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towns have been under instruction; a number have already left trades. Rope-making requires strength and health of body, for the college, and are now regularly employed as thoroughly com- much of the work must be carried on in places exposed to the petent pianoforte tuners."
weather; and besides this it requires a great deal of dexterity As it will be impossible in this article to give any length- importance that each should learn the trade in which he is most
which is not indispensable in basket-making. It is also of great ened account of the institutions on the Continent and in likely to succeed after leaving the institution; for the great America, we will briefly sketch the plan of working in a object is that pupils should be fitted for independent work few of the most progressive.
eventually. The following extracts from addresses delivered at the All those who understand the subject are now convinced first European Congress of Teachers of the Blind at that the blind cannot be really helped by building asylums. Vienna in 1873, will best give an insight into the schools If there were three times as many asylums as there are schools, of Saxony:
there would not be room for all, and the inmates would never
be satisfied with their condition. Even women prefer an indeHerr Reimer, superintendent of the Preparatory pendent life full of care to the sameness of an asylum, where Saxony.
School for the Blind at Hubertusberg, pointed out one quarrelsome person often embitters the whole life of the that, “even among the families which are not very poor, blind | institution. children often grow up without learning to wash or feed them- If there is any possibility of establishing pupils of either sex selves, with hands hanging soft and helpless at their sides, and without exposing them to the risk of losing their health, thero thus become more inoapable than the poorest, who are forced can be no doubt that it is to be preferred to placing them in to exert themselves by the necessity of the case.
asylums. If they are not taught to help themselves at home, it is very
The Dresden Blind Institution is managed on the principle difficult to teach them at school, and as the existing blind in that the pupils, on commencing independent work, require stitutions cannot admit young children without injuring the much assistance before they can support themselves by it, and education of the older ones, they ought to be taught in prepar- that the institution must give the necessary help. The director atory schools or Kindergärten separately, which should be es- of the institution makes known to the manufacturers that a tablished by the State.
blind worker is coming to settle near them, and induces somo In the preparatory school at Hubertusberg in Saxony, the of the families around to take an interest in him, and recom. first thing aimed at is the strengthening of the limbs, then to mends him for employment. He also inserts in the news. make the children use them properly, to make them help them- papers short notices describing his capacity for work, and his selves instead of relying on others, to correct their bad habits difficulty in finding customers, &c., and requesting people to em. and to improve their mental condition, arousing in their minds ploy him. the love of God and of truth as well as conscience. All this The outfit required for pupils on leaving the institution con. must be done methodically, and each lesson must be given sep- sists of tools and clothing, and materials must also be provided arately and repeatedly as well as most patiently.
at first. The cost of these is partly defrayed by the fund estab. The change wrought thus is wonderful, if the teachers are lished for the purpose, partly by the savings of the pupils, and experienced. They must be encouraged to move about as di- partly, if necessary, by a grant from the parish. rected, and the 'Fröbel play and exercises' will be found use- It is indispensable that the blind worker should have some ful. Plaiting strips of leather, and other occupations which person near in whom he can fully confide, and from whom he combine play with work, are carried on with advantage. A can get advice and help in any time of temporary difficulty, good manager of Kindergärten can do them great good, and whilst the manager of the institution can rely on his taking an gymnastics give them the power of controlling their limbs; but interest in the worker, and seeing that he obeys the rules. every exercise must be first taught singly.
The purchase of raw material causes the greatest difficulty; Object lessons must be given by means of models, stuffed ani- the blind man has not the means of buying much at a time, and mals, birds, fish, &c., to bring out the powers of memory and must, consequently, pay highly for it; therefore the institution reason. Simple hymns and ballads are practised.
helps him by buying it at wholesale prices and letting him bave Very little technical work can be taught, except making rush it at the same price in small quantities. The number of his baskets, &c., as the children are all under ten. This school has applications for materials shows the managers whether the man been carried on for eleven years, and the benefits of teaching is industrious. blind children so early are plainly seen by all who watch the More than 200 blind support themselves in Saxony by means progress which they make when removed to the Blind Institu- of the aid afforded by the fund and their own exertions. The tion; they are fit for independent work at an age three years fund amounted, in 1873, to 85,000 dollars, subscribed in all parts less than the average of those who do not go through it. of the country.”
