Front Cover
 Half Title
 Title Page
 Table of Contents
 Back Cover

Group Title: The wonders of home : in eleven stories
Title: The wonders of home
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00001976/00001
 Material Information
Title: The wonders of home in eleven stories
Physical Description: iv, 166, 4 p., <8> leaves of plates : ill. ; 16 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Fley, Henry ( Printer )
Grant and Griffith ( Publisher )
S. & J. Bentley (Printer) ( Printer )
Publisher: Grant and Griffith
Place of Publication: London
Publication Date: 1850
Subject: Technology -- Juvenile literature   ( lcsh )
Science -- Juvenile literature   ( lcsh )
Bookplates (Provenance) -- 1850   ( rbprov )
Pictoral cloth bindings (Binding) -- 1850   ( rbbin )
Publishers' advertisements -- 1850   ( rbgenr )
Bldn -- 1850
Genre: Bookplates (Provenance)   ( rbprov )
Pictoral cloth bindings (Binding)   ( rbbin )
Publishers' advertisements   ( rbgenr )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: England -- London
Citation/Reference: Baldwin Library,
Citation/Reference: cf. NUC pre-1956,
Statement of Responsibility: by Grandfather Grey ; with illustrations.
Funding: Brittle Books Program
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00001976
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 002230852
oclc - 14126240
notis - ALH1218

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front page 1
        Front page 2
        Front page 3
        Front page 4
    Half Title
        Front page 5
        Front page 6
        Front page 7
        Front page 8
    Title Page
        Page iii
        Page iv
        Page v
        Page vi
    Table of Contents
        Page vii
        Page viii
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
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    Back Cover
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Full Text



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Witl) (igbt Blluotrations.

(8sCCessoBs TO JOHN HARsII,)









I HAVE attempted in the following pages, with
what success it is not for me to determine, to tell
children about the Wonders of Science with which
they are surrounded. My belief is, that it is wise
to cultivate a wholesome spirit of inquiry in the
minds of the young-to lead them to seek know-
ledge-rather than to drag them to their lessons;
and I hope that my stories of common household
objects may be the means of directing the minds of
many young people to the consideration of the toil
and ingenuity, at the cost of which they enjoy so
many comforts in their modern home. Such studies,
prosecuted in a spirit of gratitude, must be power-


ful for good. Indeed, home might be made to the
poetic minds of children a second fairy-land, if the
marvels of ingenuity and industry with which it
abounds, were laid bare to them. In the tea, coffee,
and sugar; the rice and flour; the chairs and
tables; the lamps and glasses; their frocks and
shoes,-children might be taught to read not only
interesting histories but powerful sermons, incul-
cating strength of will, diligence, and goodness.
Richter says well that "a good action, a noble
sacrifice, a galling wrong, are fit building-sites for
a child's church." In this belief I send forth my
stories. I trust that they may have the effect I
anticipate from them, and I ask no better success.





S.2 27
S. 45
S 58
. 67
S .. 127
S .. 147


I 1








Our household dwells amidst ten thousand hills,
Where the tea, north and south of the village, abundantly grows;
From Chinshe to Kuhyii, unceasingly hurried,
Every morning I must early rise to do my task of tea."
Chinese Ballad on Picking Tea.

THE story of the tea which is now being scalded
in the tea-pot is one with which few young readers,
and not many old ones, are acquainted. Most people
know that tea comes from China, but here the
general knowledge on the subject ends. Few peo-
ple in England, or indeed in Europe, are intimate
with the various processes which this fragrant leaf
undergoes before our merchant-ships convey it to


our docks, and thence to our tea-caddies. The im-
mense consumption of tea in this country-estimated
lately at fifty-eight millions of pounds yearly-
makes it imperative upon us all to know something
of its manufacture, that we may be enabled to guard
ourselves and our friends against adulterations of
a character injurious to the constitution. This re-
mark applies more particularly to young people,
since they have a long earthly future to look for-
ward to; whereas old men like myself have, in all
human probability, but a short span of life to mea-
sure. Therefore, let me impress upon my young
readers the responsibility of their position; let me
beseech them to bear in mind that their duty to
their friends, and to those who in years to come will
depend upon them, as they now depend upon their
friends, for guidance and subsistence, should urge
them to garner up industriously all the knowledge
which they are enabled to obtain in the days of their
youth. Let them strive with all their might to
benefit by the instruction of their teachers. Let



them walk abroad with an inquiring spirit: let
their thirst for knowledge never be quenched. By
knowledge I do not mean only the information to
be gathered from their school-books, but also a fami-
liarity with the history of every thing about them.
I always indulge my grandchildren in this inquisi-
tiveness; and the attention with which they listen
to my stories, and the interest they always take in
them, induce me, at their earnest request, to print my
histories for the benefit of their schoolfellows and
the juvenile public. The first long story which I
told them was that of a Cup of Tea. It was a frosty
night-the wind was howling without: we had
closed the shutters--the fire blazed upon the hearth,
the children's mamma was making some delightful
hot tea, and the youngest of the family was scorch-
ing himself making toast, to his infinite delight,
when I began my story, which ran, to the best of
my recollection, as follows:-




The story of the tea which your mother has just
scalded in the tea-pot, is one, as I said before,
with which few people living beyond the frontiers of
China are familiar. Considerable obscurity envelopes
the ancient history of tea. It is supposed by some,
and, I think, with reason, to be the malabathrum of
the ancient Greeks, though Chinese accounts place
the discovery of the useful and delightful properties
of tea as far back as A.D. 315, and assert also that
it did not come into general use before the period
of the Tang dynasty, that is to say about the be-
ginning of the seventh century. The description
given of malabathrum by the author of the Periplus
favours the idea that it was the leaf of the tea-plant
prepared in a rude manner; and if this be so, the
native country of the tea-plant is the romantic re-
gion of Assam and Yunnan, where it has recently
been found growing in a wild state.



When tea first became in general use among the
Chinese, they called it tu; but their modern name
for it is cha. The English word 'tea' is a corruption
of the Fuhkien dialect. The Fuhkien people, from
whom the plant was first obtained by Europeans,
pronounced it tay: the French version (thI) of the
word is therefore more correct than the English.
Botanists call tea, Thea; and it is classed by scien-
tific men, and by the Chinese themselves, with the
Camellia. In China, the tea-plant varies in height
from three to six or seven feet. It usually presents a
dense mass of foliage on an infinite number of small
thin twigs, such as you will often find mixed with
the tea, if you examine it in the caddy. In Assam,
where, as I have already told you, it may be found
wild, it often grows to the height of thirty feet.
The twigs of the plant are carefully pruned, to
increase the quantity of leaves, and develop the
branches laterally, so that the shrubs are usually
of great circumference in comparison to their height.
The leaf in its natural state is of a dark-green



colour, and of an oval shape. The flowers of the tea-
tree grow singly, and are white arid without scent.
The seeds of the tea-tree very much resemble hazel-
nuts, their kernels being enclosed in a hard husk,
and so oily as to decay soon after ripening. The
oil extracted from these seeds, though acrid and
bitter, is useful to the Chinese for various purposes.
The leaves are first gathered from the plant when
it is about three years old; though it is not full-
grown before it is six or eight years old. The
tea-plant is grown throughout the entire kingdom
of China. The demand for tea has become so great,
that the cultivation of cotton has been partially
abandoned in order to meet the demand for the fra-
grant leaves of the Bohea hills, Fuhkien, Chehkiang,
and Kiangsu. Every cultivator of the soil in Chir'a,
be his land extensive or limited in extent to a mere
garden, cultivates a few dozen shrubs, and either
cures the leaves himself, or plucks them to sell to
his richer neighbour. Indeed, the cultivation of the
tea-plant is almost exclusively in the hands of small



cultivators. In China there are few extensive land-
owners; but each little farmer raises carefully his
proportionate crops of cotton, silk, rice, and tea, on
his own ground.
The seeds of the tea-shrubs are thickly planted
in nursery-beds. They are sown thickly, because
from their oily and acrid nature, as I have already
told you, many of them fail. When the nurslings
are a foot or more high, they are transplanted into
rows about four feet apart. A rich sandy earth
with a fair proportion of vegetable mould in it,
and in an elevated situation, is generally chosen for
the propagation of the tea-plant. It is also neces-
sary that the soil be plentifully watered. A loamy
soil, with a sandy, loose covering, generally produces
an abundant crop of leaves; and in the Ankoi-hill
plantations in the Fuhkien province, much of the
tea is coloured with the iron contained in the land.
No preparation of the ground is necessary, nor is
much care usually taken to preserve the shrubs in
a healthy state. The resultoof this want of care is,


