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STATE OF LABOUR IN THE MINES OF GREAT BRITAIN AND IRELAND. 431 congealed iron came off by little and little, and stone, intermingled with various strata of cleared the furnace. If the furnace were to gritstone and shale, which occupies the borstand for ten or twelve hours, at the end of ders of Northumberland, Durham, and Cum. that time it would not be in so good a state, it berland, and of which Alston Moor may be would not make so good iron, and it would considered as the capital, is the only other be at greater expense; there would be more part of England in which metallic veins are fuel consumed, and there would be more now extensively wrought : these are exclu. labour and less iron, and that not so good sively of lead, containing a proportion of in quality. When an accident happened by silver, which is commonly worth extracting. which the furnace was stopped twenty-four The veins in the mountain limestone of Derbours, it was from a week to nine days be. byshire are now nearly exhausted. fore the furnace was set right.... Has known In Wales, the Plinlimmon district, coma case where, from an accident, the furnace posed of various qualities of slate, was forhas stopped eight hours, the furnace was not merly much celebrated for its metallic proin good working order after it commenced, ducts, but is now of inferior importance, and it was not right until the third day. He and has not been subjected to any special has frequently known the furnaces in worse investigation under the terms of the present condition from stopping the usual six hours commission. In the neighbourhood of Snowon Sundays.

don the scattered mines are also of inferior II.-TIN, COPPER, LEAD, AND, ZINK MINES.

importance. But the mines in the moun

tain limestone of Flintshire present an imThe employment of children and young

portant group of works, into which the inpersons in the mines of tin, copper, lead, quiry has been extended. and zink, bas little in common with their In Scotland the principal metallic veins

that have yet been worked are still those in employment in mines of coal and iron, on

the clay slate mountains in the neighbouraccount of the different physical circum

hood of Leadhills, on the borders of Lanarkstances in which the ores of these metals are shire and Dumfries-shire, although trials are found, and the peculiar operations required also making in various parts of Galloway, to separate them from the worthless mate

and one of them, at Carsephairn, is on a

considerable scale. rials with which they are combined.

In Ireland, in the slate and limestone Instead of forming beds more or less hori. rocks of the most mountainous districts, zontal, and in regular alternation with strata and generally near the sea-coast, there are of which the material is for the most part scattered some mines of copper and lead, readily removed by the tools of the work but chiefly of copper, for the most part in men, these ores are found in veins which the counties of Wicklow, Wexford, Watervariously approach a vertical position, in the ford, Cork, Kerry, Tipperary, Down, and hard rocks of the primary formations, or in Armagh. the scarcely less solid lower beds of the car. Most of the regions in which the metallic boniferous system.

veins occur, are thus seen to be hilly or The ores of tin are found only in the mountainous. The south-western and the Cornish district, in granitic and slaty rocks, Flintshire districts are the least elevated; the of various structure, which are interspersed loftiest hills in the former rarely exceeding occasionally with masses of trap, and ex 1,000 feet above the level of the sea, while tend from Dartmoor, in Devonshire, to the the greater number of them range from 500 Land's End, in Cornwall. This district is to 700, and the plains at their bases are in also the most productive in copper ores of general but from 100 to 200 feet above high any in the British Islands, and contains, water. This circumstance materially affects moreover, mines of manganese, of iron, and the comfort of the children and young perof lead, the ores of which latter often con sons employed in working the mines. tain a portion of silver, which is worth extracting from the baser metal. Of the va

With respect to the under ground labour rious mines of this district, those of tin,

in these mines, the Commissioners report copper, and lead present the characteristic 1. That very few children are employed features of its mining labour, and employ in any kind of underground work in these at least nineteen-twentieths of the young mines before they are twelve years old, and people engaged in it. The ores here ob that in many cases even the young men do tained are smelted chiefly in South Wales, not commence underground work until they being shipped to Swansea for the conveni

are eighteen years of age and upwards. ence of fuel ; but in the other principal 2. That there is no instance in the whole mining districts the ores are smelted near kingdom of any girl or woman being emthe place of their excavation.

ployed in underground work in these mines. The elevated district of mountain lime 3. That it is in the Cornish district alone

432 STATE OF LABOUR IN COPPER, LEAD, AND ZINK WORKS OF GREAT BRITAIX. that children and young persons of any age into at very early ages, and in the Cornish are constantly employed underground in district by great numbers of girls as well as considerable numbers.

boys, are wholly free from the evils con4. That, in general, the children and nected with the underground work; that, young persons employed in these mines with the exception of a very injurious ehave sufficient food, and decent and comfort. posure to the inclemency of the weather, able clothing.

