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Elizabeth Bennett and the Industrial Revolution pages 66-93

November 11, 2017 07:44AM
Seeing Lady Catherine
AAron got to Longbourne late, so the cook prepared him a meal from the leftovers from dinner, and AAron talked to Elizabeth and her sisters.
“Longbourne is unbearably busy. Carpenters, stone workers and all laborers who live close to Meryton are working long hours to get the new shop ready. The machines for the shop are on the way from Birmingham. Mr Reston has a better attitude, now he’s agreed that all dispensation are being cancelled effective this year both for Longbourne and Netherfield and he’s asked for an agreement that everything’s settled , but Jack insisted he’d have to talk to our attorney from Meryton and to Mr Darcy before he could agree to that. That put Mr Reston into a panic, and he’s negotiating the sale of some of the property he acquired in the last few year. I’ve heard he cancelled dispensations for other landlords and now Mrs Reston is angry with her husband because she’s having to economize some for her household.. Right now all the tenant farmers are prosperous from selling small livestock to feed the people working on the factory, and some of the women are preparing meals for the laborers.” They all laughed at that news.
“Now for the exciting news. Georgiana went to visit Lady Catherine, and she had heard from some of her other friends that very same Aaron Collins who is brother to her Minister is building a factory in Meryton. She decided she had to visit Netherfield. We expect she will arrive tomorrow or the next day. Of course Georgiana is delighted because she’ll come too and she expects you’ll be here.”
“That’s wonderful! I didn’t expect she’d be here this week.”
All three sisters laughed. “When she comes in, we’ll be sure to let you know!”
Aaron took water and some towels into the building that used to be the stables and noticed that the water was warm from the hearth and that some people from the house was using that warmed water for bathing. He decided that in the mornings and evening when the foundry was not being used, the foundry room should be the washroom. Also, there were seven fowling pieces, each labeled with the owner's name, with percussion mounts installed, ready to have their hammers modified. He made drawings showing dimensions for the new hammers and left the drawings with the guns. He went back into the house and found he was very tired, and went to sleep.

The next morning he went down early for breakfast, had his usual barley mush with milk and a muffin, then went into the foundry and saw that the mule was hitched to drive the bellows. They had hired a boy to keep the mule moving, had moved the mule to a shelter where no smoke could enter to frighten the mule, with a long tube going from the bellows to the hearth. He asked the apprentice who had took the initiative to do this and he answered that he, the smithy, and Kitty had worked this out. Aaron helped the boy make the first hammer., showed him how to use the calipers to check dimensions, then file until he got the dimensions right. Then the apprentice started the next hammer, with Aaron giving help when needed. AAron decided to let the apprentice work on his own after that so he could ride to the factory and see how it was progressing.
The architect was there, fully in command making sure that everything was going as expected, making changes to the drawings when needed. H looked over everything and saw there was a loading dock, but temporary spaces for machines once unloaded was small and some machinery would have to stay on the wagons while the machines were moved from the docks to the installation.. He decided he’s wait until later when the architect was less busy to talk to him about this. H decided that the first step should be a freight yard so wagons would have a space to park while they waited to be unloaded. He looked around and saw there was a place for an Inn and stables where teamsters could stay while wagons were loaded or unloaded. It was on the pond so there would be water for the teamsters to bathe and for the horses. He knew there were a few pubs not to far away, so he didn’t worry about that. He rode to find Mr Hurst, “Thank you for the orders you left at the foundry. Hopefully I’ll have them ready today. Since this your first commission, I’m paying you early.” “Thank you sir for the job. My retirement and my wife’s income isn’t much and these commissions will make her very happy, and of course I’m always happy when I’m outside shooting or riding or chasing hounds and now I’ll get to do that all the time. “ They shook hands. Anytime I’m not here to pay your commissions promptly, prepare a statement showing the buyer's name and date of delivery, and present it to Jack. If a buyer isn’t able to pay when you deliver the firearm, keep the firearm until he does pay. You know how a lot of rich landowners think a promise to pay is the same as paying, but we both know that some landowners are much better at making promises than they are at paying.
When you collect the cash or bank draft from the buyer give it to Miss Elizabeth and she’ll give you a receipt. If you have any expenses that need to be reimbursed, leave a statement with Jack. Thank you sir, and Good day.”
Aaron stopped briefly at Netherfield but Bingley was out riding so he had a brief conversations about Georgiana and Lady Catherine’s visit and rode back to Longbourne. He helped the apprentice finish the fowling pieces, tested them with a few rounds, and loaded them onto a cart had them delivered to Mr. Hurst. It was Getting to be dinnertime. So he rode to the factory so he could talk to the architect. He dismounted, found the architect.
Hello Mr Jameson. I’m back from Birmingham, and I think you need to know that starting in 3 or four days around 45 freight wages will start showing up, needing to be unloaded. James got an alarmed look on his face. We can fit twelve wagons to the dock if we keep the spacing to a few inches., but the docks will hold at most freight from twenty wagons. They walked to the area inside the building next to the docks. We can make this area wider… and eliminate the hall , yes we can crowd all the freight, inside or on the docks, but I’ll have to start the carpenters right away, It’s good I ordered extra wood for unexpected things, but I’ll order more right away. I’ll need you here when the freight starts arriving so you can tell me what each wagon contains and I can direct it to the correct installation area. “ Aaron replied I’ll leave a horse and rider on the road on the day we expect them so when he sees them he can ride ahead and tell us. Aaron was wishing he’d brought some of Sampson’s men, and maybe old Gibbons.The only experienced mechanics will be AAron and the blacksmith. On the other hand ,AAron frequently found that unskilled workers could accomplish a lot if you gave them a free rein but watched them carefully and redirecting them when necessary. AAron went back to Longbourn,told Jason he needed to take some blankets and some fruit and wait near the highway where it turned toward the factory. When Jason saw the freight wagons, he rode back to Longbourne. Word went out to all the laborers in Meryton, so they could unload and install the machinery.