that in the neighbourhood of Canton particularly,
and in other parts of the empire, the tea-shrubs
are often covered with lichens, and sometimes bored
and destroyed by worms. The Chinese might, in
this matter, call to mind their excellent proverb, that
" trouble neglected becomes still more troublesome."
You must not, however, fall into the vulgar error of
supposing that this pig-tailed race, so jeered at by
ignorant persons, are the idle, barbarous, and ridicu-
lous people they are commonly represented to be.
I should indeed be sorry to hear my grandchildren
join in this ignorant outcry against a great and in-
dustrious people. I do not mention the carelessness
of the Canton tea-growers for the purpose of preju-
dicing you against Chinamen generally; on the
contrary, I am rather anxious to impress your
minds with the gigantic results of their untiring
industry. Not only have these people rendered
every available piece of land in their country use-
ful to the general good of the community, but they
have terraced their native hills almost to their sum-



mits, and propagated cotton, tea, and rice, hundreds
of feet above the level of the sea. They practise
upon a vast scale all the rural and manufacturing
arts, and maintain in perfect internal harmony a
community which may be moderately computed at
about three hundred millionsof souls.
Their customs may at first appear ridiculous in
the eyes of foreigners; nor is this to be wondered
at. The fundamental principle of their government
is self-dependence. The stupendous fabric they have
raised, their perfect internal harmony, and the pro-
gress of their arts and literature, are evidence of
the wisdom of their rulers. To a Chinaman, or to
a tsin jin, as they love to call themselves, China is
the world. Beyond the boundaries of their empire
is to them a void; and the general belief to this
day among the masses of the Chinese people is that
their country is Tien Hia, meaning Beneath the
Sky, and denoting the World. The common name
for their country in the present time is Chung
Kwoh, or Middle Kingdom, a name given to it



from an idea that it is centred in the middle of
the earth. These things certainly denote the igno-
rance of the people respecting their geographical
position; but they also account fully for the singu-
larity of their manners. Unaccustomed to mix
with foreigners, or even to admit them to the mys-
teries of their social customs, they have lived alto-
gether isolated from the great family of man, and
have, consequently, contracted habits and customs
differing essentially from those of other nations.
Let me, children, guard you from indulging in
ignorant raillery against a people to whose wisdom
the world owes the inventions of the compass, por-
celain, gunpowder, and printing.
Well, to return to the tea-plant: as I have told
you, when the tea-shrub is about three years old,
the Chinaman gathers his first crop of leaves from
it. Three crops of leaves are gathered from full-
grown shrubs during the season. The first picking
takes place about the middle of April, or whenever
the tender leaf-buds begin to open, and while the



leaves retain their youthful down. These young
leaves produce the finest tea; and the down that
remains upon them has given rise to the erroneous
notion that they are the petals of the tea-flower.
The second gathering is made in the early days of
May, when the shrubs, if the weather have been
propitious, are densely covered with full-sized leaves.
The Chinese pay particular attention to the state of
the weather, as they believe that excessive dews, or
the entire absence of moisture, mildews or withers
the leaves, thereby affecting the quality and quan-
tity of the crop. The average annual produce of a
single full-sized plant is said to be from eighteen
to twenty-four ounces; and it is estimated that a
thousand square yards of land devoted to tea-shrubs
generally contains between three hundred and four
hundred plants. The Chinese are very particular
as to the locality where their tea has been grown.
They have a decided preference for the produce of
the Bohea hills; and pretend to discriminate be-
tween the leaves of adjoining plantations. The



produce of esteemed nurseries is collected with the
most scrupulous care; and it is affirmed, on the
authority of native dealers, that the price of these
particular lots varies from 41. to 251. per pound.
The leaves are collected by handfuls. They are
stripped off the twigs with the utmost rapidity; and
men, women, and children are indiscriminately em-
ployed to do this labour. Each picker has a basket
slung round his neck, in which he conveys the leaves
he has plucked to the curing-house. One person
can, on an average, pick from twelve to fifteen
pounds of leaves in a day, for which labour the
wages are about sixpence. The third crop of leaves
is cc elected about the middle of July; and there is
also a fourth gleaning in August, called tsin lu, or
" autumn dew," from the name of the season in
which it takes place; the three previous crops are
called respectively first, second, and third springs.
The two last crops yield very inferior leaves, which
are seldom exported, but are probably reserved for
the use of the poorer Chinese.



Now, though it is reasonable to believe that the
tea-plant puts forth more healthy, and therefore
more valuable foliage in favourable situations, than
when planted in an unfavourable soil, or exposed
to the inclemencies of the weather, yet it appears
to me that the delicacy of the leaf and its flavour
depend to a great extent on the care bestowed
upon it after it is picked. Chinese authorities, in
fact, declare that the mode of curing the leaf has
as much to do with the delicacy and richness of
its flavour, as its age, or the nature of the soil
from which it has been nourished. A few of them
go so far as to assert that some sorts of tea are
quite changed from their original flavour by the
curative processes to which they are subjected.
You will not fail to observe, children, that as the
leaf grows old, its flavour increases in strength and
loses in delicacy. Your mother will tell you that
the flavour of Pecco and other fine kinds of tea
is more delicate than that of Souchong and Congo.
Well, the cause of the superior qualities of Pecco



is its extreme youth. Pecco and all the fine kinds
of tea are produced from the leaf-buds of the tea-
plant; while Souchong and Congo are the full-
blown, mature leaf of the plant. No tea-grower
would cure the delicate leaf-buds of the tea-plant
on the hot-pans where the coarser, because older
leaves had been roasted.
After the leaves have been gathered and housed,
they are carefully assorted, and the yellow and
decayed ones thrown aside. The sound leaves are
then thinly spread upon bamboo trays and placed
in the wind upon frames, where they are left until
the leaves begin to soften; then, while lying upon
the tray, they are gently rolled and rubbed until
red spots begin to appear, when they are tested by
pouring hot water upon them. If the hot water
turn the colour of the edges of the leaves to a
pale yellowish tint, the leaves are considered to be
ready for firing. The process of working or rolling
is tedious and laborious; so much so that the Chinese
call the tea so treated kungfu cha, or worked tea.



Congo is a corruption of kungfu cha. You may
then remember that Congo tea means rolled or
worked tea. The leaves having been properly rolled
and tested, are next subjected to the action of heat.
The iron pan having been previously heated, the
workman takes a handful of leaves and sprinkles
them carefully and thinly upon it, and waits till
each leaf has popped, when he dexterously brushes
them off into a basket, before they have had time
to become charred. The pans are the iron boilers
used in cooking, set in mason-work in an inclined
position and at a convenient height; three or four
are put into the same form, and heated by means
of a flue passing lengthwise under the whole. The
testing and rolling, which I have described to you,
is dispensed with in the curing of very common
tea; and the fresh leaves are at once thrown upon
the hot pans, and then turned over and kept in
motion by a workman before each pan, while ano-
ther carefully attends to the fire.
The mouth of the man who is watching the



leaves is carefully covered: this precaution is ne-
cessary to keep out the hot dust which rises in
clouds from the leaves. During the first firing an
acrid greenish juice is forced out, and is partially
evaporated, or given off in the form of vapour; but
as it is pressed out on the bamboo tables by the
workmen, it affects and irritates their hands. Four
or five minutes' heating is sufficient for the first
When the leaves have undergone this first firing,
they are thrown upon tables made of split bamboos
laid alongside each other with their round sides
up. The workmen take a handful of the hot
leaves in their hands, and roll and knead them
upon the table, in order to drive the oily green
juice completely out. This juice is allowed to
run through the interstices of the table on the
When the leaves have been thus rolled and
kneaded, they are shaken out loosely upon basket
trays, and exposed to the air to complete the dry-



ing; the object being to dry them gradually, that
they may not lose their brittleness, nor become too
crisp under the scorching rays of the summer sun.
When satisfactorily dried in this manner, the leaves
are thrown in large quantities into the pans to under-
go a second firing. This time the pans are heated
in a less degree than before; and the leaves are
thrown about constantly to prevent scorching. If
well rolled previously, this operation tends to make
the leaves shrivel and twist; and as they grow
hotter they are stirred with a brush, and tossed
about till they are completely dried. This second
firing is generally of an hour's duration. The leaves
are sometimes placed in trays over a charcoal fire
covered with ashes, after exposure to the air, and
left for two or three hours. This process makes
them of a darker colour than when rapidly fired
in the pans.
These processes, however, are occasionally varied
For instance, after the leaves have undergone the
first firing, rolling, and drying in the air, they are



