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Elizabeth Bennett and the Industrial Revolution pages 45-65

November 10, 2017 12:41AM
New owner of Netherfield
Aaron arrived at Longbourne very tired from the long ride and the hard week in London but was quickly energized by the state of excitement at Longbourne. Elizabeth, Mary, Kitty met him as he rode up. Kitty spoke first!
“This is so exciting, Jane and Mr Bingley have purchased Netherfield! They’re leaving London for Meryton! Mr Bingley heard about t Jack’s progress in increasing revenue for Longbourne, and decided that Netherfield would be a good investment! Jane and Mr Bingly have invited us all for Dinner tonight. We’ve sent a Carp and a Goose so it’ll be a sumptuous dinner Mr. Darcy is here too!”
Aaron took a quick look at Elizabeth and saw she was smiling as broadly as everyone else. Aaron went inside with everyone, had some refreshments and caught up with the latest gossip.
“Mr Reston has acted on four of our petitions, the dispensations are to end starting next year, but Mr. Reston asks that we not tell everyone yet.” Neither Aaron or Elizabeth reacted positively. They both knew the dispensations should have ceased years ago. Elizabeth spoke “We’ll have to continue pressing this case. Reston is trying to get away on the cheap”. This is still good, the revenue will certainly be welcome. We’re going to hire a new laborer. Jack will be too busy helping Bingley at Netherfield to continue the labor he was doing at Longbourne, but of course he’ll still be managing the estate. The foundry here at Longbourne is working, and Jack taught the Smithy from Longbourne to use it to repair a few tools and carriages. He’s delighted to have the extra work. Jack has done a little carpentry work on the room above the foundry, and has started using that as his room. Jack spoke up “Actually considering the privacy, it’s a big improvement over where I stayed at Dalrimples Aaron was pleased at what Jack had accomplished, Aaron cleaned up, put on the nicest clothes he could find to wear at Netherfield for Dinner. The carriage was full with the three sisters and Mrs Bennett, so Aaron rode his horse and Jack drove the Carriage. Aaron dismounted and helped the sisters off of the carriage while Jane, Mr Bingley, Mr Darcy, and two young women greeted the sisters. Aaron was more than a little intimidated as he was not used to socializing, but then an absolutely beautiful young woman took his hand. “Oh--you must be the inventor Aaron Collins! Fritz told me about you! I’m Gretchen Stone, Fitzwilliam Darcy’s fiancee. I call him Fritz because that’s what they’d call him in Liege, where I went to school. My father will be envious that I met you, but I promise I won’t pester you endlessly about things you’re working on.”
The other woman smiled, took his hand, did a curtsy---”I’m delighted to meet you Mr. Collins! I’m Darcy’s sister. They call me Georgiana, though I wish I had a pretty name, like Gretchen, or Elizabeth, or Jane.”
Aaron usually couldn’t think of anything witty to say, so he surprised himself… “Looking at you the name I think of is .. Belle....” (Hopeing they’d think of the character from Beauty and the Beast).
“Mr Collins!!! You talk more like a courtier than man who deals with machines! I’m going to have to protect my future sister-in -law from being swept off her feet!” They laughed and went inside.
Over dinner Jack talked of his plan to build a coke oven, then using the gas for lighting, and a plan for piping water from the spring into the kitchen as soon as he could get rent collections up to the level you’d expect from a well run estate. Aaron didn’t say much--he was seated between Georgiana and Gretchen and he wasn’t used to having two such lovely creatures to talk to, but they were used to being with Darcy, who didn’t talk much, so everything was ok.
The next morning Aaron walked over the farm with Jack and they discussed what Jack was doing. After that Jack introduced Aaron to a young man named Jason who wanted to learn to be a machinist, so Aaron set about on one of the fowling pieces. He first explained to the young man exactly what they were trying to do to make the fowling piece work with an explosive cap rather than a spark from a piece of flint hitting metal. He drew a sketch of how he would remove the flash pan, then drill a hole in the receiver where the flash pan used to be, then mold a piece that would fit into that hole partially recessed. To be the percussion cap mount. After that they’d create a mold for the mount, and pour liquid steel into the mold. Once the part cooled they’d grind it down to the very precise dimensions that would fit into the hole they’d drilled. Aaron decided to have the new man create ten molds, then heat steel and pour into the molds By then it was time to meet Darcy and Mr Bingley at one of Mr. Bingley’s newly acquired properties so he sent the apprentice to Meryton to so the smithy could supervise the apprentice while he poured the molds and used the hammer, drill, and grinder to make ten pieces that when finished hold the percussion cap and direct fire to the gunpowder chamber. the The property was nearby, so he walked and let the apprentice take his horse. When he arrived Darcy and Mr Bingley were looking over the Property.
