Visit of their Majesties
July 12th 1913
Platt Bros & Co Ltd
Few firms in the world can present a more wonderful example of the power and development of modern industry than that of Messrs Platt Bros & Co Ltd, a firm which stands without a rival as the largest establishment in the world for the manufacture of textile machinery.
The Foundation of Messrs. Platt Bros. & Co., Ltd.
Beginning in a very humble way in the year 1821, Mr. Henry Platt, assisted by five workmen, laid the basis of the industry which now affords employment for some 12,000 persons, all working in spacious and fully equipped workshops.
The First Machine Constructed by the Firm.
The first piece of mechanism constructed by him - a carding machine - crude as it would doubtless appear if compared with the beautifully accurate machines erected by the firm to-day, was, nevertheless, constructed as well as was possible with the rudimentary tools then available, and in the reputation for good workmanship then secured lay the nucleus of the world wide fame of the works now bearing the family name of its founder. Before proceeding with the history and development of this firm (see page 63), it may be well to give a brief sketch of the progress made in the manufacture of cotton, and in the construction of cotton machinery from the earliest period and, in particular, since the invention of the spinning machine in 1738.
Amongst the industrial arts which contribute to the welfare of mankind, few have attained a more important position than the modern system of Cotton Manufacture, or have exercised' a greater influence upon the progress of civilisation. The most reliable evidence yet obtained points to Egypt or India, or at any rate to the East, as the birthplace of the industry, and at an early period the art became a prevalent domestic occupation in India, being so general, indeed, as to employ at one time almost half the population.
Cotton was grown near most villages, and spun and woven on the spot, each little community producing for its own consumption. The coarsest yarns were made upon a heavy, clumsily constructed wheel, evidently the forerunner of the domestic wheel long in use in this country, and the Saxony wheel of a somewhat later date. The finer muslin yarns for which the East has been famous from remote times were, however, spun by means of the spindle that had been in use from time immemorial. A distaff was sometimes employed, though the process was often conducted without. The spindle in the earliest times was composed of a straight piece of wood, weighted at one end with a piece of clay.
Subsequently an iron spindle was introduced, though at what precise date cannot be stated. It is also impossible to say at what period the crude wheel above was invented, though doubtless it was after the invention of the spindle. It is somewhat strange that the Eastern races never invented anything to supersede these rude appliances, although they attained a high degree of skill in their use.
The same barrenness characterised their efforts in dealing with appliances for weaving, for though recent researches proved that the production of cloth, elaborate in texture and artistic in design, was common in the extinct civilisations of Egypt, yet no mechanical contrivances appear to have passed through successive stages of improvement among these races, as may be traced in almost every branch of industry in the West.
Whence it would appear that the epoch of mechanical invention was not destined to have its birth in the East." We find that the distaff and spindle, and the crude wheel before referred to, continued to be the only instruments by which yarn was produced, until about the year 1530, when the domestic hand spinning wheel appears to have been invented, and this for a long time was the only improvement made.
In the early part of the eighteenth century the elder Kay, of Bury, in Lancashire, invented the picking stick for the hand loom, and improved the shuttle, thus enabling one weaver to operate a loom where two were formerly required, and at the same time to produce double the amount of cloth. This may be regarded as the beginning of the modern epoch of invention, and its first practical result.
The increased demand for yarn which followed, as a natural consequence, the general adoption of Kay's improvement, greatly stimulated invention, but a considerable time elapsed before any further real progress was made. The credit of the first invention of the Spinning Machine is due to Lewis Paul in 1738, more than a century and a half ago, all spinning previously having been done by hand. In his first machine the raw cotton was passed through a succession of pairs of rollers, each pair running faster than the preceding one, so as to draw out the sliver of cotton longitudinally to any degree of fineness required. The machine thus accomplished only the drawing process, leaving the sliver so formed to be twisted and wound afterwards by hand.
The great feature of this invention was that the important principle of drawing by rollers running at different speeds was thus established at the outset to supersede drawing by the fingers in hand spinning; and this mode of drawing has since been adhered to as the fundamental principle in the preparation of fibrous materials for spinning.
In 1748 Paul further invented a carding machine for carding or combing the raw cotton in
preparation for the drawing rollers.
It consisted of a number of flat parallel cards fixed upon a table, with spaces between them. The teeth of the cards being all bent in the same direction, the cotton was carded by being drawn over them by hand by means of an upper flat carding board set with teeth bent in the opposite direction to those in the lower card. In another arrangement this flat upper card was replaced by a horizontal carding cylinder, made to revolve by hand, whilst the lower carding table was made concave to fit the underside of the cylinder.