sometimes scattered upon a fine sieve and placed
over a charcoal fire covered with ashes, to prevent
the smoke from reaching the leaves. They are
then removed to a coarser sieve, and the fine and
coarse leaves are in this way partially separated
before they are packed for market. This mode of
drying gives the leaves a greenish hue, varying
in degree according to the length of time they are
exposed to the air and fire. The common sorts of
black tea are left in the sun a much longer time
than the finer teas are allowed to remain. Thus
common black tea is exposed to the air sometimes
as long as two days, until a partial decomposition
has begun from the effects of the heating and roll-
ing. When intended for exportation, this tea is
thrown a second time into the roasting-pans, and
rolled about till it is partially charred, to prevent
the possibility of its turning mouldy in the course
of its voyages.
I have described to you the common mode of
curing tea; but I must not omit to tell you that



the Chinese adopt many means to give peculiar
flavours to particular leaves. Thus, the fine leaves
of Hungumey are placed under cover till they al-
most begin to ferment, and then are exposed to
the sun before the first roasting. The round fillets
of gunpowder tea are rolled singly, while damp,
into compact balls. Scented tea is manufactured
by placing fresh flowers of the Olea, Aglaia, and
other odoriferous plants, in a basket under that in
which the fine tea is placed over the fire, for the
last drying, and then stirring them a little with-
out mixing the two. It is necessary to pack the
tea which is scented in this manner directly it is
cured, or it will lose its peculiar flavour. Only
the finer sorts of tea are thus treated; but Chinese
exquisites are extremely particular as to the kinds
of flowers used, and the degree of flavour imparted.
In fact, a Chinaman is as particular about the
quality of his tea as an Englishman is about the
age and beeswing of his port. Many people in
England affirm to this day that black and green



teas are made from different plants;-that the shrub
from which green tea is plucked differs from that
whence black tea is gathered. Now this is un-
doubtedly a gross error. The Chinese, who are the
tea-growers, attribute the difference in the colour
of their teas to the mode of preparation. Green
tea is stronger and lighter than black tea for this
simple reason, that it is less worked and less roasted,
and therefore preserves more of its native oil,
strength, and colour, than black tea, which is al-
most charred for exportation. We might as well
hold that a baked potato and a boiled potato could
not possibly come from the same root, since the
baked potato was a dark brown, and the boiled
potato but the palest yellow. Green tea is made
by simply drying young leaves over a gentle heat,
and old ones over a hot fire, for about half an
hour. By this mode, it stands to reason, that
more essential oil will remain in the leaf than if
it were rolled, and roasted a second time.
All kinds of tea are repeatedly tested during



the various stages of manufacture, by pouring boil-
ing water upon a few leaves, in order to observe
the colour, aroma, taste, and other desirable quali-
ties of the infusion. As many-such is the origi-
nal strength of the leaf-as fifteen drawings can
be made from the best leaves before the infusion
produced becomes limpid.
Chinese writers on tea are unanimous in direct-
ing the amateur to observe ten things in his choice
of green tea. They insist particularly that the leaf
must be green, firmly rolled, and pulpy; that there
must be no broken leaves or dirty twigs; that the
infusion should be greenish, oily, and send forth a
delicate aroma; that the weight of the parcels, the
taste and hue of the dry leaf, and its smell when
strongly breathed upon, should be carefully at-
tended to. Merchants are in the habit of testing
Ankoi teas with a loadstone; especially since the
rumour has gained ground that the effects some-
times felt upon the nerves after drinking green tea,
are owing to its being cured upon copper. This



notion is, however, in all probability, an erroneous
one. The injurious effect of green tea is, in my
opinion, to be attributed in part to the greater pro-
portion of oil remaining in the green tea; but far
more to the injurious nature of the substances used
to impart an artificial and uniform colour to it, in
order to make the lots present a marketable appear-
ance. You must understand, children, that the
operations of firing and rolling give various shades
to the leaves in proportion as they come more or
less in contact with the iron, or are exposed to the
sun; and it is the object of the manufacturer-with
the view of disposing of his property at a high price
-to render these tints uniform. Well, he does not
scruple to add to his means at the risk of his fel-
low-creatures' health; so when the leaves are in the
pans the second time, he causes them to be drugged,
first with turmeric powder, to give them a yellow
tint, and next with a mixture of gypsum and Prus-
sian blue, or gypsum and indigo firmly combined,
which mixture imparts the desired bloom to the



yellow leaves. This imposition cannot be too se-
verely condemned. It appears that at Canton,
when there was an unexpected demand for some
particular descriptions of green tea, it was ascer-
tained that even black tea was coloured to simulate
the required article.
The names given to the various sorts of tea are
for the most part derived either from the place of
their growth, or from their peculiar property or
appearance. Thus, Bohea is the name of the place
where this tea is grown, and not a term for a par-
ticular sort among the Chinese; Sunglo is also a
general term for the green teas which come from
the hills of Kiangsu. Considering the great labour
of preparing tea, and the distance it has to travel
from the provinces to the capital of China (often a
thousand miles), it is surprising to find that good
tea may be had at Canton for about one shilling
per pound. The tea that is packed on the Bohea
hills, or in the fertile regions of Kiangsu, is seldom
disturbed till it is unpacked from those quaint,



rudely-painted cases, in which the Chinese dispose
of it, in New South Wales or in the Highlands of
Scotland. I believe that the manufacture of the
tea-cases you see in the windows of grocers' shops
furnishes employment to thousands of poor China-
men at Canton. Very poor people in China, who
cannot afford to indulge in the national drink, sub-
stitute for it an infusion of the dried leaves of a
species of Rhamnus or Fallopia. The refuse of the
packing-houses is sold to the poor at a low rate,
under the names of tea-endings" and tea-bones;"
and if a few of the rarest sorts do not travel beyond
the boundaries of the Chinese Empire, but are mo-
nopolised by his Celestial Majesty, and his bald
mandarins and clump-footed ladies, neither are we
called upon to consume the poorest products of the
tea-plantations. You have listened so attentively
to the story of my cup of tea, that if your mother
has any left in the teapot, you shall all taste its
good qualities for yourselves. I know you are all
longing for your mother's assent. Well, if she pro-



mises to give you a treat for to-night, will you
think with equal indulgence of the people from
whom we derive this luxury?
You will promise me not to indulge in ignorant
laughter at the expense of this great and original
nation. Recollect this, that to them our customs
are as absurd and unaccountable as theirs are to
us. You laugh at their pigtails: well, depend
upon it, they, that is to say the ignorant and
thoughtless portion of them, would grin delightedly
at your abundant crop of hair. To them, my child-
ren, you would all be little unaccountable mon-
strosities: recollect this, and learn never to laugh
in ignorance.
See, the tea is made for you: drink it, and try
to remember how much labour and anxiety have
been gone through to fill those little cups.


-, -1


~___ _




You will all be glad to hear the story of a Piece of
Sugar. You are too fond of the result to be in-
different as to the means employed to attain it.
The sugar which is used for domestic purposes in
England, and indeed throughout the world-except
perhaps in France-is, as I need scarcely tell you,
a sweet crystallised substance, extracted in a liquid
state from the sugar-cane, of which there are seve-
ral species. But sugar is also obtained, though in
smaller quantities, from beet-root. The French make
more beet-root sugar than any other nation. Sugar
may be obtained from many vegetable substances;
in fact, in smaller or larger quantities, from almost
any species of the vegetable kingdom. The sap of
the maple, sycamore, and birch, for instance, con-
tains a large proportion of saccharine, or sweet


matter. Saccharine matter is obtained in various
forms from animal substances, and may be detected
in the sweetness of new milk, and is reducible to
crystallised sugar like that we commonly consume.
Then there is honey-dew, or aphis sugar, and the
honey of the bee, which may be said to be com-
pounded of both animal and vegetable substances;
that is, of the pollen which the bee draws from
the flowers, and the animal secretion with which
it kneads the dry pollen into the moist sweet sub-
stance we call honey. Saccharine, or sugar matter,
also exists in great abundance in many ripe fruits,
as you may guess from the sweetness of those deli-
cious Jargonelle pears we received last autumn from
Guernsey. You may have noticed, too, how dried
fruits, such as the fig and grape, are surrounded
with hard dry sugar, which has been pressed from
the fruit in the process they have undergone to
keep them sound. Many clever men in France
and Spain have tried to extract sugar equal in
quality to that taken from the sugar-cane from




