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academical pursuits, was now very helpful to him in the supervision of his establish-
ment, thus setting him at liberty for personal instruction to the booking clerks at the
different stations — a work which compelled him to leave home frequently, and for
long periods. The previous occupation of Mr. Joseph admirably fitted him. amongst
other duties, for the accurate and methodical superintendence ot accounts during the
minority of his brother Thomas's only son.

As we observed, when describing the first apparatus used for carrying out the
ticket-system, the principles of construction in the ticket case and dating press were
almost perfected from the commencement, but the more complex machinery for
printing and progressively numbering the tickets has been the result of gradual



improvement. Many persons suppose the dating' press, the little machine on the
counter of the booking-office, to be all that is required for printing the tickets, but
a moment's reflection ought to convince them that as there is only one machine, con-
taining only type sufficient for the date of the day, it cannot print the multiplicity of
letterpress which is required for booking passengers in different classes to their
various destinations. That is all done elsewhere, and a combination of machinery is
needed for it, the leading feature of which the inventor saw from the first must be
that of printing our ticket at a time. Experience has proved that this original
conception was the true basis upon which to proceed in ticket-printing, as although
hundreds of millions in the aggregate are annually produced, the amount is so
divided and sub-divided by the various stations and classes that the average number
printed of any one kind is not large, and the quantity supplied of each description at
one time being only that of a few months' stock to each station, it will be readily
seen that the time required to set up the number of formes of type for a sheet would be
fatal to an expeditious supply.

Mr. Edmondson was only a worker in wood, and feeling now the need of a
stronger material, he consulted a practical friend of his. Mr. John Blaylock, of
Carlisle, by whose assistance he was enabled to put together a printing machine which
carried out his ideas, and was sufficient for the requirements of that period. This
machine, however, has been greatly improved upon from time to time, and while the
original feature of printing one ticket at once has always been maintained, its general
completeness and efficiency have been materially increased by the ingenuity and
careful study of Mr. James Carson, who, from the early rise of ticket-printing as a
business, has occupied the responsible position of foreman in the principal manufac-
tory in Manchester, where Mr. Edmondson's son still continues the business which his
father established. There not only are tickets printed, but the printing machines,
ticket-cases, and dating presses, together with other ticket apparatus, are manufac-
tured, and supplied to railway companies as required. Before attempting to describe
the present printing press, we may say a few words as to the routine of ordering
tickets. The station clerk, on finding that his stock of tickets of any kind is getting
low, makes out a " requisition,'' on which is stated the name of his own station,
and that of the one to which he requires a further supply. The class is also given,
and the lowest number of the tickets in stock, together with the highest, which was,
of course, the closing number of his last quantity. The difference between them,
representing the stock in hand, he enters into an additional column. Having passed
the audit office, where the amount of the new order isadded to it, the " requisition "
is forwarded to the company's printer, who arranges his forme of type in accordance with
its particulars. Wheels for printing the progressive numbers so often mentioned, are
attached to the press, and can be set to anything between o and 9,999, embracing a
quantity of 10,000 tickets. In this instance the printer sets them to the number next
above the highest named as in stock, and then proceeds to fill the feeding tube with


the proper coloured cardboard, for indicating the class and single journey, return or
excursion ticket as the case may be. The feeding tube is an upright case at the back
of the machine, and is capable of holding five hundred blank tickets. The blank
cardboard is received from the manufacturers, Messrs. De la Rue and Co., in tightly-
packed boxes, less than two feet square, each box containing about 48,000 tickets,
ready cut into the required size.

