« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »
Our returns show that the consumption of anthracite-in other words, the coal trade,-commenced with 365 tons in the year 1820; that the production reached 48,047 tons in 1827; that it had increased to 881,026 tons in 1837, and advanced to three millions of tons in 1847; without including much that is consumed on the spot, in the mining districts, or in the interior of the country.
The increased production, therefore, was, in the first ten years, viz: from 1827 to 1837, 1735 per cent. ; in the second ten years, viz: from 1837 to 1847, 240 per cent.; and in the twenty years previous to 1848, that is, from 1827 to 1847, 6150 per cent.
We introduce another view of this subject, which exhibits this accelerated increase in the consumption of anthracite, perhaps, with yet greater perspicuity. The amount which was periodically forwarded to market, exclusive of the consumption in and near the places of production and which has not been estimated, is follows: Aggregate in the 21 years from 1820 to 1840, inclusive, 6,847,172 tons. In the succeeding 7 years to 1847, inclusive,
Total furnished from the commencement, 19,219,133 tons. With this we terminate our compendium of the coal statistics, into whose details we shall enter at large further on: our immediate object being that of showing the rapid increase in the annual production of coal, all over the globe, within the last quarter of a century.
PRODUCTION OF IRON. We have already exhibited in the diagram form, the superficial areas of the principal coal producing countries of the world, and also the squares of the coal production of the same countries, in the year 1845. We are induced to occupy a small space here, by a similar mode of illustration in regard to the production of iron, in the same year, by the chief manu. facturing countries.
In the preparation of the materials forming this volume, we never contemplated to devote any part of it to the subject of iron. The statistics of coal, which we undertook to elucidate, seemed to promise a task of quite sufficient magnitude to keep us in full occupation. Nevertheless, we have found that the rapid advancement of the coal trade was so intimately connected with the contemporaneous process of the iron manufacture, that we have, almost unconsciously, been led out of our prescribed path; and having collected some interesting results by the way, we give them insertion in their appropriate places.
We now only propose in this place, to introduce a diagram showing the condition, as to production, of the iron manufactory or smelting, in the year 1845, the latest year in which we could obtain a series of contemporary returns. The respective proportions are as follows:*1. Great Britain,
2,200,000 2. United States,
502,000 3. France,
448,000 See table of annual production of pig and cast iron in the principal iron manufacturing countries, at page 331 of this volume.' By some accident the descriptive part of the diagram, which we have given above, was omitted there.
After passing from coal to iron, we are almost unavoidably tempted to diverge yet further, to the subject of railoads, steam engines and steam vessels,—so closely do all these matters seem interwoven with each other, being, at one and the same time, both cause and effect, in relation to the enormous increase of coal production, in all parts of the world. Thus we are impelled to notice the astonishing extension of railroads in our day, whereby the coal, the iron, and the other minerals, have become more generally accessible, and consequently more valuable, in proportion as they can be transported with cheapness and rapidity to their several markets.
The following statement shows the actual number of miles of railway finished and in progress in Europe and America in 1844.
2500 In France 1241 miles finished,
1750 In Russia,
1500 In the United States of America,
11,507 In England, in 1845, there were obtained from Parliament new railroad acts for 3543 miles; up to 1846, the total number of miles authorized to be made in Great Britain was 7494 miles,* and to January 1st, 1847, 8384 miles, besides 1862 miles already made.
• For further details see page 328.
In France, in the same year, the number of miles completed, commenced, and proposed, was 3974,-whose estimated cost was $297,220,000, or £61,600,000.
In Belgium, there were 232 miles of railroad in operation in 1842; 348 miles in 1844, and 3864 miles in 1846,-costing £5,789,872.
In the Zollverein, there were completed 24 railroads in 1843, of the length of 17303 miles.
In all Germany, in 1844, 3565 English miles, in 43 railroads.
United States of America.-By an unofficial article, dated June, 1846, it appears that there were then in operation in the United States an aggregate length of 4731 miles, which was constructed at the cost of $127,417,758, equivalent to £26,325,983.
From the data furnished up to that time, we collect that the capital invested in railroads alone, independent of private and local undertakings, had augmented nearly five-fold in ten years.
During the year 1846, the total amount of completed railroads in the United States had reached the aggregate of 48641 miles.
In the beginning of 1847, there were, according to the report of the postmaster-general, of finished railroads 4752 miles; in progress and projected, 264 miles; total 5016 miles. Omitting the gigantic project of the Oregon railroad.