As the children pass through the institution more rapidly, Previous to the Franco-German War, Mr. Paris. there is also more room for those who become blind as adults." of the National Blind Institution at Dresden, Dr. Reinhard, friend of the blind, by order of the empress of the French,
Liebreich, a celebrated oculist and practical forms an essential part of it
, and when children enter it, consid- prepared a report in regard to the Institution Impériale eration is at once given, not only to their physical, religious, and des jeunes Aveugles of Paris, in which he says that the intellectual education, but also to their instruction in work. institutionWhilst between the ages of six and eleven they remain in the “Is an establishment of the State, in which children of both preparatory school, and find inexhaustible occupation in Fröbel's sexes deprived of sight receive an intellectual, musical, and insystem of play and exercise,
dustrial training. Children are received at the age of 13 years. Playwork' is given them as they become fit for it; for the They remain in the institution 8 years, and are made professors, feeling that they can make something useful rejoices the little musicians, tuners of pianos, workmen and workwomen. workers and excites their activity; it is important that they During the last ten years 110 male pupils have left the insti. should learn early to aim at real work. They learn to plait reedtution, concerning whom we have received satisfactory informamats, which is an excellent means of strengthening the muscles tion. The work women, on the contrary, earn but very little; of the arm and hand, and they also make little rush baskets. among 166 blind, 108 have received a very good education,
The range of their work is extended when they are transferred which ensures to them an easy and independent living; 56 have to the higher class, which is usually during their eleventh year; received an elementary training, and have not been put entirely and from that time till their confirmation, which is generally at beyond the charge of public charity. the end of their fourteenth year, they have at least three hours' The annual expense for 200 pupils is very nearly 240,000 work every day in the shops.
francs (of which 146,000 francs are given by the State), making The work of the girls is, unfortunately, much restricted, and an average of 1200 fr. (£48) per pupil,—the workman costing it is doubtful whether their learning to make baskets and rope a little less, the artist a little more. This sum is not excessivo is without injury to their constitution. Besides, we must not for the education of a tuner, a professor, or an organist, but it lose sight of the evils arising from their working with male certainly is for the education of a workman, who only receives overseers and workmen.
an elementary training, and is not even qualified to earn his Hence, girls learn in general only knitting, plaiting counter- own living. panes, chair-caning, hair-working, and sewing-as much as is M. Gaudet, chief instructor of the institution, expresses dis. required for mending their linen.
approval of the simultaneous education of artists and workHair-work has already been adopted in another institution, men. He says, “ Realizing from the first the great difference and is the most profitable work for blind girls, as a clever one which exists between the future of an organist or a piano can earn 7 or 8 groschen (about 9d.) a day by it, whilst the tuner on one side, and of a blind workman on the other, the quickest knitter can scarcely make 2 groschen a day.
apprentices regard themselves as sacrificed; therefore they do The boys learn either basket-making or rope-making; they all they can to become tuners, and thus often lose much time in learn in the rope factory various kinds of light work, and, when fruitless efforts before they resign themselves to become workthey have been confirmed, choose for themselves between these men, and even then toil reluctantly. On quitting the establishtwo trades, their muscles being strengthened by alternately ment to follow their occupations, they are not habituated to asbeing employed at both.
siduous toil; returning to their indigent families they regret the It is important to consider the grounds of fitness for these comfortable life of the institution, and finally become discouraged.
Tuners bogto ordinarily to work with piano manufacturers, their experience is identical in one respect, which is, that the and earn easily 1500 francs per year. If a little later they suo- blind who have the requisite amount of talent are almost ceed in obtaining a town connection, they have no difficulty in certain to make a good income out of music; but to attain earning double that or more. Some have even succeeded in this end they must aim high. It will not do to be equal to uniting manufacture with tuning. The organists, by obtaining the average seeing teacher or tuner : they must be superior, places in churches and by giving music lessons, very soon earn a good livelihood.
