The Romance of Great Businesses.

M. TINDAL, IN PEARSON’S MAGAZINE November 1 1905

The Romance of Great Businesses.

M. TINDAL, IN PEARSON’S MAGAZINE November 1 1905

IN the year when Queen Victoria came to the throne a shipping company was formed that was destined to play no small part in the development of the British Empire. No shipping company has a longer record of useful public service than this great concern, the “P. & O.” How it fostered England’s trade with the Far East may be judged from the fact that for thirty-three years the company was the exclusive carrier by steam to India, China, and Australia, transporting all the mails, all the bullion, all the merchandise, and all the passengers. And since every resource of the company—its ships, its men, its coal stations, and its agencies—were placed at the services of the Government in the troublesome days of the Burmah War, the Indian Mutiny, the Crimean War, the China, Persian, and Abyssinian Expeditions, and in the various Egyptian campaigns, it may be said truly that the “P. & O.” is a national, Empire-building concern.

The foundation of the company was a service of mail packets running between London and Lisbon, under contract with the Government. Two or three very small steamers were employed at first, but: the service rapidly extended, and in 1842 the first steamer was despatched to India, via the Cape of Good Hope, a departure that was regarded in the light of a national event.

It was not until thirty years after the company’s foundation that the Suez Canal was opened, and the journey to the Far East was made in its early days by what was called the Overland Route—through Egypt. There was more romance than comfort about the overland trip. Passengers were landed at Alexandria, carried to the Nile in canal boats, thence to be conveyed in steamers for 120 miles to Cairo.

From Cairo the route lay across the desert for a hundred miles to Suez.

The company made rapid progress. But disaster loomed ahead. When the Suez Canal was opened the profitable trade of the Overland Route was swept away, and ruin stared the “P. & O.” Company in the face.

The situation was saved by a remarkable man, who now comes into prominence — Thomas Sutherland, who had joined the company twenty years before as a junior clerk. The company’s work had to be entirely reorganized and an entirely new fleet had to be built. This task was intrusted to the capable hands of Mr. Sutherland, and in five years he had successfully carried it through, and has since raised the “P. & O.” to its supreme position as the greatest shipping concern in Great Britain.

To-day, as Sir Thomas Sutherland, G.C.M.G., Chairman of the “P. & O.,” the one-time junior clerk of the company, rules a fleet that has cost in money £10,000,000 sterling, in tonnage aggregating 400,000 tons.

Every year this fleet journeys 3,000,000 miles, and consumes 700,000 tons of coal. Last year the company paid in wages to officers and crews nearly £400,000.

Smith's

Smith may be the commonest name in this country, but “Smith’s” is a household word meaning but one of three things — Smith’s bookstalls, Smith’s newspaper distribution agency, or Smith’s library. The foundations of the great business were laid in the reign of King William IV by two brothers, Henry Smith, an unbusinesslike man of dreams, and William Smith, a stern, hard-headed martinet, hot of temper, and imperious, who, buying out his brother because of his laziness, became sole proprietor of the concern.

“First on the road” was the motto of William. In those old days of coaches newspapers were long delayed on their journeys; and so William Smith organized a service of swift light carts and of mounted messengers to speed the mails and the news. When the King died his heralds were first on the road with the news; and such was his enterprise that he even chartered a special boat at Liverpool to carry the news to Ireland.

In the year 1825 to William Smith was born a son, William Henry; and the rise of the firm is bound up in the romantic life-story of this boy, who started his career by working from five o’clock every morning in his father’s paper-sorting office, and ended only after becoming Leader of the House of Commons, First Lord of the Admiralty, and Minister of War— after amassing a fortune and establishing his father’s business as the largest of its kind in the kingdom.

The strange part of the story is that this brilliant career met with parental opposition at almost every stage.

There came a time when the son saw a golden chance for fortune. The railway companies were beginning to invite tenders for the privilege of holding their bookstalls, at that time disgracefully mismanaged. When young Smith suggested that the firm should acquire the stalls, loudly scoffed the father; but the son carried the day, and made a prodigious success of the venture.

When twenty-nine, the son awoke to the advantages of the new-born art of advertising, but the father would not hear of them. Billposting could only spell ruin, he roundly declared. Again the young will conquered. Something like £10,000 was invested forthwith in advertising schemes, and not a penny was dropped.

