A Dictionary of Arts, Manufactures and Mines containing a clear exposition of their principles and practice.  Andrew Ure

A Dictionary of Arts, Manufactures and Mines containing a clear exposition of their principles and practice

By Andrew Ure

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A Dictionary of Arts, Manufactures and Mines containing a clear exposition of their principles and practice. It is the business of operative industry to produce, transform, and distribute all such material objects as are suited to satisfy the wants of mankind. The primary production of these objects is assigned to the husbandman, the fisherman, and the miner; their transformation to the manufacturer and artisan; and their distribution to the engineer, shipwright, and sailor. The task which I have undertaken in the present work, is to describe and explain the transformations of these primary materials, by mechanical and chemical agencies, into general objects of exchangeable value; leaving, on the one hand, to the mechanical engineer, that of investigating the motive powers of transformation and transport; and, on the other hand, to the handicraftsman, that of tracing their modifications into objects of special or local demand. Contemplated in this view, an art or manufacture may be defined to be that species of industry which effects a certain change in a substance, to suit it for the general market, by combining its parts in a new order and form, through mechanical or chemical means. Iron will serve the purpose of illustrating the nature of the distinctions here laid down, between mechanical engineering; arts and manufactures; and handicraft trades. The engineer perforates the ground with a shaft, or a drift, to the level of the ore, erects the pumps for drainage, the ventilating, and hoisting apparatus, along with the requisite[iv] steam or water power; he constructs the roads, the bridges, canals, railways, harbours, docks, cranes, & c., subservient to the transport of the ore and metal; he mounts the steam or water power, and bellows for working the blast-furnaces, the forges, and the cupolas; his principal end and aim on all occasions being to overcome the forces of inertia, gravity, and cohesion. The ores extracted and sorted by the miner, and transported by the engineer to the smelting station, are there skilfully blended by the iron-master (manufacturer), who treats them in a furnace appropriately constructed, along with their due proportions of flux and fuel, whereby he reduces them to cast iron of certain quality, which he runs off at the right periods into rough pigs or regular moulds; he then transforms this crude metal, by mechanical and chemical agencies, into bar and plate iron of various sizes and shapes, fit for the general market; he finally converts the best of the bars into steel, by the cementation furnace, the forge, and the tilt-hammer; or the best of the plates into tin-plate. When farther worked by definite and nearly uniform processes into objects of very general demand in all civilized countries, these iron and steel bars still belong to the domain of manufactures; as, for example, when made into anchors, chain-cables, files, nails, needles, wire, & c.; but when the iron is fashioned, into ever varying and capricious forms, they belong either to the general business of the founder and cutler, or to the particular calling of some handicraft, as the locksmith, gratesmith, coachsmith, gunsmith, tinman, & c.

Andrew Ure

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