The machinery and arrangements for preparing these would be matter for
a paper by themselves. Suffice it to state that they are beautifully complete, and
worthy of the firm whose name is now so celebrated all over Europe, and in fact the
world. The printing machine being ready is put into motion ; when a catch, set to
nearly the thickness of a ticket, and working horizontally, draws the lowest card
forward in the direction of the type and numbering wheels, one set of wheels (used
for return tickets) being situated before and the other after the type frame, and all
receiving at each stroke of the machine a supply of ink for the next impression. The
first card is left in position under the first set of numbering wheels. If it is to be a
return ticket it there receives a number, if not, that set of wheels has been put out of
gear, and the ticket waits to be pushed forward to the type by the introduction of a
second card from the feeding tube. A third card pushes number one under the
second set of wheels, where it receives its appropriate number, and by the push of a
fourth it falls, printed and numbered, into a receiving tube at the front of the
machine. Any stop in the delivery shows the attendant that something is wrong.
The mechanism, while capable of being driven at a great speed, is regulated to that
of about 200 tickets a minute, this being found a rate at which the attendant can
most readily superintend the supply of blank cardboard to his feeding tube, and give
the needful attention to the other movements of the machine. The printed tickets
are next conveyed to the counting machine, which is simply an additional check as to
the accuracy of the progressive numbering, the necessity for it arising from occasional
inequalities in the size and thickness of the tickets, and a liability to warping on the
part of the cardboard. As the thickness of an average ticket is the only available
gauge by which to adjust the catch of the printing press, it will be easily understood
that in case of a warped card the catch misses it, and as no blank ticket is drawn in
the printed one is not pushed forward, and, therefore, receiving repeated impressions
is spoiled. As soon as the attendant finds that something is wrong he stops the
machine and puts it right, but in re-arranging the numbering, which has been going-
on and changing with every stroke, he may possibly set it a number in advance or
otherwise of the last good ticket. Hence the necessity for an additional check.
The counting machine is furnished with feeding and receiving tubes, and with
accurately numbered wheels similar to those of the printing machine. The attendant
having placed his pile of tickets in the feeding tube, the lowest number at the bottom,
he draws it into view by means of a catch similar in arrangement to that of the press,
observes the number of the ticket thus produced, and sets the corresponding number


on the counting-wheel to an index or eyelet-hole situated conveniently for the eye of
the counter. When the machine is in motion for every ticket that is drawn out of
the feeding tube the counting-wheel moves a number forward, and so long as the two
numbers agree all is right. In order to ascertain if they do so the attendant stops
frequently to examine. Errors (if any) having been corrected by the man who
printed the tickets, these are now ready for packing. As progressive order is so
essential in the issue of the tickets no danger of that being broken must be left
unprovided for ; they are, therefore, placed in bundles of 250 in a frame or screwing-
up apparatus, by which they can be tightened almost into a solid mass. While in
this condition a band of string is passed round them, and, being secured by a suitable
knot, they retain their solidity when liberated from pressure, and are in a state for
distribution to all parts of the world.

In this way are prepared the little tickets which the travelling public receive
at the booking office window, and stow away in their pockets or slip into their gloves
or hats without thought of the ingenuity and industry required to produce even so
small and insignificant an object. Insignificant as each ticket may seem, however,
the annual aggregate of the railway fares which these trifles represent amounts to
millions of pounds sterling, and every fractional part in that great total is duly and
easily registered by this simple ticket system. It is always interesting to look back
to small beginnings, and compare them with the results of a few years' thought and
work. The contrast is often startling, and to no one would it be more so in this case
than to the originator of the railway ticket system itself, could he behold the immense
increase of traffic which must now be provided for. Little did he think at that lonely
Milton station, as he worked at his bench in the still hours of the night, of the ulti-
mate extent of the success with which his labours were to be crowned, and we are
tempted to regret that he did not live to a more mature age to witness the extended
development of his plans. One thing he did live to accomplish, which must be esti-
mated at a far higher value than anything yet mentioned. From the time when the
firm in which he was a partner at Carlisle became bankrupt, it had been his cherished
wish to be able to pay their creditors in full, and he did not depart from the frugal
style of living which at first was a necessity until he had fulfilled this moral though not
legal claim. A leading Manchester newspaper in recording the decease of Mr.
Edmondson which took place at his residence, in Manchester, on the 22nd of June,
1851, says : — ' With the character of Mr. Edmondson in private life it is denied us to
deal, inasmuch as knowing well his retiring habits we fear we should be acting in
opposition to his declared wishes. Suffice it to say, however, that not the least
noticeable trait of his character was that, though at an early period of his life misfor-
tunes had involved him in difficulties, he hardly permitted better times to dawn
fully upon him before he nobly and voluntarily exerted himself and as nobly succeeded
some time before Ids death in rendering to every man his own who had chanced to be
his creditor ! ' This excellent gentleman, it may be added, was a member of the
Society of Friends.


