes into the
mine, with tremendous force, and drowns the
men. The water must then be got out of the
mine before the working can proceed: this is
done by vast pumps worked by a steam-engine,
one stroke of which will raise as much water
as five hundred men could pump out.
Coal, when it has been heated in large tight
iron pipes, produces gas that is burnt in lamps
coal yields also tar, which is used to cove
palings; and the remainder of the coal is coke
which burns without smoke.
Charcoal is what remains of wood after it h
been burnt in a close place.
What are coals ?
Have the forests become changed
from growing trees to a black
What does coal consist of?
Which coal burns with most
Which coal leaves most ashes ?
Is coal abundant in England ?
What is a coal-field ?
Which counties of England pro-
duce the best coal?
How are coals conveyed to London
and other places ?
What is a canal?
Describe a coal-mine.
In what respect does a coal-mine
resemble a little world under
Why is it dangerous to work in a
How is coal-gas obtained ?
What is coke?
What is charcoal ?
LESSON I. Household Furniture.
A HOUSE, when it has been built, is next to be
furnished, or supplied with articles for daily use
and convenience. These articles are generally
moveable, and are called furniture; but a few,
which are not moveable, as cupboards, shelves,
locks, and fastenings, are called fixtures.
Furniture is made of various substances; as
wood, metal, wool, and flax. It also includes
pottery, glass, cutlery, and the like.
THE FURNITURE OF A
The workman who shapes and fixes all wood-
work for ornament or convenience in the interior
of a house is called a joiner. The joiner, con-
sequently, makes the wooden fixtures, and is a
different man from the carpenter, who frames
and fits together the more rough and solid
timbers in building the house.
Cabinets, or ornamental boxes, were among
the first-made articles of furniture. The manu-
facturer of wooden furniture is generally called
a cabinet-maker. In the engraving he may be
seen at work: he is sawing a piece of wood, and
around him are various tools, and unfinished
articles of furniture.
The kinds of wood chiefly employed by him are
oak, beech, elm, walnut, and cherry, which grow
in England; deal, or planks of fir-wood, which
grows principally in the northern countries, as
explained in a previous lesson; and mahogany,
which grows many thousand miles distant, and
is brought in ships to this country, as will be
Oak is sometimes used for tables and drawers;
the common round kitchen table is generally
made of it. This wood lasts long, but it is
heavy, and hard to work; it is also as expensive
Tables are sometimes made of deal; and
wash-hand stands and tables for bed-rooms are
of deal, painted or japanned.
Beech and elm are often used for chairs and
tables, and the posts of bedsteads; sometimes
they are stained and polished to appear like
mahogany. Kitchen chairs are often made of
elm, without the stain. These woods are also
used for the frame-work of tables, which have the
upper parts of mahogany or other fine woods.
The walnut was called the cabinet-makers'
tree," before mahogany was introduced into
England; and tables, chairs, bedsteads, and
drawers, were made of it. Its wood is tpggh and
strong, beautifully marked, and easily polished:
but it is now seldom used.
The wood of the cherry-tree is sometimes used
for chairs; it is very close and prettily marked.
All wood used for cabinet-work ought to be
seasoned or hardened, so that it may not swell
with wet, nor shrink or crack with heat. On
this account, we see in the timber-merchants'
yards, piles of timber in planks, setup tobecome
seasoned by the air passing through them. The
furniture of a room is much exposed to the fire;
-and if the chairs and tables are made of un-
seasoned timber, they soon fall to pieces.
Cabinet-makers shape the furniture in sepa-
rate pieces, which they dove-tail together; that
THE FURNITURE OF A
is, they let or fit one piece into another, in the
form of the tail of a dove. They use wooden
pegs instead of nails; they fasten the pieces like-
wise with glue. Glue is a substance made by
boiling the skins of animals to a jelly. It is ap-
plied in a melted state, and hardens in cooling.
The surface of furniture is rubbed smooth, and
made to bear a high polish.
CERTAIN parts of furniture, as the legs and rails
of chairs, are turned, or shaped, by a machine
called ajathe. This machine consists of chisels,
moved by wheels and a spring: and in using it,
the workman turns about the wood, so as to
shape it by the chisel.
The legs of tables, and.the large posts of bed-
steads, are likewise turned by the lathe. But the
ornaments of these posts, as leaves and flowers,
are carved, or cut with a sharp knife.
The seats of chairs are sometimes made of
platted willow, like basket-work; and sometimes
of soft rushes, which grow on the banks of rivers.
Chairs of a better description have their seats
stuffed and covered with the hair of the tails
and manes of horses, and sometimes they are
covered with leather.
The seats of chairs are also made of split and
platted cane andbamboo,which grow abundantly
in warm countries, as India and China. In the
latter country, indeed, many houses are built
entirely of bamboo ; and nearly every article of
furniture is made of the same material.
Chests, or large boxes for holding clothes, are
made of various common woods. A chest of
drawers is a more convenient contrivance for
keeping clothes from dust. The drawers are so
many boxes without lids, which slide in and out
of a frame-work, to which they may be fastened
in front by locks. As the drawers slide one above
another, they only occupy more height than a
single drawer would; and thus much space is
saved in the floor of a room.
Furniture that is well made will last for many
years, although itis in.use everyday. Sometimes
insects bore little holes in the wood, and cause it
to decay and fall to pieces. But, in some old
mansions may be seen cabinets, chairs, and
tables, that were made a hundred years since,
and have been used by many generations of the
The person who sells furniture, fits up cur-
tains, and furnishes a house, generally, is called
In countries where the use of a chair, table,
and bedstead is unknown, the natives sit, eat,
and sleep upon the ground. We enjoy the com-
fort of a chair, on which we rest our wearied
limbs; of a table, on which our food is spread;
and of a bedstead, on which we sleep at night.
