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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 48

General Manufactures

General Manufactures.

Hats and hat making formed an exclusive but perfect display, the sole exhibitor being Mr C. P. Hulbert. Our artist in hats does page 22 not make "for the million," and cannot possibly do so, for all the commoner kinds can be imported at low rates, and at the end of each season they can be advantageously cleared off at below cost, so as to enable room for new stock and later styles. On the other hand, Mr Hulbert can fairly shut out all the better class of goods. These he makes in every desired shape, and sells them at the prices at which they would be obtainable in London. The manufacture has grown rapidly, and may now be regarded as a thoroughly established one in our centres of population. In making goods of the class under notice "foundations" have first to be prepared, the materials used being sheet cork, calico and shellac, moulded into form on suitable blocks. When the foundations are firmly set, the covering is proceeded with. For the "bell-toppers," the covering is silk plush, the short and thick fibre of which can be smoothed into a beautiful gloss. For other hats felt is used, and it has already been pointed out that this material could well—and probably will—be produced locally. Under existing circumstances, the wool and rabbit fur have to be sent to England for manufacture, much to the disadvantage of this Colony. According to Mr Hulbert's experience, a larger number of styles is required in Christchurch than in any other city in New Zealand. However, all requirements are being mot, the local manufacture including both the military helmet and the academic "mortar-board;" and at the present time the factory work also includes the University gowns and hoods. In addition to the large and tastefully arranged collection of finished goods, Mr Hulbert illustrated all the stages of hat-making, and two of his workmen practically explained the processes of making foundations, and of adding the coverings of plush or felt.

Carriage building has been largely exemplified in the Industrial Exhibition, and it has been demonstrated that a brougham, built and finished in the most perfect manner, can be sold at a considerably lower price by a local manufacturer than would have to be paid for a similar carriage imported from England. The cost here of the same style of carriage imported from Australia would be greater still. The exhibitors of vehicles of various descriptions are Messrs A. G. Howland, W. Moor and Co., Glanville and Co., Boon and Stevens, Steel Bros., and Elmsley and Curlett. Drays are shown by Messrs Montgomery and Co. and E. Jones. There is no necessity to enter into any detailed description of these exhibits, which are all good of their several kinds; but there is one point in connection with the industry, to which attention may well be drawn. "It is a moot point," says one authority, "whether carriage building is to be regarded as one of the fine arts, or whether it is to be classed among the branches of industry which are included in the list of mechanical trades." He shows that in various parts of Europe it is regarded as an art, by the fact that "in France, Belgium, and Germany the respective Governments have established technical schools, where youths intending to follow carriage building are instructed in drawing and modelling, in the harmonious arrangement of colours, in chemistry, in the proper working of metals, and in the principles and applications of mechanics and mathematics to manufactures." In this Colony, technical education above all things ought not to be neglected, and in connection with this matter, attention may be drawn to a want which has been very generally indicated by the various departments of our Industrial Exhibition. That want is a School of Art for this city; an institution at which evening classes can be held, and the young men and lads engaged in our factories and workshops, can, at a nominal cost, receive instruction in the various branches of drawing, and in the principles of design. It is true that the Board of Governors of the Canterbury College have determined to establish a School of Art, but it must be remembered that if such an institution is needed at all, it is needed now, and that in any one of our schoolrooms a beginning might be made, by forming elementary classes, and instructing and training the pupils upon some systematic plan.

Brush making has become a well developed industry in Auckland, the manufacturer being Mr T. J. Harbutt. The agents here, Messrs J. Clark and Sons, showed a capital collection, and a careful examination of the brushes proved that in both foundation and fibre they were of sterling quality. The wire sewing is used in fastening in the bunches of bristle or fibre, and the finish is good in every instance. Mr J. Miller, Harry street, showed a small collection of brushes made by him, and the exhibit may be regarded as the nucleus of another local industry for this part of New Zealand.

The two exhibitors of saddlery were Mr A. Dunbar, of Cashel street, and Messrs page 23 Great or ex and Son. The articles were splendidly got up in each instance, but the local maker faily holds his own, and in the beauty of some of the decorative work employed, he appeared to the best advantage.