The first wagon was almost unloaded. Aaron looked over the cargo saw it was miscellaneous spare parts, He walked to the warehouse storage up showed them where to put the load, spotted the youngest laborer around, and told him to watch this parts area and warn anyone that no parts were to leave this area. These were the type of freight which would be most tempting for theft. “If someone ignores you and takes something, don’t try to stop him yourself, just find me, the constable, or the architect, and give us a description of who took the parts and what the parts were. He saw someone putting some parts in a wagon. He rode over and there was a boy looking after a small pile of rifle parts.
“Who told you to put theses parts here?” The boy didn’t answer, looked very afraid, and ran. Aaron let him go, signaled to the constable. People are already blatantly trying to steal cargo send a message to get all the constables here. Put this man in cuffs in full view so everyone will know that theft will not be tolerated. Three more wagons had been unloaded., but the architect had identified what the loads were and and laborers were carrying the parts to the correct areas. Aaron found the wagon master.
“I’ve already arrest one man, he was loading part into that wagon rather than to the warehouse. I need you to talk to the wagon drivers, tell them they are not to take anything away from the rail yard., no matter what someone else tells them. People who steal any of this freight will be prosecuted.”
“Aye sir, I’ll do that.”
Equipment for a hearth was being unloaded, so saw that the parts were taken to a hearth area. Stone workers showed up and started building the hearth. And carpenters showed up and started to start the structure for the bellows and the driving mechanism from the water powered drive beam overhead he walked back, the laborers were carrying parts for another hearth. They seemed to know what they were doing so he left them. He went to the loading area, made sure the constable knew to check all wagons before they left to be sure they weren’t taking anything with them He saw they’d arrested another man who thought he could bluff them into thinking he was supposed to take some tool Women from the town had brought bread and stew, so he had lunch with the workmen and enjoyed their company. The day’s work had a welcome interruption when he saw an expensive carriage pull into the freight yard and he saw immediately it was Georgiana. He rushed out to greet them Her saw she was with a well dressed older aristocrat, so he guessed that this was Lady Catherine. When Georgiana climbed out of the carriage they couldn’t resist the opportunity for a quick embrace . Lady Catherine was looking him over. “So I see what the new generation of industrialists are to be. I shouldn’t be surprised, I’ve read that now an industrialist has to be an activist, ready to roll up his sleeves and do whatever is needed, but until now I didn’t see what that meant Now I see why that combine factory that started in Rosings failed. Mr Lewis always dressed and acted like a gentleman, but he failed to do what was necessary.” She sighed. Georgiana and I were hoping you’d join us for dinner tonight. Is that possible for a fast paced man of action like you”?
“ I’d love that! , though I have to admit I’ll have to dress a little less formal than you, but I promise that tomorrow I’ll go into town and order more clothes.”
Lady Catherine gave a smile so genuine Georgiana was impressed. “ Thank you so much sir. I so appreciate your efforts on my behalf.”
AAron and Georgiana gave each other puzzled looks, and the carriage pulled away.
A wagon was unloaded that contained the pieces for rifling gun barrel. He was puzzling over how the pieces would fit together, when he was interrupted by Darcy and a Gentleman he had not met. Darcy walked up, did his customary bow, “Mr. Collins, So good to see you. I’d like to introduce you to Sir Ethan Graves, he’s an industrial engineer who has a vast experience in structuring operating facilities. I was planning on having him be the design engineer who’d arrange for installation of the machinery, but because the schedule go set forward when we bought all this equipment, it’s clear he should start now. There’s something else I need to have you do, and I’m sure your time will be spent much profitably now that Sir Graves is available. Mr Graves can you take over direction for installing this rifling equipment.”
They started walking. “Four years ago I and some other investors built a plant to manufacture harvesting combines. The combines were a great success at first, but they were not durable and after two, maybe three years, the farmers would have to remove them from harvest activities. Based on your experience with making looms durable, I was thinking you might do the same for harvest combines. If you can do this you’d be doing me and my family a great service.”
“If I can do something that benefits Georgiana---and you too of course--I’d be grateful!
“Good, I’ll have some men pick up three combines not far from here, and deliver them to Longbourne either this evening or tomorrow morning.” Darcy smile, said “We should be off, get ready for dinner.” Darcy left for Netherfield, and AAron left fo Longbourne
They gathered for dinner before seven. Arron looked quite presentable because the sisters had spent quite a bit of time making one of Mr Bennett's suits fit perfectly. Bingley had dictated an excellent meal, with steelhead trout, roast beef, particularly excellent wine, the usually excellent green bean, roasted beets, fresh bread, and a chocolate cake with whipped cream for dessert. After they finished someone suggest a stroll through the Garden. Lady Catherine asked Darcy about the harvest combine factory in Rosings. Mr Gunther decided to give up on the business, so I bought his shares, for next to nothing I might add, and I’m going to take the business in a different direction. I’ve been wanting to do this for some time, but so long as Gunther had that huge block of shares he was going to make it impossible to do what was needed. My plan is to make the company’s product much more reliable, which should cause sales to rebound to what they were at first.”
“So that’s why you blocked his plan to liquidate.”
“Mr Gunther would have made more in liquidation, but the rest of us would have lost, and the farmers who trusted us would have been callously betrayed. I’ve just been waiting for Mr Gunther to leave and sell his shares so now I can do this reliability effort.” After walking farther Lady Catherine turned to Aaron. “ Your brother used to talk to me about how smart his brother was, how he was to make us all so proud. I just thought he was the typical older brother, exaggerating his brothers talent, forgetting his deficiencies. I’m so glad I was wrong. I hope you’ll let him stay at Rosing, he brings me some comfort.”