and this involves a good musical notation with first-rate In short, the tuners, organists, and teachers have, in spite of masters, instruments, and appliances, and above all, a detheir infirmity, become independent men, exercising honorable termination on the part of managers and teachers to overand lucrative professions; some have married and reared fami- come all obstacles. lies, others have come to the aid of their indigent relatives. A few paragraphs from American reports will sufficiently
Very different is the lot of the blind workmen, wbo by toiling illustrate the enlightened views held in that country in re without relaxation many more hours than sighted workmen, gard to the education of the blind. barely succeed in gaining a part of what they need to support themselves. By perfecting as far as possible the industrial specially adapted to the condition and wants of the persons to
“A school for the higher education of the blind should be training of the institution, a greater number of the male pupils be trained. In it the course of study should be the same as id might be enabled to earn 300 or 400 francs, but none far exceed
our best colleges. All instruction should be oral, and the apthis sum. The workwomen seldom earn more than 100 or 150 paratus and modes of illustration be addressed to the touch. francs per year.”
It should be supplied with text-books, maps, diagrams, and the America.
The institutions of America are not asylums, like, in raised characters. It should have large collections of
but in the truest sense of the word educational models of various kinds, such as weights, measures, tools, establishments, in which the blind, without regard to machinery, and the like; mannikins and models showing the their future, receive a thorough education. The blind in anatomy of plants and animals, as well as their outward forin. the United States are socially far above those of any other It should have collections of shells, crystals, minerals, and the country; large numbers of them become eminent scholars like; models and sections showing geological strata; philosophy. and musicians, and even their blind workmen enjoy a de ical apparatus adapted to the touch; in short, everything that
can be represented by tangible forms. gree of comfort unknown in England or on the Continent. The results achieved by the Perkins Institution at how much can be done in this way. Saunderson, the blind pro
It would amaze those who have not reflected upon it to know Boston, U.S., are particularly instructive. High-class fessor of mathematics in Cambridge, not only knew ordinary musical training appears to have been commenced there money well, but he was an expert numismatist, and could detect about 13 years ago, previous to which time the results in counterfeits in a collection of antique coins better than ordinary this respect were far from being satisfactory. The report persons could do by the sight. of 1867 states that music is now taught to all of both sexes Such an institute should have able professors and teachers, whose natural abilities make it probable that, under proper with special aptness for adapting their lessons to the condition instruction, they will succeed as organists, teachers of of their scholars. It should furnish special facilities for the music, or piano tuners, and goes on to say-"The teaching pedagogy, and especially of music. It should also be well
study of languages, ancient and modern, of mathematics, of of music and playing is now the largest single field open provided with everything necessary in a good conservatory of to the blind as a means of support, and it seems to be music, and have funds for the payment of competent teachers. growing larger. People are becoming more disposed to It is evident that there are a large number of persons to employ them; and as they go forth from the school they whom such an institute would be a source of great happiness, have more and more ground of hope that they will find and a means of preparation for great usefulness. opportunities to earn their living in this way.” The whole A little reflection will show what a great advantage generous tone of mind among the musical pupils has been changed, culture would be to a blind man, even if he were to be only s for instead of looking forward to the future with fear and musician. Let him be ever so accomplished in bis immediate anxiety, they now feel a well-grounded confidence in them- art, he is under great disadvantages as compared with his comselves.' It seems that in Boston, and in America generally, branches of knowledge, he will have advantages which few of
But if he has generous culture in other the blind are able
to earn more as teachers of music than them possess, and of course he will be more nearly on a level as tuners, which is exactly the reverse of the state of things with them, and more capable of earning a living and enjoying existing in Paris, and may arise either from differences in it. Human effort will in such a case be successful in counterthe condition of the two countries, or from the training for acting the principal evil which flows from the infirmity of blindteachers being more thorough at Boston than at Paris; but ness. TABLE I.-Comparing the relative vitality (or ability to resist destructive influences) of the Blind, at divers ages of life, according
to the combined experience of seven American State Institutions for the Blind, with that of the populations of Massackusetts and of England respectively. Calculated by Mr. E. B. Elliott, Consulting Actuary, Boston. Number
According to Elliott's Massa- According to Farr's English
Deficiency of Actual elapsed (before Admission.
