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Originally appearing in Volume V27, Page 604 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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GOLD. 42,317,876, cleared; (1895), 54,304,703 entered, 47,263,791 cleared; (1900), 55,828,569 entered, 54,425,666 cleared; (1905), 60,066,919 entered, 58,670,971 cleared; (1909), 60,566,043 entered, 60,060,979 cleared. The number and gross tonnage of the registered sailing and steam vessels belonging to the United Kingdom were as follows at the end of each of the years named Sailing Vessels. Steam Vessels. Year. Number. Gross Tonnage. Number. Gross Tonnage. 1890 14,181 3,055,136 7,410 8,095,370 1895 12,617 3,040,194 8,386 9,952,211 1900 10,773 2,247,228 9,209 I 1,816.,:,24 1905 1 0,059 1,796,826 10,552 14,883,594 1909 9,392 1,407,469 11,797 16,994 732 These figures show not only that steamers have been rapidly taking the place of sailing vessels, but also that large steamers are preferred to small, their average tonnage having increased from 1092 tons in 1895 to 1440 in 1909. Railways.-The first ordinary roads deserving the name of highways were made about 166o, and canal-building began in 1 Newcastle, North Shields, South Shields. z Blyth was included with North Shields till 1897. 3 Swansea included Port Talbot till 1904. the middle of the following century; but though roads and canals aided materially in raising the commercial and industrial activity of the nation, their fostering agency was very slight compared with that of railways, of which England is the birth-place. The first line of railway for regular passenger service, that from Stockton to Darling-ton, 14 M. in length, was opened on the 27th of September 1825. The first really important rail-way was the line from Manchester to Liverpool, opened on the 15th of September 1830, when William Huskisson, M.P., was accidentally killed. It took three years to get the bill for the London-Birmingham railway, which was passed at last in the session of 1833, obtaining the royal assent on the 8th of May. The first sod of the great line was cut at Chalk Farm, London, on the 1st of June 1834. Enormous engineering difficulties had to be overcome, originating not so much from the nature of the ground as from intense public prejudice against the new mode of locomotion. It took over four years to construct the railway from London to Birmingham, at a cost exceeding £4,000,000. Even friends of the railway presaged that such outlay could not by any possibility be remunerative; but the contrary became evident from the moment the line was opened on the 17th of September 1838. All the great railway systems of England sprang into existence within less than ten years after the opening of the London-Birmingham line. Out of this railway grew one of the largest companies, the London & North-Western; while the most extensive system as regards mileage, the Great Western, originated in a line from Paddington, London, to Bristol, for which an act of parliament was obtained in 1835, and which was opened in 1841. In 1836 a bill passed the legislature erecting the " Great North of England" Railway Company, from which was developed the North-Eastern system. A few years later other acts were passed, sanctioning the"Midland Counties" and the " North Midland " lines, from which the present Midland system grew. The total length of railways conveying passengers in the United Kingdom at the end of the year 1825 was 40 m., constructed at a cost of £120,000. Five years later, at the end of 183o, there were not more than 95 m., built at a cost of £840,925, but at the end of 1835 there were 293 m., costing£5,648, 531. Thus, in the first five years of rail- way construction, from 1825 to 1830, the mileage doubled; while in the second five years, from 183o to 1835, it trebled. It quintupled in the next five-yearly period, till the end of 1840, when the total length of miles of railway in the kingdcm had come to be 1435, built at a cost of {41,391,634, as represented by the paid-up capital of the various companies. The next five years saw nearly another doubling of length of lines, for at the end of 1845 there were 2441 M. of railway created by a paid-up capital of £88,481,376. 189o. 1895. 1900. 1905. 1 909. £ £ £ £ £ From British possessions 5,368,424 17,618,466 11,350,591 38,567,895 40,464,212 South Africa . . 1,876,677 8,353,913 378,626 21,286,374 32,912,428 India . . . . 443,079 1,929,590 3,637,978 6,850,360 2,170,957 Australia . . 1,398,627 5,324,498 6,182,718 3,440,037 2,613,002 Foreign countries 18,199,625 18,390,863 14,840,282 4,949,335 14,227,617 Total . . 23,568,049 36,009,329 26,190,873 43,517,230 54,691,829
End of Article: GOLD

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