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On The Division Of Labour
241. We have already mentioned what may, perhaps, appear par...

Of Money As A Medium Of Exchange
166. In the earlier stages of societies the interchange of t...

On Contriving Machinery
318. The power of inventing mechanical contrivances, and of ...

Economy Of The Materials Employed
77. The precision with which all operations by machinery are ...

Copying With Elongation
140. In this species of copying there exists but little rese...

On The Influence Of Durability On Price
197. Having now considered the circumstances that modify what...

Accumulating Power
20. Whenever the work to be done requires more force for its ...

On The Duration Of Machinery
340. The time during which a machine will continue to perform...

Regulating Power
27. Uniformity and steadiness in the rate at which machinery ...

Of Price As Measured By Money
201. The money price at which an article sells furnishes us ...

On The Future Prospects Of Manufactures As Connected With Science
453. In reviewing the various processes offered as illustrat...

On The Influence Of Verification On Price
181. The money price of an article at any given period is us...

Of Copying By Stamping
128. This mode of copying is extensively employed in the art...

Distinction Between Making And Manufacturing
163. The economical principles which regulate the application...

Extending The Time Of Action Of Forces
45. This is one of the most common and most useful of the em...

On The Division Of Labour
217. Perhaps the most important principle on which the econo...

Of Copying With Altered Dimensions
147. Of the pentagraph. This mode of copying is chiefly used ...

On The Effect Of Machinery In Reducing The Demand For Labour
404. One of the objections most frequently urged against mac...

On The Causes And Consequences Of Large Factories
263. On examining the analysis which has been given in chapt...

On Combinations Of Masters Against The Public
376. A species of combination occasionally takes place among...

On The Cost Of Each Separate Process In A Manufacture

Category: On the domestic and political economy of manufactures

253. The great competition introduced by machinery, and the
application of the principle of the subdivision of labour, render
it necessary for each producer to be continually on the watch, to
discover improved methods by which the cost of the article he
manufactures may be reduced; and, with this view, it is of great
importance to know the precise expense of every process, as well
as of the wear and tear of machinery which is due to it. The same
information is desirable for those by whom the manufactured goods
are distributed and sold; because it enables them to give
reasonable answers or explanations to the objections of
enquirers, and also affords them a better chance of suggesting to
the manufacturer changes in the fashion of his goods, which may
be suitable either to the tastes or to the finances of his
customers. To the statesman such knowledge is still more
important; for without it he must trust entirely to others, and
can form no judgement worthy of confidence, of the effect any tax
may produce, or of the injury the manufacturer or the country may
suffer by its imposition.

254. One of the first advantages which suggests itself as
likely to arise from a correct analysis of the expense of the
several processes of any manufacture, is the indication which it
would furnish of the course in which improvement should be
directed. If a method could be contrived of diminishing by one
fourth the time required for fixing on the heads of pins, the
expense of making them would be reduced about thirteen per cent;
whilst a reduction of one half the time employed in spinning the
coil of wire out of which the heads are cut, would scarcely make
any sensible difference in the cost of manufacturing of the
whole article. It is therefore obvious, that the attention would
be much more advantageously directed to shortening the former
than the latter process.

255. The expense of manufacturing, in a country where
machinery is of the rudest kind, and manual labour is very cheap,
is curiously exhibited in the price of cotton cloth in the island
of Java. The cotton, in the seed, is sold by the picul, which is
a weight of about 133 lbs. Not above one fourth or one fifth of
this weight, however, is cotton: the natives, by means of rude
wooden rollers, can only separate about 1 1/4 lb. of cotton from
the seed by one day's labour. A picul of cleansed cotton,
therefore, is worth between four and five times the cost of the
impure article; and the prices of the same substance, in its
different stages of manufacture, are--for one picul:

Dollars Cotton in the seed 2 to 3
Clean cotton 10 to 11
Cotton thread 24
Cotton thread dyed blue 35
Good ordinary cotton cloth 50

Thus it appears that the expense of spinning in Java is 117
per cent on the value of the raw material; the expense of dying
thread blue is 45 per cent on its value; and that of weaving
cotton thread into cloth 117 per cent on its value. The expense
of spinning cotton into a fine thread is, in England, about 33
per cent. (1*)

256. As an example of the cost of the different processes of
a manufacture, perhaps an analytical statement of the expense of
the volume now in the reader's hands may not be uninteresting;
more especially as it will afford an insight into the nature and
extent of the taxes upon literature. It is found economical to
print it upon paper of a very large size, so that although
thirty-two pages, instead of sixteen, are really contained in
each sheet, this work is still called octavo.

L s. d.

To printer, for composing (per sheet of 32 pages) L3 1s. 10 1/2
sheets 32 0 6 [This relates to the ordinary size of the type used
in the volume.]

To printer for composing small type, as in extracts and 2 0 3
contents, extra per sheet, 3s. 10d.

