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G. D. H. Cole

George Douglas Howard Cole was an English political theorist, economist and historian. As a libertarian socialist, he theorised guild socialism, he was an advocate for the co-operative movement. Cole was born in Cambridge to George Cole, a jeweller who became a surveyor. Cole was educated at St Paul's School and Balliol College, where he achieved a double first; as a conscientious objector during the First World War, Cole's involvement in the campaign against conscription introduced him to a co-worker, Margaret Postgate, whom he married in 1918. The couple both worked for the Fabian Society for the next six years before moving to Oxford, where Cole started writing for the Manchester Guardian. In 1915, Cole became an unpaid research officer at the Amalgamated Society of Engineers, he advised the union on. This role enabled him to escape conscription on the grounds that he was conducting work of national importance. Having secured exemption from military service, during the war years Cole developed a political theory of guild socialism.

Cole authored several economic and historical works including biographies of William Cobbett and Robert Owen. In 1925, he became reader in economics at Oxford. In 1929, he was appointed to the National Economic Advisory Council when it was set up by the second Labour government. In 1944, Cole became the first Chichele Professor of Political Theory at Oxford, he was succeeded in the chair by Isaiah Berlin in 1957. Cole was a pacifist, but he abandoned this position around 1938, stating: "Hitler cured me of pacifism". During the 1930s, Cole sought to construct a British popular front against fascism, he identified the extent of the military threat before many of his colleagues had abandoned their pacifism. Cole lent strong support to the republican cause in Spain, he was listed in the Black Book of prominent subjects to be arrested in the case of a successful invasion of Britain. In 1941, Cole was appointed sub-warden of Oxford, he was central to the establishment of the Nuffield College Social Reconstruction Survey which collected a large amount of demographic and social data.

This information was used to advocate for an extensive programme of social reform. Cole became interested in Fabianism while studying at Oxford, he joined the Fabian Society's executive under the sponsorship of Sidney Webb. Cole became a principal proponent of guild socialist ideas, a libertarian socialist alternative to Marxian political economy; these ideas he put forward in The New Age before and during the First World War and in the pages of The New Statesman, the weekly founded by the Beatrice Webb and George Bernard Shaw. Cole said his interest in socialism was kindled by his reading News from Nowhere, the utopian novel by William Morris, writing: I became a Socialist because, as soon as the case for a society of equals, set free from the twin evils of riches and poverty and subjection, was put to me, I knew that to be the only kind of society that could be consistent with human decency and fellowship and that in no other society could I have the right to be content. Neither a Marxist nor a social democrat, Cole envisioned a socialism of decentralised association and active, participatory democracy, whose basic units would be sited at the workplace and in the community rather than in any central apparatus of the state.

In 1936, Cole began calling for a popular front movement in Britain, where the Labour Party would ally with other parties against the threat of fascism. Cole was a powerful influence on the life of the young Harold Wilson, whom he taught, worked with and convinced to join the Labour Party. Before him, Hugh Gaitskell was a student of Cole's. Cole wrote at least seven books for the Left Book Club, all of which were published by Victor Gollancz Ltd; these are marked with LBC in the list of his books given below. He and his wife, Margaret Cole, together wrote 29 popular detective stories, featuring the investigators Superintendent Wilson, Everard Blatchington and Dr. Tancred. Cole and his wife created a partnership, but not a marriage. Cole took little interest in sex and he regarded women as a distraction for men. Margaret documented this comprehensively in a biography she wrote of her husband after his death. Although Cole admired the Soviet Union for creating a socialist economy, he rejected its dictatorial government as a model for socialist societies elsewhere.

In a 1939 lecture, Cole stated: If I do not accept Stalin's answer, it is because I am not prepared to write off Democratic Socialism, despite all its failures and vacillations of recent years, as a total loss... Democratic Socialism offers the only means of building the new order on what is valuable and worth preserving in the civilisation of to-day. In his book Europe and the Future published in 1941, Cole claimed that however immoral the new Nazi-dominated Europe was, in some ways it was better than the "impracticable" system of sovereign states that had preceded it. In economic terms, it could be said that "it would be better to let Hitler conquer all Europe short of the Soviet Union, thereafter exploit it ruthlessly in the Nazi interest, than to go back to the pre-war order of independent Nation States with frontiers drawn so as to cut right across the natural units of production and exchange". Cole stated: I would much sooner see the Soviet Union with its policy unchanged, dominant over all Europe, including Great Britain, than see an attempt to restore the pre-war States to their futile and uncreative independence and their petty economic nationalism under capitalist domination.

