Punch, 44 (1863), 164–65.
My Lords at Sheffield
Manufactories, Industry, War, Military Technology, Metallurgy, Education, Periodicals, Display
Following the Mayor of Sheffield John Brown's invitation to the lords of the Admiralty and 'a great lot of scientific Swells' to see how the 'armour for our ships of war' is made at his 'enormous' Atlas Works, relates the observations of Mr Punch, who joined the party. On reaching the works, Mr Punch saw 'several miles of vast buildings, filled with machinery colossal enough to have delighted Gargantua', and came across the other visitors to the works where 'Wheels were growling, fires were roaring, chains were clanking, [and] beams were banging'. (164) Mr Punch then asked Edward A S Seymour (12th Duke of Somerset) to explain the processes involved, but soon saw one of the burning hot slabs of iron being taken from the 'vast furnace' and then hurried into the 'jaws of the rolling machine', a process causing a 'volcano' to erupt. This reminded Mr Punch of the way he had 'dealt with, improved, and educated the public mind for the last twenty years'. Having praised the mayor for the spectacle, Mr Punch heard John Brown explain how the plates were trimmed and finished on 'self-acting tables, and then saw the plates whisked away in railway carts to Chatham Dockyard and Woolwich Dockyard. He told Brown that he considered the cost to the nation for these plates was a 'trifle', given that they would 'make war as impossible as anything in this mad world can be'. He was then invited to see the Bessemer process. (165)
© Science in the Nineteenth-Century Periodical Project, Universities of Leeds and Sheffield, 2005-07
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