The business went steadily forward. A library was started in connection with the bookstalls; yellow-back novels were issued, and tens of thousands of volumes, produced at a cost of 9d, were sold for 2s. a-piece. At the age of forty-three Mr. W. H. Smith entered Parliament. For many years he continued to pilot the firm to ever greater heights—and was a prominent figure in the papersorting office at 186 Strand—working like a navvy in his shirt-sleeves, arms and face and hands black with the ink of printed news-sheets — until called upon to fulfil high positions in the Government, when he retired from business to become a public servant

The Story of a Devon Lad

In the year 1835, in the reign of King William IV, a Devonshire lad trudged from his home to Exeter, and there took a steamer for London Bridge. On his back he carried a set of cabinet-making tools.

That boy was destined to have his name made world-famous by the work of his own hands. He was destined to live to be the oldest manufacturer in his day, to make 60,000 pianos, and to become the highest authority in the world on the toning of these instruments.

When John Brinsmead set out to make his fortune he had already shown his mettle. He had been born —one of an old West Country family of farmers—in a little village in North Devon, in the far-away year 1814, and he had been brought up to help on his father’s farm. Whenever he saw a chance he had not failed to do a little business for himself at his home, Wear Gifford. His small savings he invested in a flock of sheep. Then he went to serve an apprenticeship with a local cabinetmaker, and for six or seven years, rejoicing in creating things, he threw heart and soul into the work.

Already an elder brother had set up in London as a piano-maker. John, who loved pianos, determined to follow in his footsteps, and at twenty-one found a job in a cabinetmaker’s in Tottenham Court Road, entering his brother’s factory three months later as a case-maker. He saved his earnings—his experiments in sheep had taught him to do that. He learned to make every part of a piano case, and then to do the finer work of creating sounding-boards.

“I will go on,” he said, “until I can make a better piano than any living man.”

Eventually John Brinsmead started on his own account to make and sell pianos, with one man and a boy. The boy, Nicholas Phillips, became eventually foreman and manager of the works, and his son-in-law is today the manager of the firm’s great depot in Kentish Town.

The business prospered, growing until the yearly output of pianos came to average 2,000, and to range in price from forty-five to three thousand guineas.

Larger and ever larger premises became necessary, until finally a vast factory, with some forty workshops and gigantic timber stores, was founded at Kentish Town. There were ups and downs of fortune. A fire in 1850, destroying the factory and all therein, came near to bringing ruin.

But Fortune always came again to stand by this wonderful man, because he knew his business from beginning to end, and because he stuck to it. Even when nearing ninety years of age he came regularly to business every day—still giving the final voicing to the pianos—still an expert workman—still the finest living judge of timber and of a piano’s tone. Latterly his work has been broken by accidents, and eyes and ears have failed; but even now, when ninety-one years old, he walks once a week from his home at Primrose Hill, through Regent’s Park, to Wigmore street—one pocket filled with sixpences to be distributed in charity to many old pensioners in the park, the other filled with breadcrumbs for the sparrows—for there is no kinder man than he.

A Fortune from the Food of the Gods

The great Linnaeus gave the name, Theo Broma, “The Food of the Gods,“ to cocoa—the product of a tree that flourishes in Mexico, the West Indies, Colombia, and Ceylon. Cortez discovered it in South America, and introduced it to Europe. In London the drink was fashionable so far back as 1656—the wits of the day assembling in chocolatehouses, as we gather, for afternoon tea.

But now the luxury of wits and bucks has become almost a staple food of the people, and its sale in this country has increased from a quarter of a million pounds in the beginning of the last century to about fifty million pounds to-day.

The house of Fry had been long established when Watt’s steam engine came into use. One of the early Watt’s engines was put to work grinding cocoa. To-day, every process in the making of cocoa and chocolates, from the time when the beans arrive in bags from the West Indies or Ceylon, is done by machinery, driven by steam or electricity, without human handling. A hundred years ago only a few score hands were employed; to-day the Frys employ over 4,000 workpeople.

It was Dr. Joseph Fry, a physician of Bristol, who, securing a valuable patent for making chocolate, set up the business .that has grown to such large proportions. Generations of Frys have succeeded him—worthy men of great culture and refinement, men who were keen in business, who feared God. and who were devoted to charitable works. First came his son, Joseph Storrs Fry, who was succeeded by his sons, Joseph, Francis, and Richard; who were succeeded by Francis, the son of Francis, and a nephew, Joseph Storrs Fry, great-grandson of the man who founded the business.

