6 OCTOBER 1866, Page 23

The Resources, Products, and Industrial History of Birmingham and the

Midland Hardware District. A series of reports. Edited by Samuel Tim- mins. (Hardwicke.)—The meeting of the British Association at Birming- ham in 1865 led to the formation of a local Industrial Committee, and the present bulky volume is the result of their efforts. It contains a series of reports, compiled and edited by persons engaged in the trade of the dis- trict, whose aim has been to produce a complete history of the hardware country. They enter into full particulars in relation to all the principat trades, give the date of introduction and early history, describe the curiosities and oddities, the new varieties, the increase since 1819, the- effects of the spread of civilization on the supply of raw material, the new processes, the effect of improvements on cost, the home and foreign, trade, the consequences of the French treaty and the American war, and, lastly, the numbers employed, average earnings, and general con- dition of the work-people. As the hardware wants of nearly the whole of the world are supplied from this district, which, extending over a radius of thirty miles from Birmingham, comprehends the various metal works of that town and the numerous manufactures of South Staffordshire, it will be readily understood what an immense mese of industrial facts awaited the indefatigable compilers, and how even, the 700 pages of the volume before us scarcely sufficed for the due chronicling of them all. It is an amaying record of human energy, an& we can well understand the anxiety of the gentlemen who had under- taken the task of forming it that the story should not suffer through their telling. They have bestowed infinite pains upon the compilation, and their reward must be in the consciousness that they have deserved well of their neighbours, and contributed a most honourable Chapter the industrial history of England.