Saturday, 21 January 2017

21st January 1817: London Committee of Trades suggests the 'suppression or suspension of machinery' to the Home Secretary

Jan 21st=1817. —

My Lord—

we the undersigned are appointed by the committee of Trades, to attend your Lordship with a petition, relative to the Suppression or the Suspension of Machinery.

we humbly entreat your Lordship to receive the same Personally, as it is the wish of those who have deputed us for this Business.—

we wait your Lordships Pleasure
& remain,
Your Lordships,
HumblB & Obedt Servants

Wm Booth
Jno Sawyer
[illegible] Clark

To the Right Honble
Lord Viscount Sidmouth
Secretary of State
for the
Home department—

['Petition' is below]

Sawyers

The working of machinery throws 800 Men entirely out of employ out of 2000 besides depriving half of those who are in employ of a regular supply making the aggregate quantity of [illegible] Labour not more than employment 600 out of 2000 Men

Calico Printers

Cyllender—
One machine will print 250 Pieces 24 yards each Piece in 12 Hours by the employment of 2 Men [and] 1 Woman

The same quantity in the same given time would employ manual labour 40 Men 40 [and] 40 Women & Boys

Surface machine —
One machine will print 250 pieces 24 yards each in 12 hours by the employment of 2 Men [and] one Woman

The same quantity in the same given time would employ my manual labour 40 Men [and] 40 Women

Copperplate or flat Presses—

One machine prints 18 Pieces 24 yds 12 hours & employs 2 Men

The same quantity in the same time by manual labour would employ 30 Men [and] 30 Boys

London Trade has 13 Roll Machines
—108 Flat presses

When the above Machines are workd by Steam or Water they take one man less to each machine

Printers

Bensley & Sons Patent Mahcine workd by 15 Men [and] 2 Women Will do as much in any given Period as Another machine now erecting on the same plan—
The Times Office Machine—workd by 4 Men [and] 2 Boys
Will do as much in any Period as 12 Men [and] 5 boys
In the latter the reduction of manual labour is even 2/3ds

Rope Makers

—Making of Cables—

A 13 Inch cable made by Machinery throws out of employ 52 Men

A 20 Inch cable made by Machinery throws out of employ 107 Men

Added to this the purchaser is deceivd in the quality of the article, as the cable cannot be made its regular & proper weight in proportion to its size, without being put upon the stretch by manual labour—How extensive this evil if, we calculate the many thousands of lives which are thus endangered.—

The Spinning Jennys

One end of a thread Spun by the Jenny will not draw the other 50 Fathoms without breaking
Whereas a thread workd by hand Labour is stretchd out by the tackle will bear its regular strain without breaking 200 [Fathoms]

Public suffer a deception in the yarn spun by these Jennys, as the external part (to cover the defect of the internal part of the strand) must be workd by hand Labour—

a 6 Inch shroud throws out of employ 16 Men
a 11 Inch shroud throws out of employ 41 Men

[on reverse] From the Artizans &c of London & Westminster

These documents can be found at HO 42/158.

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