By sound business methods has the fortune of the firm been made. The Frys were alive to the advantages of advertising a hundred years ago. Here is a quaint notice that appeared in the Times for 1801:

“It is asserted that one ounce of chocolate contains as much nourishment as one pound of beef. Whether this curious assertion be true or not, it is certain that the nourishment afforded by the cocoanut, when well prepared, is most admirably adapted for the human stomach, hence the high repute of the preparation of Fry, of Bristol, which no less proves his superior skill and care than the excellent salubrity of the articles produced from his celebrated manufactory.”

The great factory of Fry’s occupies no small space in Bristol today. Whole streets and many celebrated buildings have been annexed for the making of cocoa and chocolate. A good joke was current at one time, when the county gaol was taken over as a store, to the effect that “Messrs. Fry have sent between 200 and 300 of their workpeople to prison!’’

Every morning, at the works, a religious service is held at nine o’clock, by the aged head of the firm, Mr. Joseph Storrs Fry.

The Story of the Dunlop Tyre

A good many years ago a veterinary surgeon, named Dunlop, of Belfast, had a little son who was wont to ride about on a little cycle.

Now the roads about Belfast are as bad as roads can be, and the father began to wonder whether he could not do something to the hard, solid tyres of the cycle to save the son from much heavy work and much jolting. Thinking it over, his eye fell upon a garden hose-pipe, and it was not long before he had fitted a crude tyre of hose, containing a rubber tube holding compressed air, to the cycle’s wheels. And the son was soon skimming about the country in a more luxurious style than anyone had ever traveled on cycle wheels before.

At this date cycles were already highly developed, and it soon became evident that the new comfort-giving, vibration-absorbing tyre was only needed to make them almost perfect. When the new tyre was introduced to Dublin, then as always the centre of Irish sport, and when racing experts found it gave a much higher speed to machines than the old solid tyres, it was clear that in the invention was a fortune. But the manufacturers were slow to take it up, and the inventor had no knowledge of business; and had not a remarkable man, Mr. Harvey du Cros, come forward, about 1888, to form a syndicate to push the invention, and to pilot it to fame, we, to-day, might still be without the perfect tyre.

The ‘‘sausage tyres” at first were derided for their ungainly appearance, and scorned for the trouble they gave when anything went wrong —for puncture repairing in those days called for more that the patience of Job. But patentable improvements were soon discovered— Mr. Charles Welch’s idea of an endless wire fastening, the Woods valve, and the Doughty patent tyre-making process producing the wonderful vulcanized tyres of to-day. All the master-patents were secured by Mr. du Cros, and every other manufacturer of tyres was supposed to pay royalty to his firm.

But with the successful floating of the tyre, which not only revolutionized cycling, but made the motor car a possibility, began an endless series of fraudulent imitations of the Dunlop pattern. Never in all the history of the patent office was a property more coveted than were the rights of the Dunlop Company, and never were any patent rights more abused. The patent laws proved utterly inadequate to protect the company, and it says much for the energy of the firm that it is still supreme, in spite of the undermining from which it has so sorely suffered.

If hundreds of thousands of pounds have been lost by fraud, millions, of pounds have been made by the adapted hose-pipe of the Belfast veterinary surgeon, to whom every cyclist and every motorist owes a debt of gratitude for his brilliant idea of filling wheel tyres with air.

The Draper Who Made up His Mind

William Whiteley was born in Yorkshire in 1831, was sent to school at Pontefract, and at sixteen was apprenticed to a draper’s firm at Wakefield for five years.

So much for his boyhood. His career as a man began when he paid his first visit to London, to see the Great Exhibition of 1851. Forthwith he fell in love with London. In her bustling streets he felt the heart of the world beating. He knew that here, if anywhere, were chances for an enterprising young man to make his fortune. London called him with no uncertain voice, and directly his apprenticeship was ended he answered the call.

By now he had made up his mind as to his future. He was determined to become a successful shopkeeper— a draper for choice. Systematically he set to work to learn everything that the first drapers of the day could teach him. Ten years he devoted to the deliberate study of business—learning something every day, studying successful methods, passing from situation to situation. Such an enthusiastic worker was paid, of course, good salaries, and he made money by earning commissions on good sales. In ten years he managed to save £600.. He had lived soberly and frugally during this period of study, hoarding money, never spending a penny on drinking or smoking. By 1863 he felt himself ready for embarking on his own account—for becoming that successful shopkeeper he had pictured in his fancy, and so realizing the dreams and ambitions of his life.

