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An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations; Smith, Adam
8 paragraphs found.
Editor's Introduction
I.25

But certain inconveniences arise from a commercial spirit. Men's views are confined, and 'when a person's whole attention is bestowed on the seventeenth part of a pin or the eightieth part of a button,' *48 he becomes stupid. Education is neglected. In Scotland the meanest porter can read and write, but at Birmingham boys of six or seven can earn threepence or sixpence a day, so that their parents set them to work early and their education is neglected. To be able merely to read is good as it 'gives people the benefit of religion, which is a great advantage, not only considered in a pious sense, but as it affords them subject for thought and speculation.' *49 There is too 'another great loss which attends the putting boys too soon to work'. The boys throw off parental authority, and betake themselves to drunkenness and riot. The workmen in the commercial parts of England are consequently in a 'despicable condition; their work through half the week is sufficient to maintain them, and through want of education they have no amusement for the other but riot and debauchery. So it may very justly be said that the people who clothe the whole world are in rags themselves.' *50

B.I, Introduction and Plan of the Work
Note:
[In Adam Smith's Lectures p. 164, the business is as here, divided into eighteen; operations. This number is doubtless taken from the Encyclopédie, tom. v. (published in 1755) , s.v. Épingle. The article is ascribed to M. Delaire, 'qui décrivait la fabrication de l'épingle dans les ateliers même des ouvriers,' p. 807. In some factories the division was carried further. E. Chambers, Cyclopædia, vol. ii., 2nd ed., 1738, and 4th ed., 1741, s.v. Pin, makes the number of separate operations twenty-five.]
B.I, Ch.1, Of the Division of Labor
I.1.3

To take an example, therefore, *19 from a very trifling manufacture; but one in which the division of labour has been very often taken notice of, the trade of the pin-maker; a workman not educated to this business (which the division of labour has rendered a distinct trade), *20 nor acquainted with the use of the machinery employed in it (to the invention of which the same division of labour has probably given occasion), could scarce, perhaps, with his utmost industry, make one pin in a day, and certainly could not make twenty. But in the way in which this business is now carried on, not only the whole work is a peculiar trade, but it is divided into a number of branches, of which the greater part are likewise peculiar trades. One man draws out the wire, another straights it, a third cuts it, a fourth points it, a fifth grinds it at the top for receiving the head; to make the head requires two or three distinct operations; to put it on, is a peculiar business, to whiten the pins is another; it is even a trade by itself to put them into the paper; and the important business of making a pin is, in this manner, divided into about eighteen distinct operations, which, in some manufactories, are all performed by distinct hands, though in others the same man will sometimes perform two or three of them. *21 I have seen a small manufactory of this kind where ten men only were employed, and where some of them consequently performed two or three distinct operations. But though they were very poor, and therefore but indifferently accommodated with the necessary machinery, they could, when they exerted themselves, make among them about twelve pounds of pins in a day. There are in a pound upwards of four thousand pins of a middling size. Those ten persons, therefore, could make among them upwards of forty-eight thousand pins in a day. Each person, therefore, making a tenth part of forty-eight thousand pins, might be considered as making four thousand eight hundred pins in a day. But if they had all wrought separately and independently, and without any of them having been educated to this peculiar business, they certainly could not each of them have made twenty, perhaps not one pin in a day; that is, certainly, not the two hundred and fortieth, perhaps not the four thousand eight hundredth part of what they are at present capable of performing, in consequence of a proper division and combination of their different operations.

I.1.6

First, the improvement of the dexterity of the workman necessarily increases the quantity of the work he can perform; and the division of labour, by reducing every man's business to some one simple operation, and by making this operation the sole employment of his life, necessarily increases very much the dexterity of the workman. A common smith, who, though accustomed to handle the hammer, has never been used to make nails, if upon some particular occasion he is obliged to attempt it, will scarce, I am assured, be able to make above two or three hundred nails in a day, and those too very bad ones. *28 A smith who has been accustomed to make nails, but whose sole or principal business has not been that of a nailer, can seldom with his utmost diligence make more than eight hundred or a thousand nails in a day. I have seen several boys under twenty years of age who had never exercised any other trade but that of making nails, and who, when they exerted themselves, could make, each of them, upwards of two thousand three hundred nails in a day. *29 The making of a nail, however, is by no means one of the simplest operations. The same person blows the bellows, stirs or mends the fire as there is occasion, heats the iron, and forges every part of the nail: In forging the head too he is obliged to change his tools. The different operations into which the making of a pin, or of a metal button, *30 is subdivided, are all of them much more simple, and the dexterity of the person, of whose life it has been the sole business to perform them, is usually much greater. The rapidity with which some of the operations of those manufactures are performed, exceeds what the human hand could, by those who had never seen them, be supposed capable of acquiring.

Note:
[In Adam Smith's Lectures p. 164, the business is as here, divided into eighteen; operations. This number is doubtless taken from the Encyclopédie, tom. v. (published in 1755) , s.v. Épingle. The article is ascribed to M. Delaire, 'qui décrivait la fabrication de l'épingle dans les ateliers même des ouvriers,' p. 807. In some factories the division was carried further. E. Chambers, Cyclopædia, vol. ii., 2nd ed., 1738, and 4th ed., 1741, s.v. Pin, makes the number of separate operations twenty-five.]
B.I, Ch.2, Of the Principle which gives Occasion to the Division of Labour
Note:
[In Adam Smith's Lectures p. 164, the business is as here, divided into eighteen; operations. This number is doubtless taken from the Encyclopédie, tom. v. (published in 1755) , s.v. Épingle. The article is ascribed to M. Delaire, 'qui décrivait la fabrication de l'épingle dans les ateliers même des ouvriers,' p. 807. In some factories the division was carried further. E. Chambers, Cyclopædia, vol. ii., 2nd ed., 1738, and 4th ed., 1741, s.v. Pin, makes the number of separate operations twenty-five.]
B.I, Ch.3, That the Division of Labour is Limited by the Extent of the Market
Note:
[In Adam Smith's Lectures p. 164, the business is as here, divided into eighteen; operations. This number is doubtless taken from the Encyclopédie, tom. v. (published in 1755) , s.v. Épingle. The article is ascribed to M. Delaire, 'qui décrivait la fabrication de l'épingle dans les ateliers même des ouvriers,' p. 807. In some factories the division was carried further. E. Chambers, Cyclopædia, vol. ii., 2nd ed., 1738, and 4th ed., 1741, s.v. Pin, makes the number of separate operations twenty-five.]
B.I, Ch.4, Of the Origin and Use of Money
Note:
[In Adam Smith's Lectures p. 164, the business is as here, divided into eighteen; operations. This number is doubtless taken from the Encyclopédie, tom. v. (published in 1755) , s.v. Épingle. The article is ascribed to M. Delaire, 'qui décrivait la fabrication de l'épingle dans les ateliers même des ouvriers,' p. 807. In some factories the division was carried further. E. Chambers, Cyclopædia, vol. ii., 2nd ed., 1738, and 4th ed., 1741, s.v. Pin, makes the number of separate operations twenty-five.]