Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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James Anderson (1740-1809)

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Dr. James Anderson (1740-1809)

Born outside of Edinburgh in 1740 and died in Essex in 1809.

In 1801 the ideas of Mr. Thomas were followed by a recommendation from a Dr. James Anderson, of Edinburgh, a friend and co-laborer with James Watt in his experiments upon the improvements in steam-engines.

The doctor dilated upon the subject with great warmth and enthusiasm. So apparently extravagant were his views upon this his favorite topic considered, that many of his friends thought his mind had become affected.

If we can diminish only one single farthing in the cost of transportation and personal intercommunication, and you at once widen the circle of intercourse, you form, as it were, a new creation not only of stone and earth, of trees and plants, but of men also; and, what is of far greater consequence, you promote industry, happiness, and joy. The cost of all human consumption would be reduced, the facilities of agriculture promoted, time and distance would be almost annihilated; the country would be brought nearer to the town; the number of horses to carry on traffic would be diminished; mines and manufactories would appear in neighborhoods hitherto considered almost isolated by distance; villages, towns, and even cities, would spring up all through the country; and spots now as the grave would be enlivened with the busy hum of human voices, the sound of the hammer, and the clatter of machinery; the whole country would be, as it were, revolutionized with life and activity, and a general prosperity would be the result of this mighty auxiliary to trade and commerce throughout the land

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