“So Mr Bingley acquired this old mill with Netherton?”
“ Yes but right now he gets less rent than he would from a normal farm, not many acres for crops.”
“The stream carries a lot of water, and it can have a big pond once the dam is repaired, but the race and the waterwheel would have to be totally new.”
“Yes, and the main building is a ruin, a large part of the stone has been carried off for use elsewhere”.
“It’ll be a long time before I can accrue enough profits to do all this building. As much as I’d like to have a large scale machine shop that could work here, borrowing enough money to construct a shop would be far too risky. These “gluts” that seem to occur when you least expect, would leave me a poor man if I had to make payment on a new machine shop that isn’t busy.”
Darcy spoke” ….You, Mr. Collins have a reputation for having a mida’s touch with machinery, and many people have heard about your ability to convert old flintlock guns and fowling pieces to this new percussion cap invention. My future father in law and I have a reputation for putting together sound investment opportunities. I sure he will agree that this is the perfect application for an old but underused financial device. What I’m proposing is a joint stock corporation. I’ve already started working on a prospectus. We’ll start with this property from Mr. Bingley, he’d get a share of the corporation in exchange for the property, Mr Stone and I would get a share of the corporation for putting together the deal and finding investors who’d be willing to invest enough cash to build a machine shop, and pay machinists to start working their magic with tools to repair and build machinery. We’ll have you Aaron as the key. You’ve demonstrated you can direct this business and earn a substantial profit. You’ll get the largest share of the corporation, as well as a salary. Until the corporation is earning a substantial profit, your pay would be small, but as profits increase the shareholders reward the manager with larger pay……..”
Aaron was convinced, but he had to state his concern “It never occurred to me that try this. Often these public stock offerings have the reputation of being run by scoundrels trying to steal money from widows.”
Darcy answered “That’s where Mr Stone and I enter the picture. We have the reputation of being meticulously ethical in watching over investor’s interests. Your reputation is important too, and it’s spotless.”
“....OK, I like this! What do I need to do to go ahead?”
“If you want Mr. Stone and I will go ahead with the offering. Later we’ll need your formal approval when I arrive at the share of the corporation that would go to each party, that’s you, Bingley, my brokerage firm and the shareholders-as a group”
“OK, let’s do this, it seems unreal that we can do this, get everything’s going so fast.”
Darcy sighed “Many stock offerings are unreal, just a way to steal money from investors. That’s where Mr Stone and I come in. We have never been associated with a deal which wasn’t strictly legitimate. We’ve been involved in a few deals that lost money, but actually not many. Investors know they’re dealing with honest people when they deal with us.”
“I’ll go back to London right after lunch and get the prospectus ready. Gretchen and Georgina will bring us lunch soon. After lunch an architect will be out so he can cost out the construction. Can you meet with him?”
“Yes, of course. “ Aaron stood, started looking over the site, planning his new machine shop.
Aaron was lost in thought when he became aware that horses were galloping to meet them. He looked up and was delighted to see Georgiana and Gretchen were arriving on horseback, with a separate horse carrying everything they needed for lunch. He looked in admiration at what an excellent horseman Georgiana was and could see Georgiana was going to do what accomplished riders sometimes do. She had separated from the saddle and was preparing to jump to land immediately in front of her brother. She was light and lithe so he was sure it would be a treat to see her do this, but right before she jumped the pack horse bumped into her horse. Instead of a graceful jump she started to fall. Aaron jumped, wrapped both arms around her and caught her before she touched the ground. Their faces were inches apart. Georgiana looked at him, clearly surprised and exclaimed “Goodness Mr. Collins! You sure know how to make a girl feel welcome!”
Aaron was reluctant to lower Georgiana to the ground and Aaron noticed that she was in no hurry to be released. Every inch that pressed against her seemed to be tingling. Gretchen’s laugh broke the tension.
“In some societies marriage would be mandatory for couples who had held each other so close!”
Aaron’s wit didn’t betray him. “In Merryton that rule would apply! Please! will someone go get the priest.” Gretchen Laughed
Georgiana spoke “Actually I’ve had marriage proposals from many very elegant gentleman, but this is the most tempting yet, she adjusted her body, pressing even more against Aaron. “Brother what do you say? Can we persuade Lady Catherine this is an acceptable match”