Aaron answered“There’s nothing I could do to make him leave. His visits to Rosings is important to him.”
Lady Catherine smiled “I would love to have you visit me at Rosing, Georgiana and I are leaving tomorrow morning and you could ride with us in my carriage.”
AAron really wanted to accept the invitation, but he thought he needed to start working on the harvester right away. “I’m committed to something for the next two days, but I could come after that.”
“Excellent, I’ll send my fastest carriage and horses when I get to Rosings, that way you’ll get to Rosings as fast as possible. Georgiana will be so happy, and I’ll have my two favorite young people visiting. I’m already getting excited thinking about it. “
AAron left soon after and was happy when he saw that two combines were already in his shop.
The next morning Aaron , the two apprentices, and a laborer set the a combine up on blocks tied down interlocks as needed and started rotating the drive wheel so he could watch the combine go into each phase of its operation, taking notes of problems he noticed. Then they set another combine up, did some minor repairs as it wasn’t working, took it through it’s phases, made some more small repairs Aaron studied the combine as it went through it’s phases as it was designed to do. After that the third combine arrived, so they crowded in into the shop, once again did some repairs and took it through it’s phases. By then Aaron had a dynamic image in his mind of how the combine worked and with details of how at times the mcne would exceed safe operating parameters. He then made drawings of parts that needed to be modified, showing tolerances.
He sat down with his crew.
“First , all these wooden parts need to be made of oak. Soft woods are too pliable and not durable. Clive, I want you to put together a complete set of the wooden rods, levers, structural beams and load them onto a wagon. Let me know when that’s ready and I’ll check it, then I’ll get Jason or Abe to take it to the lumber yard so they can make four sets using oak or hickory. Jason I want you to start making replacements for the wooden rotating cogs. They’ve gotta be made of brass with sawtooth connectors instead of cogs--lot’s more precision. See how much brass we have to do this and we’ll order more when Clive orders the wooden parts Abe go get another laborer and start disassembling a combine. Leave one together so we can refer to it when we rebuild . Jason, you and I are going to take the brass we have and start cutting and grinding to make the parts that will take more stress than wood can handle AAron laid out the brass he had , figured what he’d need and made a list so Clive could leave the order at the metal shop in Meryton. He looked over the parts Clive had placed in the wagon, added a few more, gave the list to Clive and sent Clive to Meryton. He and Jason started cutting, welding and grinding to produce the parts Aaron had designed. Clive returned with the wood Aaron had ordered so Abe and the laborer he was using started drilling holes and adjusting dimensions to match the parts they had disassembled. Jason had two of every brass part they would need by late afternoon, Abe and a laborer started assembling a combine using the one they hadn’t dissembled as a guide. When they had a problem Aaron would help, and at times had to change dimensions on a part. Late in the day they had one combine ready to test. The day was over so they went in for dinner. Darcy wanted to come over to see what was happening with the combines so he and Gretchen joined them for Dinner. Darcy was in a celebratory mood because that they had one machine upgraded.
Aaron spoke, Tomorrow we’ll put the machine in a field with some young grain and make sure it harvests . Then we’ll rebuild the two we have disassembled. Based on what I’ve spent on reconditioning three machines I figure we can recondition the machines for four to pounds # each. Tomorrow I’ll work with Abe and Jason and teach them to recondition machines without me.. I’m leaving for Rosings the next day and I’ll use the machinery and workers there to recondition combines. My goal is to recondition all the machines the gunther Corporation sold to farmers. Those machines were a travesty. I’m amazed that any of them worked for more than a few months. I was thinking we should give every customer who purchased a combine a new improved model.
Darcy spoke “I kept Gunther on a tight leash as far as spending and in particular his salary, so we have enough cash on hand to repair all the machines if you can keep the cost down to five # each.”
Gretchen,spoke “ I have a relative in Liege who’d love to have a good design for a combine. He’s into steel and is always looking for ways to use his steel. He’s my dearest relative, next to Dad. We need to have a big reception so all Darcy’s friends can meet me, and all Georgiana’s friends can meet Aaron, and some of my friends from Europe can meet Darcy and his friends, and my father and his friends can socialize with Lady Catherine. Aaron, when you catch that coach back to Rosings, I’ll go with you, and I’ll arrange for Lady Catherine to come up with this idea. There’s nothing she’d like more than to have all these important people at Rosings.” She looked around, saw there was agreement, and was bubbling with energy the rest of the evening.
Aaron was up early the next morning and worked closely with Abe on the cutting, welding and grinding parts for combined, helped him assemble another which they loaded onto a wagon and delivered to the farmer who had originally purchase the combine. After that he picked up a combine that needed work, and delivered it back to Longbourne. Transporting, modifying and returning Combines that were a short distance from Meryton was to be Abe’s assignment for some time. Jason went back to upgrading guns delivered by Mr. Hurst. In both cases they were expected work with available laborers , teaching them about tools and methods as opportunities presented themselves.