When the cotton was sufficiently carded, it was taken off each card separately by hand by means of a needle-stick, and then made into one entire roll or lap.
In 1758 Paul further improved his original spinning machine by rendering it capable of performing the two other processes of twisting and winding requisite to complete the operation of spinning by machinery, and constructed a spinning machine having a circular frame containing fifty spindles. The cotton was drawn by rollers, as in his previous machine, and the sliver was delivered from the rollers to a bobbin upon each spindle, by means of an arm or flyer fixed upon the spindle; the latter being so contrived as to go faster than the bobbin, the sliver was thus twisted into thread by the flyer, and at the same time wound upon the bobbin.
Although the two mechanical devices which have formed the basis of all subsequent spinning machinery namely, the drawing rollers running at different speeds and the differential speed of the bobbin-were thus originated by Paul, it does not appeal' that his machines were ever practically successful; and Arkwright's spinning machine of 1769,shown on opposite page, appears to have the merit of being the first that was brought into successful operation.
This machine cannot be called more than an improvement in detail upon Paul's, as the principles of the two are the same; and it is difficult to imagine that Arkwright had not seen Paul's machine.
The success of the later machine may be attributed to its superiority both in workmanship and in the material employed, the earlier machine having been composed almost entirely of wood.
The four pairs of drawing rollers A A were made of brass and steel, and geared together by pinions; the bottom rollers were covered with wood and fluted, while those at the top were covered with leather, and pressed down upon the bottom rollers by the weighted cords and pulleys B B. The sliver delivered by the rollers was then twisted into a yarn or roving by the flyer 0, and wound upon the bobbin D. The differential speed between the bobbin and the spindle, by which the two operations of twisting and winding were effected, was exactly the same as is now employed for the same purpose, although the motion was obtained by different means. If the flyer and bobbin both revolved at the same rate and in the same direction, no winding would take place, and the effect would be confined to twisting the sliver into a roving.
But if the bobbin rotate more slowly than the flyer, then winding is effected at a rate equal to the difference between the two speeds. This was accomplished in Arkwright's machine by the simple means of a friction brake upon the bobbin D, the bobbin being loose upon the spindle and dragged round by the thread, whilst the flyer 0 was fast upon the spindle and driven direct and at a constant speed by the driving strap E below, The friction brake to retard the bobbin was made by a worsted cord passed round a groove F at the bottom of the bobbin, and tightened by hand to the required tension.
The drag put upon the bobbin by this friction brake also put a stretch upon the roving, and caused it to be wound tightly on the bobbin in solid layers instead of in loose coils. In the arm of the flyer 0 were fixed a number of hooks, under which the roving was passed, and the winding on the bobbin was done in successive steps, by stopping the bobbin and moving the roving successively from one hook to the next on the flyer, as the idea of giving the bobbin a vertical motion upon its spindle, so as to traverse the roving regularly, had not yet originated.
In 1770 Hargreaves invented the Spinning Jenny, shown on page 14, the principle of which is identical with that of the present spinning machinery. It thus presents a remarkable instance of a correct perception of the best mode of working having been attained at an early stage in the application of machinery to a new purpose. The operation of spinning into threads the rovings produced by the machines already described, or by the modern improved machines similar in principle, comprises the two processes of elongating and twisting the roving to form it into a thread, and then winding the spun thread into the form of a" cop" upon the same spindle by which the spinning or twisting has been performed. With the difference that, instead of the elongation of the thread being due entirely to the pull or draft of the crossbar, it is now-in cotton spinning - chiefly effected by draft rollers incorporated with this machine by Samuel Crompton, about the year 1780; and also that, instead of the spindles remaining in a stationary frame, they are now placed in a carriage which traverses backwards and forwards, whilst the draft rollers are arranged on a fixed beam.
The two processes above mentioned still continue to be performed in essentially the same manner as in Hargreaves' Spinning Jenny, in which the twisting of the thread is effected by causing the spindles G to revolve, as though for winding up the thread, but allowing the last coil of thread to slip off the point of the spindle once in each revolution, For this purpose the thread is led off from the end of the spindle at an angle so much greater than a right angle, that its tendency to wind in a spiral brings it to the top extremity of the spindle in each revolution, causing the coil at the point of the spindle to slip off the end at each successive revolution, the top of the spindle being conical in shape to facilitate the slipping off of the thread.
The result is that the thread is twisted one turn by each revolution of the spindle, without disturbing or interfering with the portion of spun thread already wound up into a "cop" on the spindle. The crossbar J, carrying the guiding eyes through which the several threads pass, rests at each end on a carriage that runs along the side framing of the machine; and before the commencement of the spinning by the spindles G, the crossbars first drawn backwards from the spindles by hand through about one-third the length of the machine drawing off a supply of roving from the bobbins K below, which are free to turn on their bearings. The clasp is then pressed down tightly upon the crossbar J, holding the rovings fast, and the spindles G are set in motion, twisting the lengths of thread between the spindles and the crossbar, during which twisting the crossbar is gradually drawn backwards by hand to the end of the machine, thus producing the required elongation of the threads by tension during the spinning, as was done in the case of hand spinning by the weight of the bobbin or spindle hanging from the twisting thread. The spindles G receive their motion from the drum 1\1: driven by the driving pulley L which is turned with the right hand by the handle N, while the left hand draws back the crossbar J by means of the handle upon the clasp H.
When the crossbar J has been drawn back to the extreme end of the machine, and the spinning of the threads has been completed, they are then wound upon the spindles by depressing them all simultaneously to the lower 'portion of the spindles by means of the" faller wire" 0, which is brought down upon the threads by the rotation of the discs P P in the direction of the arrow. The rotation of the discs is effected by tightening the cord R, which runs along the side of the machine, and they are turned back again by a counterbalance weight which raises the faller wire when the cord is released; the cord passes round three horizontal pulleys on the top of the carriage S, and is tightened for depressing the faller wire by a transverse sliding movement being given to the middle pulley by means of a hand lever, which is worked by the left hand whilst holding the clasp on the crossbar J. The threads being depressed by the faller wire, the further rotation of the spindles now causes the threads to be wound up in "cops" upon the spindles, the sliding crossbar being pushed forwards gradually by hand as the winding proceeds, until it again reaches the spindles, when it is ready for beginning the spinning of a fresh length of rovings. During the winding of the threads already spun between the spindles and the crossbar J, this length of threads is secured and separated from the untwisted rovings beyond the crossbar by the pressure of the clasp H, which is kept pressed down tightly upon the threads.
However, on the completion of the spinning of each length of threads, and before the change can take place from spinning to winding, it is necessary first to unwind the short spiral of thread extending up from the top of the cop previously wound to the top extremity of the spindle. This spiral is unavoidably formed during the transition from winding to twisting, and before the thread can reach the point where it ceases to wind and begins slipping off the end of the spindle at each revolution; but if this portion of thread were not entirely removed before the faller wire 0 is lowered at each transition from twisting to winding, an irregular accumulation of thread would take place upon the upper end of the spindle, spoiling the form of the cop and interfering with the proper slipping off action in twisting. Therefore, when the twisting of each stretch of yarn is concluded, the motion of the spindles has to be stopped and reversed for a sufficient number of turns to unwind these few spiral coils; this is done by the spinner stopping the driving wheel L, and then giving it a partial turn backwards by hand, for "backing-off" the thread, before turning the wheel, and consequently the spindles, forward again in the normal direction, in order to wind the thread on the spindles.
This backing-off motion and the faller wire are identical with those now in use in the modern self-acting mule, the only difference being that they are now made automatic in their action. In winding the cop each successive layer of thread is so regulated that a conical form is given to each end of the finished cop in order to prevent the thread from getting loosened upon it at the ends in subsequent handling; whilst at the same time the crossing of the thread in the alternate spiral layers gives firmness to the cop, and still allows the thread to be afterwards drawn off as in a shuttle. In the spinning jenny this shape of cop was obtained by regulating the winding of the thread by means of the cord R acting upon the discs P P, raising and lowering the faller wire 0 during the winding so as to guide the thread upon the spindles for producing the desired shape of cop.
The same shape of cop, and the same mode of guiding the thread are still retained in the present spinning machines; but the whole of the movements are now effected entirely by self-acting machinery. Further improvements in the preparatory processes of carding and roving were introduced by Arkwright in 1775, which may be said to include the principal features contained in the carding and roving machines now used.
The cotton delivered from the preliminary machine was formed into a roll 01' lap, for supplying a continuous fleece of cotton to the carding cylinders, the carding operation being repeated until the irregular mass of fibres in the raw material had been combed straight, and laid parallel in the fleece of cotton with a sufficient degree of uniformity to allow of proceeding to the subsequent operations. Comb-plates worked backwards and forwards by cranks were also added for combing off the cotton in a continuous fleece from the"' doffer " 01' taking-off cylinder of each of the carding machines. The sliver delivered from the last carding process was passed between a pair of rollers for the purpose of consolidating it by the pressure of the rollers after the loosening action of the doffing comb-plate, and it was then coiled down into a can.
The doubling and drawing processes employed at this stage of the manufacture were also introduced by Arkwright at the same time, the object being to intermingle the fibres more completely in the sliver, and thereby render it more uniform in quality, ready for twisting into a roving. For this purpose two or more of the slivers from the carding engine are passed side by side through a series of pairs of drawing rollers, each pair in succession being made to run faster than the preceding one; the last pail' of rollers running as many times faster than the first pair, as there are slivers doubled together, so that the single combined sliver delivered from the rollers is drawn down to the same size or weight per foot as one of the original slivers. The doubling and drawing operations are usually performed three times, and the ultimate sliver so prepared is then ready for the roving frame, at which it is again drawn and twisted, and wound upon a bobbin.
In the roving frame Arkwright now effected an important advance upon his previous machine, shown on page12, by introducing the new principle, which has since been adhered to, of driving the bobbin and the spindle independently by separate motions, instead of allowing the bobbin to be simply dragged round by the thread as previously described. At the same time he also introduced the conical regulating drum, for reducing the speed of the bobbin in proportion as its diameter was increased by the thickness of the coils of roving wound upon it, so as to avoid increasing the tension upon the roving, as would be the case if the speed of the bobbin, were uniform, since the spindle and flyer are driven always at a constant speed. This method of regulating the speed of the bobbin by a conical drum is the same as that still employed in modern machinery, with modifications only in the mode of application. There appears reason also to believe that the rising and falling motion of the bobbin upon the spindle, for winding the roving on the bobbin in regular coils by a continuous vertical movement of the bobbin, was also introduced by Arkwright at the same time, although no description is given by him of the manner in which this was accomplished; but in the drawing illustrating the series of improvements introduced by him at that period, the flyer upon the spindle is shown with a single eye for delivering the roving upon the bobbin, instead of the succession of hooks fixed on the arm of the flyer in the previous machine, for winding the roving on in a succession of steps; and a sufficient space is also left in the drawing to allow of the required vertical movement of the bobbin. This principle of lifting and lowering the bobbin upon the spindle during the winding, which is employed in all the present machines, has not been traced to any earlier date than these final improvements introduced by Arkwright in 1775.
By thus making special machines for each process in the preparation of the material for spinning, Arkwright effected a most important division of labour; and the factory system, already introduced in the silk manufacture, rapidly became extended in consequence, as will be seen from the following approximate data :-Total value of Cotton Yarn produced in Great Britain in 1760, about .. £200,000Total value of Cotton Yarn produced in Great Britain in 1894, about .. £90,000,000or about 450 times greater in the latter year, notwithstanding the enormously reduced cost in production, which may be taken at a little more than one-third the cost of production in 1760, as will be seen from the figures in the following table :-
In an important sense of the word the manufacture of cotton begins at the plantation and the gin house. Cotton is, in reality, a species of hair or down that grows out of the seed and envelops or wraps it. The seed is somewhat smaller than the common pea, and when the down or lint is pulled away, it shows a black and rather oily husk.
The weight of the seed is about thrice that of the enveloping wool. Thus 1,2001bs. as it comes from the field will be separated by the gin into 3001bs. of lint and 9001bs. of seed. The separation of this seed from the cotton is the first process required to prepare it for the market, and is effected by various methods, but chiefly by means of a gin, consisting of a series of saws revolving in the interstices of an iron bed, upon which the cotton is placed, the fibre being drawn through the slits in the bed, leaving the seeds behind. The gins first used broke the fibre more or less, and were especially injurious to the long stapled cotton. The Macarthy gin, an American invention, separates the seed from the cotton without occasioning any injury to the staple, the cotton being drawn by a leather covered roller between a metallic plate fixed tangentially to the roller, and a blade which moves up and down in a plane immediately behind, and parallel with, the fixed plate, the seeds being forced out by the action of the movable blade.
The raw cotton, as taken from the plant. is usually "ginned" in the neighbourhood of the plantation, and is then compressed into bales by hydraulic power or otherwise, and in this form is received at the mills. The cotton then undergoes a variety of processes preparatory to being spun into yarn or thread.
The first operation is to open the bales and feed the cotton in large pieces to the Hopper Bale Breaker (see sectional elevation), in order that it may he opened and loosened as much as possible before either being made into a mixing, or passed direct to the Blowing Machinery, where mixings are dispensed with.as is now the case in many mills. Mixings should, however, be used for long stapled cotton such as Sea Islands, Egyptian, &c., for spinning fine counts of yarn.
The direct arrangement (without mixings) is used for all classes of cotton with the exception of Sea Islands and fine Egyptian.
Hopper Bale Breaker
The cotton taken from the bales is put in the hopper A, the horizontal lattice B carrying it forward, and pressing it against the spikes of the inclined elevating lattice C, where it is subjected to a sort of combing action, and is then carried upward to the spiked roller D, which further combs the cotton, and throws back into the hopper any large or unopened pieces, thus securing a more perfect opening and mixing of the cotton. before it leaves the hopper
The spiked roller is stripped and kept clean by the stripping roller E, the surplus cotton falling back into the hopper. The cotton after passing the spiked roller is stripped from the inclined lattice by the beater F, and falls on the grid G in the delivery sheet, and is conveyed either to the mixing or to the filling lattice of the Hopper Feeding Machine, which not only dispenses with carrying the cotton long distances, but keeps the hopper regularly charged, the lattice being governed by an automatic arrangement fixed to the end of the hopper.
Hopper Feeder, with creeper or filling lattice. In the arrangement shown on page 24 the cotton is taken from the mixings and spread evenly upon the creeper lattice which conveys it to the Hopper Feeder. When the cotton is thrown into the hopper it is carried forward by the lattice A (see page 25), against the face of the inclined lattice B (travelling in the direction indicated by the arrows), which carries it up to the spiked "evener" lattice D, the main function of this lattice D being to ensure the uniformity of the supply of cotton delivered by the machine. It also has for its object the breaking or opening out of the cotton and allowing only small pieces to pass forward, returning the larger pieces again into the hopper, thus the inclined lattice B takes forward only small portions of well opened cotton, which is stripped by the cylinder E and passed down the shoot F, on to the feeder lattice G, all loose refuse passing through the bars H and out at 1.
Ample space is provided between the lattice A and the lifting lattice B, thereby allowing any hard substance (which the spikes will not take up) to pass out through the bottom grid J.
The cotton, after passing through the Hopper Feeder, is delivered in an even and open state on to the feed lattice A (connected with the exhaust opener), which with the help of the collecting roller B, carries it to the pedal feed roller C. The pedals D D regulate the quantity of cotton passing through the machine, and the rollers E E, F F, having an increased velocity, pull the cotton and present it to the cylinder G. The action of the cylinder, which revolves quickly and beats the cotton against the grid bars h li, cleans the cotton; the sand and other impurities pass through the spaces between the bars, and are deposited on the floor underneath the machine. By the action of the large fans in the exhaust opener, the cotton is drawn through the dust trunk, which is provided with a travelling lattice. The lattice moves in the opposite direction to the cotton, and the cotton in its passage through the dust trunk beats against the ribs which are attached to the lattice cloth, and the impurities falling on the lattice are carried along and emptied on to doors B B at the end of the dust trunk. These doors are provided with levers and weights, so that when the weight of the dirt, &c., overcomes the weight of the lever, it falls into a bag or other receptacle.
Cotton Waste Opening Machine.-
This machine is used for working up clean waste from Carding Engines, Frames, &c., and is now frequently used in combination with the Exhaust Opener. For our special patent arrangements of this machine see full description under till sheading.
Before proceeding with the exhaust opener it will, perhaps, be advisable at this point to describe briefly another type of opener, which.is frequently adopted with advantage, viz.,the Crighton or vertical beater opener. This machine may be arranged to work in connection with the bale breaker previous to the cotton being mixed, or it may be placed between the lattice feeder and the exhaust opener. The latter arrangement is generally adopted for the reason that the cotton, having already passed through the hopper bale breaker, hopper feeder, and lattice feeder, is in a fairly loose condition, and is therefore calculated to require less severe treatment than at an earlier stage, thus reducing to a minimum the risk of damaging the fibre, and at the same time opening and cleaning more effectively.
This opener may also be constructed with a lattice feeder and a delivery lattice as in illustration, for adoption in small mills where the out-turn required does not warrant putting down an exhaust opener, and may be arranged to deliver into a hopper feeder, the latter to feed a scutcher, the cotton being thus made into a lap without further handling. In this opener the cotton is drawn from the feed pipe A by the action of the fan B, which produces a partial vacuum in the cage C, and is brought into contact with the bottom blades of the quickly revolving beater D, which loosen the cotton and, as it rises, the action is repeated by each blade, until the cotton escapes at E in the direction of the arrows to the revolving cage C, and from thence is cleared by the delivery roller and the lattice G.
When the machine is placed between the lattice feeder and the exhaust opener, the cylinder part only is used, the lattice feed and delivery parts being dispensed with, and the cotton, passing direct into the pipe A(see page 29), is drawn from thence to the exhaust opener. When a clean grade of cotton is being worked it may, by an arrangement of valves, miss the Crighton cylinder, and pass direct to the exhaust opener; or on the other hand where dirty East Indian cottons are being worked, it is often considered advisable to put down two single Crighton cylinders, so arranged that the cotton may pass through one or both cylinders as required.
Above is a section of this machine through the large fan casing and the small arrows indicate the passage of the cotton from the feed pipe to the passage leading to the first pair of dust cages C C.'
The cotton is drawn from the lattice feeder by the action of the large fan B and presented to cylinder A, which passes it over the grid bars e e e, the dirt, &c., falling through the spaces between the bars into the box behind the cylinder. The cotton then passes on to the first pair of cages C1 C1, through the feed rollers f f, and is presented to the action of a beater D, passing over the beater bars and dust box, which further clean it; it is then spread quite level on the second pair of dust cages C2 C2, and then passes through the calender rollers K, as indicated by the arrows and is made into a roll or lap L. The above-mentioned dust cages (or wire gauze cylinders) serve as fine sieves, their interiors being exhausted by the fans F F, by which means the more minute particles of dust are sifted out of the cotton and discharged by the fans through the apertures M M, and deposited in the dust cellar underneath.
It should be observed that at the commencement of each lap, the rollers at the lattice feeder are started a short time before the lap part of the opener, and at the finish the feeder stops the same length of time before the lap part; by this means the trunk and pipes are freed from cotton when the lap part stops; thus the irregularity caused by the cotton falling in the trunk is obviated.
The connection between feeder and opener is automatic in its action and requires no attention; nor is.it necessary for the feeder to be above the blowing room, but it may be on the same level or in the room below.
In lieu of the above-mentioned machine the Buckley Opener is sometimes preferred, especially for opening, cleaning, and forming into laps the better qualities of Egyptian.
The next operation is to take four of the laps made by the exhaust opener and place them on the feed lattice A of a Scutcher (see page 34). The lattice unrolls the laps and conveys the four layers to the feed rollers. where the material is again regulated by the rollers and pedals and then passes on to the beater B, to be further cleaned, and spread evenly on the cages CC, thence through the calender rollers K, as indicated, and is made into a lap L, this operation being repeated where necessary.
By the adoption of out system consisting of Hopper Bale Breaker, Hopper and Lattice Feeders, Crighton Opener cylinder part, Exhaust Opener and Lap Machine, and Single Scutchers, cotton may be made into finished laps at a considerable reduction in labour as compared with the ordinary system.
The carding process which follows the scutching is, in the opinion of many experts, the most important operation through which the cotton passes. It is at this point that the final cleansing takes place by the elimination of the impurities that have not been removed by the opening and scutching machinery, and the fibres, which are at this stage crossed in every conceivable direction, require to be placed in parallel order.
The Carding Engine which accomplishes this the most successfully, will give the most satisfactory results in the spinning; or, in other words, lead to the production of the best yarn. The premier position has now been unanimously assigned to the present form of the self-stripping revolving fiat card. This card is shown in section (page 35), and consists of a main carding cylinder A; on the circumference of which the flats B B-which are made in the form of cast-iron ribs faced with card clothing-are seen connected, so as to form an endless travelling lattice, those at work resting upon flexible semi-circular rings C, which are accurately fitted upon the fixed ben~ D D, the whole being carried from the frame sides E E. The flats when out of action i.e., when quitting the cylinder A-are stripped of any fibres or impurities adhering to them by the action of the patent vibrating comb F and the revolving brush G.
The flats then pass over guide rollers to the grinding apparatus H, whereby the faces of all the flats are successively ground from their working surfaces by the grinding roller J, and the points of the wire levelled and sharpened while the card is working. The extra cleaning facilities afforded by this type of carding engine have been still further augmented by the arrangement of the casings and knives applied to the cylinder A, and the taker-in K. respectively. A simple form of adjustment has been devised to give any desired result, and being regulated from the outside of the frame, it makes what was formerly a laborious duty into the simplest that the attendant has to perform. The casings and the covers are adjustable, to allow for any wearing of the wire on the respective parts they enclose, thus preventing the formation of accumulations, which in older systems were the main cause of inefficient work. The unlapping of the fleece of the lap 0 is performed by the roller P, on which the lap rests, and it is then drawn forward under the feed roller Q, and delivered to the taker-in roller K., revolving in the direction of the arrow. At this point the carding or combing action commences, the fleece being held by the feed roller Q. The fibrous tufts of cotton are carried round on the underside of the taker-in to the main carding cylinder A. The wire clothing of the carding cylinder sweeps off the cotton from the taker-in K., and carries it forward to the series of flats B B. The wire clothing of the flats is set to face that on the main carding cylinder, and travels forward in the same direction as the surface of the cylinder, but at a very slow rate. The cotton thus undergoes a very thorough carding and straightening in passing the forty flats, which are always in contact with the top of the carding cylinder. The fleece of cotton after its passage through the flats is taken off in a continuous sheet by the doffer R, the wire clothing of which faces that on the cylinder, but runs at a much slower speed. The fleece thus receives a further straightening and stretching on leaving the carding cylinder and is carried on the underside of the doffer to the vibrating comb S, which describes a short arc of 1t.inchesvertical movement, and is driven from a self-oiling oscillating motion, which runs at 2,000 revolutions per minute or upwards without the slightest inconvenience. This comb strips the fleece from the face of the doffer in its down stroke, and clears itself in rising. The thin fleece of the full width of the machine is then gathered in lateral guides to the width of about six inches, and finally into a smooth bell-mouthed funnel having a hole only half-an-inch in diameter, through which the contracted ribbon or sliver is drawn by the calender rollers U U, whence it passes to the coiler V and can W. The sliver is coiled by this arrangement until the can is filled, and then taken to the Drawing Frame.
The old system of using two sets of cards, generally called" breakers" and" finishers," may be said to be obsolete in this country.
The lap produced on the Scutcher, and placed behind the Carding Engine, is made of such a weight per yard as to produce a sliver of the average thickness required, the doffer of the Carding Engine being arranged to run at a suitable speed for the purpose. There is, however, a varying amount of waste in the carding, consequently the thickness of the sliver, as deposited in the coiler can, may vary to a certain extent, and itis the function of the Drawing Frame to make the sliver as uniform in thickness as possible.
The Sliver Lap Machine.
Generally16 or 20 cans are put to this machine,8 or 10 on each side, the slivers passing from the cans over spoons connected with a stop motion, thence through three pairs of drawing rollers, and forward to a series of calender rollers which press the slivers into a sheet, and form them into a lap.
The firm are also makers of the Ribbon Lap Machine. where this is preferred.
The better class of yarn, known as fine numbers (say from 80's to 250's or upwards), is, after carding, usually combed on the Combing Machine to eliminate all short fibre, which is an indispensable operation for these higher qualities. In order that the cotton may be in a suitable form and condition for combing, the card sliver is passed through one passage of drawing and made into a lap by the Sliver Lap Machine. Another system is to displace the Drawing Frame at this stage, and insert a Ribbon Lap Machine between the Sliver Lap Machine and the Comber. In the former system the doubling takes place in the sliver, and in the latter in the lap, both systems, however, having the definite object of obtaining a uniform lap, with the fibres of cotton in the greatest possible degree of parallelism, so as to be in the most suitable condition for combing.
After leaving the comber the sliver is passed through three passages of drawing frames for further doubling and drawing, thus rendering the sliver more uniform in density throughout its length.
The Drawing Frame is for the purpose of making the fibres of cotton more parallel, and to render the sliver as uniform as possible in thickness. It is fitted, as a rule, with four rows of top and bottom rollers (sometimes five or six), and at the back of each coiler or delivery six or eight cans are placed, according to circumstances.
The slivers, as drawn from the cans A A, pass over the tumblers B of the back stop motion, through the guides C of the traverse bars behind the rollers, and through the draft rollers to the trumpet D of the front stop motion. The sliver then passes between the calender rollers E E, through the tube of the coiler, and is deposited in the can. Underneath the coiler wheel of one of the cans of each head a loose plate F is so arranged
that when the can is full the plate is lifted by the coils of sliver, and being in connection with the rocking shaft G stops the machine. The whole of the cans in this head are then removed, replaced by empty ones, and the machine set to work again. There is one tumbler B to each sliver, and if the sliver breaks or the can becomes empty the tumbler through which it passes overbalances, comes in contact with the oscillating bar on the rocking shaft G, and by simple mechanism stops the machine. The trumpet D of the front stop motion is connected with the same mechanism, its object being to stop the machine when the sliver is light or breaks from any cause, such as roller laps, &c. As the special function of the drawing frame is to lay the fibres of cotton parallel, and render the slivers of equal thickness by frequent doublings, the rollers naturally playa very important part.· The gearing is arranged at one end of the rollers, which run at gradually increasing speeds from the back to the front lines, to attenuate the sliver or give what is called" draft." To maintain the flutes and the bearings of these rollers in good condition, the front, and sometimes the second, lines of rollers are case hardened.