grapes; but with little success. The sugar that
has been pressed from grapes has always been
found coarse, and much inferior to cane sugar in
every respect.
The oldest description in existence of the pro-
cess of extracting sugar from the cane, gives an
account of "sweet honied reeds" called Zucra,
which were found in great quantity about the
meadows of Tripoli by the Crusaders, about the
year 1108. These reeds were sucked by the Cru-
saders' army, who were greatly pleased with their
sweet taste.
Most authorities on the subject agree in attri-
buting the first cultivation and manufacture of the
sugar-cane and sugar to the Arabs; and it is also
generally believed that sugar first came into exten-
sive use about the beginning of the eleventh cen-
tury. There are many conflicting statements made
by writers of various nations as regards the coun-
tries which may claim the sugar-cane as an indige-
nous or native plant; but, wherever the sugar-cane



may have been indigenous, there is no reason to
doubt the fact that the manufacture of sugar, de-
rived first from China or India, was introduced into
the western world by the Spanish and Portuguese.
The Venetians were the first Europeans who re-
fined sugar. The height to which the sugar-canes
usually grow, their colour, and the length of their
joints, vary, as you may well imagine, with the
character of the soil from which they derive their
nourishment, as well as with different species, and
the mode of culture to which they may have been
subjected. But I think I may safely tell you that
they vary in height from eight to twenty feet, and
are divided by short bulging joints at regular in-
tervals. Long narrow leaves sprout from each
joint, but as the canes become full-grown, the
leaves from the lower joints wither and fall off.
The outer part of the cane is hard and brittle, as
many a schoolboy too well knows; but the inner
part consists of a soft pith which contains the sweet
juice. The juice in each joint has no connexion



whatever with the juice in the joint immediately
above or below it. The canes are usually propa-
gated by cuttings or slips, consisting of the top of
the cane, with two or three of the upper joints, the
leaves being carefully plucked off. These slips are
planted in holes dug by hand, or in trenches made
by a plough, about eight to twelve inches deep,
the earth being banked up upon the margin and
well manured. The distance between the holes or
trenches must be such as to afford free access to a
current of air between the rows and plants, as well
as to allow room for the planters to weed the
ground between the canes. The planters generally
allow about four feet between the rows, and two
feet between the plants. Of course there are many
methods adopted by the sugar-planters of various
countries; but in our own West Indian possessions,
where sugar is most extensively cultivated, the mode
of planting is generally as follows: two or more
slips are laid longitudinally or lengthways at the
bottom of each pole, and covered with earth to the



depth of about two inches. In about a fortnight
the sprouts begin to appear above ground, when
they are again covered with earth, to give them
additional strength. The time required for bring-
ing the canes to perfection is usually about eight
months. In the British West Indies the slips are
generally planted from August to November; and
the canes are there cut about March or April. The
ripeness of the cane is known to the planter by the
outer part of it becoming dry, hard, and smooth;
by the weight of the cane; by the greyness or
brownness of the pith, and the sweetness and thick-
ness of the sap or juice. The canes which grow
immediately from the slips are called plant-canes
by the planters; and the second crop of canes
reared in successive years from the slips are known
as rattoons. The plant-canes, however, are more
vigorous than the rattoons; but the rattoons yield
juice which gives less trouble in clarifying and con-
centrating than that of the plant-canes. Some
planters have raised twenty annual crops of rat-



toons from one set of slips. The canes are cut as
near the ground as possible, because the richest
juice is found in the lower joints. One or two of
the top joints of the cane are cut off, and the re-
mainder is divided into pieces of about a yard in
length, tied into bundles, and at once conveyed to
the mill.
The operation of cutting the canes is so arranged
as to keep pace with the crushing-mill which presses
the juice out, so that the canes may be crushed or
ground while quite fresh. In the East Indies very
rude and imperfect crushing-mills are used; some
of them resembling mortars, made of the lower and
thicker parts of the trunks of trees, in which the
canes are crushed by the revolving and pressing
motion of a pestle, which rests in a slanting posi-
tion against the side of the mortar, and is moved
by oxen yoked to a bar attached to it. The juice,
as it is squeezed out, runs off through a hole in the
bottom of the mortar, and, running along a spout,
falls into another vessel placed to receive it. The


planters who use this rude mill are obliged to cut
their canes into very small pieces to make it ef-
The common cane-mills of the West Indies con-
sist of three rollers, mostly of wood, with narrow
bars of iron bound to their surface, so as to form,
by the spaces left between them, grooves extending
from end to end of the rollers. These rollers are
placed side by side in a strong frame, with contriv-
ances for varying, in a slight degree, their distances
from each other. The moving power is applied to
the middle roller, and communicated from it to the
others by the action of cogged wheels. Steam has
lately been introduced to the West Indies as the
moving power for the working of the sugar crush-
ing-mills, and with great success. When the mills
are in action, a negro applies the canes in a regular
layer or sheet to the interval between the first and
second rollers, which seize and squeeze them vio-
lently as they pass between them. The ends of the
canes are then turned, either by a negro on the op-



posite side to the feeder, or by an ingenious frame-
work of wood, called a dumb-returner, so that they
may pass back again between the second and third
rollers. As these are placed nearer together than
the first and second, they squeeze the canes still
more; so that on coming out from this second press-
ing, they are reduced to dry splinters, which the
planters very appropriately call cane-trash, and are
used as fuel in heating the vessels for evaporating
the juice. Channels are placed under the rollers to
receive the juice as it is squeezed from the canes,
which conduct it to the vessels in which it is to
undergo succeeding operations. The mill I have
described to you is a very defective machine, since
it is impossible to supply the canes to the rollers
in so regular a layer as to prevent them crossing
each other. They become, therefore, broken, so
that the liquor is made foul, and the rollers are
exposed to irregular and destructive wear. You
must have often noticed pieces of cane mixed up
with the brown sugar; well, these pieces are the



result of the imperfect rolling of the sugar-canes.
But these rude mills will soon disappear before the
progress of science. Steam will make its way in
the West Indies, as it has already here; and then
let us hope that all nations will see the extrava-
gance, if not the disgrace, of manufacturing sugar
by the labour of slaves.
Cane-juice, as it comes from the crushing-mill,
is a thick, dull grey-green, sweet and balmy fluid.
It contains, when in this unmanufactured state,
particles of solid matter from the cane, which are
afterwards separated from it by filtration. Directly
this cane-juice runs from the crushing-mill, the pro-
cess of clarifying is commenced. The juice, as you
will recollect, is conducted by gutters from the crush-
ing-mill to a large flat-bottomed copper or pan,
called a clarifier, which is usually large enough to
contain from three to five thousand gallons. Un-
derneath this clarifier there is a fire; and when the
pan is full of cane-juice a little lime is mixed with
it, and the fluid is allowed to get hot, but not to



boil. The effect of the lime upon the cane-juice is
to make the solid portions of the cane-juice stick
together and rise to the surface in the shape of
scum. When the proper heat has been given to
the juice, the scum rises in blisters and breaks, which
is the sign for the attendant to close what is called
the damper, an apparatus made to extinguish the
fire rapidly. After an hour's repose, the liquor is
ready for removal to the first of the evaporating
pans. It is drawn off by a cock in such a manner
as not to disturb the scum, which will remain be-
hind unbroken, and is, of course, removed from the
clarifier before another charge of cane-juice is put
into it. The clarified juice is bright, clear, and of
a pale colour.
From the clarifier the liquid is conveyed to the
largest of a series of evaporating pans, three or
more in number, in which it is reduced in bulk by
boiling, as you all know water is when boiled in
the kettle. The largest of these pans is sufficiently
capacious to hold the contents of the clarifier; but



the others may become gradually smaller on ac-
count of the diminished bulk of the liquor by evapo-
ration-that is to say, by going off into vapour, as
it is removed into each of them in succession. These
evaporators are placed over a long flue, heated by a
fire of the cane-trash, or crushed and sapless cane,
at one end of which the teacher, or smallest, and
consequently the last pan into which the cane-juice
is put, is placed. In the long process of successive
boiling, impurities which have escaped with the
liquor from the clarifier are thrown up in the form
of scum, which is carefully removed. If, during
the evaporation, it be perceived that the liquor is
not sufficiently clear, some lime-water is added to it,
for the same purpose as the temper or lime was ap-
plied to the cane-juice when in the clarifier, namely,
to make the solid particles adhere together and rise
in a mass to the surface. In the least and smallest
of the evaporating pans, called the teacher, the liquor
is finally boiled down to a thick consistency-to
such a consistency as to admit of its being drawn



