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COUNT STEFANO JACINI (1827-1891)

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Originally appearing in Volume V15, Page 106 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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COUNT STEFANO JACINI (1827-1891), Italian statesman and economist, was descended from an old and wealthy Lombard family. He studied in Switzerland, at Milan, and in German universities. During the period of the Austrian restoration in Lombardy (1849-1859) he devoted himself to literary and economic studies. For his work on La Proprietd fondiaria in Lombardia (Milan, 1856) he received a prize from the Milanese Societd d'incoraggiamento di scienze e lettere and was made a member of the Istituto Lombardo. In another work, Sulle condizioni economiche della Valtellina (Milan, 1858, translated into English by W. E. Gladstone), he exposed the evils of Austrian rule, and he drew up a report on the general conditions of Lombardy and Venetia for Cavour. He was minister of Public Works under Cavour in 186o-1861, in 1864 under La Marmora, and down to 1867 under Ricasoli. In 1866 he presented a bill favouring Italy's participation in the construction of the St Gotthard tunnel. He was instrumental in bringing about the alliance with Prussia for the war of 1866 against Austria, and in the organization of the Italian railways. From 1881 to 1886 he was president of the commission to inquire into the agricultural conditions of Italy, and edited the voluminous report on the subject. He was created senator in 187o, and given the title of count in 1880. He died in 1891. L. Carpi's Risorgimento italiano, vol. iv. (Milan, 1888), contains a short sketch of Jacini's life. yards, and also to various animals, as jackdaw, jack-snipe, jack-rabbit (a species of large prairie-hare); it is ,also used as a general name for pike. The many applications of the word " jack " to mechanical devices and other objects follow two lines of reference, one to objects somewhat smaller than the ordinary, the other to appliances which take the place of direct manual labour or assist or save it. Of the first class may be noticed the use of the term for the small object bowl in the game of bowls or for jack rafters, those rafters in a building shorter than the main rafters, especially the end rafters in a hipped roof. The use of jack as the name for a particular form of ship's flag probably arose thus, for it is always a smaller flag than the ensign. The jack is flown on a staff on the bowsprit of a vessel. In the British navy the jackis a small Union flag. (The Union flag should not be styled a Union Jack except when it is flown as a jack.) The jack of other nations is usually the canton of the ensign, as in the German and the United States navies, or else is a smaller form of the national ensign, as in France. (See FLAG.) The more common use of " jack " is for various mechanical and other devices originally used as substitutes for men or boys. Thus the origin of the boot-jack and the meat-jack is explained in Isaac Watts's Logic, 1724: " So foot boys, who had frequently the common name of Jack given them, were kept to turn the spit or pull off their masters' boots, but when instruments were invented for both these services, they were both called jacks." The New English Dictionary finds a transitional sense in the use of the name " jack " for mechanical figures which strike the hours on a bell of a clock. Such a figure in the clock of St Lawrence Church at Reading is called a jack in the parish accounts for 1498-1499. There are many different applications of " jack," to certain levers and other parts of textile machinery, to metal plugs used for connecting lines in a telephone exchange, to wooden uprights connecting the levers of the keys with the strings in the harpsichord and virginal, to a framework forming a seat or staging which can be fixed outside a window for cleaning or painting purposes, and to many devices containing a roller or winch, as in a jack towel, a long towel hung on a roller. The principal mechanical application of the word, however, is to a machine for raising weights from below. A jack chain, sc called from its use in meat-jacks, is one in which the links, formed each in a figure of eight, are set in planes at right angles to each other, so that they are seen alternately flat or edgeways. In most European languages the word " jack " in various forms appears for a short upper outer garment, particularly in the shape of a sleeveless (quilted) leather jerkin, sometimes with plates or rings of iron sewn to it. It was the common coat of defence of the infantry of the middle ages. The word in this case is of French origin and was an adaptation of the common name Jacques, as being a garment worn by the common people. In French the word is jaque, and it appears in Italian as giaco, or giacco, in Dutch jak, Swedish jacka and German Jacke, still the ordinary name for a short coat, as is the English jacket, from the diminutive French jaquette. It was probably from some resemblance to the leather coat that the well-known leather vessels for holding liquor or for drinking were known as jacks or black jacks. These drinking vessels, which are often of great size, were not described as black jacks till the 16th century, though known as jacks much earlier. Among the important specimens that have survived to this day is one with the initials and crown of Charles I. and the date, 1646, which came from Kensington Palace and is now in the British Museum; one each at Queen's College and New College, Oxford; two at Winchester
End of Article: COUNT STEFANO JACINI (1827-1891)
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