machine. It was an inestimable advantage to me to be so intimately associated with this Great Mechanic. He was so invariably kind, pleasant, and congenial. He communicated an infinite number of what he humorously called "Wrinkles" which afterwards proved of great use to me. My working hours usually terminated at six in the evening. But as many of the departments of the factory were often in full operation during busy times until eight o'clock, I went through them to observe the work while in progress. On these occasions I often met "the guvnor, as the workmen called Mr. Maudslay. He was going his round of inspection, and when there was any special work in hand he would call me up to him to and explain point in connection with it that was worthy of particular notice. I found this valuable privilege most instructive, as I obtained from the cheif mechanic himself a full insight into the methods , means, and processes by which the skilful workman advanced the various classes of work. I was also permitted to take notes and make rapid sketches of any object that specially interested me. The entire establishment thus became to me a school of practical engineering of the most instructive kind.

Mr. Maudslay took pleasure in showing me the right system and method of treating all manner of materials employed in mechanical structures. He showed how they might be made to obey your will, by changing them into the desired forms with the least expenditure of time and labour. This in fact is the true philosophy of construction. When clear ideas have been acquired upon the subject, after careful observation and practice, the comparative ease and certainty with which complete mastery over the most obdurate materials is obtained, opens up the most direct road to the attainment of commercial as well as of professional success.

To be permitted to stand by and observe the systematic way in which Mr. Maudslay would first mark or line out his work, and the masterly manner in which he would deal with his materials, and cause them to assume the desired forms, was a treat beyond all expression. Every stroke of the hammer, chisel, or file, told as an effective step towards the intended result. It was a never-to-be-forgotten practical lesson in workmanship, in the most exalted sense of the term. In conformity with his often repeated maxim, "that there is a right way and a wrong way of doing everything," he took the shortest and most direct cuts to accomplish his objects. He illustrated this by telling me, in his own humorous style, " When you want to go from London to Greenwich, don't go round by Inverness." Another of his droll sayings was that he "considered no man a thorough mechanic unless he could cut a plank with a gimlet, and bore a hole with a saw !"

The grand result of thoughtful practice is what we call experience: it is the power or faculty of seeing clearly before you begin, what to avoid and what to select -- or rather what to do and what not to do. High-class workmanship, or technical knowledge , was in his hands quite a science. Every piece of work was made subject to the soundest philosophical principles, as applied to the use and treatment of materials. It was this that gave such a charm of enjoyment to his dealing with tools and materials. He loved this sort of work for its own sake, far more than for its pecuniary results. At the same time he was not without regard for the substantial evidence of his supremacy in all that regarded first-class tools, admirable management, and thorough organisation of his factory.

The innate love of truth and accuracy which distinguished Mr. Maudslay, led him to value highly that class of technical dexterity in engineering workmen which enabled them to produce those details of mechanical structures in which perfect flat or true plane surfaces were required. This was an essential condition for the effective and durable performance of their functions. Sometimes this was effected by the aid of the turning-lathe and slide-rest. But in most cases the object was attained by the dexterous use of the file, so that "flat filing" then was, as it still is, one of the highest qualities of the skilled workman. No one that I ever met with could go beyond Henry Maudslay himself in his dexterous use of the file. By a few masterly strokes he could produce plane surfaces so true that when their accuracy was tested by a standard plane surface of absolute truth, they were never found defective; neither convex, nor concave, nor "cross-winding," -- that is, twisted.

The importance of having such Standard Planes caused him to have many of them placed on the benches beside his workmen, by means of which they might at once conveniently test their work. Three of each

  By PanEris using Melati.

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