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The Press . There are few sciences more essentially serviceable to mankind than statistics . Facts speak for themselves , and every body will allow that their effects are more really powerful than the most brilliant theories . M . Darn , by the publication of his " Notions Statistlques sur
la LAbrairie , " has demonstrated unanswerably all the importance of the various species of industry to which the press gives birth ; and the result which every impartial man will draw from his calculations must be , that a well-advised government will ever most scrupulously beware of diminishing the products of a source so admirably calculated to increase
the public wealth . M . Daru has arranged his Statistical Tables of the products of the French press , from the Bibliographic published since the year 1811 , by M . Beuchot . It will be seen that from the 1 st Nov . 1811 , to the 31 st December , 1825 , the French press has produced the enormous number of 1 , 152 , 295 , 229
sheets , the daily papers not being included , nor the impressions from the royal press . If we afterwards follow , year by year , the number of printed sheets , we shall perceive that the demand for literary matter has doubled in 10 or 12 years . But we prefer giving some remarks on the particular labours which belong to the press .
The first material requisite for printing is the paper , or rather the rags with which it is fabricated . We perceive , then , that for the yearly fabrication of paper , ( the quantity of which is 2 , 800 , 000 reams , ) the necessary quantity of rags is 80 , 600 , 000 pounds . At Paris , a considerable portion of these rags is collected from the streets by individuals , the
number of whom is calculated at about 4000 , and whose average gains are computed at 36 sous per diem . But as this article makes scarcely one-sixth of the gain of these pickers , the rest consisting of bones , old iron , broken glass , &c , it appears that the quantity of rags daily collected in the streets of Paris is of the value of about 1200 francs . This sum
doubles when the rags have passed through the hands of the rag merchant and of those who superintend the selecting and washing ; operations which occupy about 500 persons . On the whole , the city of Paris supplier the paper manufactories with rags to the value of 4800 francs , comprising the contributions of hospitals and private persons , &c , which makes annually 1 , 752 , 000 francs $ and the whole
of France produces in the same space of time a sini of 7 , 480 , 000 francs on the single article of rags , which , at the rate of 500 francs per head , furnishes means of existence to 14 , 960 individuals . The number of paper-mills in 1825 was 200 , and the number of workmen employed in them amounted to at least 18 , 000 , uot reckoning those engaged in the preparation of acids , pastes , the machinery , &c , which would form a total of more than
30 , 000 persons . There are 35 typefounderies employing 1000 workmen , and the produce of this branch of manufacture may amount to 650 , 000 francs per annum . Lastly , the expense of printing ink may amount to 12 , 000 francs . We now come to printing itself , having briefly glanced over its accessories . The general number of printing establishments in France is 665 , of which 82 are at
Paris . In 1825 , 1550 presses were calculated to be in full activity , viz . in Paris , 850 , including those of the royal establishment to the number of about 80 , and about 700 in the various departments . These presses produced , in the same year , 1825 , between 13 and 14 , 000 , 000 volumes , of which more than 400 , 000 issued from the presses of M . Firmin Didot . We cannot follow the
calculations of M . Daru through all their details , and must content ourselves with observing , that the gains of the compositors , pressmen , correctors , &c , amount annually to about 15 , 262 , 500 francs . There are leckoned , at Paris , 132 master binders , but to these must be
added a great number of private workmen , and binders in the departments , which will increase the number to 1200 , occasioning an annual circulation of 2 , 440 , 000 francs . There are , in Paris , 480 booksellers , and 84 second-hand booksellers , aud in the departments 922 , forming a total of 1586 .
The geueral summary of these statistical statements shews , that 13 , 500 , 000 volumes , the average annual produce , create in commerce a real sum of 33 , 750 , 000 francs . This comprehends the gains of the rag-picker , the income of the bookseller , and the profits of literary men . It is true that these last have but a small division of this enormous amount ,
and M . Daru cousiders himself as very close to truth in estimating the receipts of literary men for their labours , at no more than 500 , 000 francs . It must , indeed , be remembered , that many desire no remuneration for their manuscript , and that others can obtain none ; that those who bargain with publishers obtain a very moderate price , most frequently paid by
38 & iMettlgenve . —Foreign
Monthly Repository (1806-1838) and Unitarian Chronicle (1832-1833), May 2, 1827, page 388, in the Nineteenth-Century Serials Edition (2008; 2018) ncse.ac.uk/periodicals/mruc/issues/vm2-ncseproduct1796/page/76/