Around mid afternoon, Aaron sent a message suggesting that they leave late afternoon for Rosings, and cleaned washed himself, changed into presentable travel clothes. Packed his best suits, and walked over to Netherfield. Gretchen had reacted quickly when she got Aaron's message, so they were soon on the road to Rosings. Gretchen told Aaron all about her cousin Laurent. Laurent had studied science and metallurgy in school, and was now almost as important in the steel in Belgium as her father was in England, though the steel industry in Belgium was still playing catch up. Laurent had arranged to buy part ownership in a Molybdenum mine in Sweden, had studied metallurgy and his factories produced the best high tensile steel in Europe and Britain. Laurent and Gretchen had been sweethearts until Gretchen came to England to live with her father when she was fifteen, and they were still very close. After a period she explained how she had become engaged to Mr. Darcy. I was at loose ends in England, somewhat bored, and Father introduced me to Fritz. They had done some business together, and Father adored him. But there had been this scandal. Fritz was planning to marry Elizabeth--yes our dear Elizabeth Bennet, but Lydia Bennet was a very silly sixteen year old girl who succumbed to the charm of a charming scoundrel, Mr. Wickham, and eloped with him. Or that’s what she thought she was doing--there was no marriage at all. After that Fritz’s family strenuously objected to a marriage with Elizabeth, and pointed out that it was not just himself to worry about, but Georgiana’s prospects also. So Darcy did the responsible thing, gave Elizabeth up. But it didn’t end there, Fritz insisted he was the one at fault, because he should have done more to be sure everyone knew what a scoundrel Wickham was. Fritz, out of guilt and heartbreak fell into such a despondency that he was almost catatonic. My father prevailed on me to take on duties as a nurse for Fritz, you see I studied nursing out of patriotic duty , and at the time Fritz was more like an injured puppy than the man we see now . I got Fritz up early every morning, I made do his fencing, , then we’d do some art project, then go horseback riding, then lunch, then I’d make him study science, then we’d do some reading. He taught me what he new about finance--that made my father very happy. After six months of that Fritz was ready to return to an active lifestyle, though he does at times have setbacks. Anyway, one day he surprised me and asked me to marry him, and I did adore him, and liked the idea of his being father to my children, so after some thought I accepted. I’ve gotta’ admit now that I know I’ll be seeing Laurent soon, I’m more excited about some time with Laurent, than being with Fritz…. They dozed off for a nap in the carriage, and arrived in Rosing after dinner, but before everyone had retired for the evening.

Lady Catherine was delighted, and she sat at the table while they ate some leftovers. As soon as Gretchen mentioned that when they got back to London Stone’s would have a reception so all of Darcy’s friends and relatives could be formally introduced to Gretchen, and that lady Catherine would have to set aside her dislike for London ….Lady Catherine interrupted..” Why London, Rosings would be so much better, and we could do a double event, all my family could meet Aaron too. Oh yes what a beautiful plan. Tell Mr Stone that I insist. And here we have enough bedrooms so everyone can stay here… I’ll hire two score housemaids so everyone will be well cared for…”
Gretchen, hesitated, looked at Lady Catherine, and said. “Yes, that is a better plan-0oh yes, that makes me soooo happy.” Of course Georgiana was delighted too, and lady Catherine was so occupied by planning the party that she didn’t have time to ask Aaron about the Harvester factory. Early the next morning AAron got up dressed, went downstairs, and asked if he had time before breakfast to go to the factory. “The factory is 20 minutes away, and breakfast will be ready in 45 minute, so it’ll have to be quick trip.” There’s a post for you sir, from Mr Darcy.
Aaron opened the letter and saw it was a letter appointing him as CEO of Collins-Darcy Enterprises, and another legal document that the name of the former Guthrie and Co was to be Collins-Darcy Enterprises. The letter suggested Aaron go to his lawyer in Lambton, and get him to introduce Aron to the banker, the lumberyard, the constable, the magistrate, the general goods store and to the workers at the factor, Aaron walked, saw the lawyer’s office, and saw the lawyer sitting outside finishing his breakfast. He walked up to the lawyer, introduced himself. Hello sir, You must be Andrew Brown, I’m Aaron Collins, and handed the lawyer the documents Darcy had sent. The lawyer responded “It’s a pleasure, offered his hand. Mr Darcy wrote about this and I’ve prepared all the other documents you need. I’ll deliver them, then you can count on these people to call on you at the factory. If you want you can go have breakfast, lady Catherine likes her breakfast on time.. I’d like to ask a favor from you, Mr Rostow was Guthrie’s man at Guthrie and company, and you’d best get rid of him fast. He’s let it known he’s going to wish you were somewhere else. If you have a Quid I’ll pay him, tell him he’s fired, and I’ll take the constable with me so if he dallies, he go out with his ass on the pavement. I’d really enjoy doing that, sir..” AAron laughed, handed over a Quid, and said..”we’re going to get along , Mr. Brown,” then walked back for breakfast.
AAron walked in for breakfast as Gretchen and Georgiana were sitting; he rushed to the table and joined them. Lady Catherine spoke. “ Good Morning, Mr Collins, were you out for exercise or for business”?
“Mostly business, I met with Mr. Brown, who’s making sure all the Merchants know I’m running the factory now. He suggested I waste no time in firing Mr Rostow, so I told him to go ahead. I’ve worked on three harvest machines back in Meryton, and have drawn up the changes we’ve gotta’ make to our harvesters.. I’ll start the men working on that after breakfast. I hope you don’t mind if I eat quickly.”
Lady Catherine :“I’m so glad you’re doing something. This has been such an embarrassment. All the neighbors who invested thinking we make a good product. Will the people who bought these vile things have to pay to get them fixed?”
Aaron answered “No, we’re going to fix them for free, and guarantee them for at least three year. He quickly finished breakfast, stood.
“ It’s been nice, but I gotta go. Gotta’ teach these people how to be machinists. If anyone knows any bright hardworking young men who want to learn to be machinist, tell them to come to the Factory, now named Darcy and Collins Enterprises.
Collin’s Harvesters
AAron’s entered the factory, saw the workers were loading wood onto wagons. He told the workers to gather around. I*’ve identified the problem areas of our machine. We’ve got to get rid of all the soft wood parts. Soft wood is to pliable, and will bend or break under now on we’ll use only oak or hickory. Only Oak or Hickory will be ordered, and any time the lumber yard makes a delivery you check to be sore we accept nothing else. This is the list of planks and beams we’ll need in each order, and you and a helper will cut them to the dimensions we need. Who takes care of the wood inventory?
