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of the departed. He spoke of what was meant by “Eternal” punishment as a mooted question, but as for him he kept to the orthodox view, made frequent allusion to Holy Scripture, without, however, quoting many given texts. The discourse, which lasted for nearly an hour, was listened to with unbroken attention. The intense earnestness of the preacher was deeply impressive. But we felt we had not fallen upon a sermon calculated to satisfy the deeper wants of the human soul, or to answer the anxious questionings of one seeking after the Truth of Salvation. The worship, however, was pure and elevating.
In spite of the various and immense difficulties to be encountered, if we may judge by the success of Père Hyacinthe's recent Conferences given in the large towns, Lyons, St. Etienne, &c., those who hope for Catholic Reform in France will scarcely be disappointed.
BERNHARD SAMUELSON, ESQ., M.P., F.S.S.
ISAAC D'ISRAELI, in one of the most charming, interesting, and instructive works in the English language, “The Literary Character,” says—“The natures of men are as various as their fortunes. Some, like diamonds, must wait to receive their splendour from the slow touches of the polisher, while others, resembling pearls, appear at once born with their beauteous lustre." Bernhard Samuelson is a man of the latter type, for early in life he evinced a remarkable talent for the acquisition of languages, and was bold and original in thought. Perhaps some of his ideas, as can readily be imagined, at his age, appeared at the time somewhat visionary; events, however, have proved him the reverse of an ærial architect. His gifts were never circumscribed; at the age of fourteen he wrote a most laughable farce, in which he played the part of a comic Frenchman and the writer strutted as a British red coat in his Majesty's service (temp. William IV.) The farce followed a portion of Richard III.,
the writer being the representative of the glorious sun of York," and Mr. Samuelson seconding him as the deposed and imprisoned Monarch-Henry VI. No doubt the divine William and genial Colley (it was Cibber's version of the tragedy) would have shuddered at the exhibition. It is, however, some kind of consolation to remember, that a friend of the late Mr. Compton's, who was considered a critic in the town (Kingston-upon-Hull), declared that the performers acquitted themselves admirably for lads.
Mr. Bernhard Samuelson was born on the 22nd of Nov., 1820. At the period to which we refer his father was a merchant of eminence at the port mentioned above, and after a brief and successful career there, he, with his family, removed to the more important port of Liverpool. While resident in Hull Mr. Samuelson was a pupil in the school of the Rev. John Blizard, a clergyman of the Established Church. In the North of England he was famous for his knowledge of ancient and modern languages; among the latter he could correctly speak Turkish, and, we believe, Russian, but alas! not his own. He was dronish as a preacher, but distinguished himself in reading the burial service, his sonorous voice telling well in the open air by the grave-side. He was a worthy, honest man, but kept very much aloof from his brethren of the cloth; he was not a vicar as had been asserted, but what might not improperly be styled an “utility” parson, doing duty at the united parishes of Swine and Skerlaugh, Holderness, for the modest stipend of fifty pounds per annum, out of which he had to pay horse-hire. His heart was never in his vocation, however; for he preferred the cure of bodies to that of souls. He had a partiality for "dabbling” in physic; and, in 1849 when Hull suffered so severely from a second visitation of the cholera, the reverend leech, at the shop of his second son (a chemist in the town) regularly prescribed for that terrible epidemic, and report declared that he performed more cures than any diploma'd practitioner in the place. From his seminary issued a number of fine scholars, who in after life rendered themselves prominent in various ways, but none has so distinguished himself as Bernhard Samuelson.
Mr. Samuelson's commercial career commenced in a merchant's house in the leviathan port of Liverpool, in whose office he was engaged for six years. At the expiration of this term he was commisioned by the great
engineering firm of Messrs. Sharp, Stewart, & Co., of Manchester, to superintend their continental contracts for locomotives. As intimated, when a mere youth he evinced a talent for practical science; now he had an opportunity of cultivating and developing his genius, which was neglected.
While on the Continent he became acquainted with the leading engineers, especially those of France and Germany, which proved of infinite benefit to him. At the same time he speculated on his own account, and his speculations were highly remunerative.