He began to look round for the site of a promising shop. On taking the advice of those who should have known best, he was surprised by the unanimous way in which everyone warned him against that district known as Westbourne Grove. But when one day he found himself in Westbourne Grove he rather liked the look of it. An unoccupied shop caught his attention—No. 63. It had a hopeful appearance. At the next chance he went and stood opposite No. 63 for exactly two hours—he noted the number of prosperous people who passed—and he made up his mind that at No. 63 the foundations of his fortune should be laid. Here he opened a fancy store, with two girls and a boy.

The remainder of the story is a plain tale of sticking to the shop, and of hard work, day after day, down to the present time. The first shop, the famous No. 63, was multiplied by others, until now it is one of thirty. The fancy-goods seller became a universal provider, and the fal-lals with which he started business are now represented by every article a man can want, from the cradle to the grave—from a baby’s bib to a tombstone. The original two girls and a boy are represented by a staff of about six thousand employees. In thirty years the one-time draper’s assistant had transformed himself into a millionaire, and in thirty-six years—when, at the age of sixty-nine, he turned his business into a company—he saw his original capital of £600 represented by a capital of £1,800,000.

The Rise of Biscuit Town

If “Ye Anciente Towne of Radynge’’ takes great pride in the ruins of its Abbey, founded by Henry I., it is still more proud of its modern and prosperous biscuit works. Cromwell destroyed the Abbey, and the town promptly fell asleep, only to be aroused to energy again when, in 1841, George Palmer appeared on the scene.

He came, this young man, with a knowledge of milling and baking, with a genius for mechanical engineering, and with a determination to make his fortune. Associating himself with a long-established confectioner, Thomas Huntley, he introduced machinery to the business, and began the experiment of making something more palatable in the shape of biscuits than the old castiron “captain’s biscuit” that held the market at that day.

In a short time he had created a new public taste—a taste for biscuits. The public liking for these delicate dainties grew apace—and the business prospered. In ten years the firm were employing 200 workmen. Samuel and William Isaac, brothers of George Palmer, joined him in the directorate. Twelve more years saw the employees doubled—in 1867 their number reached 1,000; the Paris Exhibition of 1878 saw 3,000 people making biscuits, while to-day the firm employs between 6,000 and 7,000 hands, and turns out more than 400 different kinds of biscuits and cakes from an enormous factory that has sprung up on either side of the River Kennet.

So Reading throbs once more with healthy energy. What the Palmers have done for the town is almost past telling. Indirectly, they have increased its population from 17,000 in the early days of Queen Victoria to 75,000 to-day. They have given three members to Parliament, two mayors to the town, and two high sheriffs to the county, whilst several members of the present great family sit on the magisterial bench.

Agriculture, and a host of industries, have benefited by the rise of the biscuit factory. Every day the butter and milk yielded by 19,000 cows pours into the factorv, to say nothing of the eggs laid by 150,000 hens, or the fresh cocoanuts that can only be counted by the thousand.

Not only are the biscuits of the firm welcomed in all parts of the world, but their biscuit tins have proved no small boon to mankind. Out in Uganda, for instance, scores of Huntley & Palmer’s biscuit boxes go to church every Sunday, the natives carrying their Bibles in the tins to preserve them from insects. The British and Foreign Bible Society have even made special queer-shaped Bibles for Uganda, four inches broad by three inches thick, in order that they may fit into the two-pound biscuit tins that come from Reading.

The Miracle of the Gramophone.

The rise of the gramophone is among the true romances of business.

At about the time when Edison was busily devising the phonograph the gramophone came into being under the hands of a Dr. Berliner—one of whose instruments, six years ago, was brought to this country by a Mr. Barry Owen. He carried with the instrument in a little bag twelve records—and lost no time in setting to work to interest financiers in the idea.

But all in vain. Few would listen to his gramophone—no one would believe in it. It was unsound—it was all wrong—it was, in any case, a mere toy of no practical value. For eight months the man with the priceless invention in his little bag endured the laughter and scorn of the business world. Then, growing tired, he decided to start the thing himself.

