Henry Harrisse.

Britain at work; a pictorial description of our national industries online

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a do/.en vans ; all built, for the purposes of
the trade, on the lattice principle, to ensure a
current of cool air passing amongst the great
sealed cans.

Let us consider the conditions under which
a large London milk distributing centre is
worked. The milk is received in churns twice
a clay from a number of farms in various
parts of the country. All the churns are



sealed with a
leaden seal,
supplied by the
receiving firm,
and are further
identified by
marks with the
farmer who has
d e s p a t c h e d
them. It
should be
stated, in pass-
i n g, t h a t a
farmer desirous
of thus sending
his milk to
London for dis
posal must first
agree to carry
out certain

conditions. These are the examination
of his water supply by a medical officer,
and his cattle by a veterinary surgeon.
The former sends his report and a sample
of the water to London, where it is
chemically tested. If it is proved to be unfit
for dairy purposes, the fanner is invited to
arrange for a different supply ; if he refuse,
then his milk will not be received. Should
the veterinary surgeon report also that any
of his cattle are in any way defective, he is
asked to withdraw them from the herd. On
the farms belonging to the Aylesbury Dairy
Company the water is tested twice a year,
but reports
are received
once a
month from
both the

Casscll r Co., l.t.i.


officer and the veterinary surgeon, the former
giving particulars of the general sanitary
and hygienic conditions of the farm and its

The milk being received in churns, the
seals are broken, and a sample taken and
tested with a lactometer. Another sample
is also taken in a small can, which is
sent into the laboratory for analysis. The
contents of the churns is then turned into a
large metal receiver, passing through pipes
into a tank, being strained four times en route.
Having been well mixed in the tanks, it is
run off into the receivers below, where men
are busy filling churns for
the day s deliver}-. The
contents of each churn is
weighed and measured in
one operation, the results
being indicated on a metal
dial. Kach delivery cart
is fitted with two churns,
which are identified with
the man in charge by
marks a number and
initials. A sample of the
milk is taken before it
leaves the premises, and
is tested, and any milk the
man ma} bring back is
also tested. In addition
to this, inspectors are





constantly moving about on the rounds, and
will unexpectedly swoop down upon a cart,
helping himself to a sample of the milk
then in process of delivery, for the purposes
of analysis.

But now let us take a peep into the
laboratory. The apartment is filled with
bottles of chemicals and analytical parapher
nalia. The " doctor," as the analyst is
generally called, is busy among the bottles.
What happens when a sample of milk
reaches his hands? The specific gravity
is at once obtained with the aid of the lacto
meter ; the temperature is also taken, with
a standard of 60. The " doctor " next
tests for fat. A little sulphuric acid is poured
into a graduated glass vessel, with a narrow
neck ; then eleven cubic centimetres of milk
and one cubic centimetre of fusel oil are added.
The vessel is tightly corked, well shaken, and
placed in a centrifugal machine for five
minutes. The acid dissolves everything but
the fat, which floats about in globules. The
action of the centrifugal machine causes these
to rise to the top and form into a layer.

Then, by comparing the solids which are fat
and the solids which are not fat with the
specific gravity, a result is arrived at which
should agree, or nearly so, with a registered
standard. If it does not, then the milk has
been watered, and in all probability there is
trouble brewing for somebody. All the
sample cans containing milk thus tested bear
the name of the farm from which the milk in
bulk has come, so there is no difficulty in
locating the source of the adulteration.

It is in this laboratory also that the water
from the farms is tested. It sometimes happens
that the water is found wrong at a farm
which has been supplying milk for some time.
The last consignment so received is naturally
open to suspicion, so, in order to make it
perfectly safe, it is sterilised, and converted
into butter. The supply is also discontinued
from this particular farm until the water is
put right, or should the farmer refuse or be
unable to rectify it the contract is at once
concluded. These precautionary measures
sometimes lead to threatened actions for
damages on the part of angry farmers, but



nothing ever comes of them. The principal
cause of water contamination is escaping

In the case of large distributing agencies
keeping their o\vn cows the modus opcrandi
is, of course, somewhat different. They run
dairy farms in various parts, in which are to
be found the very latest appliances for dealing
with milk in various ways. The writer
recently visited one of these establishments,
which was admirably organised and con
ducted. There were many cows in residence,
including some fine Kerrys, Shorthorns, and
Dexters. All the stalls were labelled with
particulars as to when born, calved, last
record, percentage of fat, milk yield, grain
feed, etc. Cows which render milk for
special purposes invalids and infants are
fed on meal and hay.