It has been considered advisable to give the whole of Mr. J. B. Edmondson's
account of his father's inventions, and doubtless to many Lancastrians the reproduc-
tion will not prove unwelcome since the information contained in the same is not met
with every day. The matter is certainly no less valuable because less biographical
than scientific and didactic so far as application and energy are concerned. Talking
about Railway tickets who can look at one without seeing in it something emblematic
as shown in the accompanying stanza written on the back of one a few years ago.

Valued indeed, and like the owner, bored,

A date the only fruit thou canst afford,

Well dost thou emblemise the traveller who

Like thee is gripp'd and snipp'd life's journey through.

Mr. William Shaw Simpson.

Mr. William Shaw Simpson, the well-known Temperance
Reformer, of Liverpool, was a native of Skerton, Lancaster, where
he first saw the light of this world in the year 1829. His father was
a joiner. When his son William was about two years old, he
removed to Liverpool. His mother, a highly intelligent woman,
personally superintended her son's education, and thoroughly instilled
into his young mind the principles of total abstinence. At the age
of seventeen he entered the service of Messrs. Sewell, Chronometer
Makers, South Castle Street ; his chief duty consisting of meeting
foreign incoming vessels, principally American steamships, in order
to secure custom for his employers. The young man seems to have
had some singular experiences in this capacity, and one instance of
his deportment on a critical occasion may fittingly be mentioned.
One day he was on board an American sailing-ship, sitting with the
captain at a table talking over business. The captain suddenly lost
his temper, drew a revolver, and swore he would shoot him if he
did not get off the ship. " Very well," replied the young man, with
great coolness, " If that will suit you rather than sign my bill, and
if it will please you better, fire away ! " The next appointment we
find William Simpson holding is that of manager of the Liverpool
Zoological Gardens, formerly at the beginning of the West Derby-
Road. Subsequently, he became manager of the Rhyl Steampacket
Company, and held this position apparently until September, 185S,


when he commenced business on his own account. In July, 1874,
his premises were destroyed by fire, and great sympathy was mani-
fested for him. He was not only a staunch teetotaller but a genuine
worker in times of national or international distress, and li Simpson's
Bowl " is still talked of in Liverpool. For the Indian Famine
Fund ^203 is. 3d. was collected by means of this " bowl ; " while
for the suffering community of South Wales no less than ^1,079
19s. 1 id. was obtained ; and for the Abercarne Colliery Explosion
^"526 os. 6)4d. ; a similar amount being gathered for the Haydock
Colliery Explosion. The " bowl " was out sixty days for the recep-
tion of donations on behalf of the sufferers in the West of Ireland,
in 1880, and £s 21 13s. 8d. having been collected ; Mr. Simpson
went over to Connemara to distribute the amount amongst the
poverty-stricken peasantry. It is not generally known that a Lan-
caster man originated the Hospital Saturday collecting system. That
man was William Shaw Simpson. But to pass on. As a debater Mr.
Simpson was allowed to be smart and telling. He once met Mr.
Bradlaugh, M.P., and challenged him to a discussion regarding
religious matters. The controversy lasted two nights. Up to
1878 this remarkable social reformer and politician was a conserva-
tive, but at this period his views underwent a serious change, the
outcome of careful reflection and conscientious inquiry.

At the November election of 1879, Mr. Simpson came forth
as a candidate in his own town, for the West Derby Ward, in
opposition to Mr. J. Nicol. His candidature was ridiculed, but he
was returned by a majority of 232 votes. Owing to his residence
on the landing stage not being rateable, he was, after some months,
declared disqualified, and, therefore, was unseated.

