In the following work, the design of the publishers has
been, not only to memorialize the great enterprises of
manufacture of the day in the United States, but to make
clear to the general reader the processes and mysteries of
the various manufactures noted, as well.
No pains have been
spared, in the matter of general study and special
investigation, to make each article as nearly perfect as
necessary to convey an adequate impression of the magnitude
of the manufactures treated upon, their mechanical subtiltics, and everything connected therewith, of which the
"inquiring mind" may properly desire to be informed.
only who have contemplated the state of manufactures as they
exist in the United States, understand at all adequately how
great a part these play in the history of modern
civilization, or how much is to be learned, by each
participant in a special art, of the value and importance to
humanity at large, of every other art.
There is a more or less anxious desire, upon the part of
every skilled man in particular, in any branch of industry,
to know something of the character and pursuits of his
fellow-men in every other art of importance; and it is the
design of the writers hereof to offer to such, an insight
into the various arts which distinguish the present period
of scientific industry in the United States of America.
That the people of this country do, by positive and original
inventions, in the promotion of art, and of the useful arts
especially, as well as by their absorption of the genius of
other nations, all the peoples of the civilized world, there
can be but little doubt.
However superficial may be the
expression of a given art in the United States (for which,
as a people, we have sometimes been reproached by more or
less intelligent and candid visitors from other lands), it
must be acknowledged by the just everywhere, that, in the
aggregate, the United States have made giant steps, even in
the last few years, in the prosecution of every class of
In fact, within the boundaries of the nation is to be found
something in the way of current enterprise and industry,
illustrative of the genius of all peoples (and of all times
which fitly bear upon the present age, as the aggregate
necessary response of the past to the wants of the present),
of which both the scholar and the active mechanic, as well
as the laboring man of every degree, ought and wishes, to
know more than ordinarily falls to the lot of any one man's
knowledge without arduous and pains-taking study.
administer to such desires this work has been projected, and
it is confidently believed that its design has been so
faithfully carried out, as to leave but little, if-
anything, more to be desired for the end in view, than will
be found in its pages.