A man raised his hand. “Name’s Rand”
“Rand. I want you to take all the soft wood we have, and get the Lumberyard to give us credit for it. I have an account there. This order has wood to make three harvesters. Pick up an order and cut it into the dimensions shown on the next pages. Take a laborer to help haul the wood, and help you cut it into the pieces you see on the next page. That leaves two of you to work as machinists. I’m going to put out a sign asking for two bright hardworking lads and hopefully will hire them today. He wrote on a chalkboard, hung the chalkboard beside the door. He looked through a large door, saw two hearth bellows sets and some pulleys for driving tools. He went to the tool that would cut sheet metal, and set the two men at work on cutting metal pieces. The factory had a good steel shop. Mr Guthrie has spent some of his investors money well in setting up a metal fabrication shop, but apparently didn’t have metal fabrication knowledge and the shop had been mostly idle. He’d decided to manufacture pieces of of steel rather than brass , because steel was slightly cheaper, much easier to find in plates, beams pipes, or any possible shape. He decided he’d start making steel parts in Rosings and ship them to Longbourne rather continue to use brass.. He saw that two boys had entered carrying the chalk board.
“So you two want to learn to be machinists?”
“They both answered, “yes sir”
“And where d’ya live”, he pointed at the younger boy.
The boy answered. Aaron didn't know Rosing well enough to know where the boys lived, but he could see that the boy did try to give a complete and accurate answer. He picked up a length of rope, tied a knot he’d learned from Rollo. He turned to the older boy, “can you duplicate this knot?” He looked at the younger boy “close your eyes and turn your back”
Ther older boy took the rope, thought a minute “can I see one more time sir?”
Aron tied the knot again, handed the rope back and the boy with some hesitation successfully tied the knot.
“Excellent!” he turned to the younger boy, who took the rope and quickly tied the knot.
Aaron laughed “as good as a midshipman! You’re both hired. Twenty bob per week with meals provided and you can sleep in here in the factory if you like. Tell me if you want and I’ll set up a place. No bullying is allowed here. If someone bullies you , tell me and I’ll make sure that stops.

“Rand, these are the apprentices, we’re going to teach them to be machinists. I want you to inform everyone I will not allow any bullying, tormenting, hazing or anything that interferes with operating this company in the most efficient way possible, and if you see any hint of anything like that going on you’re to inform me.”
“OK boys into the steel workshop.” Aaron was pleased to see the two workers he’d assigned to the steel workshop had sorted through the drawing, identified which were for metal pieces, and were going through the steel inventory to identify. OK, we have two workers and two apprentices. He looked at one worker-”What's your name?”
“Name’s Deke, sir”
“Deke, from now on whatever you do get this boy, to help, spend a little time explaining so he can learn.” Aaron turned to the boy, from now on we’re calling you Ike, cause you work with Deke. You’re job is to pay attention to what Deke is doing, and make his work as easy as possible.”
He turned to the other worker, but before he asked “Names Zach, sir “ He turned to the younger boy, “We’re calling you Mike” pay attention to what Zack is doing, he’ll explain if you hesitate. Try to make his job as easy as you can”. He and the crew worked for the rest of the day and by the end of the day they had fabricated ten copies of about half the pieces they’d need for a harvester.
The next problem was some assemblers. He figured there were some assemblers who had worked for Guthrie still living in Rosings, so he took the chalk board, wrote out that he was hiring experienced assemblers, posted the chalk board, and sat down to drink a tea. Soon he heard some noise outside the door, so he opened it to three laborers.
“I’m guessing you men worked for Guthrie in the past. I’m hiring, can you start tomorrow?”
He could tell all three were hungry, gave each five bob for some bread and stew. Start tomorrow at eight AM. You can have breakfast here if you come at seven thirty. I’ll need another five men, tell anyone who worked her before to be here at Eight tomorrow morning. He escorted everyone out, locked the building and left for Rosings. On the way home he stopped at the lawyer’s office asked about hiring a scribe to make copies. The lawyer said he’d ask a scribe to come by the factory tomorrow. Back at Rosings Arron bathed, put on one of his better suits and went downstairs to socialize before dinner. He could see that Lady Catherine was waiting to see him so he approached her, did his best impression of the Bow that Darcy would do, kissed her hand, and said:
Everything went well today. That scoundrel had equipped an excellent Machine shop, that he barely used. I’ll need it though to make the durability changes. I now have four employees left over from Guthrie that I think will work out, I hired two quite excellent boys who will be apprentice machinists, and three more will start tomorrow. I expect I’ll have one of the improved machines working tomorrow.”
Lady Catherine beamed in delight. “I’ll send my estate manager to pick it! He can demonstrate what an excellent machine it is.”
Aaron answered, “Excellent plan, tell him to bring one of the old machines, we’re using some of the parts from the old machines.”.
“Be sure to save all the old parts that have to be discarded. I’m planning to use them for a bonfire at the harvest festival.”
Aaron laughed .. “That’s great Lady Catherine, finding a way to have fun while we cleanse ourselves from the past!, and I have a question! I’ expect I’m going to have four, maybe five apprentices. It’s important that they spend four hours in school during the week. I’m going to want them to study letters, numbers, reading, writing, with particular emphasis on legibility. As soon as they’re ready I want them to learn math, including geometry, trigonometry, algebra. For science I’d like to de-emphasize natural sciences in favor chemistry and physics and the science of structures. “
“In that case you should ask Mrs Sarah Vincent. She works as a scribe for the village, but I expect she’ll welcome a job that pays regularly. She has a son, old enough to be an apprentice, and he’s very smart and well behaved.. If you hire her you should offer one of the factory apartments. She’d help when you need a scribe, teach your apprentices without too much time spent on scripture, and help keep things in order at the factory. It’s such a sad storey, her husband was so talented but he died from infirmity of the chest. “
“I asked our lawyer, Mr. Brown, about a scribe, and he said he’d send someone.”
