his obligation to me in the warmest terms, and the alterations which he shortly afterwards effected in the steam hammer, in accordance with my plans, enabled it to accomplish everything that he could desire.

I had not yet taken out a patent for the steam hammer. The reason was this. The cost of a patent at the time I invented it was little short of £500, all expenses included. My partner was unwilling to lay out so large a sum upon an invention for which there seemed to be so little demand at that time; and I myself had the whole of my capital embarked in the concern. Besides, the general depression still continued in the iron trade; and we had use for every farthing of money we possessed. I had been warned of the risk I ran by freely exhibiting my original design, as well as by sending drawings of it to those who I thought were most likely to bring the invention into use. But nothing had as yet been done in England. It was left for France, as I have described, to embody my invention in an actual steam hammer. I now became alarmed, and feared lest I should lose the benefits of my invention. As my partner declined to help me, I applied to my brother-in-law, William Bennett. He was a practical engineer, and had expressed himself as highly satisfied with its value. He had also many times cautioned me against "publishing" its advantages so widely, without having first protected it by a patent. He was therefore quite ready to come to my assistance. He helped me with the necessary money, and the invention was placed in a position of safety so far as my interests were concerned. In return for his kindness I stipulated that the reimbursement of his loan should be a first charge upon any profits arising from the manufacture of the steam hammer; and also that he should have a share in the profits during the period of the patent rights. Mr. Bennett lived for many years, rejoicing in the results of his kindness to me in the time of my difficulty. I may add that the patent was secured in June 1842, or less than two months after my return from France.

Soon after this, the iron trade recovered from its depression. The tide of financial prosperity of the Bridgewater Foundry soon set in, and my partner's sanguine confidence in my ability to raise it to the condition of a thriving and prosperous concern was justified in a most substantial manner. In order to make the most effective demonstration of the powers and capabilities of my steam hammer, I constructed one of 30cwt. of hammer block, with a clear four feet range of fall. I soon had it set to work; and its energetic services helped us greatly in our smith and forge work. It was admired by all observers. People came from a distance to see it. Mechanics and ironfounders wondered at the new power which had been born. The precision and beauty of its action seemed marvellous. The attendant could, by means of the steam slide-valve lever in his hand, transmit his will to the action of the hammer, and thus think in blows. The machine combined great power with gentleness. The hammer could be made to give so gentle a blow as to crack the end of an egg placed in a wine glass on the anvil; whilst the next blow would shake the parish or be instantly arrested in its descent midway.[note: This is no mere figure of speech. I have heard the tea-cups rattle in the cupboard in my house a quarter of a mile from the place where the hammer was at work. I was afterwards informed that the blows of my great steam hammer at Woolwich Arsenal were sensibly felt at Greenwich Observatory, about two miles distant.]

Hand-gear was the original system introduced in working the hammer. A method of self-acting was afterwards added. In 1843, I admitted steam above the piston, to aid gravitation. This was an important improvement. The self-acting arrangement was eventually done away with, and hand-gear again became all but universal. Sir John Anderson, in his admirable Report on the Vienna Exhibition of 1873, says: The most remarkable features of the Nasmyth hammers were the almost entire abandonment of the old self- acting motion of the early hammers and the substitution of new devices, and in the use of hand-gear only in all attempts to show off the working. There is no real saving, as a general rule, by the self-acting arrangement, because one attendant is required in either case, and on the other hand there is frequently a positive loss in the effect of the blow. By hand-working, with steam on top of piston, the full force can be more readily maintained until the blow is fully delivered; it is thus more of a dead blow than was formerly the case with the other system."

There was no want of orders when the valuable qualities of the steam hammer came to be seen and experienced. The first Order came from Rushton and Eckersley of Bolton, who, by the way, had seen the first copy of my original design a few years before. The steam hammer I made for them was more powerful than my own. The hammer block was of five tons weight, and had a clear fall of five feet. It

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