assist him in making the working drawings of a 200 horse-power condensing steam-engine, ordered by the Lambeth Waterworks Company. The practical acquaintance which I had by this time acquired of the mechanism of steam-engines enabled me to serve Mr. Field in a satisfactory manner. I drew out in full practical detail the rough but excellent hand sketches with which he supplied me. They were handed out for execution in the various parts of the factory; and I communicated with the foremen as to the details and workmanship.

While I was occupied beside Mr. Field in making these working drawings, he gave me many most valuable hints as to the designing of machinery in general. In after years I had many opportunities of making good use of them. One point he often impressed upon me. It was, he said, most important to bear in mind the get-at-ability of parts -- that is, when any part of a machine was out of repair, it was requisite to get at it easily without taking the machine to pieces. This may appear a very simple remark, but the neglect of such an arrangement occasions a vast amount of trouble, delay, and expense. None but those who have had to do with the repair of worn-out or damaged parts of machinery can adequately value the importance of this subject.

I found Mr. Field to be a most systematic man in all business affairs. I may specially name one of his arrangements which I was quick to take up and appreciate. I carried it out with great advantage in my after life. It was, to record subjects of conversation by means of "graphic" memoranda. Almost daily, persons of note came to consult with him about machinery. On these occasions the consultations took place either with reference to proposed new work, or as to the progress of orders then in hand. Occasionally some novel scheme of applying power was under discussion, or some new method of employing mechanism: On ordinary occasions rough and rapid sketches are made on any stray pieces of waste paper that were about, and after the conversation is over the papers are swept away into the waste basket and destroyed. And yet some of these rapid drawings involve matters of great interest and importance for after consultations.

To avoid such losses, Mr. Field had always placed upon his table a "talking book" or "graphic diary." When his visitors called and entered into conversation with him about mechanical matters, he made rapid sketches on the successive pages of the book, and entered the brief particulars and date of the conversation, together with the name and address of the visitor. So that a conversation, once begun, might again be referred to, and, when the visitor called, the graphic memoranda might be recalled without loss of time, and the consultation again proceeded. The pages of Mr. Field's "talking books" were in many ways most interesting. They contained data that, in future years, supplied valuable evidence in respect to first suggestions of mechanical contrivances, and which sometimes were developed into very important results. I may add that Mr. Field kept these "talking books" on a shelf in front of his drawing table. The back of each volume was marked with the year to which the entries referred, and an index was appended to each. A general index book was also placed at the end of the goodly range of these graphic records of his professional life.

The completion of the working drawings of the Lambeth pumping engines occupied me until August 1831. I had then arrived at my twenty-third year. I had no intention of proceeding further as an assistant or a journeyman. I intended to begin business for my self. Of course I could only begin in a very small way. I informed Mr. Field of my intention, and he was gratified with my decision. Not only so; but he kindly permitted me to obtain castings of one of the best turning-lathes in the workshops. I knew th at when I had fitted it up it would become the parent of a vast progeny of descendants - not only in the direct line, but in planing machines, screw-cutting lathes, and many other minor tools.

At the end of the month, after taking a grateful farewell of Mr. Field and his partners, I set sail for Leith with my stock of castings, and reached Edinburgh in due time. In order to proceed with the construction of my machine tools, I rented a small piece of land at Old Broughton. It was at the rear of my worthy friend George Douglass's small foundry, and was only about five minutes' walk from my father's house. I erected a temporary workshop 24 feet long by 16 feet wide.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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