Let us, therefore, be thankful to God, for the
blessings which we derive from His providence:
for, at His divine will, the tree grows in the
forest, and man fashions its timber into useful
Can you tell me the difference be- How do cabinet makers join fur-
tween furniture and fixtures ? niture together ?
What description of work is done Of what does glue consist?
by the joiner ?
What description of work is done
by the carpenter ? How are the legs of chairs and
Why is a cabinet- maker so tables made ?
named ? Can you describe a lathe ?
Of what kind of wood is furniture Of what materials are the seats of
made ? chairs made ?
Of what kind of wood is the round Canl you describe to me a chest of
kitchen-table made ? drawers ?
What was the walnut-tree for- Will furniture last long?
merely called ? What is the person called who
Why should all wood be seasoned ? furnishes houses ?
LESSON II. Mahogany.
MAHOGANY is the most useful of all woods em-
ployed in the manufacture of furniture. Almost
every house in England now contains some
article made of mahogany; although the wood
has been used in this country little more than
a hundred years.
The mahogany tree grows in a warm climate.
England is too cold for it. It is one of the most
majestic trees in the world; its trunk is of vast
size, and its arms spread very wide; as you may
see in the engraving. The trunk is most valu-
able for the size of its timber; but the branches
yield the most beautiful wood.
The finest kind of mahogany is that which is
known as Spanish mahogany, and is brought
from the West Indies: this is the rich and dark-
coloured wood which is used for the best descrip-
tion of furniture. Another kind, known as Hon-
duras mahogany, is brought from the flat and
marshy coasts of America: it is of a lighter
colour, and of less value than Spanish mahogany.
Mahogany-cutting is the principal occupation
of the British settlers in Honduras. The trees
are generally felled in the month of August.
Parties of labourers then cut their way through
the thick forest to the finest mahogany trees,
which they hew down about twelve feet from
the ground; a stage being raised round the
trees for the axe-man, who fells them.
The workmen next cut roads through the
forest, along which the trees are to be conveyed
upon four-wheeled trucks drawn by oxen, to the
nearest river. Sometimes miles of road, and
many bridges, are made to a single tree. And
the making of these roads is the greatest portion
of the labour and expense of mahogany-cutting.
The trees are next sawed across into logs, some
of which are of an immense size, and weigh many
thousand pounds. These logs are of different
lengths; some trees furnish only one log, while
from another trunk four or five logs may be cut.
The largest log of Honduras mahogany ever cut
was seventeen feet in length, and weighed nearly
thirty-four thousand pounds. The logs are then
cut with an axe, from the round form in which
they grow, to a square shape as we see them in
the timber merchants' yards.
The logs are next conveyed upon the trucks
to the river during the night; for the heat of the
sun is too great to allow the oxen to work during
the day. Upon reaching the river the logs are
marked with the first letters of the owner's
name, and are then thrown into the stream.
The logs float for many miles, and the work-
men follow them in boats, until the logs are
stopped near the mouth of the river before it
flows into the sea.
Each party then separates its own logs, and
forms them into rafts; thus they float on to the
wharf of the owner,where the logs are taken out
of the water again, smoothed with an axe, and
made ready for shipping, or conveying in ships
to various countries. Great quantities of maho-
gany are brought to England; and in one year
there have been received as many logs of maho-
gany as loaded fifteen large vessels. One of
these logs was worth a thousand pounds.
The choicest mahogany is too expensive to be
used in thick planks. The logs of this kind are,
therefore, cut into very thin pieces, called
veneers; these are laid, and neatly glued on wood
of an inferior kind, so as to make it appear like
planks of the handsomest mahogany. These
veneers show the beautiful curls and other
marks, which are so much admired in mahogany.
Of solid mahogany, of an inferior kind, are
turned and carved the legs of chairs and tables.
The saw-mill, by which logs are cut into
veneers, is one of the most ingenious machines
ever invented. It consists of large wheels, edged
with fine saws, which cut through the wood with-
out wasting much of it. These wheels, or saws,
are turned by a steam-engine, which has the
power sometimes of eighty men. In such a mill,
the largest saw is fifty feet round, and turns
ninety-five times in a minute! It will take off,
in three minutes, a sheet of veneer, nine or ten
feet long, and two feet wide; and some veneers
are but the sixteenth part of an inch in thick-
ness, or nearly as thin as a shaving.
All this work is performed with astonishing
nicety, and saving of the wood ; much of which
would be wasted by the common saw, as saw-
dust. The expense of sawing mahogany into
veneers is very great; and the charge for saw-
ing a very large log will sometimes exceed five
Rosewood, another beautiful wood used for
making furniture, is brought from South Ame-
rica. It is named from its having, when fresh,
a faint but agreeable smell of roses. Its colours
are dark brown upon a purple red ground; and
some of its markings are extremely elegant.
It is much heavier than mahogany; and is ge-
nerally cut into veneers, which are used for
tables, the cases of piano-fortes, and the like;
but the legs of chairs, tables, and piano-fortes,
are turned and carved from solid rosewood.
How long has mahogany been What do you call a veneer ?
used in England ? How is mahogany cut into ve-
Can you describe the mahogany neers?
tree, and tell me where it grows ? Can you describe a saw-mill for
Which is the finest kind of maho. cutting veneers ?
gany ? From what country is rosewood
Which is the inferior mahogany ? brought ?
When is mahogany cut ? Why is rosewood so named ?
What is the principal expense of What are the colours of rosewood ?
mahogany.cutting? What articles of furniture are
How is mahogany cut into logs? made from it?
LESSON III. Metal Furniture: Iron.
MANY articles of furniture are made of metal;
as stoves, fenders, and fire-irons; candlesticks
and kitchen utensils. The metals used for these
purposes are iron, copper, and tin; and the
compounds called steel, brass and pewter.