out like india-rubber to a considerable length with-
out breaking. To know when the liquor or syrup
is sufficiently thick and adhesive, a drop is taken
from the teacher between the thumb and forefingers,
and drawn out till it snaps asunder. When it has
done so, the portion suspended from the finger
shrinks up, so as to remain at a greater or less
length, according to the degree to which the syrup
has been evaporated. When it is in the proper
state for withdrawal from the teacher, the thread on
the finger should be from half an inch to a quarter
of an inch long. This is a most imperfect test.
Some planters try the state of the syrup by observ-
ing the change it will undergo on the back of a
ladle dipped in the teacher. When the syrup is
reduced in the teacher to the satisfaction of the
planter, it is put into coolers, where it remains to
cool and crystallise.
When the sugar is taken from the coolers, it is
brought to the state of a soft mass of crystals, im-
bedded in molasses, or treacle, which you children



will most likely think very delicious, but which peo-
ple generally consider to be very coarse and unfit
for use. The separation of this fluid, called mo-
lasses, or treacle, from the crystals, is the next pro-
cess, and is performed in a building called the
curing-house. This is an extensive building, the
floor of which is hollowed out to form a reservoir
for the molasses, which is carefully lined with ce-
ment or lead. Over this reservoir is an open fram-
ing of joists, upon which stand a number of empty
casks, called potting-casks. Each of these has eight
or ten holes bored through the lower end, and in
each hole is placed the stalk of a plantain-leaf
which is long enough to descend a few inches be-
low the level of the joists, and to rise above the top
of the cask. The soft sugar, as it is taken from the
coolers, is removed into these casks, from which the
molasses gradually drains through the plantain-stalk
and falls into the reservoir below, leaving only the
crystallised sugar in the casks. With sugar of
average quality, three or four weeks are sufficient



for this purpose. When it leaves the curing-house,
the sugar is packed in hogsheads or large barrels
for shipment, as raw, brown, or muscovado sugar;
and in this state it is commonly brought to us from
our West Indian colonies. As by the process of
curing, which I have just described to you, the mo-
lasses is generally but partially separated from the
crystallised sugar, it follows that the remaining mo-
lasses will drain through the hogshead while on
board the ship; and so large is this drain after
shipment, that it is said, on good authority, that
one-twelfth part of the raw sugar is drained from
the hogsheads before they reach Europe. When
the raw sugar arrives in England it undergoes the
process of refining; that is to say, the process pur-
sued in the colonies is repeated with greater skill
and care, making the sugar, at last, that highly
crystallised white substance of which you all are
very fond, and for a lump of which you beg very
Sugar-candy is the only kind of highly refined



sugar made in China and India. The Chinese ex-
port sugar-candy in very large quantities: they
have two sorts of candy, one which they call Chin-
chew, and another known as Canton; the former
being the produce of the province of Fokien, and
the latter of that of Canton. Of these, the Chin-
chew is by far the best. Sugar-candy is mostly
used by Europeans resident in the East. Candy
is a sugar which, after being refined, is suffered
to crystallise slowly upon strings or twigs.
I have described to you the processes which the
saccharine or sweet juice undergoes after it is
pressed from the cane, in order to make it avail-
able for our use; but I have not yet directed your
attention to the poor slaves at the cost of whose
unrewarded labour we, for a long time, enjoyed an
article which enters so largely into household con-
sumption among us. My dear children, your young
hearts would, I hope, be melted in pity were I to
describe to you these poor black creatures in the
misery and degradation to which their wicked and



cruel owners have reduced them. Slaves are not
employed in any of our English colonies now; but
human flesh and muscle are still bought and sold
in the Southern States of America. You should
be proud to know that every foot that presses an
English shore is that of a freeman: that a slave
cannot exist within the dominions of your Queen.
But this blessing is not universal. Slaves-millions
of slaves-are still bartered for, and sold, and beaten
and worked to death, without reward, in many
foreign countries. England has spent many millions
of money and many valuable lives in a war against
these inhuman dealers in human flesh and blood,
and I trust that you will live to see the day when,
throughout the world, there shall not be a man
branded as the property of his fellow.



/ i wp




THE potter's art is of very ancient origin, for it was
known in Egypt, China, and Japan, at a very re-
mote date. Porcelain ornaments have been found
on mummies three thousand years old; and the
British Museum contains specimens of Egyptian
jars, in good preservation, of undoubted antiquity:
indeed, the potter's wheel is perhaps one of the
most ancient machines on record. Nor has the art
of adapting clay to the domestic purposes of man
been confined to the civilised nations; on the con-
trary, it has been practised by the rudest savages
on the face of the earth. Vases have been found
among the native Indians on the Musquito shore,
and on the banks of the Black River in North
America. Although all vessels made of earth may
be fairly called earthenware, I think you would be


corrected if you ventured to call the milk-jug so, as
the particular ingredients of which it is compounded
have clarified or cleared the clay, and converted it
into china or porcelain. Before the beginning of
the eighteenth century, English potteries produced
only coarse earthenware; and we are indebted for
our porcelain articles to the ingenuity and industry
of the Chinese. But in the last century the art
made rapid strides in this country; and we are
mainly indebted to Mr. Wedgwood for the vast
improvements in our ware, which have made it cele-
brated throughout the world, and welcome in every
European market.
English China, as manufactured in Staffordshire,
is a composition made by the admixture of China
clay with ground bones and Cornish granite. Well,
these materials are mixed together with water, and
reduced to the consistence of cream, in which state
the potters call them slips, or slops." I must tell
you that, before the ingredients are mixed together,
they are separately reduced to a fluid state in vats



sunk in the ground, whence they are sifted through
fine silk lawns into other vessels, and then more
water is added, until a pint measure of clay slip
weighs twenty-four ounces, and a pint of granite
or flint-slip, thirty-two ounces; so that the potter
mixes accurately by measure, as he knows that
when a pint of clay-slip weighs twenty-four ounces,
and a pint of granite or flint-slip weighs thirty-two
ounces, that the proper quantities of clay, flint, or
granite, are contained in the water. The mixture
of the various materials is then made in a vat, and
the quantity of each material to be used is marked
by notches on a rod, which the workman dips into
the vat, while the slip-maker pours in the slips, until
each rises to its proper mark on the mixing-rod.
When the proper quantities have been poured into
the vat, the whole is thoroughly stirred and incor-
porated, and is then pumped up into a higher vessel,
from which it descends through a tap into a silk
sieve, which is kept in constant agitation while the
fluid is passing through it. This process is repeated



two or three times, not only thoroughly to remove
all impurities, but also to ensure the perfect mix-
ture of the various ingredients. This combined and
strained slip is then pumped on to a boiler called a
slip-kiln, the bottom of which is paved with large
flat fire-bricks, under which the heat of the fire
passes by means of four or five flues. The boiling
heat thus imparted to the slip generates steam, which
is, as you know, water given off in minute particles,
and so the quantity of water in the slip is gradually
reduced; and the slip, of course, gets gradually
thicker, till it is about the consistence of paste, when
the fires are put out, and it is allowed to cool. The
next process is to beat the slip to make it closer
and firmer, so that when cut it is smooth and close
like putty. It is necessary for the potter to be
very careful that this process is well performed, for
if the slip be not thoroughly beaten, the ware made
from it will crack and peel off, and, in short, be
utterly useless. Having described the operations
performed in the slip-house, let us at once proceed



to notice what remains to be done to our milk-jug.
It is now only a lump of dense white paste.
A woman, called a baller, takes up the lump,
and makes it of the proper size for the jug, and then
hands it to the thrower; he receives the clay as
he sits at the thrower's wheel,-a revolving circular
table, which is put in motion by the baller,-and
draws it up into a pillar, then depresses it into a
flat cake. He then opens the hollow of the vessel
with his thumbs, and continues to draw out the
clay, or press it inwards, according to the shape of
the vessel. When a rough outline of the shape is
obtained, the vessel is removed from the table,
placed on a board, and carried into a store-room to
harden. When it is sufficiently hardened, it is
turned upon a lathe resembling that used by wood-
turners. The turner holds the vessel in his hand,
and dexterously shaves away the clay (which is
now about the consistency of soap,) to the proper
thickness, and cuts the mouldings, &c., polishing
the whole with a steel burnisher. The shavings of



clay which the turner cuts away, are carefully
returned to the slip-vats to be remixed. The
milk-jug is then passed to the handler, who hav-
ing made a handle in a plaster mould, sticks it to
the jug with liquid clay. Our jug is now passed
to a workman who has a number of flat figures,
flowers, and other ornaments in clay, which he
carefully fixes round the jug, according to the
drawing of the pattern, by wetting the under part
of them with a camel-hair pencil. These orna-
mental figures are made out of flat moulds by
The jug being now properly shaped and orna-
mented, is placed on a board to dry. It is next
placed in the biscuit-oven, and made white-hot, its
shape being preserved by being imbedded in flint-
powder. The jug is then dipped into a glaze of
finely-ground felspar (a mineral which may be found
in any part of the world, and is the metallic part of
granite) mixed with a little alkali. I have already
explained to you what alkali is; I therefore hope



