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BOOK the fame number of people are capable of performing, is owing to three different circumstances; first, to the increase of dexterity in every particular workman; fecondly, to the faving of the time which is commonly loft in paffing from one fpecies of work to another; and laftly, to the invention of a great number of machines which facilitate and abridge labour, and enable one man to do the work of many.
FIRST, the improvement of the dexterity of the workman neceffarily increases the quantity of the work he can perform; and the divifion of labour, by reducing every man's business to fome one fimple operation, and by making this operation the fole employment of his life, neceffarily increases very much the dexterity of the workman. A common fmith, who, though accustomed to handle the hammer, has never been ufed to make nails, if upon fome particular occafion he is obliged to attempt it, will scarce, I am affured, be able to make above two or three hundred nails in a day, and those too very bad ones. A fmith who has been accuftomed to make nails, but whofe fole or principal business has not been that of a nailer, can feldom with his utmost diligence make more than eight hundred or a thousand nails in a day. I have seen several boys under twenty years of age who had never exercised any other trade but that of making nails, and who, when they exerted themfelves, could make, each of them, upwards of two thousand three hundred nails in a day. The making of a nail, however, is by no means one
of the fimpleft operations. The fame perfon CHAP, blows the bellows, ftirs or mends the fire as there is occafion, heats the iron, and forges every part of the nail: In forging the head too he is obliged to change his tools. The different operations into which the making of a pin, or of a metal button, is fubdivided, are all of them much more fimple, and the dexterity of the perfon, of whofe life it has been the fole business to perform them, is usually much greater. The rapidity with which fome of the operations of those manufactures are performed, exceeds what the human hand could, by those who had never seen them, be fuppofed capable of acquiring.
SECONDLY, the advantage which is gained by faving the time commonly loft in paffing from one fort of work to another, is much greater than we fhould at firft view be apt to imagine it. It is impoffible to pafs very quickly from one kind of work to another, that is carried on in a different place, and with quite different tools. A country weaver, who cultivates a small farm, must lose a good deal of time in paffing from his loom to the field, and from the field to his loom. When the two trades can be carried on in the fame workhouse, the lofs of time is no doubt much lefs. It is even in this case, however, very confiderable. A man commonly faunters a little in turning his hand from one fort of employment to another. When he firft begins the new work he is feldom very keen and hearty; his mind, as they fay, does not go to it, and for fome time he rather trifles than applies to good purpose. The
BOOK habit of fauntering and of indolent carelefs application, which is naturally, or rather neceffarily acquired by every country workman who is obliged to change his work and his tools every half hour, and to apply his hand in twenty different ways almost every day of his life; renders him almost always flothful and lazy, and inca-` pable of any vigorous application even on the moft preffing occafions. Independent, therefore, of his deficiency in point of dexterity, this cause alone must always reduce confiderably the quantity of work which he is capable of performing.
THIRDLY, and lastly, every body must be senfible how much labour is facilitated and abridged by the application of proper machinery. It is unneceffary to give any example. I fhall only observe, therefore, that the invention of all those machines by which labour is fo much facilitated and abridged, feems to have been originally owing to the divifion of labour. Men are much more likely to discover easier and readier methods of attaining any object, when the whole attention of their minds is directed towards that fingle object, than when it is diffipated among a great variety of things. But in confequence of the divifion of labour, the whole of every man's attention comes naturally to be directed towards fome one very fimple object. It is naturally to be expected, therefore, that fome one or other of those who are employed in each particular branch of labour should foon find out eafier and readier methods of performing their own particular work, wherever the nature of it admits of fuch improvement.
improvement. A great part of the machines CHA P. made use of in those manufactures in which labour is most fubdivided, were originally the inventions of common workmen, who, being each of them employed in fome very fimple operation, naturally turned their thoughts towards finding out easier and readier methods of performing it. Whoever has been much accustomed to vifit fuch manufactures, muft frequently have been fhewn very pretty machines, which were the inventions of fuch workmen, in order to facilitate and quicken their own particular part of the work. In the first fire-engines, a boy was conftantly employed to open and shut alternately the communication between the boiler and the cylinder, according as the pifton either afcended or defcended. One of those boys, who loved to play with his companions, observed that, by tying a ftring from the handle of the valve which opened this communication to another part of the machine, the valve would open and fhut without his affiftance, and leave him at liberty to divert himself with his play-fellows. One of the greatest improvements that has been made upon this machine, fince it was first invented, was in this manner the difcovery of a boy who wanted to fave his own labour.
ALL the improvements in machinery, however, have by no means been the inventions of those who had occafion to use the machines. Many improvements have been made by the ingenuity of the makers of the machines, when
BOOK to make them became the bufinefs of a peculiar trade; and fome by that of those who are called philofophers or men of fpeculation, whofe trade it is not to do any thing, but to obferve every thing; and who, upon that account, are often capable of combining together the powers of the most distant and diffimilar objects. In, the progrefs of fociety, philofophy or fpeculation becomes, like every other employment, the principal or fole trade and occupation of a particular clafs of citizens. Like every other employment too, it is fubdivided into a great number of different branches, each of which affords occupation to a peculiar tribe or clafs of philofophers; and this fubdivifion of employment in philofophy, as well as in every other business, improves dexterity, and faves time. Each individual becomes more expert in his own peculiar branch, more work is done upon the whole, and the quantity of fcience is confiderably increased by it.
Ir is the great multiplication of the productions of all the different arts, in confequence of the divifion of labour, which occafions, in a well-governed fociety, that univerfal opulence which extends itself to the loweft ranks of the people. Every workman has a great quantity of his own work to difpofe of beyond what he himself has occafion for; and every other workman being exactly in the fame fituation, he is enabled to exchange a great quantity of his own goods for a great quantity, or, what comes to the fame thing, for the price of a great quan