Iron stoves are cast in separate pieces, from
models, or patterns of the pieces, made very
smooth and exact in fine sand. The form of
the model is taken by pressing it in moistened
sand within boxes; the sand dries, hardens, and
becomes a mould, into which the melted iron is
poured; and the iron, being allowed to cool, is
taken out solid.
All the pieces being thus cast, they are filed
or made smooth, and then fitted up, or put to-
gether, to form a complete stove, such as you
see in the opposite engraving. The bars, and
parts of the fronts of stoves, are sometimes made
of polished steel, and of very beautiful patterns.
Close or covered stoves for heating rooms,
and such as are used in laundries, are also of
cast iron; as are boilers, kettles, and sauce-
pans; irons for smoothing clothes; and the
machinery, wheels, and chains of a mangle.
A kitchen-grate, or range, is a very ingenious
contrivance for cooking food. The fire-place is
in the middle; and the fire will not only roast
meat before it, and boil a kettle above it, but
will heat an oven on one side, and cause water
to boil on the opposite side. The smoke, in
passing up the chimney, turns a wheel as the
wind turns the shafts of a windmill; and this
wheel gives motion to a machine called a jack,
which turns the meat upon the spit before the
fire. Thus a fire is made to roast, boil, and
bake, as well as to heat a room at the same time.
Fenders are used to prevent cinders from
rolling off the hearth upon the wooden floor;
and without them all fires would be dangerous
Fenders are of handsome open forms, such as,.
that in the engraving, They are made of ca
iron, or polished cut steel and brass. Each of
the latter kind is, at first, a plate of steel or
brass, out of which the pattern or open figures
are cut by the sharp stroke of a screw-press.
The plate is next hammered level, and ground
upon a stone wheel and polished. The fender
is then bent into the shape required: under-
neath it is placed a plate of rolled iron, sup-
ported upon claw or ball feet, to catch the
cinders; and thus the fender is complete.
Fenders and screens are also made of wire
network, with a piece of bright metal at top and
bottom. These are very useful to guard against
the danger of hot cinders flying out of the fire,
and to keep children from approaching too near
Every fire-place is supplied with a set of fire-
irons, which are a shovel, a poker, and a pair of
tongs. These are made of common iron; or of
iron, case-hardened by heating, and then dipping
it into water. The common irons are ground
upon a wheel, rolled on stone, and roughly
polished. The most expensive kinds are made
of good steel, or fine iron.
Great numbers of all kinds of stoves are cast
at the Carron Iron Works,by the side of the river
Carron, in Scotland. This manufactory is the
largest of its kind in the world, and many hun-
IRON FURNITURE. 63
dred persons are employed in it. A canal is
cut from the river to the works, where the
manufactures are put into boats, and conveyed
to the Carron, to be shipped in. large vessels,
and brought to England. These vessels return
to Scotland, laden with goods from the port of
That useful machine, the coffee-mill, is made
of rolled iron. It consists of a kind of funnel, or
cup, in which is put the coffee; underneath is a
sharp-cut box of iron, or steel, with a notched
roller in it; this is turned by the handle outside;
and as the coffee sinks from the cup, it is crushed
to powder by the roller turning in the box, and
falls out below. Many thousands of these mills
are made every year at Birmingham.
Locks are commonly made of iron. The outer
part, or box, is of cast iron; and the inner
works are of iron finely wrought.
Thus, we see that iron is as useful in furnish-
ing as it is in building a house.
What articles of furniture are of How are steel and brass fenders
metal ? made ?
What metals are used for making How are fire-irons made ?
them ? Which is the largest stove manu.
How are stove-grates cast ? factory in the world?
Can you describe a kitchen-range? Can you describe a coffee-mill?
Of what use are fenders ? Of what metals are locks made ?
LESSON IV. Cutlery ; Knives and Forks.
THE cutlery in common use in every house con-
sists of knives, forks, and scissors. The forms
of these articles are too well known to need de-
scription; for we employ a knife at each meal,
and scissors are in daily use. These, and all
other cutting instruments, are made of steel.
Steel is made by putting pure iron with
charcoal into cle& pots, which are placed in a
strong coal-fire in a covered furnace; where the
pots are allowed to remain until the iron has
become changed by the heat and the charcoal
into common steel.
But this steel is blistered, or full of little
KNIVES AND FORKS.
holes; and, to make it solid, it must be heated
and beaten with large hammers, when it will
become shear-steel. It is again heated, and then
tilted, that is, beaten with hammers upon anvils.
It is next passed, while red hot, between vast
metal rollers, which are worked by water, or
Near Sheffield, where the finest steel is made,
are extensive mills, in which a large water-wheel
works hammers, weighing from three to four
hundred pounds, and causes them to strike from
one to two hundred times in a minute. In the
same mill is a tilting-hammer, which gives three
hundred strokes in a minute; here, also, are im-
mense rollers for flattening the steel.
The finest steel is cast,by melting the blistered
or common steel in afurnace, and pouring it into
iron moulds to cool. It is then gently heated
again, and carefully hammered into bars.
All those articles which do not require a fine
polish,and are of low price, are made of blistered-
steel. Articles of a better description are made
from shear-steel. The fi kinds of cutlery
are made from cast-steel, as no other will bear
a high polish.
Table-knives are mostly made of shear-steel,
as we see by the stamps on their blades. Each
knife passes through sixteen hands, or one hun'
dred and forty-four stages of workmanship.-
Yet, so rapidly is all this done, that in the work-
shop at Sheffield, a dinner-knife is shaped in a
The cutting part of the blade of a knife is first
hammered out of a bar of heated steel. A piece
of iron is then struck on to the thicker end of the
blade, and forms the tang or shank, which is fitted
into the handle. Two men, the maker and striker,
will form a great number of blades in a day.