Borrowing a few hundred pounds, he rented a basement room in a small street off the Strand, and set to work to make the British people understand the miracle that his instrument could perform—how it would catch the sound of speech or song as it fell from human lips, write it down with a silver needle, and lock it away to be preserved for ever, or reproduced at any moment desired. He had made enough money to pay back what he had borrowed, and he found himself standing fairly in the way of fortune.

His original twelve records are represented to-day by twelve thousand records made by the greatest artistes and musical organizations from all the countries the world over.

In the beginning, no one with a reputation would deign to sing into the gramophone. It was necessary to call in beggars from the streets to make records. Now there are no singers or musicians who do not willingly allow the gramophone to catch and keep their music of the passing moment, so that it may be heard throughout the world, and perpetuated for all time.

The company’s agents go forth into all countries to gather up the national airs and folk-songs, so that they may be heard everywhere, and preserved always. To-day agents are traveling to make permanent records of Finnish songs before the language is utterly stamped out. Quite recently records have been made of the language and folk songs of the strange little pigmies who visited England from Central Africa. Plates are made for the use of music teachers, so that pupils may study at leisure the best interpretations of the masters; while language-teaching records are coming steadily into favor.

On the stage the gramophone plays an important part. If a song is to be sung, Melba’s voice is always at the disposal of the stage manager. If the roar of a crowd is required to be heard, it is no longer necessary to employ a host of supers night after night, for the gramophone can roar as well as they. In Mr. Tree's Richard II. it was the gramophone that gave forth the stirring cries from behind the scenes—"Long live Bolingbroke”—"Long live Norfolk!” —that echoed the shouts of the soldiers, and the clashing of their swords.

A Fortune From an Oleograph.

This is the story of a firm's fortune that was built on an oleograph.

An oleograph is not considered to be very high art to-day; but at the time when Adolph Tuck, then a boy of fifteen, was taken into his father’s picture business, the day was dawning when these pictures printed in oils were to take the public taste by storm. The boy was a born appreciator of art, with a keen instinct for divining what art is appreciated by the public. When, in the year 1870, in Paris, he came across a picture by a famous French artist : "The Last Moments of Mary Queen of Scots,” he knew at once that here was an ideal subject for an oleograph. He acquired the rights of publishing for his father, who issued a large reproduction, priced at £2 2s., and in a short time some thousands of copies were sold.

It was this stroke that brought the firm of Tuck, then young and struggling, into prominence, and that laid the foundation of the firm's present fortune.

A year later the young art dealer, who was full of bright notions, thought it would be a good idea to print a few cards of greeting for circulation at Christmas. Half-a-dozen sets were duly published; but the trade therein was very slack. Young Tuck determined that he would fan it into a flame. The British public, he argued, stood in need of Christmas cards; it would be good for the public to have Christmas cards, and good for him. Christmas cards they should have willy-nilly.

Next Christmas he published twenty sets of cards, 100 gross to each edition. The public began to catch his idea. In the third year he printed thirty sets; the public rushed for them, and from that day to this the trade has increased every year, until at the present time 1,700 different sets of cards leave the house of Tuck every season.

This great business has largely been brought about through the romantic aid of competition, due to the fertile brain of the head of the firm of Raphael Tuck & Sons. Scheme after scheme he put into force to secure new talent for card designs and for the other art publications. The first was a competition, held in 1879, for designs, in which £500 was offered in prizes. So good were the entries that purchases to the extent of £2,000 were made by the firm.

The time came when Mr. Tuck turned his attention to picture postcards, and had he not done so, doubtless there would be no homemade picture postcards in the land to-day, for the British post office set such a small limit on the size of postcards that to print pictures upon them was almost impossible. Nevertheless, the attempt was made, but failed hopelessly.

Then Mr. Tuck fell upon the post office to agitate for an enlarged card. This was twelve years ago. For three years he bombarded the authorities with his petitions. At last, in 1898, the news was given out that the size of the British postcard was to be increased. When the postcard boom set in in earnest he was ready and waiting for it. He has now published cards in 35,000 different designs, and their sales can only be reckoned in millions.

A Fortune Made From Fireworks.

For seven generations the sons of the house of Brock have succeeded their fathers as makers of fireworks. The firm was founded at least 175 years ago, by a Brock who established himself in the green fields now occupied by the slums of the Eastend of London. It is possible that even before 1725 the Brocks were firework people. The present head of the firm, Mr. Arthur Brock, has in his collection of rare engravings, a firework print dating from 1640.

