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!! Ballina Chronicle; Feb 20, 1850 "Irish Imports"

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  • Cathy Joynt Labath
    BALLINA CHRONICLE Ballina, Mayo, Ireland Wednesday, February 20, 1850 IRISH IMPORTS It appears really disgraceful to the Irish character that we depend on and
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 20, 2005
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      Ballina, Mayo, Ireland
      Wednesday, February 20, 1850

      It appears really disgraceful to the Irish character that we depend on and
      buy from England numerous articles which, with very little effort, we could make
      ourselves, and thereby increase the profitable employment of our people,
      diminish the poor rates and raise the moral character of the peasantry and
      labouring classes. The manufacture of these articles has amassed princely
      fortunes for enterprising individuals, and is now the means of maintaining whole
      communities, nay large towns in England in respectability and independence. The
      naming of some of those articles out to make us ashamed, their production is so
      simple and the means so available.
      1st and 2nd. Sweeping Brush and Mop Handles - Common Walking Sticks. For
      these we have the materials in ample abundance, and the quantity imported are
      3d. Tobacco Pipes - It appears we have most superior clay for this article,
      yet, because we will not take the trouble of following English and Dutch
      improvements, our markets are overstocked with the pipes of these countries. We
      have the improvements, which secure so extensive a sale before our eyes- yet an
      Irish pipe is and has been an Irish pipe without change for the last century.
      4th and 5th. Shoe Blacking and Ink. Why should we let our neighbours have
      the laugh at us for our sloth and neglect in having to by such trifles instead
      of making them?
      6th and 7th - Straw Plait and Straw Bonnets. - What immense quantities of
      these are imported by our large houses.- Pim at Ferrier's, Todd and Burns,
      Cannock and Whites, Harvies, Collis and M'Birnie's, while we have females as
      expert and intelligent and straw as excellent as any in Dunstable, or other
      English towns, where the article is the source of comfort and independence.
      8th- Lucifer Matches.- Strange to say, our townsman, Mr. Bell, commented
      the manufacture of this article in Dublin and was so little patronized that he
      removed to London, throwing many here out of employment, and now that he employs
      Englishmen in London, we purchase the article to at least ten times the extent
      we did when he was here, and he has amassed a magnificent fortune by the
      extensive demand in which the matches are held, and we have lost all the
      advantage derivable from the manufacture of the quantity he dispose of.
      9th.- Labels for Grocers and Wine Merchants, &c. Bottle, Apothecaries,
      do. - These are imported in millions, solely because our journeyman or master
      printers will not arouse themselves to meet weekly in friendly intercourse,
      discarding jealousy and interchanging opinion for the benefit of their craft,
      and crying why it is they cannot produce the article as cheap as it can be done
      in England.
      10th, Paper - This article, too, can be as well land cheaply made at home
      as in England; but our manufacturers will not examine into the cause of the
      inferiority of the article now produced, and with tact and energy find out how
      that inferiority is avoided in France and England.
      11th, Traveling Caps, mechanics' and labourers' caps. - If, instead of
      competing with the superfine productions of the Leeds and Yorkshire looms (which
      have taken at least a century of care and improvements in these places, to bring
      to their present perfection), we tried our hands at these humbler articles,
      Kilmanock and other Scotch towns, would not take so much of our cash from
      Ireland for these articles, now of almost universal use.
      12th, Porcelain - At Howth we have the finest porcelain clay neglected and
      12th, Small looking glasses at 3d. per - These, by the energy of
      Englishmen, are to be found through every fair and market in Ireland; the
      English not only know how to produce, but they know how to push the sale, and
      get them off their hands; they are at every man's door, and just where our
      country girls congregate; these, our unemployed girls could make with ease.
      14th, Leather - We import immense quantities yet we send our hides abroad.
      Why send any article of native produce from our shores in a raw state? Every
      such production should be put through at least one stage of manufacture. It is
      hardly creditable how cheaply these hides are brought from the butcher, and
      their tanning would produce a most remunerating profit, and in the shape of a
      leather get a ready market elsewhere. Our tanneries are half of them idle and
      We have labour- the source of the wealth of all countries; we have the raw
      material at first cost. All we want to make us prosperous is industry, coupled
      with judicious and energetic combination to devise the best mode of producing
      the various articles above enumerated.--Evening Mail.

      Cathy Joynt Labath
      Ireland Old News
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