Darcy answered, If this stock prospectus works as I expect, Lady Catherine will insist that M. Collins should marry her daughter. Georgiana thought a minute …. “I had no idea! Ok, we’ll wait to see how things develop...But thank you Mr. Collins--that is by far the best marriage offer I’ve had yet, and I’m not refusing.” Then she lifted her head, gave Aaron a light kiss on the cheek, wriggled so that Aaron lowered her to the ground, smiled at everyone else and started unpacking lunch. Aaron looked at Gretchen and saw that Gretchen was laughing quietly but uncontrollably.
After lunch Aaron stopped at the Smithy on the way home, and found that the Smithy had helped the apprentice finished grinding the mounting pieces and had drilled the pathway through each piece to conduct the explosion toward the chamber He looked over the pieces but didn’t use a caliper to check dimensions. He’d do that with the apprentice as a training exercise. He went back to Longbourne for a superb meal, then bathed and slept through the night, dreaming of Georgiana’s body pressed against his.
The next morning Aron worked with the apprentice and drilled a hole through each mount so that when the percussion cap exploded the fire would reach the chamber. Next they filed down dimensions to adjust so that each dimension was within the tolerances Aaron had specified. Aaron explained that he was trying to be sure that anything he produced would have “interchangeable parts.”
Finally they checked each mount to make sure each would fit into the receiver of the gun. The hammer was the hardest. They heated the old hammer to a near liquid state, then beat in more steel and carbon drilling the hole which was used to attach the hammer as well as act as the pivot. They attached the hammer to the receiver. tried a few practice rounds, then Aaron rode to Netherfield to meet Bingley. AAron showed up at Netherfield with the fowling piece across his saddle.
“Mr. Collins, so glad to see you, I’m guessing this is one of Mr Bennett’s fowling pieces, adapted for percussion caps! I’ve been wanting to see one of these.”
They took the piece into the woods, shot a few practise rounds.
“Now I know why everyone’s mad to get one of these I have two fowling pieces and one rifled musket--how about taking them and fixing them up for percussion. But you know who’d be mad to get one of these! My Brother in law! Hurst hunts at every opportunity, and knows every hunter within a day’s ride. If I take him this piece, he’d bring back so many orders you’d have to work night and day to fill them. You know he’s a war hero! He can get invited anywhere he wants. People are proud if they can call him friend”
Good plan! Will you take this piece to Mr. Hurst.
Tell him his commission will be £5 for each gun order he secures. I’ll take your guns back to London and get my shops there to update them ……. Very good Mr. Bingley .” After Aaron got back to Longbourne he and Jason drilled out the old flash pan and enlarged the hole so a percussion piece would fit. He welded in one of the pieces the apprentice had made yesterday. They removed the hammer , repeated the process of heating the old hammer to near liquid, worked in some steel and carbon so the hammer would be as sturdy as needed for standing up to the percussion cap explosion, reattached the hammer, then went outside and tested. After that Aaron had the apprentice take the piece back to Mr. Bingley. He attached a note, telling him that the adaption was free as Bingley was family, but to please get some of his neighbors to try the piece.. He was gratified that with the percussion piece made in advance, he could adapt a fowling piece in only three hours. He went inside, washed himself, changed into clothes suitable for dinner and joined the family for their normal excellent meal. They had baked sunfish, duck, fresh vegetables, fresh bread and newly churned butter, and for dessert they prepared his favorite, custard made with duck eggs honey and extra cream. Aaron wanted to see Georgiana one more time before he left for London, and was trying to come up with a reason when Elizabeth suggested “ There’s no doubt that Georgiana would love to see you, and I expect that Darcy would love to hear about your using interchangeable parts for your guns, and how you’ve cut the time down to three hours. Yes, do go to Netherfield because you can’t have Georgiana worrying that she needs to allow some of her other suitors an opportunity to win her heart.
Aaron walked quickly to get to Netherfield, knocked on the door, gave the servant his card, them saw Georgiana looking down the stairs. Their faces brightened up at the same time, and Georgiana spoke first. “You can’t believe how much I wanted to see you before I left for Pemberley. It could be weeks before I come back, though Jane and Mr. Bingley have made it clear there’s always room for me here.”
Darcy entered the hall, smiled, and said “I’m so glad you’re here I’ll show you the figures I’ve come up with on ownership of our new Corporation.” They went into the living room, sat down, Darcy pulled out some notes. Bingley’s share will be 10%. That’s because his mill, derelict though it may be, is valuable. Several buyers approached the previous owner about buying the mill and its acres, but he always refused. We’re lucky that Bingley bought the entire manor and will release title. The share to Mr Stone and myself will be 12%. We’re going to be out considerable expense and time for this and I assure you this is fair. “
“Shareholders will get 50%. It’s important that they have 50% as that assures they can take control if they conclude it’s necessary. That means you’ll have 28%. You’ll get a salary of 3,000 at first, after that finalize the prospectus on Monday, get it printed and released the same day. After investors and banks react to the prospectus, I can set up a line of credit, so we can start construction late next week…… Is that alright?...

