What the Steam Engine Does” is, apparently, every possible kind of work that needed to be done in 19th-century America. This cheery list reinforces the theme of the wonders of industry, which Youth’s Companion didn’t explore often at this time.

“What the Steam Engine Does” (from Youth’s Companion, 19 July 1849; p. 48)

It propels, it rows, it sculls, it warps, it tows, it elevates, it towers, it pumps, it drains, it draws, it pulls, it drives, it pushes, it carries, it brings, it scatters, it collects, it condenses, it extracts, it splits, it breaks, it confines, it opens, it shuts, it digs, it shovels, it excavates, it ploughs, it thrashes, it separates, it winnows, it washes, it grinds, it crushes, it sifts, it belts, it mixes, it kneads, it moulds, it stamps, it punches, it beats, it presses, it hews, it cuts, it slits, it shaves, it splits, it saws, it planes, it turns, it bores, it mortices, it drills, it heads, it blows, it forges, it rolls, it hammers, it rasps, it files, it polishes, it rivets, it sweeps, it brushes, it scratches, it cards, it spins, it winds, it twists, it throws, it weaves, it shears, it coins, it prints.

Copyright 1999-2024, Pat Pflieger
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