P. 319: Catalogue and Journal of the Eleventh Exhibition of the Massachusetts Charitable Mechanic Association. September and October, 1869.
Pp. 319-20: It was a museum, not of the past merely, -- the strange garments worn by our sires, the relics and abnormal formations picked up in ancient cities, and the wilds of nature, the armor and utensils which barbarous nations may have used, -- but of the living present, the triumphs of art and genius, the wonders which are now being accomplished in the combination of nature's forces into struc[p. 320]tures that almost rival her own attainment; a museum of the world's working force to-day at the very summit of progress, not of the clumsy and castaway tools employed far back in its course. Specimens were there of the finest and most delicate fabrics of the loom; garments, with a maze of stitching which only the swift fingers of the sewing-machine, a seamstress with nerves and muscles of iron and steel, could ever have had the patience to insert; statuary, not to be despised,which a mere lathe, driven by a steam engine, had carved; locks and bolts, such as might well induce buglars to turn honest men; musical instruments, which needed only touching to break forth into song; myriad utensils, for alleviating the labor and increasing the comfort of our daily household life; rakes and ploughs, reapers and mowers, written over with the promise of a new Eden to be won out of the earth; carriages alike for adults and children, that seemed almost ready to start off of their own accord; steam-engines, whose finish and exquisite proportions placed them in the ranks of fine art; chromolithographs, which challenged the observer to tell how they differed from the original paintings at their side; photographs, not only of the human face, but of nature's subtlest features, including that last fleeting wonder of the heavens, appearing only once in a generation, yet imprisoned here for all time, -- every aspect of the great eclipse; machinery for cutting, pegging, and sewing shoes so swift, exact, and apparently intelligent, that one almost wondered some of it was not at Worcester the other day demanding its political rights; the great borer that is now solving, at the rate of ten feet a day, the long problem of the Hoosac tunnel; instruments, infallible as any gold-broker of New York, for reckoning up rates per cent; machines, of endless variety, able to take bars of iron, and turn and plane and cut them up into any needed shape as deftly and quickly as though they had been only bits of clay; specimens, in short, of all the countless operations which are going on, far and wide, in the great workshop of modern society.
P. 327: [Machinery] is one of the world's great democratic forces, a leveller, levelling, however, like religion,always upward. Its mission, first of all, the same as that of the Savior, is to the poor, the weak, the lame, the blind, the despised and downtrodden of men. Every great machine which has ever been invented, every new one that is brought into use from year to year, is a mighty lever placed under the lowest classes of society to raise them up. And though it is powerful corporations and wealthy capitalists alone who may own it, and though they may have designed it only for their own aggran-[p. 328]dizement; yet by a law mightier than any will of theirs, it is made infallibly to work for the interests of the common people.