which might be obviated by a small expendi. 5. That employment in these mines, does ture in providing shelter, and with the exnot, in general, produce any apparent injury ception of two or three occupations, such as to the young worker during the period of those of “bucking" and "jigging," for the boyhood and adolescence, but that his em manual labour of which the substitution of ployment is essentially, and in every mode machinery is gradually taking place, there is in which it has hitherto been carried on, ne nothing in this branch of mining industry cessarily injurious in after life.

injurious, oppressive, or incompatible with 6. That the very general and early deteri. the maintenance even of robust health, oration and failure of the health and strength which indeed is described as the general conof those who have followed this occupation dition of the workpeople ; the children and from boyhood and youth, is increased by young persons thus employed having comcertain circumstances which are not neces monly sufficient food, and warm and decent sarily connected with the nature of the em clothing, being subjected to no harsh or ployment; among these may be reckoned tyrannical treatment, and enjoying an almost the practice, almost universal in these mines, complete immunity from any serious danger. of associating the young persons in partner Dr. Barham, one of the Sub-Commissionship with the adult miners, by which the ers, states that an experiment of lowering former are stimulated to exertions greatly and raising the miners by machinery has beyond their age and powers; and though lately been, for the first time, made in Comthese young people, thus excited, work with wall, at the great copper mine Tresarean, in spirit, and without apparent injury, for Gwennap. The method adopted has been some time, yet in a few years it is proved by very little varied from that long in use in experience that they have expended the whole the mines in the Hartz in Germany, being capital of their constitution.

that of two parallel rods, with stages pro7. That this result is materially hastened jecting from them at intervals of about 12 by the fatigue of climbing the ladders; these feet, of a convenient size for one man to being, with few exceptions, the only means stand upon. One rod being made to deby which the miners can go to and return scend while the other ascends, the miner from their places of work.

steps from his stage or platform on one rod 8. That these, however, are only the acces to that which he finds opposite to it on the sory causes of the general and rapid deteri other rod, and by this alternate change he is oration of the health and strength of the conveyed up or down the shaft without any miners; since the primary and ever active other exertion. The moving power to which agent which principally produces this result the rods are attached is at present a water is the noxious air of the places in which the wheel. This experiment, which has been work is carried on; the difficulties con perfectly successful, has been carried into nected with the purification and renovation effect by the spirited and benevolent exerof this air, and with the whole subject of tions of the principal lords and adventurers ventilation, being incomparably greater in of Tresavean, stimulated and aided by the the mines in question than in coal mines. Royal Polytechnic Society of Cornwall.

9. That the ultimate effect of the disad. The Commissioners reserve for a future vantageous circumstances under which the Report the subject of Tin Works; but reminer is obliged to pursue his laborious oc port with respect to the others, that in cupation, is the production of certain dis smelting the oras of lead, near the places at eases (seated chiefly in the organs of respi. which they are raised, no children, and very ration), by which he is rendered incapable few young persons, are engaged, but that of following his work, and by which his ex in the copper works of South Wales, in istence is terminated at an earlier period which the Cornish ores are smelted, and in than is common in other branches of indus those of North Wales, which reduce the ores try, not excepting even that of the collier. raised in their vicinity, a number of childWith regard to the surface employments

ren and young persons are employed, from

nine years of age and upwards (in South connected with dressing the ores of tin, Wales girls as well as boys), of whom those copper, lead, and zink, the Commissioners engaged at the calcining furnaces regularly find

work with the men twenty-four hours con

secutively, or alternate days, without exceptThat these employments, though entered ing the Sunday; a term of work which is




sometimes extended to thirty-six hours, and and observant men, than I would to those even to forty-eight hours, when, as in South of the most accomplished mathematician, Wales, the “ long watch” includes the

I am not aware that the official report of Sunday.

the accident on the Brighton railway, ocThe Sub-Commissioner who reports on casioned by a four wheel engine running the South Staffordshire and Shropshire dis off the rails, threw any particular light on tricts is of opinion that there is no necessity

the cause of the unsteadiness of the engine whatever for working the calcining furnaces

on that occasion ; but I know very well

that the remarks made by the engineon Sundays.

driver at the Coroner's Inquest, were well " At many works all the furnaces, includ.

deserving attention. I am inclined to ing the calciners, are on Sundays suspended think that there is a greater outcry from active operations, and simply kept on

against four-wheel engines than they “ deadfire,” as it is termed, attended only

altogether deserve, although upon the by watchmen, one of whom generally serves

whole, the six-wheel arrangement may two or more of such fires, until the hands resume their regular work on the Sunday

be much the best.

