The book of trades; or, Familiar descriptions of the most useful trades, manufactures, and arts practised in England : and the manner in which the workmen perform their various employments.
(undated, inscribed 1829)
The cork-cutter., p. 36
36 THE CORK-CUTTER. Tiiis is a very simple employment, as the Cork-cutter has only to cut the bark which is stripped from the cork- tree, into a variety of large and small round pieces for the purpose of stopping casks, bottles, phials, &c. His chief in- strument is a sharp knife, and his great care is not to cut his fingers. He va- ries the sizes, some casks requiring very large ones, as well as some bottles.- The corks for bottles must bq long and sloping, in order to be driven in; those for casks are not long, but broad and cylindrical; and are forced in with a hammer. The corks for phials are small but of -different sizes; these are conti- nually wanted at apothecaries' shops. The cork-tree is a species of oak, but of a pliable nature: it grows thirty or forty feet high, having a thick, rough, and fungous bark. The bark is taken off by making an incision from the top to the bottom, and likewise one at each extremitv round the tree. The tree still lives, and in about six years a succeed- ing bark being again fit for use, it un- dergoes the same curious operation for removing, the cork or coating of the tree.
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