“Yes, yes that’s wonderful, it’s amazing it’s happening so fast!”
“Industry is very competitive, you always need to act fast. How are sales going for the improved guns?”
“As fast as I can produce them, and it turns out that Bingley’s brother in law is a war hero, has lots of contacts, and apparently will be able to sell faster than I can produce.”

Darcy got up, called for Bingley. “Bingley, you scoundrel where are you?”

Bingley entered the room “Bingley, you’ve bested me again It never occurred to me to use Hurst to sell these guns, but clearly he’s the ideal choice.”’ Is there any more good news?”
Aaron spoke up. I tried building a key part of the new gun as an interchangeable part. The apprentice and I built ten parts to be identical in material and size, Then yesterday when Bingley gave me a gun to update, we used one of those parts. By using that part we were able to update a gun in only three hours, and get the gun back to Bingly the same day.”
Darcy laughed “I’ve heard about this, they call it precision engineering. I’m going to put this in the prospectus. A lot of skeptics claim it’ll never work, but you’ve already made it work. Aaron, newspapers will be contacting you to see this actually being done. Tell them it’s proprietary. A trade secret we’re not going to show our competitors. Investors are going to go crazy. Sometime when it’s convenient we’ll do a demonstration for our shareholders, but we’ll be the ones who say when and where.”
Darcy looked at Georgiana. “Georgiana, will you entertain Aaron for a few minutes while Bingley and I go over some Netherfield business. Actually Aaron and I are finished so take him for as long as you want Darcy hugged Georgiana, and Aaron and Georgiana went outside. They walked silently for a time, then Georgiana spoke. “My family have for a long time wanted me to marry someone from a very prominent family, but I’m sure they would be equally happy if I married someone rich. I like making my relative and friends happy, but I’m not going to marry to make them happy. I’m going to marry to make me happy.”
“I’m not very good with words, but I have to make it definite …. That time I made that witticism that marriage was now mandatory, and to get a priest, I meant it and I stll do. I loved it that you called it a proposal. “
“I loved that too! What a fun way to become betrothed. But we have to make it an agreement, we’re just as much engaged as if you’d got on your knees, and said all the formulaic words. She faced him, held out her hand, he took her hand and did the handshake , then he didn’t know what to do or say, and Georgiana said” the lips to lips thing would be good too.” After that they walked quietly until it was time for Aaron to go back to Longbourne and go to sleep.