There are not wanting, however, pracnight or Monday morning. In my own opinion, very little is actually required to be

tically-minded men of a higher class than done on Sunday in order to keep the cop

engine drivers, who are sufficiently conper-works in action, and none, of necessity,

versant with the technicalities of the on the parts of children, young persons, or

subject, and whose opinions and suggesfemales."

tions ought to meet with greater attention from Directors of Companies, than it is

in general their fate to receive. But the THE PARIS RAILWAY ACCIDENT-HOW

practice is, in the case of an accident, to OCCASIONED-PRACTICE AND PRACTI

send a scientific man to report on the

affair, and there the matter ends. In that THEMATICIANS-SCHOOL FOR ENGINE

most appalling and awful calamity on the DRIVERS. BY BENJAMIN CHEVERTON, Paris and Versailles railway, the Academy ESQ.

of Sciences sent two of their members* Sir,-It is a fearful thing, although to investigate and report on the subject, perhaps necessarily consequent on the and what have they done? We are just terrific powers which man has under as ignorant of the real cause of the accitaken to use and control, that we are des dent as we were before. They have tined to acquire such useful knowledge pointed out for reprehension, practices in respect to safe railway conveyance, which have often and often been repreonly at a tremendous cost of human suf hended before, and but for which, the fering; but it is a monstrous and a cruel destruction of life would probably have thing, that only through such a medium been much less than it was; but the can men's minds be sufficiently impressed mystery of the breaking of the axle is to arouse them to seek and adopt all pos not cleared up, and for aught that apsible precautions against the recurrence pears was not even investigated. of those accidents by which it has been It seems, from the accounts which produced. To rely on science and scien have been published, that Mr. George lific men in these matters is a dangerous and M. Milhan, the General Engineer fallacy. What is wanted is, a power to and the Inspector, were apprehensive imagine and provide against all conceiv- from the faulty arrangements, that an able combinations of events out of which accident might happen, and thought it accidents can arise ; but they frequently necessary to be themselves with the result from a concurrence of minute or engines to conduct them. So much were apparently trivial circumstances, far re they on the alert, that M. Milhan, seeing moved from the meagre generalities of something that he thought amiss, sounded science, and more within the scan of, and his alarm whistle to draw Mr. George's the probability of suggestion, to the prac attention, who instantly had recourse to tical minds of the men engaged in the his break, and as instantly was the axle occupation. I would, indeed,

give greater allention to the statements even of the • These gentlemen appear also to fill some official drivers and stokers of the engines, how

situations connected with the inspection of roads

and railways,--gentlemen, no doubt, of very reever illiterate they may be, if shrewd spectable scientific acquirements. VOL. XXXVI.


broken " on each side." This was not, circumstances, therefore, combined on this nor was it likely to have been, a case of occasion, must be just the one thing weakness from wear and tear; neither more that caused it to fail ; and that is to did it result from a flaw in the axle, for be found only in the mode of handling it is stated to have been perfectly sound, the break; for as to the second engine, both the iron and the manufacture being and the great length of the train, they excellent. It is not to be supposed that are circumstances which do not bear upon the axle was wanting in the usual pro

the point. portion of strength ; besides, it must of The more than ordinary amount of ten have been tested in this manner. momentum to be checked by the action What, then, caused it to break ? There of the break, does not add to the strainevidently must have been a peculiaring or breaking force operating on the concurrence of circumstances which put axle, for that is equal only to the force of an unusual stress upon it. What were resistance, which, through the break, opthose circumstances ? A light locomo poses the mass in motion; which again tive was in advance; a ponderous one was is equal to the friction of the wheels on immediately behind; a huge train of car the rail, and this, excepting as the load riages was in the rear ; they were going in the tender may vary, is always a condown an incline, going, it is said, at a great stant quantity; so that the force to break velocity, passing over a road, and pass the axle is the same, whether the train ing also round a curve of too short a radius, be large or small, or there be no train at it is to be feared. Under these circum all. This force is, after the moment of stances, the conductor for the time being, impact, to be viewed as a dead pressure, sensitively alive to danger, and unfitted wherein velocity is not brought into conto display probably his usual coolness and sideration ; and if viewed as a percussive presence of mind, and unaccustomed to force, as in the moment of impact, then the task, hastily and suddenly uses the the velocity of the force is that of the break, and the accident instantly happens. train ; but the mass of the train forms

