Extract, Letter, Drollery
Technology, Commerce, Railways, Steam-power, Pollution, Accidents
John L McAdam
The writer of the letter describes him or herself as 'an admirer of improvement, and consequently an impartial spectator of the Joint Stock system'. He or she declares: 'I mean to bathe with the "London Sea Water Company,"—I send my clothes to the "Steam Washing Company". The writer considers, however, that some are too anxious to change things for no good reason, and regrets those whose 'wits are at work to overthrow the reigning Golden age, and to substitute an Iron one' (60). The rural tranquility of English roads and canals is contrasted with the pollution attendant on steam-power. The writer states: 'I will not ask room to enumerate all the miseries attendant on the proposed reign of darkness, soot, and terror. I must, however, take leave to remind passengers by Steam Coaches of the certainty of their suffering from vapours [...]' (61).
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