To printer, for composing table work, extra per sheet, 2 17 9
5s. 6d.
Average charge for corrections, per sheet, L3 2s. 10d. 33 0 0
Press work, 3000 being printed off, per sheet, L3 10s. 36 15 0
Paper for 3000, at L1 11s. 6d. per ream, weighing 28 lbs: the
duty on paper at 3d. per lb. amounts to 7s. per ream, so that the
63 reams which are required for the work will cost:

Paper 77 3 6
Excise Duty 22 1 0
Total expense of paper 99 4 6

Total expense of printing and paper 205 18 0
Steel-plate for title-page 0 7 6
Engraving on ditto, Head of Bacon 2 2 0
Ditto letters 1 1 0
Total expense of title-page 3 10 6
Printing title-page, at 6s. per 100 9 0 0
Paper for ditto, at 1s. 9d. per 100 2 12 6
Expenses of advertising 40 0 0
Sundries. 5 0 0

Total expense in sheets 266 1 0

Cost of a single copy in sheets; 3052 being printed, including
the overplus 0 1 9
Extra boarding 0 0 6

Cost of each copy, boarded(2*) 0 2 3

257. This analysis requires some explanation. The printer
usually charges for composition by the sheet, supposing the type
to be all of one kind; and as this charge is regulated by the
size of the letter, on which the quantity in a sheet depends,
little dispute can arise after the price is agreed upon. If there
are but few extracts, or other parts of the work, which require
to be printed in smaller type; or if there are many notes, or
several passages in Greek, or in other languages, requiring a
different type, these are considered in the original contract,
and a small additional price per sheet allowed. If there is a
large portion of small type, it is better to have a specific
additional charge for it per sheet. If any work with irregular
lines and many figures, and what the printers call rules, occurs,
it is called table work, and is charged at an advanced price per
sheet. Examples of this are frequent in the present volume. If
the page consists entirely of figures, as in mathematical tables,
which require very careful correction, the charge for composition
is usually doubled. A few years ago I printed a table of
logarithms, on a large-sized page, which required great
additional labour and care from the readers,(3*) in rendering the
proofs correct, and for which, although new punches were not
required, several new types were prepared, and for which
stereotype plates were cast, costing about L2 per sheet. In this
case L11 per sheet were charged, although ordinary composition,
with the same sized letter, in demy octavo, could have been
executed at thirty-eight shillings per sheet: but as the expense
was ascertained before commencing the work, it gave rise to no

258. The charge for corrections and alterations is one which,
from the difficulty of measuring them, gives rise to the greatest
inconvenience, and is as disagreeable to the publisher (if he be
the agent between the author and the printer), and to the master
printer or his foreman, as it is to the author himself. If the
author study economy, he should make the whole of his corrections
in the manuscript, and should copy it out fairly: it will then be
printed correctly, and he will have little to pay for
corrections. But it is scarcely possible to judge of the effect
of any passage correctly, without having it set up in type; and
there are few subjects, upon which an author does not find he can
add some details or explanation, when he sees his views in print.
If, therefore, he wish to save his own labour in transcribing,
and to give the last polish to the language, he must be content
to accomplish these objects at an increased expense. If the
printer possess a sufficient stock of type, it will contribute
still more to the convenience of the author to have his whole
work put up in what are technically called slips,(4*) and then to
make all the corrections, and to have as few revises as he can.
The present work was set up in slips, but the corrections have
been unusually large, and the revises frequent.

259. The press work, or printing off, is charged at a price
agreed upon for each two hundred and fifty sheets; and any broken
number is still considered as two hundred and fifty. When a large
edition is required, the price for two hundred and fifty is
reduced; thus, in the present volume, two hundred and fifty
copies, if printed alone, would have been charged eleven
shillings per sheet, instead of 5s. 10d., the actual charge. The
principle of this mode of charging is good, as it obviates all
disputes; but it is to be regretted that the custom of charging
the same price for any small number as for two hundred and fifty,
is so pertinaciously adhered to, that the workmen will not agree
to any other terms when only twenty or thirty copies are
required, or even when only three or four are wanted for the sake
of some experiment. Perhaps if all numbers above fifty were
charged as two hundred and fifty, and all below as for half two
hundred and fifty, both parties would derive an advantage.

260. The effect of the excise duty is to render the paper
thin, in order that it may weigh little; but this is counteracted
by the desire of the author to make his book look as thick as
possible, in order that he may charge the public as much as he
decently can; and so on that ground alone the duty is of no
importance. There is, however, another effect of this duty, which
both the public and the author feel; for they pay, not merely the
duty which is charged, but also the profit on that duty, which
the paper-maker requires for the use of additional capital; and
also the profit to the publisher and bookseller on the increased
price of the volume.

261. The estimated charge for advertisements is, in the
present case, about the usual allowance for such a volume; and,
as it is considered that advertisements in newspapers are the
most effectual, where the smallest pays a duty of 3s. 6d., nearly
one half of the charge of advertising is a tax.

262. It appears then, that, to an expenditure of L224
necessary to produce the present volume, L42 are added in the
shape of a direct tax. Whether the profits arising from such a
mode of manufacturing will justify such a rate of taxation, can
only be estimated when the returns from the volume are
considered, a subject that will be discussed in a subsequent
chapter.(5*) It is at present sufficient to observe, that the tax
on advertisements is an impolitic tax when contrasted with that
upon paper, and on other materials employed. The object of all
advertisements is, by making known articles for sale, to procure
for them a better price, if the sale is to be by auction; or a
larger extent of sale if by retail dealers. Now the more any
article is known, the more quickly it is discovered whether it
contributes to the comfort or advantage of the public; and the
more quickly its consumption is assured if it be found valuable.
It would appear, then, that every tax on communicating
information respecting articles which are the subjects of
taxation in another shape, is one which must reduce the amount
that would have been raised, had no impediment been placed in the
way of making known to the public their qualities and their


1. These facts are taken from Crawford's Indian Archipelago.

2. These charges refer to the edition prepared for the public,
and do not relate to the large paper copies in the hands of some
of the author's friends.

3. Readers are persons employed to correct the press at the
printing office.

4. Slips are long pieces of paper on which sufficient matter is
printed to form, when divided, from two to four pages of text.

5. Chapter 31.

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