“That’ll be Mrs Vincent.”
They were seated around Lady Catherine, they talked about the carriage ride to Rosings, the plans for the reception, Gretchen explained how she’d invited her cousins from Belgium to for the reception, so they’d have to plan far enough in advance so they could come. Aaron knew the reception was important but he couldn’t keep his attention focused on the conversation, his mind was racing about , the factory in Longbourne still being completed, the factory in Rosings he was operating on the fly, about Gibbons gunsmith shop in London, about Sampson’s gun upgrades which were generating a lot of revenue but totally outside Aarons purview, about the need to get Silas’s freight company going so he could distribute production among the different operations. He thought about it a little more and decided he needed to get Darcy involved in how he was going to manage all this. That cheered him op because he knew that Darcy and Stone some how managed to keep a large number of activities going and profitable. Aaron joined the company in the reception room, walked over to door that went outside saw that Georgiana was looking at him , and made not so subtle signal that they should go outside. Georgiana glided over looked around and slid through the door. Aaron joined her and they walked quietly until they entered an arbor. Once inside the arbor Georgiana surprised Aaron, swung in front of he, put her arms around him and kissed him slowly gently on the lips.
“Please tell me I’m as fascinating as those harvest machines. I’ve been aching for a time like this.”
“Those Machines aren't even in the same league, but I'm not the kind of person who can spend my time riding, playing cards, talking….”
“Yes, I know, that’s the way you are...and I’m glad” They walked some more…
“I wish Gretchen would hurry up and get her plans made. If it had been just mine and your wedding we’d be able to marry in a week, or maybe two…”
“I sure do look forward to meeting her family ,her cousin- Laurent is about Darcy’s age, and he’s a very important man in the business world.””
Georgiana laughed, “just like Darcy “.

Dinner was good, though no better than what they had at Longbourne. The wine however was excellent, and after dinner the Port was also excellent. After dinner, Gretchen wanted them to walk with her, and as soon as they left she asked “Can we go to see the factory Laurant used to show me his factories and I’m wondering if I can see any difference. The walk through the village was pleasant--there was a small stream and a variety of trees, with three old, magnificent chest-nuts. Aaron unlocked the factory and they heard the sound of children and the smell of read cooking. Apparently Mike and Ike and their mother and sister had decided to spend their nights. Here. That made the building more secure, but Aaron was thinking he’d have to get one of the apartments in the back cleared. Looking over the enormous metal shop Aaron decided that tomorrow he’d hire six more machinist teams, teach them to make the metal parts so then he could hire more assemblers.
Gretchen spoke again, “Laurant will enjoy working with you to see how you build all these harvesters.” Aaron got out the chalkboard, wrote a notice that he was hiring, needed six to train as machinist, four to work as assemblers. He was planning to put the assemblers with existing teams until they learned how to build harvesters, he’d work with the machinist trainees for the next couple days until they had learned how to construct the metal hardware for the harvesters.
. The next two days were great for Aaron, working with the hearths to pour the metal forms that were the starting point, then pounding with the mechanical hammers. Then grinding the steel to the correct tolerances with the water driven grinding wheels, and binding the parts together with molten steel produced by the hearths and water driven bellows. Aaron would look back on what he’d done and what had been produced and was in awe at what he and his machinery could produce. In the afternoon on the second day Laurent came to the factory, changed into his durable coveralls, and joined in the process. This was Laurent’s world too, and he eagerly, quickly learned the demanding intricate process to build whatever was needed, in this case Harvester Combines which allowed farmers to harvest grains from the field with a fraction of the backbreaking labour required using the old scythe and winnow method that had been the curse of farm laborers for millennia.At the end of the day they washed and changed into the attire expected for gentleman and walked back to Rosings.
Laurent was asking about how AAron came up with tolerances when he was designing a piece. “ I can’t specify my method, I’ve tried, but there are so many aspects. For sure I have to know the dynamics of the assembly and the pieces it’s connected to. Several pieces are moving, sometimes in synchrony with other pieces, sometimes not. The tolerances have to be tight so that when pieces are moving, they don’t impinge on the others space. Another is the material. You can’t have the tolerance tighter than the material you’re using can maintain-even under stress. Of course that’s why I like that high tensile steel your steel mills produce. It’s also very important that your machinist has the measuring instruments to know what his dimensions are and the cutters and files to trim your pieces to the tolerances you need. “
Laurent responded, “ I can handle all but the first part, and I’ve worked with enough people to know that very few can.. I’ll guess I’ll just have to continue my trial and error methods.”
“Believe me, if I could teach you I would.”
Darcy had arrived, just in time for tomorrow’s reception. Laurent started raving about the harvesting machine Aaron was building. Darcy listened for a time, then interjected. “Aaron, you’ve done exactly what was needed, but now it’s time for an experienced and trained plant manager to supervise and finish. I’ve been training a man for the last two years on how to manage a plant , selecting employees, optimizing floor plans, distributing products, purchasing raw materials. He’s the younger brother of a friend who has inherited a large estate, but the young man will need to take an occupation, and I’ve had him working as an assistant plant manager for three years. He’s ready to take charge at Rosing, and I need you back at Longbourne. Things are not going smoothly there, and I need you to be in charge and to train someone who can be an excellent plant manager if we give him the opportunity.”
“ I certainly can’t say no. So tomorrow morning we should meet this young man at the factory early, while everyone is busy. He could spend the day learning what he can while we’re at the reception, then the next day I’ll work with him. Do you think he could take over after that?’
“We won’t officially appoint him, we’ll tell everyone he’s running the plant while you handle problems at Longbourne. If everything goes well. We’ll announce he’s the new manager.”
Aaron laughed, “I’m glad, I’ve been thinking the things I’ve been doing were getting to be too routine. It’ll be more interesting at Longbourne.”