In 1882, he contested Preston in the Liberal interest against
the Right Honourable Cecil Raikes, M.P. , who was nominated by
the Conservative Party, for the seat rendered vacant by the eleva-
tion to the judicial bench of Sir John Holker. Although, a stranger
to the borough of Preston, he polled 4,212 votes, being beaten by
Mr. Raikes, who polled 6,045 votes, thus having a majority of


Whatever Mr. Simpson took in hand he endeavoured to do
justice to. He was an honest thinker and toiler, of whom it may
justly be said that he lives most, now that he is dead, in regard to
influence and example ; and his name is alike revered in Liverpool
and Preston. He died on the 16th of June, 1883, in his 54th year.
His funeral will long" be remembered by those who witnessed it, and
by the thousands of Liverpool people, of all creeds, who learned to
see in his public and private life aspirations of a most generous
nature in every sense.

James Brunton.

It would be almost an injustice to omit from the biographical
section of this work a brief memoir of James Brunton, the originator
of the noble scheme for improving the condition of the mentally
deranged, realised so thoroughly in the Royal Albert Asylum. Mr.
Brunton was the son of John Brunton, cooper, of Lancaster, by
Hannah Dean, his wife, and he was born in the year 1801, in Sun
Street. For some years he was the manager of the Lancaster and
Preston Bank, and was much esteemed for his quiet and unpre-
tentious disposition. It is said, by his relations, that the idea of
erecting an institution for idiots and imbeciles first occurred to him
while on a visit to Liverpool, where he beheld persons of weak
intellect, treated by those who professed to be sane, in a manner
that savoured more of barbarism than of Christianity ; and his feel-
ings were such that he resolved to do something in his own town at
least towards benefitting those who were deprived of reasoning
powers and so often became the butts of persons, whose conscious
and deliberate disposition to abuse such creatures, was as much
to be deplored as the affliction of those whom they ridiculed and
tormented. Mr. Brunton, therefore, offered ^2,000 towards the
establishment of a suitable building, in which the demented and
reasonless creatures of his own locality could be taken care of, and
rendered happy as far as it was possible to render them. A com-
mittee comprising Messrs. T. Howitt, J. S. Harrison, E. G. Pale}-,
A. Seward, J. Sharp, and S. Ross, with Dr. de Yitre as chairman,


was formed for the purpose of considering- Mr. Brunton's proposal.
From this meeting the great institution on the Cockerham Road
may be said to date. Dr. de Vitre took up the matter very vigor-
ously, and the town and county reciprocating, the scheme developed
and is now one of the grandest realisations of modern times ever
allied to and maintained by private and public munificence. But
Mr. Brunton, who was a staunch member of the Society of Friends,
never dreamt of there being erected in our midst a structure of such
an elaborate character, as the Royal Albert now is ; he appears to
have thought of founding a series of cottage homes with far humbler
surroundings, so far as architectural features and dimensions are
concerned, than we find existing to-day. Happily, however, from
this original donor's modest ideas, an organisation and method
have been evolved, which have made the Idiot Asylum, at Lancaster,
the peaceful, sanitarily correct, elevated and comfortable refuge
available to "naturals" and imbeciles, belonging to the seven
northern counties.

Mr. Brunton was never married He resided at Lune
Terrace for some time, and died there on the 20th of March, 1871,
aged 69 years. He was buried in the yard adjoining the Friends'
Meeting House, Lancaster, on Thursday, the 23rd inst. The
central committee of the Royal Albert Asylum following his remains
to their grave. The Home for special private pupils has been very
appropriately designated " Brunton House," and thus is perpetuated
in this block of houses, on the old Quarry Hill, the original idea of
him whose name it bears.

Miss Brunton, who lived and died in West Place, subscribed
an annual sum to the Royal Albert Asylum for several years.

Mr. William Pickard who has most generously and promptly
rendered me excellent service at various times, has kindly for-
warded the copy of marriage register of Mr. Brunton's parents,
which I append : —


John Brunton, of Lancaster, married to Hannah Dean, daughter of Thomas
Dean, of Skerton, and Ann his wife — 1800, September 4th. Their son, James
Brunton, was born June 13, 1801, at Lancaster, died March 20th, 187 1.

Mr. James Tomlinson.

