This little book is dated 1837, it’s full title being “The Elements of Practical Knowledge” or The Young Inquirer Answered, explaining in Question and Answer format and what is described as a “familiar language”.
The printer is Manning & Mason, Ivy Lane, Paternoster-Row, London
The author being John Van Voorst of No.3 Paternoster-Row
A new Preface states…..
In order to supply the continued demand for this little book, a new edition of it has been printed. The publisher, desirous at the same time of shewing his gratitude and of rendering the work itself more worthy of that popularity which it has experienced, has placed it in the hands of a gentleman competent to make those corrections which the present state of knowledge requires…………
Q: When were pins first introduced into England?
A: In the 14th Century.
Q: How was the apparel of females fastened before that period?
A: By means of wooden skewers or with bone and ivory.
Q: To whom are we indebted for the invention of pins?
A: To the French.
Q: Were they not anciently deemed of sufficient value to constitute an acceptable present on New-years day?
A: They were, and were frequently given by husbands to their wives on that day; whence is cited the origin of the term pin-money, formerly common in marriage settlements, and which, though now disused, is still employed colloquially to signify an allowance to a wife for her exclusive use…….
The casual mention of child labour……..
Q: Is it not almost incredible what number of pins a boy will thus point [of sharpening hand made pins]
A: Its is; a lad of ten or twelve years of age, it is stated, can point about sixteen thousand pins in an hour.
………..and of new inventions – crown glass- spun and blown into a large round sheet to be cut into squares, the centre of which forms a huge blob called a ‘bulls eye’