“You’ll have those problems worked out in two weeks at most. I have something else in mind after that. In london we have a major power shortage. Mr Stone wants to build steam engines. A problem so hard I told Mr. Stone I was opposed to tackling it, but Mr. Stone said he thought you could handle it, and if you do the profits would be immense. Aaron’s mind started imagining the interior dynamics of steam engines he had seen. It soon became clear he’d have to disassemble some steam engines to learn what he needed.
They had by then entered the dining room. . Gretchen waved frantically, so Aaron walked over, sat as directed, with Gretchen between Aaron and Georgiana. Darcy apologized, said he’d have to go talk to some long term friends. Gretchen sighed, turned to Aaron, Georgiana, and Elizabeth “ I’m asking for your help, to reach out to all of Darcy’s family and friends.. I’ve spent little time in London and to the relatives and friends I’m just an interloper, come to England with the intent to steal their beloved Darcy and take him back to the Continent. The three of you know everyone who’ll be at the reception. I’d like you feed me information on people I’m about to meet. When I talk to them they’ll hear I know far more about them than they expect. Their accomplishments and witticisms would be helpful. I’ll convince these people that Darcy is both brilliant and lucky to win me for his wife. I’ll need you to stand close to me The one who knows least about a person I’m about to meet should distract them temporarily while the other people fills me in. With that it’ll be my task then to convince them that they’re very important and to impress them that I know so much. Let’s practise! That distinguished gentleman in dark green, one of you tell me about him, and the other engage our near companions. Georgiana told Gretchen what she could in two to three minutes while AAron Elizabeth engaged the person across from Gretchen. They were delighted to see how the gentleman beamed with pleasure as Gretchen talked to him. They walked over to a distinguished woman, everyone did their assignment the best they could. Once again the results were spectacular.” Looks like we’re going to be a great success tomorrow, but we’ve gotta break this up” They went into the drawing room, found Lady Catherine, and listened while Elizabeth entertained them by telling stories about Adam Collins, AAron’s brother. Lady Catherine demonstrated that she loved to associate with Aaron. In the short time Aaron had worked in Rosings, her holdings in Darcy-Collins Enterprises had become quite valuable. She was not a person to brag on her wealth, but the topic of the rebirth of the Combine factory in Rosings was interesting to everyone, if she could do it in a subtle way.
The next morning was a flurry of activity, Darcy and Aaron ate a quick breakfast and left for the short walk to the factory. To his surprise Bingley and another gentleman were dressed in the casual clothes of businessmen so they could go with him. They didn’t talk but walked briskly. When they got to the factory the man Darcy had hired and trained to be a factory manager was already there, his coat hanging somewhere, dressed in an apron to protect his pants and shirt. He had been there an hour and the workers had accepted him as comrade and were teaching him how they machined the metal parts essential to the combines. The gentleman who who had walked with them was Suffield, an important Lord , friend to Darcy and brother to the man Darcy had selected to be plant manager. The brothers greeted each other warmly. Bingley was friends of long standing with the young Suffield and had been very prudent in buying a substantial number shares the old factory when Darcy bough out Gutherie. They chatted for a time. The young Suffield told Aaron he’d done a good job in selecting the men he’d hired so far and he now considered them to be “associates” not employees.On the way back to Rosings, the elder Suffield regaled them with stories about how his parents had been distant to his young brother and as a result his brother felt closer to the staff than to his parents. That in turn created a very useful attitude and skill in working with people. They arrived back at Rosings in time for a quick lunch, then mingled with all the persons Lady Catherine had invited to the reception.. Aaron joined Gretchen, Georgiana, and Elizabeth and did his part in making Gretchen the center of attention. He definitely enjoyed talking to people , in his case people mostly wanted to talk about investments in industry and how hard it was to differentiate between the men who were going to develop a solid profitable business and those who would fail and abscond with all the investor’s money. Gretchen cousin Laurent was there and displayed his charm, elegance, and in conversation his extensive knowledge of industrial progress in Europe. After a time Lady catherine served tea and refreshments, and that was the signal the reception was over. People were reluctant to leave and Elizabeth, Aaron, and Georgiana stayed with Gretchen and Laurent in the refreshment area for a few last words for all those wanting a little more time at the party.
The Factory at Meryton
Laurent and Aaron went by horseback to Longbourne, arriving after dinner so Kitty and Jack sat with them while they ate leftovers. Kitty was excited and proud of all the improvement Jack had made at Longbourn as well as at the Lucas and Bingley estates. Jack was in the process of building coke ovens at all three estates, which would produce coal gas to light up the rooms in the evenings, hot water for the bathroom, and clean burning coke for the ovens and fireplaces. Jack’s stewardship now provided extra fowl and vegetables that could be sold at market. All tenants were working to keep rents up to date and all three estates were particularly prosperous. Jack was thinking of making a marriage offer to one of the Lucas daughters because Sir James needed a man to help him manage his estate.e The next morning Aaron and Laurent went directly to the factory. Only three of the hearths were going so he put those two to work manufacturing steel parts for the Combines. He assigned some laborers to help the machinists and some laborer to start building the wood parts for the Combines. Carpenters and stone workers were still working to get the rifling machines going to produce rifled Sharps breech loaders in production and Aaron was putting Hurst’s military background to use getting the machinery set up. Four machinist were working to convert old flintlock fowling pieces. They could barely produce enough to fill all the orders Hurst was bringing in. The area which was to repair tools, carts and wagons needed a lot of work. He saw Randle Long, a former employee at Dalrymple's who had helped Aaron when he was an apprentice.