The Brock fireworks have shed light in darkness all the world over. They have at once terrified and delighted the natives of Africa; the Cingalese have fallen before them in adoration; the Turks have tried to imitate them, with disastrous results to themselves; at the Delhi Durbar, one million of the people of India attended a display, many hundreds taking up positions a week beforehand, and sitting tight, to make sure of good places. Mr. Brock may congratulate himself on giving pleasure to countless millions of many countries, while he has received the personal appreciations of Sultans, Shahs, and Tsars, Princes, Kings and Emperors.

The business has its side of pure romance, and its side of most romantic utility.

There is no end to the different uses to which are put the firm’s colored lights and rockets. Fog signals are made that penetrate for over half a mile; signal lights for ships and fishing fleets are made by the thousand; miners’ fuses for blasting coal, and line-throwing rockets for saving life at sea, and for throwing a line over a burning building so that firemen may haul up a hose. Then, in war, the fireworks have played a great part. Many a zareba on the West Coast of Africa has been saved from a night attack by warning lights fired by connecting wires on the ground, while the Japanese in the recent war made great use of light-shells for exploring the enemy’s positions. In Darkest Africa small parties of white men have put to rout whole armies of natives by the simple expedient of sending off a shower of Brock’s colored lights.

Mr. Brock has dabbled in fireworks since babyhood. At the age of seventeen, his passion for fireworks remaining unabated, his brother, the late C. T. Brock, took him into the business, and in the following year sent him out to India to take charge of the entire management of the firework displays that so brilliantly marked the progress of the then Prince of Wales in his tour of 1875. Since then Mr. Brock has traveled all over the world superintending firework shows.

Among the many sovereigns who have witnessed the shows has been the German Emperor. “There was nothing,” declares Mr. Brock, “that the Emperor did not know about fireworks. He told me exactly how the colored lights were made, and every time he was right. He also told King Edward that he had seen fireworks just as good as mine a few days before in Amsterdam. I was able to assure the King that the Kaiser was right in this, too, since I had supplied those fireworks, although a Dutchman took the credit.”

The Maker of Modern Warfare.

The rise of the greatest engineering works in the world may be traced back to a day spent in fishing by a young solicitor with a turn for mechanics.

A Summer day in the year after Queen Victoria came to the throne found the solicitor casting his line near an old mill at Dent Dale, in Yorkshire. The mill-wheel, turned by a waterfall, attracted his attention—and he was not slow in noticing that by far the greater part of the power of the water was allowed to run to waste.

Here was a matter worthy of study. Why should not the whole force of the waterfall be utilized as a motive power ? The idea set in train a series of experiments, which added to the solicitor’s accomplishments a thorough knowledge of the science of hydraulics. The year 1845 saw him lecturing to a learned society of Newcastle-on-Tyne on “The Employment of a Column of Water as a Motive Power for Propelling Machinery,” and exhibiting the model of an hydraulic crane that he had devised.

The model crane—the outcome of the idea suggested by the Yorkshire fishing stream—gave place to a working crane, that was erected upon the Quayside at Newcastle, and set to load and unload ships.

Then the era of hydraulic-pressure machinery set in in earnest, and the Elswick works, founded by the inventor, Mr. W. G. Armstrong, took the lead in its manifold developments.

The romance of Elswick does not end here. In 1854 was fought the battle of Inkermann, when the defeat of the Russians was largely brought about through the superior range of two 18-lb. guns, that had been brought into action at the last moment, after incredible difficulties. Mr. Armstrong, more as an amusement for his leisure than for any other reason, began to consider whether lighter guns could not be made with as effective a range as the heavy ones. In 1855 he manufactured a 3-lb. gun on a new principle, and with this gun he was destined to revolutionize field artillery.

With the perfection of this gun, William Armstrong, already wealthy and famous, found himself in as commanding a position as any inventor had ever occupied. He might have gained any money from foreign nations for his patents. What he did was nothing if not romantic.

He made a free gift of his patents to the British nation, and, not content with this, entered the Government’s service as Engineer to the War Department—a position which he resigned in 1863.

There is little more of romance in the story—the rest is a tale of gigantic business development. To the Ordnance Department steel works were added; to the steel works shipyards; to the shipyard a plant for making armor-plate.

The founder of Elswick lived to see his works established as the largest of their kind in the world, dying, only five years ago, as Baron Armstrong of Cragside, at the ripe age of ninety-one.