One day last summer we overheard two seaside urchins discussing, coram populo, the merits of a couple of golfers whom they called “Johnnie” and “Freddy.” Any uninitiated listener would have been surprised to find that these players were not at all juvenile, but strapping Scotchmen, in the zenith of their power and fame. Their caddie critics spoke in the familiarity of adulation, and used the customary parlance of the place and species; and it is not a little remarkable that Robert Forgan, living in such an atmosphere of unconstraint, should have escaped the usual abbreviation of name, and have been able to retain his in its original form.
It may be that his somewhat large proportions have impressed even the densest of his familiar neighbours with the inappropriateness of a diminutive title as applied to him. No doubt an ignorant Southron has blundered, and, mixing up two names long associated in the club-making trade, has called him “Morgan, the club maker;” but we are referring to an exception made by an educated people, whose very caddies require to satisfy governmental inspection in the matter of brains.
…Early the next day, while yet cool, we visited one of the decided ‘lions’ of the city—the working elephants. Formerly these were very numerous, being the heavy workers in the timber yards and great saw mills. Machinery has now supplanted them in all establishments run by foreigners. In each of the native mills, where small orders are filled, two of the noble beasts yet perform the heavy labor which human hands unassisted could scarcely manage.
We visited some of these the second time on our return from up country, and were greatly interested. They draw the logs, many of them three feet in diameter and thirty to forty feet long, from the river, pile them up in systematic order, and when they are needed roll them to the ways and assist in adjusting them for the saw.
Lumber is not here sawed into boards, but the slab is taken off and the good stuff left in square timber to be ripped up into boards where consumed. This is done both for home consumption and for exportation. After the log is thus cut the elephant goes among the machinery, takes the slabs away, and then carries the good timber and piles it up or lays it gently upon the ox carts to be hauled.
Interesting Figures Relative to the Cabinet-Making Industry
As a Fine Art It Has Been Killed by Labor-Saving Machines
The Chicago Trade and Labor Union held a meeting at Mechanic’s Hall, No 54 West Lake street, yesterday afternoon, at which about 200 representatives of the various trades and occupations were present. O. A. Bishop was called to the chair.
T.J. Morgan presented the following report on the condition of the trade of cabinetmakers: There are 5,500 men and boys employed in the 160 furniture factories, averaging thirty-five men. One firm employs 250, one 200, one 185, one 170, one 155, one 140, one 125, one 120, one 115, one 90. Two average 80 each, ten average 50 each; the rest employ 10 to 40 each: thirteen establishments on the North Side employ a total of 310 persons.
Small shops cannot compete, and most storekeepers buy from several wholesale manufacturers. “Easy-payment” stores have driven out of business a large number of retail furniture stores, and the retail manufacture is forever doomed.
There are many things to be learned in the machine shop by keeping one’s eyes open, and observing the characteristics and idiosyncrasies of our shopmates.
There is, for instance, the much talked about and well known man who “knows it all.” You can tell him nothing that he does not already know. It doesn’t matter what sort of a job you are doing, he will tell you how he generally does it, even though it is the first of its kind. He is always afraid that you will spoil the job, because you are not doing it as he thinks it ought to be done.
Leo to Capricornus
Notwithstanding the noise, dirt, and discomforts of London, there are thousands of its population who prefer it to all other places. We have known some of these town-worshippers: when, after much deliberation, they visit a country friend, they are always miserable until they get back again. Charles Lamb, who
—’Ranged the crowded streets
With a keen eye,’
affords a memorable instance of love of urban life, amounting almost to a devout feeling. We have another example in Dr Johnson: his attachment to London breaks out in many parts of his writings. In one place he says: ‘The happiness of London is not to be conceived but by those who have been in it. I will venture to say there is more learning and science within the circumference of ten miles from where we now sit, than in all the rest of the kingdom.’