The blade is next hardened by plunging it,
when red-hot, into cold water; but as the steel
then becomes too hard, or brittle, it is tempered,
or made softer, by again heating it. The blade
is next carried to the grinding-mill; and there
ground upon stone wheels of different fineness;
these wheels are worked by the foot upon a
treadle, as in the knife-grinder's barrow, seen
The blade is then polished upon a wheel
covered with leather; and the metal part of the
knife being now finished, it is fastened into a
handle of ivory, bone, wood, or other substance.
Forks are shaped from steel, at the anvil, and
the prongs are stamped out, hardened, tempered,
and ground upon a dry stone. Common forks
are of cast-iron, which being heated, hammered,
and polished, appears like steel. Of this metal
KNIVES AND FORKS.
are also cast annually many thousand pairs of
cheap scissors and snuffers.
The grindstone, or knife-grinder's barrow, is
represented in the engraving; where the man, by
setting his foot upon the treadle, turns the large
wheel; from this lines pass to the smaller wheel,
upon which he is grinding the knife. By this
contrivance, the man works with his hands and
foot at the same time.
What articles are called cut- Which part of a knife is made
How is steel made ? How is the blade hardened ?
Why is steel hammered and How is the blade tempered?
rolled ? How is the blade ground ?
How is the finest steel made ? How is the blade polished ? I
Which are the principal kinds of Of what are knife-handles made ?
steel? How are forks made ?
Of which kind of steel are table- Of what are common forks made?
knives made? How is the grindstone worked?
LESSON V. Cutlery; Scissors, Razors,
A PAIR of scissors occupies more time in making
than any other article of cutlery. It is made by
hand; and each pair passes through sixteen or
seventeen hands, including fifty or sixty kinds
of work, before it is ready for sale.
Each part of a pair of scissors is made from a
flat piece of steel; the cutting part is first shaped
on the anvil; nextthe shank; and then the bows,
or holes for the fingers, are formed upon the
point of a small anvil.
The parts of scissors are next put into the fire
in little bundles, to be softened. The shanks
and bows are then filed, and the hole is bored for
the screw to fasten the scissors in pairs. The
blades are next ground, and shaped on stone
wheels; they are then put in pairs, and screwed
together. "After this, the screw is taken out, and
the shanks and bows are hardened and made
bright. The screw is again put in, the edges of
the blades are sharpened, and the scissors are
finished with a polished steel instrument. These,
however, are but a few of the stages through
which a pair of scissors passes before it is com-
Snuffers are made nearly in the same manner
as scissors, which they much resemble.
Razors are made of the finest steel; and each
razor passes through a dozen hands. After the
blade is formed it is hardened and then tempered
by heating, until it is of a straw-colour. It is
next ground and polished upon wheels, so as
to make the blade hollow, and give it a very
The manufacture ofa penknife is divided into
three branches. The first is the forming of the
blade, the spring by which it opens and shuts,
and the iron-work of the handle. The second
branch is the grinding and polishing of the blade.
The third branch consists of fitting up all the
parts of the handle, and finishing the knife.
The handles of penknives are covered with
bone, wood, or horn, fastened with little metal
pins or rivets. Some handles are of the outside
of the rough horn of the stag: others are made
of horn, pressed between hot metal plates, and
thus ornamented with figures.
The fine edge of every blade is produced by
hardening. Common blades are not enough
hardened; so that when the first edge of the knife
is worn off, the rest of the blade is too soft to
Common scissors of cast-iron, with the blades
slightly hardened, are sold by the manufacturer
at less than sixpence for a dozen pairs, or less
than a halfpenny a pair. Small knives with
handles are also cast, and sold at a halfpenny
each. These inferior articles are sent from
England, in vast numbers, to all parts of the
Nothing excites the wonder of the natives of
uncivilized countries more than a knife or a pair
of scissors, which is often a fit present for a
sultan, or chief. In such countries, travellers
sometimes exchange knives and scissors for gold
and precious stones.
British cutlery is superior to that made in any
other country in the world. Great quantities of
table-knives are sentto the East and West Indies
and America; and knives are made in England
of various forms, according to the fashion of
The finest cutlery is made in Sheffield and its
neighbourhood; where are manufactured great
quantities, said to be made in London, and sold
as Town made," which we often see stamped
on blades. Cutlery is also made at Birmingham.
What article of cutlery occupies How is the edge given to a
most time in making ? blade ?
How many hands does a pair of Why cannot a common blade be
scissors pass through in making? sharpened ?
Can you describe how a pair of Are not some scissors and knives
scissors is made ? sold at very low prices ?
Can you tell me how a razor is Is British cutlery of fine quality ?
made? Where is the finest cutlery
How is the making of a penknife made ?
LESSON VI. Tin.
TIN is one of the most useful metals in manu-
facturing the furniture of a kitchen. It is found
abundantly in Cornwall, at the Land's End, or
western extremity of England. Its value has
been for many centuries known in this country.
The Phoenicians, an ancient people of Asia,
are believed to have traded to Cornwall for tin
long before the period of thebirth of our Saviour,
or more than two thousand years since. And
this early trade in tin,with other countries, is said
to have laid the foundation of British commerce.
In Cornwall the land is very barren, and corn
will grow in few places. But the mines there
yield abundance of tin; this is given in exchange
for the corn of other parts of England, which
grow plenty of grain, but have no tin mines.
About two thousand tons' weight are also sent
every year from England to other countries.
The quantity of this metal found in Cornwall
is very great. The working of the mines employs
many thousands of persons, and the owners
get very rich by their trade in tin.
Tin ore is found in veins, from which branch
lesser veins, like the boughs of a tree, until they
become as fine as threads. It is also found in
floors, or layers, and in grains and small masses,
in the natural rock.
