Thursday, 16 July 2009

Deptford Mechanics' Institution (3): activities

Deptford Mechanics' Institution was established in the early nineteenth century for 'the diffusion of knowledge', particularly on technical and scientific advances. While previous posts have looked at the establishment of the Institution, and one of the lectures held there, a notice from 1838 gives a good idea of the other ways in which the establishment could serve its members.

One key point is the emphasis upon evening opening: the target membership were young men who worked during the day. The subscription would exclude the poorer workers - although it's difficult to translate values from one period to another, it was equivalent to £20 per quarter in purely inflationary terms, but somewhat more in relation to average wages.
THE DEPTFORD MECHANICS’INSTITUTION
HIGH STREET, (near the Broadway,)
IS RE-OPENED.

The Librarian will be in attendance every evening in the week except Sunday & Saturday, from ½ -past six till ½ -past nine, to issue books, &c. to the members; the daily, local, and other papers, and a variety of literary and scientific periodicals will be laid upon the tables of the READING ROOM.

A SERIES OF INTERESTING LECTURERS ON SCIENCE AND LITERATURE WILL SHORTLY BE ANNOUNCED.

SUBSCRIPTION Four Shillings per quarter.
Cards of admission may be obtained of the Librarian any evening on which the Institution is open.
Further information may be obtained of the Secretary,
Mr. JAMES RUSSEL, Academy, Prospect Place Deptford.

OCTOBER, 1838.

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