In dealing with the milk supply it really
seems that the distributors have reached
the superlative degree of precaution. The
orthodox method of milking will not do
to-day. Men are now principally employed
in extracting the lacteal beverage, and the
operation is performed in due scientific form.
The pail is a large metal receptacle,
fitted at the top with a strainer ; over
this is placed a layer of cotton-wool.
The milk is thus doubly strained direct
from the udder, and kept clear from
any impurity which might otherwise

get into it from the outside of the udder,
the milker s hands or clothes. The milker
wears a special milking suit, all white, and
the hindquarters of the cow are covered
with a white cloth. When the operation is
concluded, the milker s clothes, the cloth from
the cow, and the stool are all placed in a
steam chamber. When they are subsequently
taken from this they may not appear literally
clean, but they are bacteriologically pure. A
new piece of cotton-wool is used at every
milking, a year s cost of this article alone
being a not inconsiderable item. The
argument for all this is that bacteria find
their nourishment not in the milk itself,
but in the impurities which are sometimes
contained in it ; it is practically a process of
starving them out. When we have banished
dirt we shall have heard the last of bacteria>
bacilli, microbes, germs, etc.

But even these measures do not satisfy
certain folk, whom the dealers are justified
in dubbing faddists and cranks. Said an
authority to the writer, while discussing the
subject, " If we could deliver the milk in
churns straight into the people s pitchers, we




could do ten times the work." It is the
bottling and sterilising which occupy so much
time. Even the water which is used in the
preparation of special kinds of milk and for
cleansing utensils is bacteriologically treated
by being passed through a condenser. There
is also a cold storage in which the bottles of
milk are kept in water of a certain tem

Another interesting department is that of
humanising milk for infants. This entails a
great deal of time and labour, and is carried
out under the direction of a doctor. A
mother desirous of dispensing with the natural
function of nourishing her offspring will
consult her medical adviser, who in turn
instructs the dairyman. A milk is then
prepared which corresponds as nearly as
possible with breast nourishment, but it is
varied in strength and quality according to
the age of the child. The milk is put up in
bottles, sealed, and labelled with the name of
the mother. A book is kept by the dairyman
in which is to be found a table of treatments,
identified by numbers. The doctor instructs
the dairyman, " Treatment No. ," and the
milk is made up accordingly. Sometimes a
child becomes ill through being fed not wisely
but too well, on ordinary milk ; the dairyman
is then called upon to minister to it. It is
calculated that to bring up an infant on
humanised milk costs 2s. a day.

Frequently milk is bottled and supplied to
persons going abroad, to be consumed on
the voyage. For this the bottling is done
quickly so that the milk has as little contact
with the air as possible. Under these con
ditions it is possible for it to keep sweet for
a twelvemonth.

The Aylesbury Dairy Company alone deal
on an average with 35,000 gallons of milk a
week, which they receive from a hundred
different farms. The Express Company has
sixty cows at its picturesque farm at Finchley,
and the product of these is distributed over
a very wide area. The Maypole Dairy
Company have between 300 and 400 branch
establishments throughout the United King
dom. In Ireland they have about twenty.
At Congleton and Market Drayton they have
two dairies, both fitted with the latest and
most approved appliances. In the busy
season at Congleton they deal with 3,000
gallons of milk every day, brought in from
surrounding farms. There are many other
large and well-known firms of milk dis
tributors whose names are as familiar to
the consumer as the beverage itself.

