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the urgent request of Roebuck's assignees, giving in so doing pretty good evidence of his faith in prompt returns from the engines, for which orders came pouring in. New mechanical facilities followed, as well as a supply of skilled mechanics.

The celebrated Wilkinson now appears upon the scene, first builder of iron boats, and a leading ironfounder of his day, an original Captain of Industry of the embryonic type, who began working in a forge for three dollars a week. He cast a cylinder eighteen inches in diameter, and invented a boring machine which bored it accurately, thus remedying one of Watt's principal difficulties. This cylinder was substituted for the tin-lined cylinder of the triumphant Kinneil engine. Satisfactory as were the results of the engine before, the new cylinder improved upon these greatly. Thus Wilkinson was pioneer in iron ships, and also in ordering the first engine built at Sohotruly an enterprising man. Great pains were taken by Watt that this should be perfect, as so much depended upon a successful start. Many concerns suspended work upon Newcomen engines, countermanded orders, or refrained from placing them, awaiting anxiously the performance of this heralded wonder, the Watt engine. As it approached completion, Watt became impatient to test its powers, but the prudent, calm Boulton insisted that not one stroke be made until every possible hindrance to successful working had been removed.

He adds, "then, in the name of God, fall to and do "your best." Admirable order of battle! It was "Be sure you're right, then go ahead," in the vernacular. Watt acted upon this, and when the trial came the engines worked "to the admiration of all." The news of this spread rapidly. Enquiries and orders for engines began to flow in. No wonder when we read that of thirty engines of former makers in one coalmining district only eighteen were at work. The others had failed. Boulton wrote Watt to

tell Wilkinson to get a dozen cylinders cast and bored.

I have fixed my mind upon making from twelve to fifteen reciprocating engines and fifty rotative engines per annum. Of all the toys and trinkets we manufacture at Soho, none shall take the place of fire-engines in respect of my attention.

The captain was on deck, evidently. Sixty-five engines per year-prodigious for these days-nothing like this was ever heard of before. Two thousand per year is the record of one firm in Philadelphia to-day, but let us boast not. Perhaps one hundred and twenty-nine years hence will have as great a contrast to show. The day of small factories, as of small nations, is past. Increasing magnitude, to which it is hard to set a limit, is the order of the day.

So far all was well, the heavy clouds that had so long hovered menacingly over Boulton and Watt had been displaced once more by clear skies. But no new machinery or new manufacturing business starts

without accidents, delays and unexpected difficulties. There was necessarily a long period of trial and disappointment for which the sanguine partners were not prepared. As before, the chief trouble lay in the lack of skilled workmen, for although the few original men in Soho were remarkably efficient, the increased demand for engines had compelled the employment of many new hands, and the work they could perform was sadly defective. Till this time, it is to be remembered there had been neither slide lathes, planing machines, boring tools, nor any of the many other devices which now ensure accuracy. All depended upon the mechanics' eye and hand, if mechanics they could be called. Most of the new hands were inexpert and much given to drink. Specialisation had to be resorted to-one thing for each workman, in the fashioning of which practice made perfect. This system was introduced with success, but the training of the men took time. Meanwhile work already turned out and that in progress was not up to standard, and this caused infinite trouble. One very important engine was "The Bow" for London, which was shipped in September. The best of the experts, Joseph Harrison, was sent to superintend its erection. Verbal instructions Watt would not depend upon; Harrison was supplied in writing with detailed particulars covering every possible contingency. Constant communication between them was kept up by letter, for the engine

did not work satisfactorily, and finally Watt himself proceeded to London in November and succeeded in overcoming the defects. Harrison's anxieties disabled him, and Boulton wrote to Dr. Fordyce, a celebrated doctor of that day, telling him to take good care of Harrison, "let the expense be what it will." Watt writes Boulton that Harrison must not leave London, as "a relapse of the engine would ruin our reputation "here and elsewhere." The Bow engine had a relapse, however, which happened in this way. Smeaton, then the greatest of the engineers, requested Boulton's London agent to take him to see the new engine. He carefully examined it, called it a "very pretty engine," but thought it too complicated a piece of machinery for practical use. There was apparently much to be said for this opinion, for we clearly see that Watt was far in advance of his day in mechanical requirements. Hence his serious difficulties in the construction of the complex engine, and in finding men capable of doing the delicately accurate work which was absolutely indispensable for successful working.

Before leaving, Smeaton made the engineer a gift of money, which he spent in drink. The drunken engineman let the engine run wild, and it was thrown completely out of order. The valves-the part of the complicated machine that required the most careful treatment-were broken. He was dismissed, and, repairs being made, the engine worked satisfactorily at

last. In Watt's life, we meet drunkenness often as a curse of the time. We have the satisfaction of knowing that our day is much freer from it. We have certainly advanced in the cure of this evil, for our working-men may now be regarded as on the whole a steady sober class, especially in America, where intemperance has not to be reckoned with.

We see the difference between the reconstructed Kinneil engine where Boulton's "mathematical instru"ment maker's" standard of workmanship was possible "because his few trained men capable of such work

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were employed." The Kinneil engine, complicated as it was in its parts, being thus accurately reconstructed, did the work expected and more. The Bow engines and some others of the later period, constructed by ordinary workmen capable only of the "black"smith's" standard of finish, proved sources of infinite trouble.

Watt had several cases of this kind to engross his attention, all traceable to the one root, lack of the skilled, sober workmen, and the tools of precision which his complex (for his day, very complex) steam engine required. The truth is that Watt's engine in one sense was born before its time. Our class of instrumentmaking mechanics and several new tools should have preceded it; then, the science of the invention being sound, its construction would have been easy. The partners continued working in the right direction and

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