Survivors, relative Surviving to middle the end ing (in
to the Number that of 1859. of 1859).
to the Number that
should be Surviving. ceased).
(in 1859). Number. Per cent. (in 1859). Number. Per cent.
that should be
Note. This table may be read thus:-Between the ages of 6 and 10 the number of persons admitted to the above-mentioned institutions, of whom it is known whether they were living in 1859 or had previously deceased, was 210; their average age on admission was 7:7 years; the average period elapsed since admission, and previous to the middle of the year 1859, was 14-3 years; the number of those who died before the end of the year 1859 was 39,—the number surviving in 1859 being 171. The number that should be surviving, according to the Massachusetts Life Table, is 189.2. Hence the number of actual survivors was 18-2 less than the number demanded by the Massachusetts Table, which deficiency is 9•6 per cent. of (189-2) the number 80 demanded. The number that should be surviving, according to the English Life Table, is 189.8.' Hence the number of actual survivors was 18•8 less than the number demanded by the English Table, which deficiency is 9.9 per cent. of (189-8) the number so demanded.
1 Calculated on the assumption that the average age on admission of the persons whose ages were not specified was the same us the average age of those whose ages were specified, to wit, 154 years.
TABLE II.-Comparing the rolative vitality (or ability to resist destructive influences of the Blind, at different periode after ad
mission, according to the combined experience of seven American State Institutions for the Blind, with that of the population of Massachusetts and England respectively. Calculated by Mr. E. B. Elliott, Consulting Actuary, Boston.
According to Elliott's Massachusetts According to Farr's English
Deficiency of Actual Surmitted
relative to the Number (pre- Survir- Age on
Number vivors, relative to the NumYears. (known vious to ing in Admis
that ber that should Survive.
should be viving
dle of dle of
3 Year 7 Year Group. Group.
Group. Group. 1832 13
22:6 0-6 1835 26 8 18 17:1 24 19.7 1.7
12.5 20:4 2.4
15.8 1836 33 12 21 15.5 23 25.5 4.5 17.8
5.5 20.7 1837 45 18 27 16:3 22 35:1 8:1
25.0 7.0 15:4 1840
31.0 2:0 1841 47
40.2 0.2 1842 56 16 40 16.5 17 46.5 6.5
8.7 47.9 7.9 8.4 11.1 1843 70 13 57 12.7 16 60.2
61.6 4.5 1844 68 14 54 13.9 15 58.6 4.6
59.9 5.9 1845 43 11 32 14.6 14 37.3 5.3 8.9
6.3 11.0 1846 51 42 15.3 13 44.6 2.6
45.6 3.6 1847 35
39.1 8.1 12.6 1849 60 52 16.8 10 54.2 2.2
9.1 1850 54
1.6 1852 28 1 27 11.5 26.7 0.31
0.31 1853 40
38.3 1.70 1854 30
28.9 3.9 5.2 1855 34
4.5 1857 16
0.21 1859 40 40 16.2 0 40.0 0.0
Note.-This table may be read thus :—0f the 68 persons admitted to the before-mentioned institutions during the year 1844, 14 died previous to the middle of the year 1859, and 54 were surviving in that year. The average age on admission of the 68 persons was 13.9 years, and the average number of years elapsed between the time of admission and the middle of the year 1859 was about 15 years. According to the Massachusetts Life Table, the number that should be surviving in 1859 was 58.6, showing the number of actual survivors to have been 4.6 less than the number demanded by such table. The deficiency (4:8 +503 +2:6= 12:5) of actual survivors relative to the number that should survive of those admitted during the three years 1844, 1845, and 1846, was according to the Massachusetts Table, 8.9 per cent. of (58.6 + 37.3 + 44:6 = 140-5) the number demanded; and the deficiency of actual survivors relative to the number that should survive of those admitted during the seven years 1839 to 1845 inclusive, was, according to the same life table, 8°7 per cent. of the number demanded. In like manner may be read the results derived from comparison with the English Life Táble. TABLE III.-Summary of the results presented in the two precediny Tables, comparing the relative vitality (or ability to resist de
structine influences) of the Blind, at divers ages of life, and also at divers periods after admission, according to the combined experience of seven American State Institutions for the Blind, with that of the population of Massachusetts and England respectively. Calculated by Mr. E. B. Elliott, Consulting Actuary, Boston.