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George Lailey

George Lailey was a craftsman from the United Kingdom, noted as the last professional practitioner of the traditional craft of bowl-turning using a pole lathe. Lailey lived near the Berkshire village of Bucklebury Common, near Newbury. Both his grandfather, George William Lailey and his father William were bowl-turners, specialising in the production of bowls and plates from elm wood using a pole lathe. George Lailey was noted for his exceptional skill of turning bowls in a'nest', one inside another. After being mentioned in Henry Vollam Morton's popular 1927 book In Search of England, Lailey's work became desirable, he began signing and dating his pieces. George Lailey was unmarried, had no children to pass his skills to, was unable to find anyone who wanted to continue his business. By the time of his death in December 1958 he had for many years been the last practitioner of his craft, his equipment and tools were given to the University of Reading's Museum of English Rural Life. Lailey's workshop, on Bucklebury Common, had the form of a Grubenhaus, though it dated from the nineteenth century.

He did not install an electricity supply. Lailey made a variety of items but concentrated on bowls, produced in a variety of sizes. For this, elm logs were seasoned for at least two years, sawn with a crosscut saw, trimmed using a side axe. Most of the specialist tools used. Lailey charged a modest amount for his services, although he and his father had supplied leading London stores, including Harrods, with their work around the turn of the twentieth century, when there was a fashion for craftsman-made items, he told Morton that "Money's only storing up trouble, I think. I like making bowls better than I like making money." The Bucklebury Bowl Turners The Lailey Lathe, University of Reading

United States floating battery Demologos

Demologos was the first warship to be propelled by a steam engine. She was a wooden floating battery built to defend New York Harbor from the Royal Navy during the War of 1812; the vessel was designed to a unique pattern by Robert Fulton, was renamed Fulton after his death. Because of the prompt end of the war, Demologos never saw action, no other ship like her was built. On 9 March 1814, Congress authorized the construction of a steam warship to be designed by Robert Fulton, a pioneer of commercial steamers in North America; the construction of the ship began on 20 June 1814, at the civilian yard of Adam and Noah Brown, the ship was launched on 29 October. After sea trials she was delivered to the United States Navy in June 1816; the ship was never formally named. By the time she was completed, the war for which Demologos had been built had ended, she saw only one day of active service, when she carried President James Monroe on a tour of New York Harbor. A two-masted lateen rig was added by the orders of Captain David Porter.

In 1821 her armament and machinery were removed. The remainder of her career was spent laid up in reserve, she came to an end on 4 June 1829 in a gunpowder explosion. She exploded while killing an officer and 47 men. Demologos had an unique and innovative design. A catamaran, her paddlewheel was sandwiched between two hulls; each hull was constructed 5 ft thick for protection against gunfire. The steam engine, mounted below the waterline in one of the hulls, was capable of giving 5.5 knots speed in favorable conditions. Although designed to carry 30 32-pounder guns, 24 port and starboard, 6 fore and aft, the Navy had trouble acquiring sufficient guns, a varying number were mounted while in actual service. Demologos was fitted for two 100-pounder Columbiads, one mounted fore and another aft, these weapons were never furnished to the vessel. Fulton's design solved several of the problems inherent in warships powered by paddlewheels which led to the adoption of the paddle-steamer as an effective warship in following decades.

By placing the paddlewheel centrally, sandwiched between two hulls, Fulton protected it from gunfire. The steam engine offered the prospect of tactical advantage against sail-powered warships. In a calm, sailing ships depended on the manpower of their crews to tow the ship from the boats, or to kedge with anchors. Demologos, with steam, might have found it easy to outmaneuver a ship-of-the-line in calm weather; the innovative construction and steam power fundamentally limited the role Demologos could fill. With an unreliable engine and a hull unsuited to seaways, Demologos was unable to travel on the high seas; the United States Navy planned to build a number of similar steam batteries, but none of these plans got off the drawing board until the USS Fulton of 1837. A number of European navies considered acquiring the Demologos, but these inquiries came to nought; the Demologos was a dead end in the introduction of steam power to the warship. Armed paddle steamers proliferated in the 1840s as armed tugs and transports.

During the Civil War, the United States Navy operated a number of iron clad steam-powered paddle-wheel gunboats as a part of the Mississippi River Squadron. Known as City-class ironclad gunboats as they were named after cities on the Mississippi River or its tributaries, these ships utilized a double-hulled configuration similar to Fulton's design, with the paddle wheel in the center; the wheel was protected by armored plate, allowing full broad-sides, as well as stern shots. An example, USS Cairo, is on display at the Vicksburg National Military Park. Paddle-wheel propulsion, more side-paddle configurations, in military use continued until World War II with the training aircraft carriers USS Wolverine and USS Sable; these designs were limited to use in the brown-water navy or on large lakes. Steam-powered paddle wheel propulsion would be eclipsed by the introduction of the screw propeller in the 1840s, enabling steam-powered version of the ship of the line and the frigate before steam power was properly adapted for use in a blue water navy.

Canney, Donald L. The Old Steam Navy, Volume One: Frigates and Gunboats 1815-1885. Annapolis, Maryland: Naval Institute Press, 1990. ISBN 0-87021-004-1 Lambert, Andrew "The Introduction of Steam" in Gardiner Steam and Shellfire: The Steam Warship 1815-1905, London 1992. ISBN 0-85177-608-6 "Fulton", US Navy Historical Center, retrieved 25 June 2007