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eighteen distinct operations; and further, that
ten persons could make upwards of forty-eight
thousand pins a day with the division of
labour; while if they had all wrought
independently and separately, and without any of
them having been educated to this peculiar
business, they certainly could not each of
them have made twenty. The Lucifer Match
is a similar example of division of labour,
and the skill of long practice. At a separate
factory, where there is a steam-engine, not
the refuse of the carpenter's shop, but the
best Norway deals are cut into splints by
machinery, and are supplied to the match-
maker. These little pieces, beautifully
accurate in their minute squareness, and in
their precise length of five inches, are made
up into bundles, each of which contains
eighteen hundred. They are daily brought
on a truck to the dipping-house, as it is called
the average number of matches finished off
daily requiring two hundred of these bundles.
Up to this point we have had several hands
employed in the preparation of the match, in
connection with the machinery that cuts the
wood. Let us follow one of these bundles
through the subsequent processes. Without
being separated, each end of the bundle is
first dipped into sulphur. When dry, the
splints, adhering to each other by means of the
sulphur, must be parted by what is called
dusting. A boy sitting on the floor, with a
bundle before him, strikes the matches with
a sort of a mallet on the dipped ends till
they become thoroughly loosened. In the
best matches the process of sulphur-dipping
and dusting is repeated. They have now
to be plunged into a preparation of
phosphorus or chlorate of potash, according to
the quality of the match. The phosphorus
produces the pale, noiseless fire; the chlorate
of potash the sharp cracking illumination.
After this application of the more inflammable
substance, the matches are separated, and
dried in racks. Thoroughly dried, they are
gathered up again into bundles of the same
quantity; and are taken to the boys who
cut them; for the reader will have observed
that the bundles have been dipped at each
end. There are few things more remarkable
in manufactures than the extraordinary
rapidity of this cutting process, and that
which is connected with it. The boy stands
before a bench, the bundle on his right hand,
a pile of half opened empty boxes on his left,
which have been manufactured at another
division of this establishment. These boxes
are formed of scale-board, that is, thin slices
of wood, planed or scaled off a plank. The
box itself is a marvel of neatness and cheapness.
It consists of an inner box, without
a top, in which the matches are placed, and
of an outer case, open at each end, into which
the first box slides. The matches, then, are
to be cut, and the empty boxes filled, by one
boy. A bundle is opened; he seizes a
portion, knowing by long habit the required
number with sufficient exactness; puts them
rapidly into a sort of frame, knocks the
ends evenly together, confines them with
a strap which he tightens with his foot,
and cuts them in two parts with a knife
on a hinge, which he brings down with
a strong leverage: the halves lie projecting
over each end of the frame; he grasps the
left portion and thrusts it into a half open
box, which he instantly closes, and repeats
the process with the matches on his right
hand. This series of movements is performed
with a rapidity almost unexampled; for in
this way, two hundred thousand matches are
cut, and two thousand boxes filled in a day,
by one boy, at the wages of three halfpence
per gross of boxes. Each dozen boxes is
then papered up, and they are ready for the
retailer. The number of boxes daily filled at
this factory is from fifty to sixty gross.

The wholesale price per dozen boxes of the
best matches, is FOURPENCE, of the second
quality, THREEPENCE.

There are about ten Lucifer Match
manufactories in London. There are others
in large provincial towns. The wholesale
business is chiefly confined to the supply of
the metropolis and immediate neighbourhood
by the London makers; for the railroad
carriers refuse to receive the article, which
is considered dangerous in transit. But we
must not therefore assume that the
metropolitan population consume the metropolitan
matches. Taking the population at upwards
of two millions, and the inhabited houses at
about three hundred thousand, let us
endeavour to estimate the distribution of these
little articles of domestic comfort.

At the manufactory at Wisker's Gardens
there are fifty gross, or seven thousand two
hundred boxes, turned out daily, made from
two hundred bundles, which will produce
seven hundred and twenty thousand matches.
Taking three hundred working days in the
year, this will give for one factory, two
hundred and sixteen millions of matches annually,
or two millions one hundred and sixty
thousand boxes, being a box of one
hundred matches for every individual of the
London population. But there are ten other
Lucifer manufactories, which are estimated
to produce about four or five times as many
more. London certainly cannot absorb ten
millions of Lucifer boxes annually, which
would be at the rate of thirty three boxes to
each inhabited house. London, perhaps,
demands a third of the supply for its own
consumption; and at this rate the annual retail
cost for each house is eightpence, averaging
those boxes sold at a halfpenny, and those at
a penny. The manufacturer sells this article,
produced with such care as we have
described, at one farthing and a fraction per

And thus, for the retail expenditure of
three farthings per month, every house in
London, from the highest to the lowest,

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