Deficiency in the number of the Blind that survived in 1859, relative to the number that should then be surviving.
According to the
According to the
Date of Average Massa-
Life Table. (to middle
Years). of 1859).
Per cent. Per cent. 25.8 7.1 10.4 1832-38 23.6 12:5 15.6 22.8 17.8 20:7 1839-45 16-6
11:1 20.0 12.3 15:4 1846-52 10.2
9.1 16.9 6.0 8.4 1853-59 3.2
6-10 10-14 14-18 18-22 22-26
26-30 30 and over Age not specified
8.6 8.1 15:1 34 8.1 15.4 10:4
9.9 9.4 8.4 17.5 5.6 9.4 15.2 12.4
Note.—This table may be read thus :-of the number of persons admitted to the above-mentioned institutions, between the ages oi 10 and 14, the number that was surviving in 1859 was 8·6 per cent, less according to the Massachusetts Life Table, and 9.4 per cent. less according to the English Life Table, than the number that should then be surviving. Of the number of per. sons admitted during the three years 1838-40, from which the average time elapsing to the middle of 1859 was 20:0 years, the Dumber that survived in 1859 was 12.3 per cent. less according to the Massachusetts Table, and 15.4 per cent. less according to the Englisle Table, than the number that should then have been surviving. Of the number of persons admitted during the seven years 1839-45, from which the average time elapsing to the middle of 1859 was 16:6 years, the number_that survived in 1859 was 8.7 per cent. less according to the Massachusetts Table, and 11:1 per cent. less according to the English Table, than the number that should then have been surviving.
"The careful observer will see a marked difference between a ocean, and by the brilliancy of their colors, or the singuLundred youths in a blind institution and the same number of larity of their forms, as much objects of popular admiration boys in an ordinary school. This is especially true of the male as of scientific curiosity. sex. He will find among the blind a larger proportion of in order to examine the large collections of such subjects
In 1797 he paid a visit to Paris, scrofulous, narrow-chested, angular, pallid, and feeble boys, of natural history as had been inaccessible to him on the who move sluggishly and soon tire; and a smaller proportion of those full-chested, chubby, rosy, elastic creatures, whom shores of the Baltic; and he returned to Berlin by way of nothing can keep still, and nothing tire out.
Holland. His health, which had hitherto been unimpaired, Now, if the blind, as a class, have a much smaller quantum began now to decline. He went to Carlsbad for its reof life than ordinary persons, it must be either on account of covery, but his constitution was exhausted and he died some flaw in the stock whence they sprung, or of some pecu- there on the 6th of August, 1799. liarity in their mode of life, induced by their infirmity, such as BLOCK MACHINERY. A block is a case with its conbodily inactivity ; but it probably results from both causes. At tained pulley or pulleys, by means of which weighty objects any rate, it is a matter worth considering.
are hoisted or lowered with facility. There is nothing in the The foregoing tables have been calculated from Vitality
data furnished by seven American State Institu- appearance of a block which, to an unpractised eye, would of the tions for the Blind-namely, those of New York,
seem to require any stretch of mental ingenuity or of Ohio, Pennsylvania, Illinois
, Missouri, Tennessee, manual dexterity to manufacture. It is a machine appar. and Massachusetts
, and are the results' of careful discussions ently so rude in its structure, and so simple in its conof data, by far the most extensive and trustworthy, it is be- trivance, that the name was probably given to it from its lieved, yet published in any country.
general resemblance to a log of wood, as is obviously the In each of these tables the number of the blind actually sur- case with a butcher's block, a barber's block, the block of viving in 1859 are compared with the numbers that should then the executioner, &c. Of the two constituent parts of a be surviving, according to two different Life Tables—first, the ship's block, the external shell and the internal sheave, Massachusetts Life Table, prepared by Mr. Elliott, from the every carpenter might make the one, and every turner the State Census and Registration Returns for the year 1855 ; and other; but still block-making is a separate branch of trade, secondly, the English Life Table, prepared by Dr. Farr of Lon- and it is necessary that it should be, for the whole efficiency don, from the returns for the year 1841.
