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Hardware and Cutlery

manufacture, employed, principal, america, united, sheffield and exported

HARDWARE AND CUTLERY. The principal seats of this important branch of manufactures are at Sheffield and Birmingham. In 1841 the number of persons employed in making various articles of cutlery in Sheffield and the surrounding villages was 8564, and 729 were employed in making hafts and scales in connexion with cutlery. The number of file-makers was 2854; 1595 persons were employed in making various other kinds of tools ; 771 in the manu facture of shovels, fire-irons, and other descriptions of hardware goods. In Bir mingham and the neighbourhood, 5188 persons were employed in 1841 in the manufacture of hardware, 1093 of whom were employed in the manufacture of tools. There- are only a few cutlers in Birmingham, and in fact most of the cutlery which is made in this country is manufactured at Sheffield, including a great part of the " London made" knives and razors which are stamped with the names of metropolitan cutlers. The Dumber of callers in the metropolis in 1841 was 657. The population of Shef field increased from 45,755 in 1801 to 109,597 in 1841, and that of Birming ham and the suburbs increased in the same period from 73,670 to 190,542. Hence there can be no doubt that the staple manufacture of each of these places has been greatly extended during the present century. Within the last thirty years great improvements have been ef fected m the modes of production, and in the case of some articles the reduction in price amounts to nearly 100 per cent.

In the eight years from 1820 to 1827 inclusive, the annual average weight and declared value of hardware and cutlery exported was 10,238 cwts., valued at 1,274,1871.

In the seven years from 1828 to 1834 the annual average was 14,751 cwts., valued at 1,455,9411.

The exports in each year from 1836 to the present time were as under :— Cwra. X.

1836 421,442 2,271,313 1837 267,433 1,460,807 1838 305,898 1,498,327 1839 4z.5,537 1,828,521 1840 299,900 1,349,137 1841 353,348 1,623,961 1842 304,240 1,398,487 1843 343,664 1,745,519 1844 2,167,673 1845 Jan. 5 to June 5 .. 877,355 In 1836, a year of great mercantile spe culation, the exports of hardware and cutlery to the United States of North America amounted in value to 1,318,4121.,

or nearly the value of the whole of the hardware and cutlery exported to all parts of the world in 1842, in which year the exports to the United States amounted only to 298,8811. The cessation of the demand from this quarter and the de pressed state of the home market in 1841 and 1842 had a most disastrous effect upon the prospects of Sheffield, and about two thousand houses in the town became un inhabited. The principal countries to which hardware and cutlery was exported in 1843 were as follows :— United States of North America 448,341 Germany . . . . 159,889 East India Company's Terri- X.

tories and Ceylon . . 142,607 British North America . . 102,260 France . . . . 92,553 Brazil . . . . . 80,070 British West Indies . . 80,040 Italy . . . . . 61,992 Chili . . . . . 53,413 Foreign West Indies . . 48,609 Holland . . . . 47,045 Russia . . . . 44,203 British Australasia . . 43,270 Rio de la Plata . . . 41,065 Peru . . . . . 33,173 Belgium . . . . 30,717 All other countries . . 236,331 Total . . . 1,745,518 The cutlery manufactured in Belgium is superior to that made in France and Germany, but is inferior to the English cutlery. A few years ago considerable quantities of Belgium cutlery were im ported into this country for re-exporta tion, and it was discovered that in many cases the marks of English manufac turers were stamped on the articles. An act was passed under which goods thus surreptitiously marked are forfeited. Liege and Namur are the principal seats of the cutlery and hardware manu facture.

Cutlery is an important branch of manufacture in France, and is carried on principally at Langres, Thiers, Chatelle rault, and St. Etienne. In 1835 the value of French cutlery exported amounted only to 61,0651.

The number of persons employed in the manufacture of hardware and cutlery in the United States of North America, according to the census of 1840, was 5492. Pittsburg is the principal place where this manufacture is carried on.