Travel Time.
On the way back to London, Aaron decided he was spending far too much time riding back and forth . As soon as he got to London he stopped at Dalrimples. “Hello Mr. Dalrimple. Have you noticed that Rotor and Rollo are capable of handling whatever comes up?”
“Yes, but that scares me. I figure it’s just a matter of time before some problem crops up, shuts down my machines, and drives me to bankruptcy”.
Aaron answered “Anytime you want me., send a fast post. I’m only a day away. I’ll need to come back frequently to take care of my business with Sampson and with Mr Gibbons anyway. I promise you I’m not leaving you to fend by yourself.” Mr Dalrimple reached out, embraced Aaron.
“You’ve always been like a son to me----a very considerate and well behaved son. I’ll see less of you, but I’ll know I can count on you.” Next Aaron went to Sampson’s. He handed them Bingley’s fowling piece and pulled out a set of drawings.
“Make the mounts for the percussion cap in batches. I like to make ten at a time. Grind them to the dimensions shown in the drawings. You’ve gotta be within the tolerances shown. That way any mount will fit into the hole drilled into the receiver where the flash pan use to be. For hammers we have to accept that they fall into a range of sizes. Ive tallied up all the hammers I’ve seen. If you pull out the sheets that show the flintlock hammes, select the sheet that has dimensions closest to the hammer that’ on the gun you’re adapting. Make the new hammer to the dimensions shown on that sheet, using high tensile steel. I can upgrade a flintlock to a percussion cap in two hours if I stay within these tolerances. It’ll work if you assign the person best with calipers to finish all the percussion mounts. .”
Sampson put four machinists to work making percussion mounts. Under AAron’s supervision they made ten percussion mounts in less than three hours. Next they assigned these same four machinists to making hammers. In three hours they had ten very attractive but sturdy hammers., leaving the hole for the attachment to the receiver until they were doing the actual upgrade. Aaron selected the two less experienced machinists and they set to work on the rifled musket and the fowling piece Aaron had brought from Longbourne. Using the premade parts they were able to adapt each piece in less than an hour.. Sampson looked over what he’d done. “Very impressive Mr Collins. I’ll be able to reduce my cost to update a piece by three, maybe four £ . I’ll tally up how much I’ve saved and I’ll get with you on how much I’ll get per adaptation.” Aaron took the two guns they’d adapted and the share Sampson owed for the guns he’s adapted and collected payment. AAron left for Gibbons gunsmith shop. By the time he arrived the day was over. “Will you put these two pieces on display. We’ll use them to show customers what we can do.”

Mr. Gibbons answered “Yes sir, it’s good we’ll have these two. A man from the Arms ministry took the Sharpe Rifle we put on display. He wants you to call on him as soon as you get back.”
“ I was afraid of that. I won’t be able to sell to the Arms ministry for as much, but they’ll want all we can produce. Is that apprentice you hired working out?”
“Yessir, I’m good at recognizing who has the talent and attitude for this work. Can you afford for me to hire another apprentice? Jason is already to the point where he doesn’t need much supervision“
Aaron took out the £300 he’d got at Sampson’s. “Yes, here’s some cash to cover up front costs, and I want you to buy another of those Sharpe rifles if you can.”
“I’ve lined up a widow who’ll sell for £200. But Silas wants some rifled pistols. He’s left me with four unrifled pistols and I can put in some barrel inserts and rifling when I adapt them, but I’ll use most of the rest to buy some pistols I can adapt and rifle.
“Do you want me to arrange for one of Sampson’s machinists to temporarily work for you. I can arrange that if you’ll teach him how to do the rifling.”