According to the first table, it appears that, of the entire 1102 of the block depends upon the proper proportions being persons admitted whose after history is known, 878 now sur
observed between the various parts and the accuracy with vive, whereas the Life Table of Massachusetts calls for about which they are adjusted. 979 survivors, thereby indicating that the power of the blind, Mr. Walter Taylor of Southampton took out a patent in represented by the returns of tiese institutions, to resist de the year 1781, to secure the benefit of some improvement structive influences is about 9 per cept. (10-3) less than that he had made in the construction of the sheaves. He also of the population of all England, and that the number of shaped the shells, cut the timber, &c., by machinery deaths is from 60 to 80 per cent. greater, according to the tables driven by water, and carried on so extensive a manufacture employed for the comparison, than the number required by such of blocks as to be able to contract for nearly the whole tables.
If we could draw our statistics from the blind as a whole, and supply, of blocks and blockmakers' wares required for the not from the favored few who have been taught in schools, the
use of the Royal Navy. Mr. Dunsterville of Plymouth had average duration of life would be much less. We should prob- a similar set of machines wrought by horse-power. Both ably find the average amount of vital force, or power to resist his blocks and Taylor's were said to be superior
to those destructive agencies, to be nearly one-fifth less than that of constructed by the hand, though still deficient in many ordinary persons.
respects. It is well known that the blind as a class are happy, contented, It would appear that it was the enormous quantity of and cheerful. There are exceptions, of course, and it is un- blocks consumed in the course of a long protracted war fortunate that Milton should have been one of them, because that first called the attention of the Admiralty or Nary his eminence as a poet and scholar makes his example conspicu- Board to the possibility of some reduction being made in ous, and his words to be taken as the natural language of a the expense of so important an article, and to the impruclass of unfortunates. in this respect, for they set forth in their lives and conversation dence of depending entirely on a single contractor. On the sublime moral height to which men may attain by grasping these considerations, it seems to have been the intention courageously the nettie misfortune, and "plucking thence the of Government to introduce, among other improvements in lower' happiness."
(F. J. c.)
Portsmouth Dockyard about 1801, a set of machines for
making blocks there. About this time, too, Mr. Brunel BLOCH, MARK ELIEZER, a German naturalist, born at had completed a working model of certain machines for Ansbach, of very poor Jewish parents, about the year constructing, by an improved method, the shells and sheaves 1730. Having entered the employment of a surgeon at of blocks. This model was submitted to the inspection of Hamburg, he was enabled by his own exertions to supply the lords commissioners of the Admiralty, and it was dethe want of early education, and made great progress in cided to adopt Mr. Brunel's more ingenious machinery. the study of anatomy, as well as in the other departments The advantages to be gained were those common to all of medical science. After taking his degree as doctor at cases in which machine work supersedes hand labor, and Frankfort-on-the-Oder he established himself as a physician consisted in the fact that, after the proper sizes of each at Berlin, and found means to collect there a valuable part had been determined by careful calculation and exmuseum of objects from all the three kingdoms of nature, perience, the machine could be made to observe these sizes as well as an extensive library. His first work of import- with unerring accuracy, and so avoid all variations due to ance was an essay on the different species of worms found the carelessness or ignorance of the workman ; these conin the bodies of other animals, which gained the prize siderations are in blocks, perhaps wore than in most things, offered by the Academy of Copenhagen. Many of his of the utmost importance. Another advantage was, that papers on different subjects of natural history, comparative the blocks could be made by Brunel's machinery about 30 anatomy, and physiology, were published in the collections per cent cheaper than hand-made blocks had been preriof the various academies of Germany, Holland, and Russia, ously obtained by contract, and the importance of this to particularly in that of the Friendly Society of Naturalists the Admiralty in those days, when all ships were so heavily at Berlin. But his greatest work was his Allgemeine rigged, having no steam to supplement their sail power, Naturgeschichte der Fische (12 vols., 1782-95), which occu- will be sufficiently seen when it is stated that the remunerapied the labor of a considerable portion of his life, and is tion which Brunel was to receive for his invention was considered to have laid the foundations of the science of agreed to be the savings of one year, and that these savings ichthyology. The publication was encouraged by a large were estimated at £16,621 ; in addition to this he received