7 JANUARY 1843, Page 16


THERE is art even in scavenging ; as the critical scavenger felt, when he said that though an artist who had been praised might do straightforward work well, perhaps he could not sweep round a post. Since that man's time, the art has made progress : some BONAPARTE ofthe craft has concentrated an army of paupers on Piccadilly, who produce a temporary rout of the mud each morn- ing. While London, however, has produced many examples of individual greatness in scavenging, it was reserved for Manchester to produde the ASHY/RIGHT of the science—the man who has brought to bear upon it the giant resources of machinery ; for while London is deploring its total subjection to mud, Manchester has set to.work in the noble task of cleaning its ways. And there is really, as in all things, much economy to be used in the applica- tion of the means ; as we learn from some statistics in the current number of the North of England Magazine, introducing an ac- count of the new cleaning-apparatus. The very fact of allowing the mud to lie upon the roads increases the mud, by softening the subsoil- " In 1838, 14 millions of square yards of streets in Manchester were swept, and 39,409 loads of sweepings carted sway. In 1841, the same streets were swept so often as to amount to a total of 211 millions of square yards, but only 25,029 loads were removed. A large portion of the sweepings always consist of soil forced up between the stones : it is evident that this difference of 14,380 loads must have been exclusively from that source."

The Magazine, partly in the words of a local pamphlet, describes the new cleaning-apparatus-

" Yet the remedy for all these evils, though evident enough—the employ- ment of a sufficient number of scavengers—was not easy of application, be- cause of the enormous expense. We believe it would have been good policy, real economy, to have incurred this expense, great as it would have been ; that the total amount of individual savings would have exceeded the general expen- diture, while the comfort and healthfulness of all would have been promoted : but it is very comfortable to find that an ingenious mechanist, (Mr. While. worth, of Manchester,) offers us all the advantages without the additional ex- pense. Many of our Atanchester readers must have noticed a very ingenious machine—an automaton scavenger—engaged in its useful labours, drawn quietly through the streets at the same rate as other carts, and making no more disturbance, while its revolving brooms sweep up the dirt like a gigantic cat licking up cream.

"' The apparatus consists of a series of brooms suspended from a light frame of wrought iron, hung behind a common cart, the body of which is placed as near the ground as possible for the greater facility of loading. As the cart-wheels re- volve, the brooms successively sweep the surface of the ground, and carry the soil up an inclined plane, at the top of which it falls into the body of the cart.

" The apparatus is extremely simple in construction, and will have little tendency to get out of order, nor will it be liable to material injury from ac- cident. The draught is not severe on the horse. Throughout the process of filling, a larger amount of force is not required than would be necessary to draw the full cart an equal distance. "' The success of the operation is no less remarkable than its novelty. Pro- ceeding at a moderate speed through the public streets, the cart leaves behind it a well-swept track, which forms a striking contrast with the adjacent ground. Though of the full size of a common cart, it has repeatedly filled, itself in the space of six minutes, from the principal thoroughfares of the town. This fact, while it proves the efficiency of the new apparatus, proves also the necessity for a change in the present system of street 'cleaning.' " That there must necessarily be great economy in the improved process, is evident from the following statements. 'The process of street-cleaning con- sists of three parts—viz. sweeping, loading, and. carrying. Under the present system, these are entirely distinct operations. Each of them constitutes a protracted and expensive process; and the two former absorb a large amount of human labour. By the aid of the self-loading cart, one horse is enabled to perform all the three processes; which are not only carried on simultaneously, but, as it were, blended in one operation, whilst each is so far simplified as to render the combination less complex and protracted than the single process of either sweeping or loading by the present mode. By the present mode of sweeping, the dirt is first moved from the centre to the sides of the street, and there collected into heaps for convenience in loading. An immense amount of time and labour is thus consumed : the mass of dirt being moved, over a wide extent of surface, and the operation of cleaning continually retarded by the accumulation. It is calculated that each particle, on the average, moves through twenty feet of space before the operation of loading commences, and that the preparatory sweeping for each load consumes the greater part of a day's labour. Here the advantage of the patent apparatus is self-evident : it entirely supersedes the whole process just referred to. The dirt, instead of being swept from one part of the street to another, is swept at once into the cart, and the street is cleared effectually. The operation of sweeping, in fact, merges in that of loading; and both are performed without the intervention of human labour. When going at the rate of only two miles per hour, with brooms three feet wide, the patent apparatus will clean nearly sixty superficial square yards per minute. This is about the average rate of work done by thirty-six men. Supposing the apparatus to work five hours per day, it would clean 18,000 yards, equal to the performance of eighteen men.'

But will not the crossing-sweepers petition Parliament against such an obvious invasiou of their vested rights ?. We may expect cart-loads of petitions, processions with stumpy brooms for banners, long speeches in the House, a Parliamentary Committee, and in- teresting disclosures of the value of crossings as tenements, and of the crossing-sweepers who retreat after business-hours to suburban villas, doff the professional rags, like witches, and appear as ele- gant gentlemen at the genial domestic board ! Be this as it may, unless some "back-stairs influence "—some sweeper of a loog crossing about Palace Yard prevail, we may hope for clean streets: