+ ~ -
Please report pronunciation problems here. Select and sample other voices. Options Pause Play
Report an Error

sheet iron; while the interior has a lining of
half-inch boarding. The roof is also of iron,
with a lining of canvas, paper, and inodorous
felt. The order of architecture is neither
Ionic, Corinthian, nor Composite, but this
new church is a fine specimen of the corrugated
iron style. It has sittings for seven
hundred persons, and was, it appears, built
in five weeks, at a cost of about a thousand
pounds. And if iron will suffice for a church,
why not for other public buildings, and for
private dwellings? A parsonage-house for
Melbourne has been sent out, valued at two
hundred and fifty guineasa wondrously
small price for a parsonage-house. No less
a personage than the auditor of Melbourne
has caused to be sent out to him a house of
four rooms, with an entrance hall, a detached
kitchen, Venetian blinds to every window,
and a verandah running all round the villa.
Melbourne can also, by this time, boast of its
iron hotel, comprising fourteen bedrooms,
so constructed as to divide into four compartments
each; thus enabling the owner
to make up fiftjr-six beds. The iron ware-houses
of Melbourne and the diggings are in
many cases very large; for, as we know by
many recent railway structures, corrugated
sheet iron can be spread about for walls
and roofs to an almost endless extent; and,
by packing the sheets so that the convexities
of one may fall into the concavities of another,
an extraordinary surface of iron walling and
roofing may be transported in a very small
bulk. We have only to remember the iron
ball-room at Balmoral, to convince us that
the uses of iron are only beginning to be developed.
"We are not aware that the veteran
Green has yet ascended in a galvanised corrugated
sheet-iron balloon; but there is
nothing very ridiculous in the thought; for
the material is light enough and thin enough.
Rely upon it that we shall yet see more of
iron houses, not only for Australia and California,
but for diggings much nearer home.

Sometimes Jack builds houses as he would
spin cotton or stamp buttons; in a large
factory where the division of labour is fully
carried out, and where steam engines and
exquisite machines arc employed. Such is
Mr. Cubitt's place at Pimlicoa regular
house factorywhere twenty acres of ground
are covered with workshops and workyards
where four large steam engines give motive
power to we know not how many scores of
machines; where the smoke from all the furnaces
ascends a chimney so handsome, as to
be more like an Italian campanile than anything
else; where there are tanks of water
in every part for the extinguishing of any
accidental fire; where one range of work-shops
is for floors, another for street doors,
and another for inner doors, and others for
sashes and balustrades, and so on; where
there is a monster hot-room for seasoning the
timber, and beautiful machines for sawing,
planing, moulding, tenoning, morticing, and
turning wood; where there are hydraulic
presses for proving the strength of iron joists
and trusses and girders ; where all the marble
and stone work for a row of houses is
prepared; where the grates and rails and
other iron work are either made or put
together, or both ; where two or three men
are always employed in sharpening tools, and
where one man has the whole of his busy
hours employed in keeping the glue-pots
filled and warm; where we might order a
street of houses just as if it were a suit of
clothes or a pair of boots, with a full reliance
on having the order executed to a precise day
and hour; and where, if anywhere, we might
learn how to build a really good, substantial,
durable, sensible, wholesome, and creditable

"A papier-maché village for Australia!"
is an attractive heading for a newspaper
paragraph. It appears that a Mr. Seymour
about to take up his abode in the land of
nuggetscommissioned Messrs. Bielefield to
construct a number of portable houses,
mainly with that material which they have
been so instrumental in rendering publicly
useful, papier-maché!* The paper village,
when made, was temporarily set up in the
grounds of the factory. It consisted of ten
houses. One of these was a villa with nine
rooms; each twelve feet high; another was
a storehouse, eighty feet long, with a sitting-room,
kitchen, and two bed-rooms attached;
while the rest were small houses varying
from two to six rooms each. The villa had a
drawing-room, and a dining-room, each with
a bay window, a hall, several bed-rooms, two
closets, and a kitchen. The chief material of
all the houses is  papier-maché, rendered
waterproof by a patented process. It is not
the simple papier-maché as ordinarily used,
but contains an admixture of rags not reduced
to pulp, which enables it to solidify as
hard as a board. The walls. are double to
ensure ventilation; the partitions have a
strength and durability which will put to
shame the lath and plaster mockeries of too
many of the London houses that Jack built.
The roofs are nearly flat, just inclined sufficiently
to throw off rain-water. The flooring,
with the joists attached, is made in large
pieces; and, like the walls and the
ceilings, is so planned as to be transported
with ease and rapidly set up. It was found
on trial, that one of the smaller houses could
be pulled down and built up again in four
hours. If, as is stated, this paper and rag
building material can be advantageously used
for barracks, and park-lodges, and shooting
boxes, and billiard-rooms, we see no reason
why Australia should monopolise these paper

This is the last house that Jack built; what
his next house will be built of we wait to see.

*See Volume iv. of this Miscellany, page 209.