subscription, and it passed rapidly through five editions an allowance of a guinea a day for about six years while in German and in French. Bioch' made little or no alter- engaged on the work, and was paid £1000 for his working ation in the systematic arrangement of Artedi and Lin- model--the total amount paid to Brunel for the invention næus, although he was disposed to introduce into the amounting to about £20,000. classification some modifications depending on the struc- The process may be described as follows:-Pieces of ture of the gills, especially on the presence or absence wood are cut roughly to the size of the block, and the first of a fifth gill, without a bony arch. To the number of operation is then performed by the boring-machine, which genera before established he found it necessary to add bores a hole for the pin, and one, two, or three holes, as nineteen new ones; and he described 176 new species, the case may be, for single, double, or treble blocks, to many of them inhabitants of the remotest parts of the receive the first stroke of the mortising chisel; the block
is next taken to the mortising-machine, where the mortise | grain of the wood running lengthways of the block; but or mortises for the sheaves are cut; after this, to a circular in Germany recently, blocks have been made with the saw, conveniently arranged for cutting off the corners and grain of the wood running across ihe block, the reason 80 preparing the block for the shaping-machine, which con- being that they are less likely to be split by the pressure sists principally of two equal and parallel circular wheels on the pin of the sheave. The sheaves are made of lignum moving on the same axis, to which one of them is firmly vitæ. fised, but on which the other is made to slide; so that Three machines of each description for each operation, these two wheels may be placed at any given distance from up to and including the facing-machine, are required. The each other, and blocks of any size admitted between their smallest sized machines will make blocks of from 4 inches two rims or peripheries. For this purpose, both rims are to 7 inches in length, the second size from 8 inches to 11 divided into ten equal parts, for the reception of ten inches, and the largest from 12 inches to 17 inches. Two blocks, which are firmly fixed between the two wheels. sizes of the broaching-machine, and one pin-polishing maWhen the double wheel with its ten attached blocks is put chine, are sufficient. Blocks larger than 17 inches are in motion, the outer surface of the blocks, or those which made by hand, 26 inches being the largest used in the are farthest from the centre, strike against the edge of a Royal Navy. chisel or gouge fixed in a movable frame, which, being As will be seen from the foregoing account, all machine. made to slide in a curved direction in the line of the axis, made blocks are cut out of a solid piece of wood; whereas cuts those outward faces of the blocks to their proper curv- hand-made blocks, larger than about 8 inches, are usually ature. A contrivance is attached to the cutting tool which made in pieces, filled in at the ends and riveted together. allows of the curvature being altered in any required way. It is questionable whether a block so made is not stronger One side being shaped, the ten blocks are then, by a single than one cut out of the solid, as in the latter case the operation, each turned one fourth part round, and another short-grained wood at the ends of the mortises is very side is exposed to the cutting instrument moving in the liable to give way. In hand-made blocks the brass coak same direction as before. A third side is then turned out- or tail of the sheave is not made of the peculiar shape wards, and after that the fourth side, when the whole ten described for machine-made blocks, but is usually of a blocks are completely shaped.
circular shape. The velocity with which the wheels revolve, and the The machinery for Portsmouth Dockyard, on Brunel's great weight with which their peripheries are loaded, plans, was made by Maudslay, whose firm-now the very would make it dangerous to the workmen or bystanders, eminent firm of Maudslay Sons and Field-has since if, by the violence of the centrifugal force, any of the supplied block-making machinery to the Spanish, Turkish, blocks should happen to be thrown off from the rim of the and Russian Governments, and also to Chatham Dockyard; wheels; to prevent the possibility of such an accident, an the last mentioned, however, has never been used, as the iron cage or guard is placed between the workman and the machinery at Portsmouth is capable of supplying all the machine.
dockyards, the demand for blocks being much less for the The last operation is performed by the scoring-machine, steamships and ironclads than it was formerly for the old which cuts a groove to receive the binding or strapping of sailing ships. The first cost of this machinery is so great the block. The binding may be of iron or rope, and is that no private firm has yet ventured to set it up, and the very frequently of wire rope.
whole of the blocks used in merchant ships are made by The Sheaves. The machinery employed for making this hand-labor, assisted by a lathe and two or three other part of the block consists of a circular saw, by which the simple mechanical contrivances.
