Our Female Ironsides
Industry, Language, Metallurgy, Gender, Military Technology, Steamships
Discusses an advertisement in the Sheffield Independent for a 'Cold CRINOLINE ROLLER' required to 'work six pairs of Rolls', giving as the contact address an iron and steel works. The narrator interprets this statement as indicating that petticoats are now made from steel. Playing on the ironic contrast between the fragility of crinoline and the hardness of steel, suggests that the machine to be operated by the hired 'ROLLER' is one whose 'tremendous powers' can only be entrusted to competent workmen. Goes on to imagine the noise and glow produced during the production of 'rolls of cold crinoline', noting the creation of sparks under a Nasmyth steam-hammer. Suggests that both vessels and women are clad in iron by the same 'powerful machinery', and anticipates the appearance of 'steam-ewes' (by association with 'steam rams'), and maidens capable of sustaining an attack from an Armstrong gun.
© Science in the Nineteenth-Century Periodical Project, Universities of Leeds and Sheffield, 2005 - 2020
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