Look into the Engine-Room
Machinery, Manufactories, Steam-power, Technology, Wonder, War, Politics, Charlatanry
Describes the activities of John Bull, 'a calico-weaver and spinner' who preferred making money to eating food and who mastered the techniques of 'spinning-machinery'. Having explained the 'infinite pains' which John took to maintain his machine, notes how 'one day all Europe, including the Turk', visited John's 'wondrous machinery', which was loudly praised. However, while John Bull was showing off his machinery to his audience, a problem developed in the machine that John tried frantically to correct. Describes how he 'blew up his workmen left and right / Till winders and piecers were pale with fright' and, after discovering that the machine's stoker had fallen asleep, employed a new stoker who helped restore the machine to its 'famous pace'. Concludes by noting that the moral of the song is that the reason why the Crimean 'war-machinery [...] got so out of gear' was because the Commander-in-Chief of the Army, Henry Hardinge (1st Viscount Hardinge), was 'fast asleep' in the 'engine-room'.
© Science in the Nineteenth-Century Periodical Project, Universities of Leeds and Sheffield, 2005 - 2020
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