(T. M.) log is cut into plates of the thickness required for the BLOCKADE. It appears to have been the ancient sheaves, according to their several diameters. These practice of belligerents at the outset of a war to forbid by plates are next carried to a crown saw, which bores the proclamation all trade on the part of neutrals with the central hole, and at the same time reduces them to a per- enemy, and to treat as enemies all those who contravened fect circle of the assigned diameter. The sheave, thus the proclamation; and neutrals acquiesced tacitly in this shaped, is next brought to the coaking machine, a piece of praotice until the commencement of the 17th century. In mechanism not inferior in ingenuity to the shaping machine the course of that century the ancient practice came into for the shells. A small cutter, in traversing round the cen- question, as imposing on the commerce of neutrals an intral hole of the sheave, forms a groove for the insertion of convenience not justified by any adequate necessity on the the coak or bush, the shape of which is that of three semi- part of belligerents, and it has since fallen into desuetude. circles, not concentric with each other, nor with the sheave, Belligerents, however, have still maintained, without any but each having a centre equally distant from that of the question on the part of neutrals, the practice of intercepting Bheave. The manner in which the cutter traverses from supplies going over sea to an enemy under certain condithe first to the second, and from this to the third semicircle, tions, namely, when a belligerent has invested an enemy's after finishing each of them, is exceedingly ingenious. Só port, with the intention of reducing the enemy to surrender very exact and accurate is this groove cut for the reception from the failure of supplies, and for that object a stoppage of the metal coak, and so uniform in their
shape and size of all supplies to such port has become a necessary operaare the latter cast, the casting being made not in sảnd but tion of the war. Any attempt, under such circumstances, in iron moulds, that they are invariably found to fit each on the part of a neutral merchant to introduce supplies other so nicely that the tap of a hammer is sufficient to fix into the invested port is a direct interference with the the coak in its place. The coaks are cast with small grooves operations of the war, and is inconsistent with neutrality, or channels in the inside of their tubes, which serve to and it accordingly subjects the offending party to be treated retain the oil or grease for the pins.
as an enemy by the belligerent. The question, What conThe sheave, with its coak thus fitted in, is now taken stitutes such a belligerent investment of an enemy's port as to the drilling-machine, which is kept in constant motion. to create an obligation on the part of neutrals to abstain In casting the coaks a mark is left in the centre of each of from attempting to enter it, has been much controverted the three semicircles. This mark is applied by a boy to since the “armed neutrality” of 1780; but all uncertainty the point of the moving drill, which speedily goes through as to the principle upon which the decision in each case the iwo coaks and the intermediate wood of the sheave. must proceed, has been put an end to by the declaration of Rivets are put in these holes and clenched by hand. The the powers assembled in congress at Paris in 1856, that next operation is performed by the facing-machine, which “ Blockades, in order to be binding, must be effective, that has two cutters, so arranged as to finish the side and is to say, must be maintained by a force sufficient really to groove the edge simultaneously; then the hole for the pin prevent access to the enemy's coast.”. The question of fact is enlarged to its exact size by the broaching-machine. The will still be a subject for judicial inquiry in each case of pins, which form a very important part of the block, are capture, whether the conditions under which a blockade now made at Portsmouth, not of iron but of steel, carefully has been maintained satisfy the above declaration. If an tempered by special appliances. They are turned by a asserted blockade is maintained in a manner which satisfies self-acting lathe, and are then reduced to the exact required the above declaration, there is no limit to the extent of an diameter, and polished in the pin-polishing machine. They enemy's coast which may be placed under blockade. There are also, in this machine, subjected to a proof strain pro- is also a general consent amongst nations that a neutral portional to their sectional area, and thus the strength of merchant must have knowledge of a blockade in order to the pin is guaranteed.
be liable to be treated as an enemy for attempting to break The blocks are invariably made of English elm, the it; but there is not any uniform practice amongst nations