that it is not necessary for me to repeat the ex-
planation. It is then submitted to a second fire
of a moderate degree of heat, which not only
melts the glaze on the surface, but unites with
the entire body of the substance, and so hardens
it, and makes it semi-transparent. The jug is then
Our milk-jug is now ready for use. We have
watched it through the many phases of its manu-
facture; we have seen how the skill and ingenuity
of the potter have blended the earths of his country
together, and fashioned from the rudest materials
this polished, elegant, and enduring vessel. Well,
we cannot too often repeat to ourselves that the
comforts of our home are the results of many
centuries of thought and toil; that the luxuries we
so often enjoy without a thought of their source,
are the witnesses of our fellow-creatures' labour.
If we would look about our household in this
spirit, always thankfully owning our manifold debts
to the labour of bygone generations as well as of


the present generation, at least we should bear in
mind and seek to do away with the misery in which
our poorer brethren slave for us. So ends my Story
of a Milk-Jug.


i-i~ --i

c--Il i.


[EP~ ~-r


u; 2,



To tell you the Story of a Lump of Coal at length
would take many days; for it is a most wonderful
and varied story. Indeed it embraces a history
of all the wonderful inventions which have been
made within the last century. It is the mother
of steam; since by its power the cranks and chains
and wheels which form the engine are fashioned,
and the water is converted to steam. By its aid,
as you have seen in our Story of a Milk-Jug, the
clays of the earth are formed into hard and polished
vessels; and we are indebted to it for warmth in
winter, and for dressing our food always. With-
out coal, how would the steam-engine weave fabrics
to clothe us, or carry us with fairy speed along our
iron roads? Without coal, how would our vessels
plough the deep, against wind and tide, and carry


our merchandise to the farthest corners of the earth,
defying the power of the elements? Without coal,
how should we see our way along the streets at
night, since from coal we extract the gas that
lights us on our journey homewards?
You would not understand me were I to at-
tempt to give you a technical analysis of coal; but
I will tell you that it is a vegetable substance which
is extracted from the bowels of the earth by long
and laborious exertions. How vegetable matter,
to the growth of which air and light are as neces-
sary as to human existence, became imbedded so
far below the present surface of the earth, is a ques-
tion which has puzzled many learned men; but it
is beyond doubt that our coal-fields are only so
many buried forests, converted by the gases of the
earth and the process of time to that inflammable
substance which we call coal. It is only very re-
cently that the existence of wood in the state of coal
has been found with the original texture of the
wood still preserved. Not only have the branches



of trees been identified in the shape of coal, but their
genus has been distinctly traced.
All plants which have been traced in coal for-
mations are called 'coal-plants.' Ferns are the
most abundant of all plants in the shape of coal,
almost every yard of coal being marked by these
impressions, and very often containing them in great
multitudes; -palms also occur occasionally. This
leads us to believe that at the period of the change
which must have taken place in the surface of the
earth, it was covered with a rich and dense vege-
tation; and that many plants grew then of which
no specimens exist in a vegetable form at the pre-
sent time.
An example of the most imperfectly formed coal
is afforded in what is called the brown or wood coal
of Germany, which exists in large quantities in
Hesse-Darmstadt and Salzhausen. This wood-coal
is coal only half formed, and is found in the shape
of trunks and branches of trees, as well as in other
forms of vegetable matter.



Beds of coal, which are found in many parts of
the world, but abound in England, are called 'coal-
fields.' Coal is found in these fields in strata, or
layers, separated by seams of slate-clay and sand-
stone. Coal is esteemed according to the quantity
of bitumen which it contains. Bitumen, I should
tell you, such as is generally contained in coal, is
a dark-brown glutinous substance, and is only ano-
ther form of naphtha. It will burn readily, but gives
off a quantity of soot. And here let me also explain
to you, that the soot which lodges in the chimney
is simply so much charcoal given off from the coal
in a vaporous state; and a little thought will
enable you to trace the existence of this charcoal,
or charred wood, to the vegetable origin of coal.
Bitumen being more inflammable than charcoal, the
coal which contains the greatest quantity of bitumen
is the most valuable.
Let me now explain to you the mode of work-
ing coal-mines. The probable existence of beds of
coal having been first carefully considered, and per-



haps the beds themselves having been traced by a
process called boring, the first thing that is done is
to sink, or, as you would say, dig a shaft or deep
hole like a well, so as to cut through the various
strata or layers between which the coal is im-
bedded. This shaft, or well, is usually circular, and
the upper part of it is generally securely bricked, to
prevent the earth from falling in upon the workmen
below. On reaching the first workable seam of coal,
the sinking of the pit is for a time suspended, and
a broad straight passage, called by the miners a bord
orgate, is dug into the seam in opposite directions.*
The breadth of the passage, varies from twelve to
fourteen or fifteen feet; but its height is regulated
by the depth of the coal-seam, and the height of
these passages is always made of the depth of the
seam:-the roof exposing the strata above the
seam, and the bottom, that immediately below the
seam, and called by the miners the thill. When
Sketch of the Relations between the Three Kingdoms of Nature.
By Thomas Williams, Esq., M.B.



these bords have been excavated to some distance
on both sides of the shaft, narrow passages, called
head-ways, are driven from them at regular dis-
tances, and exactly at right angles, as you will find
them in my drawing.


When these headways have proceeded eight or
ten yards, they are made to communicate with an-
other bord, which uns parallel with the primary
bord; and on this system the mine is extended,
according to the quantity, depth, and extent of the
coal-seams. A coal-mine thus extended has been
likened to a regularly built town (if you can con-
ceive the houses one uninterrupted line of black
walls); the bords and headways being respectively
the principal streets and the connecting lanes and
alleys; while the intermediate masses of coal (left


for the support of the roof) stand for the interme-
diate masses of buildings.
The water-springs, which are usually met with
more or less frequently in the course of the miner's
operations, are drawn to the surface by the aid of a
very powerful steam-engine, erected near the shaft,
and in such a manner that it may be employed to
draw up the coal and rubbish from the mine in bas-
kets called corves.
If the operations I have attempted to explain
to you have been at all successful, that is to say,
if the quantity of coal found is sufficiently great to
promise a fair return for the money laid out in the
operations of the miners, another shaft will be im-
mediately sunk at some distance from the first, and
the passages and headways made till they com-
municate with those which diverge from the original
shaft. Thus a current of air is carried through the
mine. One shaft is the downcast shaft, and the
other is the upcast shaft. Through the downcast
shaft a current of air is sent into the mine, and is



made to penetrate every passage and headway, and
to carry away the foul air up through the upcast
shaft. This ventilation is absolutely necessary to
ensure not only the health, but also the immediate
safety of the miners. I dare say you have all
heard of the frightful accidents which have been
caused by the explosion of fire-damp, and of the
safety-lamp invented by Sir Humphrey Davy to
prevent this great sacrifice of life. Let me here ex-
plain to you that fire-damp is a noxious and inflam-
mable or easily inflamed gas, emitted or given forth
from the coal; and that immediately it comes in
contact with the flame of a lamp, it explodes like
gunpowder, and kills all who are within its reach.
The word fire-damp has originated from dampf,
which is the German for vapour or exhalation. Sir
Humphrey Davy's lamp is so arranged that the
flame is surrounded on all sides by an iron gauze,
through which flame will not pass, and which con-
sequently prevents the flame from coming in contact
with the noxious vapour of fire-damp. This inven-



tion has been and is perhaps one of the most valu-
able efforts of man's ingenuity. It has saved many
thousand lives, and prevented.the destruction of pro-
perty of untold value. While the workings on the
first seam of coal are thus rapidly and securely
going forward, shafts are generally sunk from the
first seam to one below, and afterwards to the third
and fourth seams, so that a mine extensively worked
has, as it were, three or four stories. These opera-
tions may be carried on so long as seams of coal
reward the miner's labour.
The mode in which the miner detaches the coal
is by cutting a narrow way on each side of the huge
piece he wishes to excavate, and then blasting it
out by firing shot at the top of the seam. As much
as one hundred tons of coal is often brought down
at once by this process; and the coal is put into
corves, or baskets, drawn along a tram-road to the
shaft, and then raised to the surface by the steam-
I think I have now explained to you with suffi-



cient minuteness the operations which are carried
on underground for the purpose of supplying our
manufacturers and ourselves with fuel. Let me
now tell you what becomes of the thirty-five millions
of tons which, it is estimated, are annually raised
from the mines of England. The coal-field of North-
umberland and Durham supplies nearly all the coal
consumed in London, the eastern and southern
counties, and the neighbourhood of the mines.
Shields, Stockton, Seaham, and Sunderland are the
ports from which the coal is shipped: the Tyne
vessels being the larger, are laden for the London
market. The Lancashire coal-field supplies Man-
chester, Liverpool, and the surrounding district; the
South Staffordshire or Dudley coal-field the nu-
merous iron-works in its neighbourhood, and the
manufactories of Birmingham and the neighboring
counties. The coal-field of South Wales (to give
you an idea of the extent of these fields,) is upwards
of one hundred miles in length, its breadth averag-
ing from eighteen to twenty miles. Ireland and