Viewed generally the milk industry is in a
healthy and prosperous condition, and con
sumers may rest assured that every possible
precaution for their safety is taken by those
engaged in the distribution of one of the

greatest necessities of life. JT^ , T ,,






LIVERPOOL is an imposing rather than
a beautiful city. A place is great, it
may be said, in proportion as it appeals to
the imagination. Regarded thus, Liverpool
stands high in the ranks of the world s cities.
It has many splendid buildings and noble
institutions. That cluster of buildings of
which St. George s Hall is the magnificent
centre is not easily matched for grandeur in
any town in England. But Liverpool is a
city irregularly laid out, and the hasty visitor
is mostly struck by the haphazard arrange
ment of the streets and the lines of dreary
warehouses here and there. Comeliness is
not wholly sacrificed to the utilitarian, but
it is certainly less evident. In many cases
the fine buildings are lost in narrow streets
or among a huddle of old unlovely structures.
In this respect, of course, Liverpool is by
no means peculiar, but it has sharper con
trasts between the grandiose and the squalid
than are generally to be noted.

But outward appearance is no clue to the
greatness of the city. Liverpool is the centre
of a stupendous, worldwide trade ; it lives,
moves, and has its being by reason of its
traffic with the distant continents of the
globe. However parochial may seem its
day-to-day existence, its interests are so
extensive and cosmopolitan that the outlook
of its citizens must, of necessity almost, be
spacious and inspiring. Its streets are a
reflection of the universal ramifications of

Liverpool s mighty trade ; the foreigner is
very markedly to the fore among the busy
throng. The commerce of the city is
sensitive to a degree to the fluctuations of
the world s markets, but particularly so are
those homes of thrills and excitements the
Cotton and Corn Exchanges.

Yet, for all its gigantic and far-reaching
trade, Liverpool is comparatively young. The
era of its prosperity dates back not much
further than a hundred and fifty years. In
15/1 a writer described it as "a decayed
town," whatever that may mean ; and a print
of a hundred years later exhibits an un-
imposing little village. About the end of
the seventeenth century the income from the
Corporation estates reached the princely sum
of thirteen pounds. The eighteenth century
saw the town set fairly on its legs. At the
beginning of the nineteenth century the
population was 80,000 ; at the end it was
over 640,000.

But the real history of Liverpool is the
history of the docks. The first dock was
begun in 1/09. This old or wet dock, which
contained an area of 3 acres 1,890 yards,
and which was completed in 1715, has long
ago disappeared, the present Custom House
being erected on its site. Following the Old
Dock, others were built, and Liverpool rose
gradually in the ranks of British seaports.
The completion of the Duke of Bridgewater s
famous canal was a very material help to



the rising port, for it brought it into com
munication with the manufacturing towns of
South Lancashire. Looking back, one sees
that the growth of Liverpool as a great
centre of shipping was inevitable. As one
writer has put it, it had Lancashire at its
back and the Atlantic in front. Lancashire
was a magnet for the raw material of the
world ; and Liverpool is naturally the sea
port for the count}-, through which its imports
and exports most conveniently pass. The
steps in Liverpool s progress are the develop
ment of the cotton trade and coal mining,

example, we find that in the year 1898-99,
compared with 1897-98, there was a decrease
in the number of sailing vessels of 410 and
a decrease in the sailing tonnage of nearly
85,000, while the grand total of steam and
sailing vessels showed an increase of 858 and
718,740 tonnage.

In thus tracing the history of the Liverpool
Docks we have emphasised the external
influences which have effectively assisted its
development, but full credit must be given
to the men of Liverpool for far-reaching
initiative and enterprise. That Liverpool has
been a pioneer is proved by the construction
early last century of the Liverpool and


the opening of factories, and the construction
of railways. The rapidity with which the
port has grown to its present dimensions
cannot be more strikingly exhibited than by
citing some available figures. In 1770, 2,073
vessels paid dues amounting to ,4,142 ; forty
years later the number of vessels had in
creased to 4,746 with a tonnage of 450,060,
and the dues came to 23,379. By 1850
there were 20,457 vessels, the tonnage was
2 >537,337> and the clues 211,743. For the
closing year of the nineteenth century the
figures were : Vessels 24,870, tonnage
12,380,917, dues paid 1,042,926. Naturally
the abolition of sailing vessels and the in
crease in the size of steamers may reduce the
number of vessels using the port, but the
tonnage shows no diminution. To take an

