On this land suitable houses and cottages for the foremen and workmen were erected. At the same time substantial brick workshops were built in accordance with my original general plan, to meet the requirements of our rapidly expanding business, until at length a large and commodious factory was erected, as shown in the annexed engraving.

Bridgewater Foundry Patricroft. From a painting by Alexander Nasmyth.

The village of Worsley, the headquarters of the Bridgewater Canal, supplied us with a valuable set of workmen. They were, in the first place, labourers; but, like all Lancashire men, they were naturally possessed of a quick aptitude for mechanical occupations connected with machinery. Our chief employment of these so-called labourers was in transporting heavy castings and parts of machinery from one place to another. To do this properly required great care and judgment, in order that the parts might not be disturbed, and that the mechanics might proceed towards their completion without any unnecessary delay. None but those who have had practical acquaintance with the importance of having skilful labourers to perform these apparently humble, but in reality very important functions, can form an adequate idea of the value of such services.

All the requisite qualities we required were found in the Worsley labourers. They had been accustomed to the heaviest class of work in connection with the Bridgewater Canal. They had been thoroughly trained in the handling of all manner of ponderous objects. They performed their work with energy and willingness. It was quite a treat to me to look on and observe their rapid and skilful operations in lifting and transporting ponderous portions of machinery, in which a vast amount of costly work had been embodied. After the machines or engines had been finished, it was the business of the same workmen to remove them from the workshops to the railway-siding alongside the foundry, or to the boats at the canal wharf. In all these matters the Worsley men could be thoroughly depended upon.

Where they showed the possession, in any special degree, of a true mechanical faculty, I was enabled to select from the working labourers the most effective men to take charge of the largest and most powerful machine tools -- such as planing machines, lathes, and boring machines. The ease and rapidity with which they caught up all the technical arts and manipulations connected with the effective working of these machines was extraordinary. The results were entirely satisfactory to myself, as well as to the men themselves, by the substantial rise in their wages which followed their advancement to higher grades of labour. Thus I had no difficulty in manning my machine tools by drawing my recruits from this zealous and energetic class of Worsley labourers . It is by this "selection of the fittest" that the true source of the prosperity of every large manufacturing establishment depends. I believe that Free Trade in Ability has a much closer relation to national prosperity than even Free Trade in Commodities.

But here I came into collision with another class of workmen - those who are of opinion that employers should select for promotion, not those who are the fittest and most skilful, but those who have served a seven years' apprenticeship and are members of a Trades' Union. It seemed to me that this interference with the free selection and promotion of the fittest was at variance with free choice of the best men, and that it was calculated, if carried out, to strike at the root of the chief source of our prosperity. If every workman of the same class went in the same rut, and were paid the same uniform rate of wages, irrespective of his natural or acquired ability, such a system would destroy the emulative spirit which forms the chief basis of manipulative efficiency and practical skill, and on which, in my opinion, the prosperity of our manufacturing establishments mainly depends. But before I proceed to refer to the strike of Unionists, which for a time threatened to destroy, or at all events to impede the spirit of enterprise and the free choice of skilful workmen, in which I desired to conduct the Bridgewater Foundry, I desire to say a few words about those excellent helpers, the foremen engineers, who zealously helped me in my undertaking from beginning to end.

I must place my most worthy, zealous, and faithful Archy Torry at the top of the list. He rose from being my only workman when I first started in Manchester, to be my chief general foreman. The energy and devotion which he brought to bear upon my interests set a high example to all in my employment. Although

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