Scotland also contain coal-fields, but of less import-
ance than those of England. To give you some
notion of the amount of human labour expended
in bringing coals to our markets, I will tell you that
London alone consumes upwards of three million
four hundred thousand tons every year, for the con-
veyance of which eleven thousand nine hundred and
eighty-seven ships are kept in constant activity.
It is estimated also that the iron-works of England
(into which, as you recollect I told you in the Story
of a Knife, coal enters largely) consume, in the
operations of smelting, more than seven million tons
of this valuable fuel every year. In 1841 the num-
ber of persons employed in coal-mines was one hun-
dred and eighteen thousand two hundred and twenty-
Having thus briefly given you some idea of the
enormous quantities of coal consumed, let me point
out to you the various benefits which we derive from
the use of it. In the first place, coal is, as I have
already noticed, the mother of steam. We have



already heard the Story of Steam, so that it is un-
necessary for me to repeat my observations on that
subject; but you have heard nothing hitherto of the
manner in which gas is extracted from coal. I will
explain the process to you.
The existence and inflammability of coal-gas may
be said to have been known for nearly two hundred
years; but although its existence and properties
were known so far back, it was not till the year 1792
that any attempt was made to turn this knowledge
to useful account. In this year, Mr. Murdoch, an en-
gineer living at Redruth in Cornwall, erected a little
apparatus, which produced sufficient gas to light
his dwelling and offices; and in 1798 he erected
extensive gas-works to light the premises of Messrs.
Boulton and Watt at Soho. This was the first
application of gas in a large way; but it attracted
little attention till 1802, when Messrs. Boulton and
Son used it for their illumination in commemora-
tion of the peace. The wonderful brilliancy of their
illumination, as compared with those produced by



the dull flame of oil, made a great sensation through-
out England, and gas from that time began to be
gradually introduced throughout the country. In
1807, Pall Mall was lighted up by gas, and for some
years this was the only street in London so illumin-
ated; but its use was gradually extended, till not an
alley in the metropolis was left dark to shield the
doings of dishonesty. Gas has been very properly
called the city's most vigilant policeman. Coal-gas
is distilled by placing a quantity of coal in a closed
vessel, and subjecting it to the action of a fire, when
a dark oily substance is given off through a tube
into another vessel made to receive it. This dark
oily substance consists of water, coal-tar, and spirit,
or gas. To get rid of the water and tar, the
mixture is allowed to cool, when the water and tar
settle and run oft leaving the spirit behind. This
spirit is still impure, as it contains a gas which is in-
jurious to health and of an unpleasant smell, called
sulphuretted hydrogen gas. To get rid of this gas,
the spirit is passed through vessels containing lime, to



which it is the property of the sulphuretted hydro.
gen to adhere, leaving the spirit to pass off in the
shape of the pure gas which is now in use through-
out the civilised world.
You now know the two great purposes to which
coal is applied. We might follow it into every in-
dustrial occupation of man. Its use is universal.
To stop the supply of coal would be to bring our
manufactories to a stand-still, to darken our streets,
to stop the railway-engine, and the paddles of our
steamboats. You will, by pursuing this train of
thought to its utmost bearings, see how the opera-
tions of mankind, like the steam-engine, though
complicated and apparently independent of one
another, are one unbroken chain of dependent
actions, which the absence of the minutest crank or
wheel may bring to a dead stop. So ends our Story
of a Lump of Coal.


.. .




MY children, the Story of Hot Water is perhaps
the most wonderful history in the world. It is as
interesting and startling as the most marvellous tale
in the Arabian Nights; and it is, let me assure you,
one with which all young persons should be ac-
quainted, for it is destined, in all probability, to
have great influence over the progress towards good
of the rising generation. I have lived to behold
the accomplishment of many scientific wonders: I
can remember the first steamboat, and the first rail-
way; and Harry can remember the first electric
telegraph. A few years ago it was impossible to
travel from London to Paris in less time than five
days; now the journey may be performed in twelve
hours, or half one day. You may now breakfast in
London and sup in Paris. A message, by means of


the electric telegraph, may be sent from Paris to
London in less time than five minutes. These are
among the wonders which have been revealed to the
world through the labour and ingenuity of learned
men. And now we are progressing towards greater
discoveries. You, children, will most likely live to
see the day when a message from China will be
delivered in London in the course of five minutes;
and you will enjoy daily communication with people
living at the remotest corners of the earth.
We are told, by men whose learning entitles
them to our belief, that the power of steam was not
entirely unknown to the ancients. I hope you all
know that steam is water made into vapour, or, as
I heard one of you the other day call the vapour
that was rolling out in large white clouds from a
kettle of boiling water, into smoke, by the action of
heat. For the future, do not let me hear any of you
be guilty of such a blunder. Know that smoke is
the gas which proceeds from burning coals or wood,
and that steam is the vapour which rises from boil-



ing water. Among the ancients, steam was a power
very little understood; and the only evidence of its
subjugation to the purposes of man before the Chris-
tian era, is given to us by Hero of Alexandria, who
has left us the description of a machine in which a
continued movement is given to a wheel by a blast
of steam playing upon it.
It was about the beginning of the seventeenth
century that De Caus, a French engineer, invented
a machine by which a column of water might be
raised by the pressure of steam confined in the ves-
sel above the water to be elevated; and in 1629,
an Italian named Branca contrived a plan of turn- .
ing mills by a blast of steam. These projectors,
though their inventions were rude, and possessed
little power or usefulness, served to turn the atten-
tion of thinking men to the means of making the
immense power of steam useful to the human race.
So far back as 1663, the celebrated Marquis of
Worcester gave to the world an account of the ex-
pansive force of steam. Let me read to you the



passage from his book, called "A Century of In-
ventions." "I have taken a cannon, and filled it
three-quarters full of water, stopping firmly up
both the touch-hole and the mouth; and having
made a good fire under it, within twenty-four hours
it burst, and made a great crack." With this ex-
perience the marquis contrived a rude machine,
which, he tells us, drove up water to the height of
forty feet.
The next name which I shall mention to you in
connexion with the application of steam to useful
purposes, is that of Denis Pepin, a Frenchman.
You understand that if. you fill a kettle full of
water, stop up every hole, and then put it on the
fire, directly it boils, steam will be produced; and
the kettle that is only large enough to hold the
water cannot also contain the steam, which occupies
fifty times the space it takes up in the shape of
water, and that therefore the steam, pressing with
great force on all sides of the kettle, will at length
cause it to burst with a loud noise. Well, the great



discovery which Pepin made was that of obtaining
the sudden return of the steam to water, or, as it
is generally called, its condensation by cold. As
heat turns water into steam, so cold again reduces
steam to water. The result of Pepin's studies was
the idea of obtaining a moving power by means
of a piston (A) working in a
cylinder or tube (b). To ob-
tain this, he constructed a tube & 6
or cylinder, into which he in-
troduced a rod or piston, fit- g >
ting nicely, as one joint of an
opera-glass fits into the other
c. Steam. D. Water. B. Fire.
in our days. Well, at the
bottom of this cylinder he placed some water, and
under the water a fire: the consequence was, that
directly the water boiled, and steam was made, the
steam, wanting room to expand, forced the rod or
piston up. When the piston had been raised, Pepin
removed the fire, and so, as by the action of cold
the steam again became water and returned to its