Jack, I’m delighted to see you, I need to hire you to install the pulley system here. Find a few carpenters, figure out how to run the pulleys, and start building the frames. I’ll take you to meet the architect, Mr Jameson. You’ll have to work with him on where to run the pulleys. After introducing Randle and Mr. Jameson Aaron went to the area that would be the machine shop. Laurent was there training newly hired machinist the techniques required to produce the precision process needed to manufacture interchangeable parts. Aaron went to another station and started teaching newly hired machinist how to cut and weld steel to build parts for the combines. He took two of the capable machinist from upgrading flintlocks and put them to training the new hires in either metal parts for the combines or parts for flintlock upgrades. As lunch approached he and Laurent cleaned up, changed clothes, and left the factory to see if Lady Catherine and Georgiana had arrived. He walked to Netherfield, knocked on the door. Jane greeted him, was delighted to see him and Mr. Bingley joined them. He could see that lunch was almost ready, he guessed they were waiting for Lady Catherine and Georgiana before the final preparations. So you expect lady Catherine and Georgiana for lunch?
Mr. Bingley answered “Precisely correct! And you won’t believe how happy Lady Catherine will be to see you’re joining us!” Mr. Bingley laughed, “ until she met you and saw the miracle you performed on the factory in Rosings, she looked down on anyone who didn’t have the foresight to inherit a large fortune. Now she looks down on anyone who can’t take fortune by the throat and force it to release its bounty. Of Course Georgiana will be spreading sunshine that you’re here. When are you two going to get married? I look back in disgust at my tardiness at realizing that Jane and I were meant for each other.” Aaron didn’t respond, he just walked over and embraced his future brother in law , then walked into the kitchen to see if he could get some tea while he waited for lunch. He and Bingley were sitting, enjoying their tea when they heard the coach pull up. They quickly finished their tea, took the cups to the kitchen, and went outside. When Georgiana saw Aaron, her face lit up from her smile. She quickly walked up to Aaron, dropped her valise, and wrapped her arms around him. She was so happy she cried a little . Laurent joined them and Georgiana was her usual charming self at meeting Gretchen’s beloved cousin. Bingley and some servants picked up all the luggage, and they proceeded to take upstairs. Jane came running, and apologized for letting her walk take longer than planned., She kissed Georgiana lightly on the cheek “Hello sister! Darcy went to London--something about the next project.”
They sat down and the servant brought the food. They had some rabbit left over from last night, warmed in its own juices, fresh barley bread with butter, and some lettuce with a nice ginger dressing. Bingley observed”I hope Darcy tells me soon what the project is. I’ve set aside some income from last month. Usually I turn a nice profit if I get to invest in one of Darcy’s projects. Finally Gretchen joined them.
“I’m sorry I’m late--I’m so out….” she couldn’t continue, she was crying…..
They gathered around, Laurent knelled beside Gretchen, held her hand, and struggled to resist crying himself.
“All my life, I’ve been wanting to meet a man like Fritz, so handsome, so charming, so authoritative,....when I found out he needed me I jumped at the chance to spend every wakeful moment helping him recover, and I enjoyed every minute…...but that was not a courtship, that was a nurse taking care of her patient, and a patient out of gratitude and need falling in love with his nurse…. That’s not the basis for a marriage…..both of us need to face that…..We all know who Darcy should marry….if I hadn’t been such an opportunist.... in his misery he would have sought out Elizabeth…. I can make this right, but I need everyone’s help…...everyone has to help make the marriage between Elizabeth and Darcy work, then the universe will be righted…. Then I can meet the man who’s right for me”
Aaron had worked with many men, had watched them try to control and hide their emotions. It was clear that Laurent’s attachment to Gretchen was far beyond that of playmate and cousin.
Georgeiana and Elizabeth were quietly crying
Lady Catherine spoke…” The fault was not yours Gretchen. I was the one who forbade the marriage that fate did all in it’s power to arrange. We will succeed in getting Elizabeth and Darcy married--to each other... because the only thing stronger than our love for Darcy is his love for us. The difficult problem is how find to the path that leads Gretchen to the man nature intended. We all love Gretchen so much we simply bask in her love, and don’t struggle to know her. All of us has to change that. From now on we have to change that...Gretchen you’re going have to assist us in this, and we’re going to need help from your father and from Laurent. Aaron, you’re closest to Laurent among those here. It’ll be difficult but you have to talk to Laurent and try to get him involved. Lady Catherine, Elizabeth, Georgiana, and Gretchen stayed briefly, agreed to meet in two hours to work on a plan. Gretchen added “What we say and do effects Darcy, lets involve him as `
Lady Catherine answered, “I’ll leave a message for Darcy, that urgent business needs his attention. Very well … in two hours..” they left, with Laurent and Aaron walking back to the factory.
“Gretchen told me that when you were children you were sweethearts.”
“Yes, and for me that has never changed, but we can never marry. We’re cousins, my father has a hereditary brain malfunction and is in a sanitarium. If Gretchen and I were to have children they would almost certainly inherit my father’s disease. Gretchen and I must marry someone completely unrelated. That’s the reason I stayed in Liege and Gretchen moved to Britain. It’s impossible to see your intended every day, when marriage has suddenly become impossible. You won’t believe the effort my uncle, Gretchen’s father made researching family trees. When he found Darcy, and when Darcy’s betrothal was stopped he did everything in his power to get them together.”
Aaron put his arm around Laurent “You know, I expect you and I are the two of the best problem solvers in the world. We’re going to deal with this, but we’re going to involve Georgiana, Elizabeth, Gretchen, Darcy…...everyone ...to be sure we handle this ethically as well as scientifically. They walked quietly back into the factory.
SubjectAuthorPosted

Elizabeth Bennett and the Industrial Revolution pages 66-93

Joe78751November 11, 2017 07:44AM

Re: Elizabeth Bennett and the Industrial Revolution pages 66-93

Maria VNovember 11, 2017 10:11AM

Re: Elizabeth Bennett and the Industrial Revolution pages 66-93

Lucy J.November 21, 2017 04:10AM



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