Paul Evett, compositor
DOI link for Paul Evett, compositor
Paul Evett, compositor book
For an hour or so, until all the spokes had been driven into a wheel, this sledge-hammer work went on, tremendous. I have seen nothing else like it. Road-menders greatly smite an iron wedge into the road they are breaking up; blacksmiths' mates use a ponderous sledge at some of their work; foresters, cleaving, make great play with beetle and wedges; but so far as I have noticed, these men (like the 'Try-YourStrength' men at a country fair) do not really know how to use sledge or beetle. They raise it up above their heads and bring it down, thump, with all the force of strong arms; but a wheelwright driving spokes, though not necessarily a very strong man, was able, with knack, to strike more powerful blows, and many of them too, in succession. With one hand close under the head he gave the sledge a great fling, then slipped the same hand down the handle, to help the other hand hold it in and guide it truly round its circle. By the time it reached the spoke the sledge had got an impetus. With the momentum of a stone from a sling, it was so to speak hurled down on its mark, terrific. ...