compact body at the bottom of the cylinder, the
piston fell. Though Pepin did not live to perfect
his ingenious invention, his labour produced the
basis upon which all our steam-power has been ob-
tained. If you go into any of the factories where
steam is employed as a power, or examine the en-
gine of a steamboat, you will see that piston and
cylinder invented by Pepin producing the power of
the engine by the rising and falling of the piston,
as it is raised by the introduction of steam into the
cylinder, and made to fall by the reduction of the
steam to water.
The first actual steam-engine of which we have
any undeniable record was constructed by Captain
Savery, an Englishman, for the purpose of rais-
ing water. This was in the year 1699. Captain
Savery's engine, however, from the expense of work-
ing it, and the constant danger of explosion, soon
fell into disuse. It was, in fact, a very rude ma-
chine, as the condensation of the steam was not suf-
ficiently ensured. These discoveries and inventions,



however, served to turn the attention of very many
clever men to the improvement of the steam-engine.
In 1705 Thomas Newcomen, an ironmonger, and
John Cawley, a plumber and glazier, constructed
an engine in which the condensation of the steam
was effected by the application of cold water outside
the cylinder. The improvement of their first engine
is due to Newcomen, who having noticed that the
piston rose and fell three or four times with great
rapidity without the application of cold water, ex-
amined this piston, and found a hole in it, through
which the water intended by him to keep the cylin-
der air-tight, issued in a little jet or fountain, and
instantly condensed the steam under it: this led
him to introduce a pipe, stopped by a cock, into the
bottom of the cylinder, through which cold water
was supplied from a reservoir. This engine, known
as Newcomen's engine, required the constant at-
tendance of some person to open and shut the con-
densing cocks or valves, a duty which was gene-
rally fulfilled by boys, called cock-boys. When I



tell you that we owe a most important improvement
in the steam-engine to the desire of a boy named
Humphrey Potter to join his comrades at play when
he should have attended to the condensing cock, I
shall not, I trust, make any of you hope to do good
by neglecting your duty. You know that the pri-
mary action of the steam-engine is the rise and fall
of the piston or rod in the cylinder or tube; I have
explained to you that in Newcomen's engine the
condensing or reducing of the steam was brought
about by the introduction of cold water through a
pipe at the bottom of the cylinder; and I have also
said that this cold-water pipe was stopped by a
cock. Well, the duty of the cock-boy was to turn
the cold water on through the pipe at the bottom of
the cylinder directly the steam had forced the piston
up. This must have been very irksome duty for the
poor boys; at least it appears that Humphrey Pot-
ter found it so; and, in order to be able to leave the
engine without stopping it, he tied the handle of
the cock by a string to the piston, so that when the



piston rose the cock was turned on, the water en-
tered the cylinder, the piston fell, and the cock
closed again; and in this way the steam-engine
was first made a self-acting machine.
I must now tell you about a man who will make
no mean figure in the annals of your country,--I
allude to James Watt. It was in repairing a work-
ing model of a Newcomen's steam-engine for the
lectures of a learned professor of Glasgow Univer-
sity, that Watt's attention was first seriously called
to mechanical invention. At the time of which I
speak, Newcomen's engine was the most perfect
one in existence. The moving power was the.
weight of the air pressing on the upper surface of
a piston or rod working in a cylinder or tube;
steam being used to raise the piston with its load
of air up again, and then to form a vacuum, or
empty space, by its condensation when cooled by
a jet of cold water, which was thrown into the
cylinder when the piston was raised. The great
improvement which Watt introduced was the con-



densation of the steam in a separate vessel. He
perceived that as it was necessary in Newcomen's
engine to introduce cold water into the cylinder in
order to condense the steam, the cylinder must ne-
cessarily be cooled also, and that consequently when
the next blast of steam came, much of it was wasted
by the coolness of the cylinder, which in fact con-
densed the steam, and therefore weakened its power.
Watt at once perceived that the only method to do
away with this defect was to draw the steam off
directly the piston was raised, by making a vessel
void of air, near the cylinder, communicate with it,
into which the steam could be drawn off, leaving
the cylinder perfectly empty, and so giving more
force to the descent, or, as it is called, the down-
stroke of the piston; and at the same time keeping
it warm for the next blast of steam. These im-
provements gave additional power to the engine,
and prevented the waste of steam. In Newcomen's
engine, not only was the cylinder cooled by the in-
troduction of cold water, but it was allowed to be



full of air and partially condensed steam, so that
the fall, or drown-stroke of the piston, lost much of
its force. Watt improved upon this also, and emp-
tied the cylinder of air, so that in his engine the
interior of the cylinder offered a perfect vacuum, or
empty space, to the fall of the piston. In the mi-
nuter, though important parts of the engine, Watt
made many improvements. He perfected the con-
struction of his engine, so as to regulate its power
with great exactitude, by introducing a certain
quantity of steam, and no more, for each up-stroke
of the piston. He is, in short, justly esteemed as a
man who contributed largely to the progress of his.
fellow-creatures. He died at his house at Heath-
field, in the county of Stafford, on the 25th of Au-
gust, 1819, in the eighty-fourth year of his age,
having made a large and well-deserved fortune by
his noble labours.
My children, were I to attempt to trace for you
a history of the various applications of the steam-
engine to the different branches of industry, we



should find ourselves involved in a story of the pro-
gress of the world for the last thirty years. Such
a subject is one too grave and too important to you
to be chatted about round the fire. It is a subject
which you will have to study seriously in your
books: I shall not therefore touch upon it. To give
you an account of the wonders steam has achieved,
would be to count almost every comfort and luxury
which we enjoy. Dr. Lardner, whose book on the
steam-engine you shall all read when you are a few
years older, tells us that the steam-engine has in-
creased the sum of human happiness, not only by
calling new pleasures into existence, but by so
cheapening former enjoyments as to render them
attainable by those who before could never have
hoped to share them; the face of the land and the
surface of the waters are crossed with equal facility
by its power; and by thus encouraging and help-
ing the intercourse of nation with nation, and the
commerce of people with people, it has knit together
countries far away from each other by bonds of


friendship not likely to be broken. Knowledge and
affection are kept up by its power between people
thousands of miles away from one another; those
more advanced in learning shedding the blessings
of knowledge over their barbarous and distant bro-
thers. By this means,-by the subjugation of the
force of hot water to the will of man,-has the pro-
gress of this century been brought about; and you
may be thankful, my dear children, that you are
born in a time when the tree of knowledge is shed-
ding its fruit all over the world, making men friends,
and nations welcome neighbours. This is the story,
the great story of some HOT WATER.



VERY few children know how much ingenuity and
labour are spent upon a pin. They are accustomed
to see hundreds of pins every day, yet they never
pause to inquire how they are made, or who makes
them. Yet, I can tell them, the story of that little
instrument called a pin is a very interesting and in-
structive one. There is no account in existence of
the first pin that was ever made; but this is very
certain, that it was made long before the time of
Henry the Eighth,-who, my young readers I trust
remember very well, reigned about three hundred
years ago,-for he would not allow any to be made
that were not properly pointed. In the olden time,
pins were made of many substances,-of boxwood,
bone, or silver; now they are usually made of brass.
Ten persons are generally employed to make one


pin; and it is well known that these ten people can,
within the space of eight hours, make five thousand
five hundred pins. It may at first appear very
astonishing to you, that so many pins may be made
within this short space of time; but if you take the
trouble to think upon the subject, and to consider
how, by dint of persevering practice, a little girl
will learn to knit with marvellous quickness, you
will cease to feel any surprise at the rapidity and
dexterity of practised pin-makers.
The first thing to be done in the making of a
pin is, to draw out a quantity cf brass to a wire of
the thickness of the pin to be made. This opera-
tion, though it would seem to be more properly the
business of a wire-drawer than of a pin-maker, is
generally performed in the pin-factory, as it is found,
for some particular reason, to be more conducive to
the interests of the proprietor to draw his own wire
to the requisite thickness. When the wire has been
properly drawn out, it is wound up into coils of a
certain and equal size; and then, to burn off any



dirt or impure substance that may cling to it, it is
dipped into a mixture of acid and water, which has
the effect of instantaneously removing any thing
that may adhere to the metal. In the same way,
if you dip a dirty brass rod into vinegar, or rub it
with vinegar, the action of the sour or acid liquid
will cause all the dirt to come from the brass, leav-
ing the rod quite bright and clean. Well, when
the wire that is to be made into pins has been
cleaned, it is straightened and cut into pieces of
equal length. A number of these lengths are then
taken together, and by means of a large and power.
ful pair of shears or scissors, which are worked by
the foot, they are cut into shorter pieces, each piece
being a little longer than six pins joined together.
The next thing to be done is to point these pieces of
wire; and for this purpose two revolving wheels, like
those you see the knife-grinders use in the streets,
only much smaller, and made of steel instead of
stone, are provided. The man whose business it is
to point the wires, places himself before these steel


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