28 DECEMBER 1878, Page 2

Mr. Thomas Connolly, writing from Boston, Massachusetts, to Thursday's Times,

gives a most striking picture of the minute in-

ventiveness to which the Americans owe their frequent ability to compete successfully with England, in spite of a most unwise tariff,— a picture confirming in every way the remarkable account of Mr. Hussey Vivian, which we lately summarised for our readers. Mr. Connolly deals chiefly with the boot and shoe manufacture and the watch manufacture ; and of the watch manufactory at Wal- tham, ten miles from Boston, he gives a moat interesting and im- pressive account :—" 'There are nearly 1,200 different machines, besides duplicates," in use there, and "more than 120 different machines are used to form and perfect the escapement." There are "seven automatic screw-making machines, all tended by one man. Each of the machines produces 3,000 minute screws, of various sizes, per day, from the pin of wire ; and each screw is complete, with thread, head, and slot. It will take 200,000 of the smaller screws to.make 1 lb., and the factory now supplies nearly all the screws required for watch repairs through-. out the country." The factory also completes 375 "watch move- ments daily," and the market for these is extending so rapidly, even in this country, that the London agency alone sold 23,040 watch movements last year,—i.e., the fruits of ten weeks' production, while the orders for these movements abroad is rapidly extend- ing. It is clear that the point on which we have to fear com- petition with the Yankees is their wonderful fertility in inventing the most delicate labour-saving machines. But is it not one of the great ultimate dangers of civilisation, that man may become so absorbed in inventing delicate means for attaining very minute ends, that he will lose all mastery of those larger ends which alone make life "worth living ?"