“Yes, that would be be good, normally I’d pay half the usual rate and expect them to work for a month for the time to teach them.”
“The man from Sampras will be good. Let’s continue the current pay and I’ll have him teach you and your apprentice to make hammers and percussion mounts in batches.” I’ll need the machinery to handle rifling for Sampson once he knows how. Do you know where we can get one?”
“I have one I bought at such a low price I couldn’t pass it up, but we’ll have to figure how to make it work. Aaron wrote out a note to Sampson. “Get someone to deliver this to Sampson tomorrow morning. I’m asking for one of his best men to help you with you adaptions and to learn to do rifling and asking him if he can fit in a rifling machine in his shop.”
“It’s late, do you need a place for the night. I have lot’sa room at my home. My wife died many years ago, and my kids have families of their own. My one servant doesn’t have much to do with me as I’m always at the shop, so if you want to join Jason and myself for dinner you’re welcome and you can spend the night in one of my extra bedrooms. “
Aaron started off the next morning by calling on the person from the ARMS ministry.
“Welcome Mr. Collins! Thanks for responding promptly I’m contacting you because we’re using those Sharpe Rifles for sniper rifles in India, but they’re not totally satisfactory. We’ve did some test firings of the one you had displayed, and it seems adapting to percussion caps will help. I was wanting to buy a few, maybe a hundred, to try in the field. The price you had posted is a little high though.”
“Thank you Mr. Jackson, but I have to admit I see no way we could supply one hundred. What we’re doing is contacting widows who received Sharpe rifles when their husbands died, and we expect we’ll have to pay £200 for each rifle, then we have to adapt it.”
“If I could come up with say 200 sharpe rifles in our different armories, could you adapt them?”
“Oh yes, we could do this, we have three machine shops doing adaptions now. And we could expand production in all three.”
“Can you prepare a bid, assuming we could start providing you 30-50 rifles per week as we find and ship the rifles we have stored in different armories over the kingdom. “
“OK, I’ll do that. I heard that Garrett is in bankruptcy, didn’t they make these Sharpe rifles.?”
“Yeah, they were the only ones. They did a good job, just couldn’t sell all they produced.”
“I’ll talk to someone who’ll know how to submit a bid, see if I can pick up some half finished rifles on the cheap.”
“Yeah, good Idea, let’s hope you can. That’d make it easier for both of us. In the meantime, I’ll arrange for a voucher to pay £250 for the Sharpe I have. Since it’s the only adapted Sharp that exists, I’m sure that’s a fair price.”

