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On the Economy of Machinery and Manufactures

Charles Babbage

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .This is accomplished by using the rivets red-hot: while they are in that state the two plates of iron are rivetted together, and the contraction which the rivet undergoes in cooling draws them together with a force which is only limited by the tenacity of the metal of which the rivet itself is made.

59. It is not alone in the greater operations of the engineer or the manufacturer, that those vast powers which man has called into action, in availing himself of the agency of steam, are fully developed. Wherever the individual operation demanding little force for its own performance is to be multiplied in almost endless repetition, commensurate power is required. It is the same 'giant arm' which twists 'the largest cable', that spins from the cotton plant an 'almost gossamer thread'. Obedient to the hand which called into action its resistless powers, it contends with the ocean and the storm, and rides triumphant through dangers and difficulties unattempted by the old. . . Read More

Community Reviews

This book includes things about the manufacturing process and its dimensions. Division of labor, mechanization, and their effects are mentioned. On the other hand, it can be a little difficult to read due to the length and complexity of the sentences. Also, the writer gives so much detail about the

Not so much about machinery, a lot about economics. Not exactly what I was expecting.

This book is a 19th century manual for people who want to be entrepreneurs. This is also an early work dealing with efficiency analysis. The author is a mathematician who applied himself to looking at how things are made. He definitely favors the business owner over workers. He believes not exportin