Manchester Railway, and also by the Over
head Electric Railway opened in 1893
which runs along the whole length of the
docks, and which at the time of its opening
was the first successful electric railway of any
size in Europe. But, apart from that, the
great shipping companies are monuments of
industry. Such organisations as the White
Star, the Cunard, and the Elder-Dempster
lines have not been brought to their present
perfection without independent conception
and abundant energy. Without clock de
velopment, however, such monster lines could
not exist, and so, in studying Liverpool from
whatever point of view, we are forced back
to those mighty structures along the Mersey
banks the pride of Liverpool and one of the
prides of Britain.




The docks of
Liverpool lie

;i 1 o n g the
Mersey, extend
ing for seven or
eight miles, like
a great system
of fortifieations.
A s e a \v all,
b r ( > k e n o n 1 y
\\-here entrance
is required to
the docks, en
closes the whole
d istance. I n
that imposing
range are in
cluded nearly

sixty docks and fifteen graving or repairing
docks ; and counting the Birkenhead Docks,
on the Cheshire side of the river, we have
about a hundred docks under the one

In the early stages of their history, the
Liverpool Docks were under the control of
the Corporation. As the estate increased in
importance, the management was delegated
to a committee. About the beginning of last
century, the dock ratepayers agitated for a
representation on this body, and achieved the
end of their desires. The final stage in the
administrative evolution, however, was reached
in 1851, when an Act was passed consolidating
the docks of Liverpool and Birkenhead into
one estate and vesting the control into one


Trust. Thus the Mersey Dock and Harbour
Board a Trust which for the extent of its
business has scarce a parallel came into

On the Liverpool side of the Mersey the
centre of the clock system is occupied by the
Landing Stage, which is at all times and
seasons the place towards which visitors to
the city naturally gravitate ; it is ever a scene
of life and bustle, and from it one obtains an
unrivalled view of the traffic of the river.
This unique floating structure is supported on
pontoons, and is connected with the shore by
seven gangways, besides a floating bridge 550
feet in length and 35 feet in width for the
ferry goods traffic. The stage is 2463 feet
long and 80 feet wide. Here it is that the
great lines and the Manx, Welsh, and Irish
steamers land their passengers. Prior to the

construction of this
s t a g e a n d t he
deepening of the
M e r s e y B a r ,
Transatlantic pas
sengers were sub
jected to numerous
delays. The big
steamers were fre-
quentlv detained
outside the Bar,
owing to want of
water, and the ordinary pro
cedure was that the passen
gers and their luggage were
brought to Liverpool on a


tender, and thence borne to the city stations
in cabs and buses, \o\vadays the largest
steamer in the world can go alongside the
Landing Stage, where a railway station has
been constructed, so that almost within five
minutes of their arrival passengers are on
their way to London in special expresses,
which run in connection with the steamers.
Before passing to a brief review of the
docks, we may indicate the extent of the
whole system. On the Liverpool side which
comprises the docks situate within the
borough of Bootle - the total water area

leu in, which comes from America and Russia,
Liverpool importing nearly a quarter of
Britain s annual supply. These depots have
also been excavated in the solid rock. There
are sixty chambers altogether, each capable
of holding 1,000 barrels of oil, the total
capacity being over 12,000 tons. The cham
bers are separated from one another by a
solid wall of rock five feet thick, and they
are so constructed that should an accident
occur the oil cannot escape and flow into the
docks, From the Ilerculaneum extends a
chain of comparatively new docks, the first


is 392 acres 3,So/ yards, and the quay space
is 25 miles 923 yards. The Birkenhead
Ducks have a water area of 164 acres 4,190
yards, and a quay space of 9 miles 925 yards.
Thus the total water area of the Liverpool
and Birkenhead Docks and basins is 557
acres 3,157 yards, and the total quay space
is 35 miles 88 yards. The area of the whole
dock estate is 1,614 acres.

