"Men there have been, ignorant of letters; without art, without eloquence; who yet had the wisdom to devise and the courage to perform that which they lacked language to explain. Such men have worked the deliverance of nations and their own greatness. Their hearts are their books; events are their tutors; great actions are their eloquence." — MACAULAY.
- Chapter I: Phineas Pett -- Beginings of English Shipbuilding
- Chapter II: Francis Pettit Smith -- Practical introducer of the Screw Propeller
- Chapter III: John Harrison -- Inventor of the Marine Chronometer
- Chapter IV: John Lombe -- Introducer of the Silk Industry into England
- Chapter V: William Murdock -- His Life and Inventions
- Chapter VI: Frederick Koenig -- Inventor of the Steam-printing Machine
- Chapter VII: The Walters of The Times -- Inventor of the Walter Press
- Chapter VIII: William Clowes -- Book-printing by Steam
- Chapter IX: Charles Bianconi -- A lession of Self-Help in Ireland
- Chapter X: Industry in Ireland -- Through Connaught and Ulster to Belfast
- Chapter XI: Shipbuilding in Belfast -- Its Origin and Progress
- Chapter XII: Astronomers and students in humble life -- A new Chapter in the 'Pursuit of Knowledge under Difficulties'