Tin mines are not so deep as other mines: but,
in a few places, they have been carried far under
the sea. In these tin mines, the roar of the
waves sounds like thunder, and the water some-
times streams through the roof, and great care is
necessary to prevent its breaking in, in such
quantities as to drown the miners.
Upon the discovery of a spot containing tin
ore, the miners sink a pit or shaft, and follow
the vein under-ground in galleries; a shaft being
also sunk at every hundred yards to admit air.
Within the mine, large masses of ore are blown
off'by gunpowder. The ore is then broken into
pieces, and put into large buckets, which are
hauled to the mouth of the principal shaft by a
capstan. This consists of an upright roller,
around which winds a rope, with the buckets
fastened to it. From this roller projects a beam,
to the end of which horses or oxen are fastened,
and go their rounds, winding the rope round one
part of the capstan, and unwinding it from an-
other; and thus they pull up a bucket full of
ore, while an empty one is descending.
In some mines this capstan is worked by
steam. The mines are also drained by the steam
engine; and some of the largest engines in the
world are employed in pumping water from the
tin and copper mines of Cornwall.
When the ore is raised from the mine, it is
divided into shares, which are measured out by
barrows. The ore is next pounded or stamped,
in pits,by a mill; and from these pits it is carried
to a large vat, and washed in it by women and
The ore is then heated in a furnace with oChg-
coal and a little lime; and the pure metal, being
thus separated, is poured into moulds to cooL
Where is tin most abundantly Are tin mines very deep?
found in England ? How do the miners proceed ?
What is said to have laid the foun- How is the ore drawn from the
dation of British commerce ? mine ?
In what form is tin found in the How is tin separated from its
earth? ore ?
LESSON VII. Tin-ware.
TIN is one of the cleanest of metals, and will not
rust from damp. It is, therefore, much used for
coating other metals.
What are improperly called tin saucepans, are
made of sheet-iron dipped in melted tin, to pre-
vent the iron from rusting. Neither copper nor
cast-iron kettles or saucepans would be whole-
some to boil water or food in, if their insides
were not washed over with melted tin. Lead,
which is in itself poisonous, when it is mixed
with tin, forms pewter, of which drinking-pots
are made. Tin, mixed with quicksilver, is used
for "silvering," or making looking-glasses. Pre-
parations of tin are also employed in dyeing,
and for various other useful purposes.
The art of making tinned vessels is called
tin-plate working. The tools used are few and
simple; as much depends upon the dexterity of
the workman. To form a saucepan, the tin-plate
is first cut into the proper size and pattern with
shears. It is then shaped upon a block; the
two edges of the sides are laid one over the
other, and the workman, with a hot iron, melts
solder over the edges. When the solder cools
and hardens, the bottom of the saucepan is
fitted in, and soldered like the sides. The
solder consists of lead and tin, and almost con-
ceals the seams of the vessel. To preserve the
shape of the vessel, iron wire is used at its mouth
or outer edge, and, by means of a hammer,
covered with a tinned plate. This adds much
to the strength and appearance of the vessel.
In the engraving, at page 71, the tinman is
at work upon a tea-kettle. Before him are the
soldering-irons and pot, and a large hammer;
and on his right side are the shears.
Vessels made of tin-plate are much lighter,
and more convenient for use, than those which
are made of wood. Tinned vessels are, there-
fore, useful for carrying milk, for their small
weight, as well as for their sweetness and clean-
ness; and, with proper care, the coating of tin
lasts for a long time.
Sometimes tin-plate vessels are covered with
a kind of varnish, called Japan. Children's
toys, such as little carriages and horses, are
made of thin tin-plate, painted and varnished.
These toys not only amuse children, but the
making of them furnishes employment for thou-
sands of industrious persons.
Block-tin articles are made by beating the
metal upon a stake with a polished steel
hammer, so that the surface appears smooth
and silvery. In this manner are made dish-
covers, which are fine, clean, and durable.
Pewter is a mixed metal, consisting of tin
united to small portions of lead, zinc, bismuth,
Pewter plates and dishes are formed by ham-
mering; and spoons are cast in moulds. Pewter
articles are chiefly manufactured in London.
They are made and stamped according to law,
and exported to almost every part of the world.
Travellers have seen pewter dishes, bearing the
London stamp, in use in the middle of Africa;
where the dinner of a king is served on pewter.
Britannia metal, of which tea-pots, spoons,
and candlesticks are made, consists chiefly of
tin, with small portions of copper and brass,
melted together. It is then poured into moulds,
or rolled into sheets.
Tea-pots are made of the sheet metal, which
the workman bends over a model, while it
spins round. A clever workman can spin nearly
two hundred and fifty of these tea-pots in a
day: the spouts and handles are afterwards
added, as are the ornaments, which are stamped
or punched with presses.
Drinking-pots and measures are either made
of the sheet-metal, or are cast; and turned in a
lathe. Spoons are cast singly in brass moulds;
and they are made and sold at home, as well as
sent abroad in great numbers. They are cheap,
cleanly, and lasting; and bear a polish nearly
equal to silver.
Britannia metal is first polished with brushes,
and wheels covered with leather: and is finished
by rubbing with the hand.
Tea-pots made of this metal keep the heat
longer than earthenware tea-pots, and better
extract the flavour of the tea. The handles
are of bone or wood; for, if they were made of
metal, the boiling water in the tea-pot would
make them too hot to be held in the hand.
Tin is used not only for making domestic
utensils, but also for dyers' boilers, for stills,
and many other implements employed in the
Why is tin used for coating other How are dish-covers made?
metals? Of what does Britannia metal
Why are copper and iron sauce- consist ?
pans tinned ? How is a Britannia metal tea-pot
Of what is pewter made? made ?