Let us now turn to a survey of the docks.
First, taking those which lie to the south of
the Landing Stage, we find them compara
tively small, and in some cases so old as to
be almost obsolete. The furthest south is the
Ilerculaneum, which is interesting in that
it has been blasted out of the solid rock, and
because beside it are the depots for petro-

of which is the Harrington with a water area
of nine acres. Then comes the Toxteth with
a water area of eleven acres and the most
extensive transfer shed on the whole estate.
This shed has a ground area of nearly five

It were unnecessary to describe in detail
all the docks : suffice to mention those pos
sessing features of peculiar interest. Still in
the southern system, then, ma} be cited the
Brunswick-George group, which consists of
about a dozen small docks the oldest on the
Mersey. In these the water has to be kept
at the requisite depth by means of pumping.
Adjacent are the warehouses of one of
Liverpool s greatest trades the importation
of tobacco, in which the Mersey seaport has



a high pre-eminence. For the more expedi
tious handling of this enormous traffic in
tobacco, another warehouse, which is said to
be the largest structure of the kind in the
world, has been built at the Stanley dock on
the north side of the Landing Stage. This
warehouse covers an area of 2j acres, and
comprises fourteen floors. It is 725^ feet
long and 165 feet wide. The floors arc
designed to carry 1OO,OOO tons.

The north system, part of which lies within
the borough of Bootle, comprises the newest
and most commodious docks. Altogether
there are in this section some fortv wet and
graving docks. Those nearest the stage are
for the most part devoted to the very large
Irish and Scottish trades. The extreme north-
end docks are probably the scene of the
heaviest traffic ; most of the great American
and Canadian lines load and unload here. The
Huskisson Dock, for example, is seldom to
be found without a While Star or C unard
leviathan. One of the chief trades of this
part of the docks, as indeed it is of Liverpool
as a whole, is the importation of cotton. The
annual import to the Mersey port is nearly
three million bales, which is practically
eleven-twelfths of that of the whole country.
Perhaps the most common sight along the
clocks is the lorries laden with bulging bales
of cotton making their way to the numerous
warehouses throughout the citv.

Another -very extensive trade, which is
almost wholly transacted at the north docks,
is the importation of grain. Special ware
houses have been erected for this traffic, and
at the Alexandra Dock a granary, after the
style of the American elevator, has been built
capable of holding 120,000 tons. The annual
grain import to Liverpool is about 200,000,000
tons. The timber trade is another very large
Liverpool industry. Its chief home is at the
Brocklebank and Canada Docks, in the
northern system. Naturally this industry
demands a considerable amount of space, and
along the docks mentioned there is quite
a street of timber merchants offices ; and,
though the aspect of the wood-yards is not
very interesting to the pedestrian, the scene
from the Overhead Railway from which,
by the way, the best view of the whole system
of docks is to be had is singularly impres
sive, the great yards with their immense piles
of all kinds of wood presenting a picture that
cannot fail to affect the imagination.

The Birkenhead Docks run inland some
what, and thus seem less massive than those
on the Lancashire side. The two largest,
however, are the biggest on the Mersey. The
West Moat has a water area of 52 acres 319
yards and a lineal quayage of 2 miles 210
yards, while the East Float has a water area
of 59 acres 3,786 yards and a lineal quayage
of i mile 1,673 yards. The next in size to



them is the Alexandra, in Bootle, which lias
an area of forty-four acres and a quay space
of ii,<Si4 feet. On the Cheshire side the live
cattle trade of the port of Liverpool is dealt
with. Nearly half of the cattle imported
into Britain enters by the Mersey, and at
Birkenhead the most up-to-date methods are
employed for coping with the traffic. When
the cattle are landed they are driven to the
" lairages " a few yards away, where they are
slaughtered. During the season as many as
7,000 head of cattle per week are killed at
these " lairages," and in a single year 300,000
have been despatched.

This vast system of docks is worked, under
the administrative board and committee
already described, by a large staff of workers.
Kach dock or section of docks has a master,
who has under him a body of workers, who
have charge of all that goes on within that
particular territory. To watch the dock-
men at work is a most interesting sight.
But the sight of all to see here is, say, the
Oceanic or Campania being brought out or

Online LibraryHenry HarrisseBritain at work; a pictorial description of our national industries → online text (page 35 of 39)