Page:A tour through the northern counties of England, and the borders of Scotland - Volume I.djvu/200

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the continent, the trade of Sheffield began to assume any thing like the importance it at present wears. Since then both it and population have been increasing considerably; though not in the same proportion with Birmingham, its rival sister.

The knife-manufactory of Messrs. Noel and Kippax gratified us in a very interesting way. Here upwards of ninety people are employed in forming those useful instruments, from the rude bar iron to the beautiful and complicated article which costs seven or eight guineas, and contains twenty-eight different pieces within the handle. Some, indeed, are not of so high a value, as we were shewn specimens of knives, which, having passed through sixty different hands, from the ore to the last polishing, sold afterwards at the rate of twopence halfpenny each. Five hundred different patterns of knives are made at this manufactory, and taken off by the London, East-Indian, and American markets. Almost all the people employed work by the piece, and earn, if industrious, about four, shillings per day.

The tin-plate manufactory was too curious to be passed over in neglect. Messrs. Goodman, Gainsford, and Co. are proprietors of the most considerable one in Sheffield. Here those beautiful articles are prepared, which vie with silver in lustre