What is tin-plate working I Why is the handle of the tea-pot
Can you describe the making of a made of bone or wood ?
saucepan ? How is a Britannia metal spoon
Of what does solder consist? made?
Why are tinned vessels so useful? How is Britannia metal polished ?
How are pewter plates and dishes Can you name a few other pur.
made ? poses for which tin is used ?
LESSON VIII. Copper and Brass.
COPPER is a more handsome metal than iron,
lead, or tin. It is of a fine red colour, with a
tinge of yellow, and it bears a high polish. It
is moderately hard, and is easily beaten with a
hammer into any form. Copper is much used
in manufacturing kettles and saucepans, which
are the bright and ornamental, as well as useful,
furniture of the kitchen.
Copper, mixed with another metal called
zinc, forms brass, and Prince's metal, of which
candlesticks are made.
Copper also produces the light blue qolour,
much used in staining paper for hanging rooms;
and it furnishes green paints for wood-work,
COPPER AWID BRASS.
Copper is obtained abundantly in Cornwall,
where the mines produce y rly upwards of ten
thousand tons of pure metal. It is found mixed
with ore, in veins among rocks; it is dug in
shafts and galleries, and hauled from the mine
as other metals are. It is generally found at a
much greater depth in the earth than tin; and
copper mines are liable to be flooded with water,
which is drained from them by sloping galleries,
or pumped up by the aid of steam engines.
To prepare copper ores for market, children
are employed to pick them from the rubbish
with which they are mixed. The large frag-
ments of ore are broken into smaller pieces by
women, and, after being again picked, are given
to girls, who, with a flat hammer, break the
copper ore into pieces not larger than the tip
of the finger. These pieces are next crushed
still smaller by passing them under a wheel; or
they are bruised by heavy weights or hammers
in a stamping mill, while a stream of water runs
through the broken ore, and carries with it all
that is sufficiently bruised. It is next shaken
in a kind of iron sieve while under water, the
earthy matter is washed away, and the copper
whloh.remains is piled up for sale.
Te opposite cut shows the machinery for
th~eipurposes, at Fowey Consols copper mines,
COPPER AND BRASS.
The copper is reduced, or brought to the
state of metal, by fire; but, as Cornwall does
not contain sufficient coal for this purpose, the
copper ore found there is sent in ships to be
melted at Swansea, in Wales, where coal
abounds; for it is much cheaper to carry the
ore to the coal than coal to the ore.
The vessels which convey the ore to Swansea,
are laden back with coals to Cornwall. In the
vast works at Swansea, upwards of twelve
thousand persons are employed in digging
coals, in melting the copper, and in shipping
for its conveyance.
The ore, being picked and broken, is heated
in a furnace. It is next melted in a smaller
furnace, when the metal falls to the bottom; and
the kind of cinder which separates from it is cast
into masses, and used like bricks for building.
The copper is next poured into water two or
three times, to separate impurities, which are
chiefly sulphur, iron, and arsenic. It is then
cast into long pieces, which are broken up,
roasted, and melted with charcoal in the re-
fining-furnace; lastly, it is cast into solid cakes,
or it is rolled by a mill into sheets, which are
sent in ships to the different markets.
Great quantities of sheet-copper are used for
sheathing or covering the bottom of ships, to
COPPER AND BRASS.
defend them from sea-worms, and preserve them
from decay by the water.
. Sheet-copper is also made into the large boil-
ing vessels, which are called coppers. A great
quantity of copper is made into plates for en-
What is the colour of copper ? How are copper mines drained of
What furniture is generally made water ?
of copper ? Where is copper chiefly melted ?
How is Prince's metal made ? How is copper made into
Where is copper found in Eng- sheets ?
land ? What is sheet copper principally
Is a copper mine generally deeper used for ?
than a tin mine ?
LESSON IX. Copper and Brass Furniture.
THE manufacturer of copper vessels is called a
copper-smith; and a tea-kettle is a good spe-
cimen of his work.
To make a tea-kettle, apiece of copper is cut
from the sheet with a pair of shears, and bent
into the required form; the seam is then soldered
up over a coke fire. The vessel, when cooled, is
hammered upon a steel stake, until the seam is
smooth and the shape perfect. Two inches of
the copper are next beaten inward over a sloping
anvil, to form the top of the kettle, leaving an
opening for the lid. The lower end is then turned
inward all round, and the bottom of the kettle is
COPPER AND BRASS.
put in, soldered, and hammered in the same
manner as the side.
The kettle is next beaten until it is bright.
The lid is then stamped out. The handle is cast,
and the spout is soldered up and shaped; and
both are soldered or riveted into their places.
Copper is of an unwholesome nature; and, if
it is allowed to get damp, it will become covered
with a light green rust, which is poisonous.
All copper vessels, unless the tinning is perfect,
are dangerous for use; and many persons have
been poisoned by eating provisions kept in
copper pans, the tinning of which was worn off.
Copper is sometimes hammered into very thin
leaves to imitate gold leaf. It is this mock gold
which is laid on gingerbread, but children should
beware of eating what is called gilt gingerbread,
for the copper covering, or gilt," is poisonous.
Great quantities of copper are coined into far-
things, halfpence, and penny-pieces. The copper
is rolled into sheets, out of which the round
pieces are cut by a press; and by another press,
both sides are stamped at the same time with
the patterns or dies cut in steel. At each press,
thirty thousand penny or halfpenny pieces may
thus be stamped, or coined, in a day.
The compound of which bells are made con-
sists of copper and tin; but house-bells have
COPPER AND BRASS FURNITURE.
little copper in them. Of this compound, which
is called bell-metal, are also made preserving
pans, and pestles and mortars for pounding hard
Bronze, of which clocks, statues, and other
ornaments are made, consists of copper and tin,
with small quantities of other metals.