On his return to England, in the twenty-eighth year of his age, he started business for himself by the purchase of a small foundry and agricultural implement works in the town of Banbury, where he located himself and family. In the course of a trifle of years this acorn developed into a mighty oak, and with its growth his inventive powers budded and flowered. He has made important improvements in the production of reaping and sowing machines, and those of his manufacture are as well known in icy Russia and sunny Italy, as in the rural districts of the British Isles. The export trade of Messrs. Samuelson & Co. is immense. In 1872 they turned out the unprecedented quantity of over 8,000 reaping machines, and the demand for them has so increased that now their sale is 1,000 more annually. In 1863 Messrs. Samuelson and Co. were the first to introduce reaping machines, by the production in that year at their branch depôt at Shrewsbury of the famous “Eclipse," otherwise called the “Shropshire reaper," which has only been surpassed by their new “Handy," which is worked by one or two horses. These machines have greater speed without addition of draught. Respecting mowing machines it has been asked, Why should farmers at a cost of ten shillings per acre, employ men to cut grass, when a good machine can be purchased for a few pounds ? The truth is, in many districts the landowners have a prejudice against them, and for the sake of the game, agriculture suffers. Messrs. Samuelson and Co. manufacture all kinds of agricultural implements, many of them being of Mr. Samuelson's own invention, and since the Exhibition of 1851 he has made many great improvements in their construction. At the onset the firm had great obstacles to contend with before they succeeded in getting machines into general use; but the change they have effected is marvellous, and no firm in the world has done so much in this direction as Messrs. Samuelson & Co. From year to year their engineering establishments have grown in magnitude, till now they have become the most extensive both in the United Kingdom and in the United States.
In the autumn of 1853 Mr. Samuelson first visited the Cleveland district; he attended the Cleveland Agricultural Society's Show held at Stokesley, for the purpose of exhibiting a digging machine he had just patented. This visit resulted in a permanent connection with the locality and a nearer relationship with the iron trade. He quickly discovered the resources of the district, and promptly entered into arrangements for the purchase of a site at South Bank, for the erection of blast furnaces. South Bank is about a mile distant from the works of Messrs. Bolckow and Vaugham at Easton, by whom the South Bank furnaces were supplied with iron-stone, from the firm's mines at that place. At this period the district between Easton and the Middlesborough Docks was a desert, with but two ruinous farm houses upon it, but it has since been built upon, and now possesses a population of 4,000 to 5,000 souls. In 1863 Mr. Samuelson disposed of the works in question and purchased land at Newport, near Middlesborough, erected four furnaces, each being 69 feet in height, and 20 feet in diameter at their widest part, Mr. Samuelson being of opinion there was no advantage gained by great height,
but by increased cubical capacity. Acting on this conviction, each of his furnaces were built with a capacity of 15,500 cubic feet, or nearly 3,000 feet more than the largest furnace in the neighbourhood. In the course of the next six years he added three more furnaces, making eight in all, which are capable of producing some 3,000 tons of pig iron weekly. Mr. Samuelson, finding that his notions had proved so successful, he, in 1871, submitted them in a paper to the attention of the Institution of Civil Engineers. He clearly demonstrated the great saving effected in fuel by the application of his principle in the erection of furnaces. On the old plan, for the production of a single ton of pig iron, 30 to 40 cwts. of fuel were wanted, whereas the five furnaces erected from 1863-8, only required from 23 to 24 cwts.; the coke consumed in the two new furnaces was less still, being only 20*35 cwts. Undoubtedly a saving of fuel might be attributed to increased temperature at the tuycres, the blast having been enlarged from 680° in the earlier to 1,100° in the latter furnaces, besides attaining greater regularity in the working. The two latter cost Mr. Samuelson, with all their accessories, the sum of £53,331 45. 4d., to which was to be added the price of the ground.
In July, 1870, at Middlesborough, the erection of the Britannia Ironworks was begun. The ground on which they are built was marshy, covered with slag; they occupy twenty acres of land and comprise two departments, viz., the forge and mill. The former contains 120 puddling furnaces and the mill, twelve of Siemen's gas-heating furnaces with machinery for generating gas. The appliances are all perfect, including a White's patent blooming mill and a Brown's patent rail mill. The forge can turn out 1,200 to 1,400 tons of puddled bars weekly. Two years ago the Britannia Works became the property of a limited liability company, in consequence of Mr. Samuelson's inability to give the personal attention they needed. The ordinary share capital was £200,000 in 4,000 shares of £50 each.
At East Hedley, near Crook, South Durham, he is the owner of a small colliery, which yields about 4,000 tons of coal a year, which gives a sufficient supply of coke for the use of his blast furnaces at Newport.
We have now to record a failure of Mr. Samuelson's in the experiments he made to manufacture steel out of Cleveland iron, and to produce an article similar to the SiemensMartin patents manufactured from the Spielgeleisen of German ore, or equal to the steel manufactured from the hematite ore of Cumberland and other places. Without going into particulars of the Siemens-Martin system in producing steel, and why the Cleveland iron was not suitable for the purpose, it may be briefly stated that Mr. Samuelson spared neither expense nor trouble to achieve his object, but after a fruitless trial extending over several months, he abandoned the scheme as utterly hopeless. Mr. Samuelson's was not a solitary failure. Many of the Cleveland ironmasters have ventured in the same direction, and, like him, failed. By the transaction Mr. Samuelson lost about £25,000 to £30,000. Had the word been “success” instead of “ failure," there is no estimating what his gains would have been.
In referring to a different portion of his useful and successful career, we may state that in the year 1859 (February)