Thank you Mr. Jackson, Good day to you!”
Aaron wasn’t far from the offices of Stone and Darcy, so he walked there, and left a message asking to see if he could see Mr. Darcy. He sat down to wait, and almost immediately a person he had not met entered the room, saw Aaron and walked over.
“Mr Collins! I’m so glad to meet you. I’m Isaac Stone, one of your new partners. My daughter Gretchen told me I should meet you as soon as possible, so I’m glad you came by. I’m glad that our corporation exists, It’s name is Collin’s Technologies, we have established credit at several banks, so there’ll be no delay in getting started.”
“Thank you sir, that’s wonderful news. I came to inquire on a related matter. There was a company named Garret and Bros, that produced a very good rifle. I understand it’s in bankruptcy. I was wondering about buying some of its machinery and inventory. It might be a fast way to get a lot of the machinery we need, and probably at a good price.”
Yes, good thinking Mr Collins. I’ll have one of my associates find out what he can so we can consider that. Our line of credit is more than sufficient to proceed with the factory at Meryton so we can also consider this. As soon as I learn something I’ll send a message. Once again, I must say I’m proud to be partners with you, and Good day”.”
Next Aaron called on Mr. Dalrimple. “Aaron, so nice to see you. You’ll be glad to hear Rollo and Rotor are doing fine with the machines, but I have a question. One of my competitors has a health problem and he’s shutting down his business. He’s liquidating his machinery but he has seven that are currently not working. I can buy them for next to nothing, and back when you were here I’d just buy them knowing you’d be able to fix them and I could sale them at a handsome profit. I don’t want to overload Rollo and Rotor, so I was thinking of buying them, shipping them directly to you, have you repair them, then have you ship them directly to a buyer either you or I find. I figure we both can turn a decent profit doing this, if you’re able to take this on.”
“You know, I’ve been surprised at how many talented young men we have in Meryton and the nearby villages, and pretty much all of them will jump at the chance to learn this trade. So the answer has to be yes. I owe the good people of Meryton a chance to do what I’ve been able to do. Aaron took a sheet of paper, wrote the address of the new factory. Wrap the machines securely with tarps, and send the machines to this address I’ll arrange a place to protect them until I can get them repaired.”
Dalrimple continued. “One final thing, Aaron. I offered a permanent position to Randall Long, but he refused me, because his father is in poor health. His parents live in Redbourme, no far from where you’re building your factory. You know Randall better than anyone. I think you’ll agree he’s a diligent and perceptive young man. I’m asking you to consider him for one of the jobs at your new factory.”
“Thank you for telling me sir. Yes, I think he’d be a good choice for my factory. He knows how thing work in industry and he’d learn the techniques of large scale machining just like he learned the technique of textiles. I’ll talk to him today.”
AAron stopped to say hello to Rotor and Rollo, reminded him that he could be back in London in a day if needed. He mentioned the plans to send machines back to Meryton when Dalrimple found bargains that needed work and suggested they help Mr Dalrimple eliminate any machines that were obsolete or so flawed they had little chance of being saved.. Next he went to Sampson’s.
Sampson was glad to see him. “ I’m so proud that the young man I met six years ago is building his own machine shop. I’m even gladder that the shop will be so far from london I won’t have to compete with you! Sampson laughed. I hope you’ll still send the percussion cap upgrades to me.”
Oh Yeah, when I brought the the first adaptions to you, I told you I needed someone to take the work I found in London. Gibbons on Baker street is doing some upgrades on hunting rifles for me and a little work on fowling pieces from Merryton but he doesn’t have the space or the people to compete with you. As a matter of fact the plan is he’ll take care of the retail aspects, and you’ll do the adaptations. I didn’t want you to have to deal with customers”
“Good, that sounds fair. I sent Thomas to help teach the two apprentices and that has been good. Gibbons taught Thomas how to add rifling to musket, and I see a lot of potential there. I’m looking to buy some rifling machinery when I find some at the right price.”
I’m planning to bid on some equipment from the Garret and Bros bankruptcy. I’ll use much of what I buy in my Meryton shop, but I’’ll make a point to set aside a rifling set-up They probably had more rifling set-ups than I’ll want.” “Garret was in Birmingham, right. If you get the bid I’ll go to Biringham to see what they have that would be useful to me., but I’ve heard those bankruptcy bids are “wired”. They set up the bid lots so they favor companies who have some connection.”
“I’m going to count on my lawyers to get me a fair bid, but if I don’t get the bid, I’ll adapt. Keep me informed of how busy you are. If business starts to slow I’ll arrange some demonstrations. I expect it’ll be easy to get more customer when we want them. If you hear of any competitors let me know.