Brass is made by melting copper and zinc
together in clay pots, in a strong coal fire. It
is a cheap and handsome metal, and in colour
resembles gold. Many useful and ornamental
articles are cast in brass, which is also drawn
into fine wire, and cut into pins; and the pins
are whitened by boiling them with tin.
Brass is made in great quantities at Birming-
ham; and the manufacturer is called a brass-
founder. There are few houses in England in
which articles of brass are not seen. Some of
these are cast, as the heads of door-knockers,
the claw-feet of fenders, and the handles of
doors and drawers. The fine parts are finished
by filing, or with a steel chisel.
Other articles, such as finger-plates for doors,
and the fronts of fenders, are made of sheet-
brass. The elegant figures on them are stamped
by laying the brass upon the pattern, and letting
fall upon it a heavy weight, or hammer. In a
curtain-pin, the stem is of brass, but the head is
84 COPPER AND BRASS FURNITURE.
of iron, covered with thin brass stamped in
various figures. Lamps also are made of brass,
or of tin covered with brass.
Some kinds of brass-work are turned in a
lathe, others are burnished, or polished with a
hard stone, and soft leather. To give the metal
the fine rich gold colour which is so much ad-
mired in the brass ornaments of houses, the arti-
cles are dipped into a hot liquid called lacquer.
Many trinkets, brooches, watch-keys, and
chains, are also made of brass, and gilt; that is,
they are dipped in a liquid, in which a very
small portion of gold has been melted, so as to
imitate articles, which, being made of gold, are
of much greater value.
Prince's metal is nearer to the colour of gold
than common brass. It is named from its in-
ventor, Prince Rupert, who lived about two hun-
dred years since, in Charles the Second's reign;
and of whom we read in the history of England.
What is the maker of copper Of what does bronze consist?
vessels named ? How is brass made ?
How is a tea-kettle made ? Name a few articles made of
Why is gilt gingerbread poison- brass.
ous ? How is brass-work polished ?
Can you describe the making of How is brass gilt?
copper coin ? Why is Prince's metal so named ?
Of what metal are bells made ?
LESSON X. How Buttons are made.
THE manufacture of buttons employs many thou-
sand hands, and much curious machinery.
Metal buttons are chiefly made at Birming-
ham. They are formed of different metals.
The shanks, or rings, by which they are sewn to
clothes, are of brass or iron wire, and the making
of them is a trade by itself. They are made
very rapidly; one kind of machine, which is
worked by a steam-engine, producing by a single
stroke eighty of these shanks in a minute.
Some buttons are cast in moulds, in shallow
boxes of sand; the shank is placed in the
middle of each mould, and becomes fixed there
as the metal cools. In this manner from six
to twelve dozen buttons are made, or cast, at a
time. White metal buttons are made of brass
and tin, and are whitened by boiling them with
grain tin and tartar. Plated buttons are made
from sheet-copper, covered with silver, or plated,
as will be presently described.
Buttons intended to be gilded are cut out of
sheet metal, as brass and zinc, or copper, by one
stroke of a fly-press. The edges are then rolled
between two pieces of steel in a machine, which is
worked very quickly by a boy; and the faces are
polished by the quick stroke of a steel hammer.
The shanks are next soldered on, several at a
time, and the buttons are then prepared for
Buttons are gilded by putting them into a
strong acid liquid, in which are dissolved gold
and quicksilver. The buttons are then taken
out, dried within a furnace, and burnished with
hard stones at a lathe. This gives them a rich
golden lustre, although so little gold is used in
the gilding, that less than five grains, when
mixed with the quicksilver, is made to cover a
gross, or one hundred and forty-four coat buttons.
The names of the buttons, and their makers,
are stamped on the back, as well as crests and
other figures on the front, by placing the buttons
between steel dies, on which the figures are cut
and letting a heavy weight fall upon the upper
die. In this manner are stamped the buttons of
servants' liveries, and soldiers' clothes; and a
manufacturer has many sets of dies for livery-
buttons alone. The cutting of these dies is a
separate trade from button-making.
Buttons are made of other substances besides
metal. Those which are covered with silk or
cloth consist of moulds, or thin round pieces of
hard wood or bone, with a hole in the middle.
They are cut by a machine from such chips of
bone as are too small for other purposes; and
a little girl at a machine can cut out many of
these moulds in a minute.
Is not the making of buttons a
curious art ?
Where are metal buttons chiefly
How are the shanks of buttons
Can you tell me how some buttons
are cast ?
How are the shanks fixed in cast
Of what materials are white metal
buttons made ?
How are plated buttons made ?
How are gilt buttons made ?
How are the shanks fastened to
How are buttons gilded?
Is much gold used in gilding
How are names and figures
stamped on buttons ?
Are not buttons made of other
materials besides metal ?
How are button.moulds cut ?
LESSON XI. Silver; Plate.
SILVER and gold are called the 'precious metals,'
on account of their scarcity and the difficulty qf
obtaining them; as well as the peculiar proper-
ties they possess. A small quantity of gold or
silver is readily taken in exchange for great
quantities of other metals; but neither silver nor
gold, in themselves, are so useful as iron, tin, or
copper, which metals contribute so greatly to
the convenincos and comforts of life
Silver has been obtained from the lead mines
of Great Britain; and it rarely happens that
lead is not mixed with some portion of silver.
It is found in various parts of Europe, as
Sweden, and Norway, France, and Spain. It
is dug in galleries under ground, some of which
are of very great length.
The richest silver mines in the world are among
the mountains of the Andes, in South America.
Silver was once so plentiful in Mexico, that
tables, picture-frames, footstools, and jugs, in
common use, were sometimes made of solid
An extensive silver mine of South America is
represented in the print annexed to this lesson.