Mr. James Tomlinson is the eldest son of Mr. Thomas
Tomlinson and Annie Tomlinson nee Waters. He was born in St.
Leonardgate on the 16th of December, 1850, and was educated at
the Boys' National School.

In early childhood he evinced a remarkable fondness for
instrumental music, and happily received such training at home as
greatly prepared him for a rapid development in the art he was
destined to adorn. In the words of his father " his present
reputation is largely attributable to his natural gift and keen
perseverance." One of the first to recognise his talent was the
late Edmund Sharpe, Esq., M.A., who from time to time gave him
much assistance in his studies and many valuable introductions.
He systematically studied both organ and piano, and when only
twelve vears of age he was appointed organist of the Wesleyan
Chapel, Morecambe. Thence he went to fill the like vocation at
St. Michael's Church, Cockerham. After a competitive trial he
was ultimately chosen organist of St. John's Church, Lancaster, in
which Church a new organ had just been placed. In 1868, on the
retirement of the late Mr. W. Duxbury, he was chosen after com-
petition to the post of organist of St. Thomas' Church, in the same
town. At the age of twenty-two we find him organist at the
Catholic Church, St. Helens ; and subsequently organist at St.
Wilfrid's Church, Preston, where he remained until June, 1888.
In 1882 he was appointed organist to the Corporation of Preston,
and those who have heard his performances on the grand instru-
ment erected in the New Public Hall of the borough named- an
instrument presented to the town by the late J. Dewhurst, Esq.—
will readily endorse the remark that the selection of Mr. Tomlinson
has reflected credit upon those with whom the appointment rested.


The organ in the above hall is a magnificent one, costing between
^2,000 and ^3,000. Mr. Tomlinson is also known as a musical
composer, and is a contributor to Dr. Spark's Organists' Quarterly
Journal. For some time Mr. Tomlinson was a joint lessee of the
Theatre Royal, Preston.

Distinguished Laymen closely identified with Lancaster.

Professor Frankland, F.R.S.

Edward Frankland, J. P., D.C.L., Ph. D., LL.D., M.D.,
F.R.S., was born at Churchtown, near Lancaster, on the 18th
of January, 1825. He was educated at the Lancaster Gram-
mar School and was much indebted to the late Christopher
Johnson, Esq., M.R.C.S., and his son, the late Dr. James Johnson,
of Hampson, Ellel, for facilities in the study of Chemistry. He
went to London in 1845, and studied chemistry at the Museum of
Practical Geology, under Sir Lyon Playfair.

He subsequently went to Germany, and at the Universities
of Marburg and Giessen he had the advantage of the experience and
learning of such great men as Bunsen and Liebig. At Marburg his
studies were crowned with success, and for a dissertation upon the
discovery of a method for isolating ethyl, the radical contained in
ethylic alcohol, and ethylic ether, he received the degree of Ph.D.
This dissertation had great theoretical importance, as demonstrating
the truth of certain speculations on the constitution of organic
radicals. Returning to England, a brilliant career opened before
him. He was appointed Professor of Chemistry in Owen's College,
Manchester, in 1851, and in 1857 he became Professor of Chemistry
in St. Bartholomew's Hospital, London. During this period he
was engaged in some important investigations in a new field of
organic chemistry : and in 1849 the first paper on the subject
appeared in the Journal of the Che?nical Society, entitled, " On
a New Series of Organic Bodies containing Metals." This
research has revolutionised organic chemical theories ; it gave


Professor Frankland the first idea of his theory of the atomicity
of elements. In his paper above-mentioned he points out the ana-
logy of the newly discovered organo-metallic bodies with the
inorganic compounds containing the same metals. A long course
of investigation followed these discoveries, and in 1857 a Royal
medal was awarded him for them by the Royal Society. The organo-
metallic bodies discovered by Dr. Frankland, although they have
not as yet been put to any practical use, possess properties which
are of the greatest interest and theoretical importance. They are
difficult of preparation, and some of them are dangerous to work
with, many of them, as zinc-ethyl, being spontaneously inflammable.
Owing to this property, all experiments with these compounds have
to be conducted either in vacuo or in an atmosphere containing no

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