If the axle broken on this occasion was no part of the force. connected with the break, of which there By the light then of all the recognised is every probability, this conduct of Mr. and calculable laws of force and motion, George must have been the primary and we are unable to discover any cause why fatal error, although no doubt the other the axle should have been broken upon this circumstances were accessory, to an un occasion. By this light we may perceive, usual stress having on this occasion been although unable to calculate, the input upon the axle. The curve on the fluence of a peculiar conjuncture of cirrailroad, for instance, must have added a cumstances, but we cannot find any reason lateral strain ; the vibration produced by why it should have come into action at crossing the road, if it exactly coincid this particular time rather than in past ed with the application of the break, times. So the two French Academicians must have increased the tendency to a appear to have thought, and true to their fracture; and the greater velocity induced breeding in not looking about them in by descending the incline, must have any other direetion, they did not attempt augmented the stress in a percussive to assign a reason for it, or even to moot point of view. Yet there was nothing in the point. But there is a circumstance these circumstances of an unusual charac behind, which being on the surface of ter, taken either singly or combined; for. things and merely of a practical characthe incline, the curve, and the crossing ter, was on that very account likely to be of the road, are connected localities, and overlooked by scientific men-just as the the increased velocity was a necessary cause of the wabbling jumping motion of consequence of the incline, so that the a locomotive, in the want of a perfect concurrence of these circumstances must equilibrium in the revolving parts, was be constant and unavoidable ; and doubt undetected by them—a circumstance less it was quite the ordinary practice to which being important in itself, and imapply the break at this part of the line. parting additional force to the other cir. Such application, however, would be un cumstances, will, I think, satisfactorily der peculiar if not unusual circumstances, explain the cause of this accident. It is and at a time when the strain on the axle simply that of the suddenness with which would be the greatest ; any additional the break was brought into action, by


435 which the stress on the axle was ren as a distinct science-potentially at least dered almost instantaneous.

--with a class of effects peculiar to it, It most commonly happens in practical and peremptorily requiring this expresmatters that we are unable to calculate sion of force as its proper and only meaforces in the way of the mathematicians,

sure ;

a class of effects different from but must estimate them as well as we can either the equilibrium or the motion of --for calculate them we cannot-by the masses, with which only mathematicians effects which experience, or special ex concern themselves. periments, teach us to expect under cer There is another very important class tain circumstances. It is so in this case. of effects, which has not been made the In the science of statics, the forces of subject even of a practical and experipressures are regarded in the single aspect mental inquiry, but with which practical of their equilibrium; their effects on the men are fully conversant, and are conmolecular" forces, in causing the dis tinually taking into account, in what ruption of materials, is altogether a prac might be called their rough estimate of tical question, left to be investigated things, if that estimate, through a natuin a practical manner by practical men, ral and an educated tact for such matters, and just because the subject is one were not so frequently found to be wonwhich science is unable to fathom. drously exact. In this class of effects, Science, potentially speaking, is truly the disintegration of bodies is to be found, applicable to it, but it is beyond our as influenced, not exclusively by the ability to apply it. So also in Dynamics, conditions of the acting force-not by the forces of bodies in motion, are re its magnitude, not by its velocity, nor by garded solely in the aspect of their pro its power in combination, proportional to ducing the same kind of motion in other

any particular power of the velocity, bodies; their effects on the adhesive and but by the conditions of the action itself, cohesive forces, in the production of in regard to the element of time, whether intestine motion, and especially the pecu as influenced by the mechanical or the liarity of those effects, as resulting from physical circumstances of the body acted a percussive instead of a pressing force, on or by the peculiar state of its molecular belong to another eminently practical, forces. Thus the same force—identical and a perpetually occurring subject, with in every particular-shall produce differwhich science cannot cope. It may have ent effects on the same body, according been expected à priori, that as we have as the time of its action is varied by thus one science whose subject matter is these circumstances. This is no subject force simply considered, and another for calculation, and scarcely for reasonwherein it is combined with velocity in ing; for that bodies should be taken by the simple power of that velocity, that surprise, as it were -that they should be there would have been a third in which it

more or less powerfully affected, accordis measured by the square of the velocity. ing to the warning they receive, is, inThere is accordingly a class of effects deed, if properly reflected on, a myscorresponding to that measure alone, but terious and a wondrous thing. It is, we have no science of that kind, not even however, a fact, that the molecular forces a name for such an investigation, whether are inclined to give way, by the mere scientific or practical ; nay, so little is suddenness of a shock, however it may science conversant with such matters, be brought about. Of course it will be that we have not even a distinctive

most usually effected through the veloterm for such a product as the mass city of the acting force; still, any cirmultiplied into the square of the ve cumstance that gives or withholds time locity; for the word impetus, which for the percussive action to be distributed would seem to be most appropriate, is among the other particles of the mass generally confounded with momentum. has a corresponding effect. Of this I do not refer to this matter, in the same truth, many familiar instances may be sense in which it was the subject of the cited, but it would be tedious ; celebrated controversy on the vis viva among the mathematicians of the last

• I may mention one instance, which has not, that century, and which, after all-who would I am aware, been explained on this principle ; believe it?—was found to be little better

and that is, the mode of blasting rocks by placing

loose sand on the gunpowder. The result is not than a verbal dispute ; but I allude to it what at first sight would be anticipated, because

* the prin

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