In the middle are seen the labourers employed
to carry up the ore, each of whom carries a
certain quantity strapped to his back; with this
load he climbs the rude ladders, which are
fixed nearly upright, and lead to the mouth of
Silver is found in the earth sometimes like
threads, sometimes in the form of leaves, and"
sometimes in large masses. It is rarely found
pure, being usually mixed with gold, mercury,
copper, tin, iron, or lead.
Silver is separated from these metals by wash-
ing and grinding the ore, and roasting it with
salt in furnace. Itis then mixed with mercury,
or quicksilver, and put into the furnace, when
the mercury is dissolved by heat, and goes off
in vapour, and the pure silver remains. Silver
is extracted from lead by melting the ore in
the open air; the lead burns to ashes, and the
pure silver sinks. For most purposes, silver is
alloyed with copper, without which it would not
have sufficient hardness to sustain much wear.
Silver is manufactured into articles for do-
mestic use: as tea-pots, drinking-mugs, waiters,
candlesticks, and spoons. Silver articles of
this kind are called plate. Tea-pots and mugs
are first shaped with a wooden mallet, then
beaten on a metal stake with a polished-steel
hammer, and finished by burnishing with steel
tools, stones, and leather.
The beautiful figures upon plate are raised
by chasing or embossing; that is, by striking
the silver with blunt steel punches in the shape
of the figures.
Much of the silver used in England is made
into forks and table and tea-spoons. These
articles are wrought upon the anvil, or cut out
of sheet-silver, and shaped by striking and
filing. The raised work is produced by placing
the articles, when red-hot, in a press, between
figures cut in steel. The marks upon the back
of silver articles are directed by law to be placed
there, in order to show that the silver is of the
Great quantities of silver are coined into
crowns, half-crowns, shillings, and sixpences.
One pound of silver is coined into sixty-six
Plated articles are those which are made of
common metal, as copper, and are coated with
silver. The finest ware of this kind is made
at Sheffield, and is, on that account, called
" Sheffield plate." Here costly breakfast, dinner,
and dessert services are made, and steel spoons
and forks are plated so as to be equal in ap-
pearance to silver.
(f late years, too, some very clever imita-
tions of silver have been made by different
mixtures of the regulus of antimony, zinc, bis-
muth, and other metals, with lead. Spoons,forks,
candlesticks, and other articles for domestic use
have been made of these mixed metals, in very
elegant patterns, and they are now extensively
used in families where a taste for the elegances
of life prevail, but where silver articles of the
same kind could not be afforded.
Silver is prepared for plating as follows:-A
layer of silver is placed upon a layer of copper;
both are heated, and then flattened, by steel
rollers of tremendous power, into sheets the
thickness of writing-paper, or, if required, to
the thinness of silver-paper. This coating is
spread over the articles, which have been beaten
with a steel hammer, and polished.
A plated candlestick is made by first soldering
the tube or upright part, which is of copper,
coated with silver; the screws and slides are of
brass turned in a lathe, as in the nozzle or top of
the candlestick, over which the silver coating is
folded: and the foot or bottom is stamped. The
raised ornaments are generally stamped hollow,
out of very thin silver; they are then filled with
soft solder, and fastened upon the candlestick
with a hot soldering iron.
The nicety of plate-working, or plating
articles, is truly astonishing. Although the
silver coatirig is extremely thin, it is spread
over the copper so dexterously, as to make the
article appear as if made of silver itself. Many
thousand pounds' worth of silver are yearly
consumed in this mode of plating.
Great quantities of silver and gold are used
in making the cases of watches, the works or
inside of which are of fine brass and steel.
When therefore we speak .of a silver watch, or
of a gold watch, we only speak of its case.
Which are called precious
Are silver and gold as useful as
other metals ?
In what countries is silver found ?
Where are the richest silver
In what form is silver found in
the earth ?
How is silver extracted from the
metals it is found mixed with ?
What domestic articles are made
of silver ?
What do we call plate ?
How is a silver spoon made ?
Is not much silver made into coin
or money ?
How many shillings are coined
from a pound of silver ?
How are the articles called
Sheffield plate made ?
How is silver prepared for plat-
Can you tell me how a plated
candlestick is manufactured ?
Is not much silver used in plating ?
What do we mean when we
speak of a gold or silver watch ?
LESSON XII. Gold.
GOLD is the purest and most precious of all
metals. It is found in small quantities in
Europe; but it occurs abundantly in other
quarters of the earth. In some parts of Asia,
the domestic utensils, and ornaments of the
palaces of kings, are of solid gold; and, in
former times, the roofs and pillars of temples
were covered with plates of gold.
In some parts of Africa, gold is obtained by
digging up the soil, in others by collecting the
sand brought down by the rivers and torrents.
This is carefully washed by the negro women, in
large bowls, and the small grains of gold that are
met with, are preserved in quills. What is thus
collected is called gold-dust, and it passes from
hand to hand, in the purchase of salt, cloths, arms,
gunpowder, and other articles of European pro-
duce and manufacture, required by the negroes.
A certain portion of the coast of Africa has
been called the Gold Coast, chiefly with reference
to the great quantities of that precious metal
brought there by the natives to exchange for
European commodities. But gold is found in
the greatest abundance in South America,
where also the negroes search for it in the sands
and beds of rivers, as shown in the engraving.
In those countries where silver and gold are
found in abundance, the people are byno means
so happy as they are in countries where silver
and gold are but rarely found.
Gold is found mixed with a little copper or
silver, and is then called native gold. It is
separated by melting, and then refined until it
is perfectly pure. Gold is too soft to be used
by itself, so that it is mixed with copper or
silver, to increase its hardness.
The making of gold-plate resembles the ma-
nufacture of silver-ware.
Articles of jewellery, such as brooches, pins,
and rings, are rarely made of pure gold. They
usually consist of some mixture of metal with a