AAron left Sampson’s, and started towards Gibbons when a runner caudght up to him. “Sir, Mr Stone asks that you accompany me to the opening of bids on the Garret Bankruptcy Hearing.” “They hurried to the courtroom, to see a group of people having an intense conversation. Finally the judge called the court to order. Gentlemen. The judge who has been handling this case has testified the he colluded with some of the bidders, These bidders have been disqualified for unethical behavior, and I’m taking over this case In order to resolve these issues which has tied up this case for so long, the court awards assets to the remaining high bidders, and read off a list of names. After a wait, Aaron went forward, Darcy testified to his identity, AAron signed some documents, then Aaron was able to leave. He had no idea what had happened, but he was amazed it was over so fast. He’d only agreed to bid on some of the assets last week, and it was already over. From the conversations, he guessed he had managed to buy some of the assets he wanted, so it appeared good. He wa getting ready to leave, but Darcy stopped him. “We need to put you on an overnight coach to Birmingham. We won the bid on the manufacturing equipment, but we agreed with the owner of the real estate that any equipment that was worth less than the cost to move would stay with the property. A freight company will be there tomorrow, and we need you there to sort through the , label it, and ship it to Meryton equipment. The rest the freight company will disassemble and move to Meryton. One of the staffers at Stone’s firm accompanied AAron to pick up his luggage at Gibbon’s place, then they went to the Coach station. AAron took the time to write a note to Silas that he had bought some equpment from a bankruptcy settlement in Birmingham and he’d like Silas to handle the freight if possible. Some of the equipment would be very valuable and he didn’t want opportunistic handlers stealing things that were hard to find. He explained that the shipment didn’t have to be fast, as his factory in Meryton was incomplete and saving freight costs was far more important than speedy delivery. He spotted one of Silas’ waifs, gave her the message and told her to get it to Silas quickly, then prepared for the arduous trip to birmingham. The coach was very fast, with frequent stops to change horses, so they made the trip in twelve hours, with some sleep despite the bouncing and discomfort. They caught a cab directly to the foreclosed property. They had won the bid on the machinery and spare parts. Silas explored the building, noting where everthing was. He hired a scribe to accompany him and set about labeling everthing. The machinery was in satisfactory condition, so he decided to save all except for the leather pulleys. They were far too stiff and worn to reuse so he labeled them as scrap. He labeled each hammer, forge,bellows, and grinder to go to Merryton. Three of the rifling sets were labeled for Meryton, one he sent one to Sampson. As he was doin this a well spoken young man introduced himself.
“Hello Mr. Collins. I’m in charge of operations for the “Silas and Assosciate” organization in Birmingham. He showed Aaron a copy of the letter Aaron had sent to Silas. I’ve arranged for some freight wagons to arrive soon. If I can walk with you I’ll label what we need to load and it’s destination and as soon as my teamsters get here they’ll start loading The number of unassembled and partially assembled weapons was larger than Aaron had expected. The parts for Sharps rifles were labeled to go to Gibbons. The pistol parts, the parts for fowling pieces, and the parts for other guns were sent to the factory at Rosings, because he anticipated getting the factory at Meryton operational would take more time than gearing up Rosings for a weapons operation. He had finished by late afternoon and he had concluded that Silas’ man in Birmingham was competent and trustworthy to handle loading and getting the freight underway. He went to a nearby pub for dinner, went to an inn near the coach line for an eveings sleep. And caught a coach back to London the next day.
Back in London he checked in a Dalrimples, stopped at Sampsons to tell him the rifling machinery would be on the way from Birmingham. He stopped at Gibbons, and Gibbons was delighted that the Sharps rifle parts would come to Gibbon’s gunsmith. Aaron picked up the four pistols Silas had provided as well as two Gibbons had bought, now adapted for percussion caps and rifled for accuracy. He went looking for Silas and found him at the shop Silas had started using for his headquarters. Sampras was delighted to see him walk in with the large package. They went to the back and unwrapped the package and Sampras exclaimed “Man, I was sure lucky when I decided you might be a good friend. Gras, we gotta get everyone trained and practiced in using these. Aar, how many more of these can you get me.? AAron answered “Gibbons has four more he’s working on, they should be ready in a coupla’ days. I told him you’d be by to pick them up.”
“Great! How am I gonna repay you?”
I was thinkin’ I’d get you set up security at my machine shop in Meryton, and to handling the freight. You did a great job of that in Birmingham. Everyone you send will have to a records clean as a new born, and while they’re working for my shop they’re gonna have to act like they’re preacher’s kids.”
“Ya know, that won’t be too hard, I have a few good soldiers who want to go legit so they can raise their kids in peace. Ya know, I might buy me a pub so I can get away from London when I want, an’ my girl is one of those who want’s to go legit. I’d get her to operate it. It’d probably be the best pub in the town. You’re right, I should operate operate the freight part of the business. I’m used to shipping things all over England, and I have the bully boys to haul and lift things off and on wagons. I’d use the pub to house the freight hands and secure freight wagons over night. I have lot’sa contacts so the freight wagons could arrange secure place to stay pretty much anywhere. The reason I’m buyin’ pistols is so I can convince the toughs in places like Birmingham, and Liverpool, and York that they don’t want trouble with me.”
“I gotta discuss this with my partners, but I’m convinced. I’ll tell Gibbons to offer a higher price for pistols so we can get more for your men. I want the people who handle my freight to be well armed.”
“Ya know, I never thought I’d be rich, but I think that’s definitely possible now” They had a pasty and a beer to celebrate, and Aaron left for Gibbons to pick up his horse for the long ride to Longbourne.

Elizabeth Bennett and the Industrial Revolution pages 45-65

Joe78751November 10, 2017 12:41AM

Re: Elizabeth Bennett and the Industrial Revolution pages 45-65

MRGNovember 29, 2017 04:18PM

Re: Elizabeth Bennett and the Industrial Revolution pages 45-65

Joe78751December 02, 2017 04:42PM

Re: Elizabeth Bennett and the Industrial Revolution pages 45-65

MaryNovember 10, 2017 07:15PM

Re: Elizabeth Bennett and the Industrial Revolution pages 45-65

Joe78751November 11, 2017 07:52AM

Re: Elizabeth Bennett and the Industrial Revolution pages 45-65

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