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them now, but merely glance at the trouble
occasioned by any passenger omitting to
supply himself with a ticket, or to deliver it
up on leaving the platform at any
intermediate station; and again, at the business
no trifleof tying up in one mass the tickets
of every arrival train, after the passengers
are off and away, into a hundred homes, or
inns, or new trains. These used-up tickets
are marked with the numbers of each class
from every other station, and transmitted to
the check-clerk's office by the first through-train
the following morning. Thus it is
seen that these tickets are the currency by
which the bargain of travel is carried on,
and without which the business would be
as clumsy as a state of barter is in
comparison with one of established monetary

And how did the invention of Mr. Edmondson
reach this extent of perfection?

On his machines may be seen the name of
Blaylock; Blaylock was a watchmaker, an
acquaintance of Edmondson's, and a man whom
he knew to be capable of working out his
idea. He told him what he wanted; and
Blaylock understood him, and realised his
thought. The third machine that they made
was nearly as good as those now in use. The
one we saw had scarcely wanted five shillings'
worth of repairs in five years; and, when it
needs more, it will be from sheer wearing
away of the brass-work, by constant hard
friction. The Manchester and Leeds Railway
Company were the first to avail themselves of
Mr. Edmondson's invention; and they secured
his services at their station at Oldham Road,
for a time. He took out a patent; and his
invention became so widely known and
appreciated, that he soon withdrew himself from
all other engagements, to perfect its details
and provide tickets to meet the daily growing
demand. He let out his patent on profitable
termsten shillings per mile per annum;
that is, a railway of thirty miles long paid
him fifteen pounds a year for a license to
print its own tickets by his apparatus; and
a railway of sixty miles long paid him thirty
pounds, and so on. As his profits began to
come in, he began to spend them; and it is
not the least interesting part of his history to
see how. It has been told that he was a
bankrupt early in life. The very first use
he made of his money was to pay every
shilling he had ever owed. He was forty-six
when he took that walk in the field in
Northumberland. He was fifty-eight when he
died, on the twenty-second of June, last

When we glance over the Railway Reports
of the United Kingdom for a single year, it
may strike us that a vast deal of riding has
come out of one solitary walka prodigious
machinery of convenience out of one turn of
a sagacious man's thought. It is not an exaggeration
to attribute a considerable proportion
of the existing passenger traffic to the skilful
administration of tickets, any more than it is
to ascribe much of the increase of commercial
business to the institution of a convenient
currency. The present number of travellers
could not have been forwarded if their tickets
must still have been torn off printed sheets or
books, and filled up with pen and ink. If it
be said that this is one of the inventions
which is sure to come because it is so
much wanted, and that Thomas Edmondson
happened to be the man: we may safely say
that he was the man who conceived a vast
idea with the true sagacity of genius, and
worked it out with industry and patience,
and enjoyed its honours with modesty, and
dispensed its fruits with honour and generosity.
We do not know what his best friends need
claim for him more.



SCIENCE, some years ago, used to be only
another word for prose. If the fancy took a
flight, and created a few beautiful scenes for
its own contemplation, down came science
and blotted them all out. The rainbows that
hung over a waterfall were explained with the
most petrifying accuracy. They became mere
refractions of the sun's rays from the agitated
spray. Echoes had no Lurleis lamenting their
miserable fate, and appealing for help or
compassion. They were replications of sound,
produced by the undulatory air-wave being
pushed back by the resistance of a brick wall.
Ghosts were Brewstered into natural appearances;
and the Fairy Rings were the result of

Oh! were they? We have a word or
two to say on that subject, which we trust
will restore those circular ball-rooms to their
original possessors, and enable us to look on
them once more without disgusting associations
with toad-stools and mushrooms. How
can fungi keep so exactly circular in their
progress? or why should not they stretch
their lines straight forward, or to one side, or
in squares? Moreover, how is it possible for
them to begin their proceedings at the outer
portion of the ring? How, then, are the
Fairy Rings produced? You don't wish us
to believe in the revels of Oberon and Titania,
though the peasant, returning from his work,
has seen the glimmer of the fairies' dance
in a corner of the grass-field near the plantation.
About six inches high these fairies
seem; all clothed in sparkling garments, glittering
like ladies at a court ball with diamonds
glancing in the light. Sometimes they
stand on tip-toe, or spring up to the height of
a foot; and sometimes they seem to curtsey to
the ground; then, all of a sudden, as if disturbed
by the observation of a mortal, they
disappear. The peasant rubs his eyes and
wonders. He goes up to the place where
they have tripped so merrily, and finds the

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