Thus, at the commencement of 1847, we find that the number of miles of completed and partly finished railroad in the principal countries of Europe and America, amounted to no less than 20,000 miles; being within a few thousand miles of the entire circumference of the globe. Those in Europe were supposed to require 6,157,000 tons of iron. Added to this, the government of British India has had surveys undertaken for 2000 miles of railroad, with a view of commencing a general system of railway in that extended empire.
Steam engines employed for purposes of industry, and also in mining enter
prise, exclusive of that employed in navigation and locomotives.
G. Britain. France.
or north of Fixed
coal-field. engines. power.
Fixed steam Horse
en power. gines.
1835 1837 1838 1839
Hence, it is shown that the amount of horse power employed in mining and manufacturing enterprise in France increased 257 per cent. in ten years; and in Belgium 94 per cent. in only five years. Our English returns are incomplete.
Steam vessels of Great Britain, the United States, France, and Russia,
chiefly engaged in Commerce.
Such are the results which our recent investigations have disclosed, while seeking to trace the onward march of productive industry, in opposite hemispheres. However rapid may have been that advance in the Old World, in energy and perseverance-in inventive genius and mechanical skill-in an extended application of the useful arts—in the employment of mighty agencies known to us but as yesterday—and, above all, perhaps, in the adaptation of the wonderful powers of steam-the New World has by no means suffered herself to be left behind. It is but justice to the latter to show how fully she appreciates and avails herself of this newly acquired knowledge, by her rapid advancement in the operative and industrial arts, in so wide a field for human enterprise. We cannot perform this duty so efficiently as in the language of one of her own citizens and most distinguished engineers. The admirable and truly eloquent address, from which we take the following extract, was delivered at the successful termination of one of the most im
* Merchants' Magazine, February, 1846.
portant undertakings in the system of internal improvements in Pennsylvania. It reached us soon after we had embodied in the preceding pages the statistical results which were elicited during the preparation of the present volume.*
“We have already alluded to the indications which past experience affords of the probable future consumption of coal in this country. The subject is of primary interest, and we may, therefore, venture still to add some reflections upon the causes which are now at work to extend this consumption.
" In estimating the probable growth of this trade, we must, to some extent, endeavor to free our minds from the shackles of old opinions, and the influence of ancient example. We must learn to feel the truth, that we live in an age which bears little resemblance to the past, and the progress of which cannot be safely judged by the history of the past.
“ This is essentially the age of commerce and of steam-the foundations of which are our coal mines.
“In the machine-shop and factory-on the railroad and canal-on the rivers and the ocean—it is steam that is henceforth to perform the labor, overcome resistance, and vanquish space. And it is not for human intellect to assign a limit to the application of this power, in a country like that which it is our fortunate lot to inhabit intersected by noble rivers, and penetrated by numerous bays—with an extensive sea-board, lined by flourishing cities, and possessing, along with boundless enterprise, all the elements of national wealth.
“But, look where we will, the evidence of the truth that we live in an age of which the progress is not to be measured by examples from the history of the past, is prominent before us.
“ Taking the iron trade as an example, we find that the mere increase of the production of this metal, in the valley of the Schuylkill alone, during the last eighteen months, exceeds the entire production of the furnaces of Great Britain, ninety years ago.
The manufacture of cotton in Great Britain, which has increased about one hundred fold in the last seventy years, and of the same, and many other articles, as well in Europe as in this country, exhibits results almost equally striking.
“ There was, in fact, no appreciable iron trade, and, indeed, but little trade at all, in the present ordinary use of that word, anterior to the introduction of the steam engine—an instrument of power deriving its efficiency almost entirely from coal, which, through its agency, has given birth to modern commerce, to modern enterprise, and a mighty impulse, too, to modern civi. lization. A quarter of a century ago—within the memory of almost all here
pres. ent—those magnificent boats which now give life to the Delaware and the Hudson—the seven or eight hundred which traverse the Mississippi-and the thousand which circulate on other waters of this country, had no existence, except, perhaps, in the imaginations of those who were then considered wild and visionary enthusiasts. Now, every year brings forth new specimens, each in its turn regarded as the noblest creation of bold invention; and each week presents some new enterprise, by which the Atlantic cities are brought into closer connection with each other, and with foreign ports.
“ The use of this power on the ocean has but just commenced; yet enough has already been accomplished to point to an approaching revolution in the
Report to the stockholders of the Schuylkill Navigation Company, by Charles Ellet, Esq., President, January 4th, 1847.