The draft from the front to the back rollers is usually arranged to suit the number of ends .run into one, that is to say, when six ends are run into one, a draft of six, and for eight ends a draft of eight. It is customary to have three passages of drawing frames, or four passages for fine yarns, each head or passage having six, seven, or eight coilers, according to the weight of sliver to be produced.
The Slubbing, Intermediate, Roving, and Fine Roving Frames which follow-according to the fineness of the roving required-further elongate and stretch the fibres; but in addition to the drawing process it is necessary at this stage to put in "twist" to give sufficient strength to the roving, so that it may be put 011 and drawn off the bobbin without undue stretching. For coarse counts of yarn there are usually two passages of flyer frames, viz., slubbing and roving; for medium counts three passages, viz., slubbing, intermediate, and roving frames; and for very fine counts four passages, viz., slubbing, intermediate, roving and fine roving frames. The Slubbing Frame receives one can per spindle, taken from the third or fourth passage of Drawing Frame, and draws or elongates the sliver by means of three rows of rollers, producing a roving or thread three, four, or five times finer than received from the Drawing Frame, The bobbins from the slubbing spindles are next put in the creel of the intermediate frame, two bobbins to each spindle, and the drawing and twisting processes are repeated; the same being done in the roving and fine roving frames, where the latter are necessary, according to the counts of yarn to be produced. .All these flyer frames are similar in general construction, but have graduated sizes of rollers and of bobbins, &c., to suit the counts of-roving to be produced, therefore a description of one machine will serve for the whole series. On reference to the section (page 45) it will be seen that, the cotton passes through the three lines of top and bottom rollers to the spindles. Each spindle has on its upper end tubular flyer AA, which surrounds the bobbin B B, which fits on a bobbin wheel running on the collar or bolster of the spindle C C.
Both the spindles and the bobbins revolve in the same direction, but at different speeds, so as to cause the fibre to be wound on and twisted at the same rate as it is delivered from the rollers. By means of a shortening apparatus the length of traverse is reduced as each layer of roving is placed on the bobbin, and at the same time the strap on the cones E E receives a definite movement, and the variable speed from the bottom cone is then transmitted through the patent winding motion on the driving shaft F to the bobbins B B.
In these frames, as well as in spinning machines, it is usual to have at least the front row of fluted rollers case-hardened. The spinning into yarn from the roving bobbin is at present done on either the self-acting mule or the ring spinning frame.
The Ring Spinning Frame has taken the place of the Flyer Throstle for warp yarns, and besides is capable of spinning weft yarns; and although extensively adopted for coarse and medium counts, the ring frame has in recent years been so improved, that fine yarns are now largely spun on this machine with satisfactory' results, particularly in countries where skilled labour is not available. The roving from the bobbins A A, taken from the roving Frame, passes from the creel through three lines of draft rollers B B to the bobbins C, which are placed upon and held by the spindles-D D (see section page 45). These spindles are screwed in the girder rails E E. The requisite twist is obtained in the yarn by means of the steel traveller 0 0, through which the yarn(in its passage from the rollers to the bobbins) is threaded. The revolutions of the spindle are communicated to the yarn through the traveller, thus putting in the twist, and the traveller, combined with the friction of the atmosphere, creates the necessary drag to wind the yarn tightly on the bobbins. The travellers are made of various sizes to suit 'the strength of yarn being spun. The traverse of the yarn on the bobbins is caused by the copping motion H, which communicates the necessary motion to the ring plates I I through the volute wheels .J J, the rocking shaft K K, and the lifting pillars L. The ring frame illustrated shows the machine for spinning warp yarns, and although differing in some respects, will also serve to show the machine for spinning weft on wood pirns, or weft cops on paper tubes. Much time and ingenuity have been spent in endeavouring to make the spindles durable and free from vibration, and to make the bolster holder contain a good supply of oil. Spindles of our D pattern, with front oil spout and reservoir, require oiling once only in several months, although they run well and steadily at the high speed of about 10,000 revolutions per minute.
The Self-acting Mule takes up the fibre at the same stage as the ring spinning frame, but works by a different method, in such a manner that ,it will spin the most varied grades of yarn from the coarsest to the finest qualities, and from the shortest to the longest staples. The leading peculiarity of the mule is that while the roller beams and rollers are fixed in one position, the carriage which supports the spindle has a backward and forward motion to and from the, roller beams. The illustration (page 48) shows the headstock containing the gearing for imparting motion to the whole machine, the creel containing the roving bobbins, the draft rollers, the square, viz., that part of the carriage which is underneath the framing of the headstock, and contains some of the principal mechanism. The carriage contains the spindles on which the yarn is wound, the fallers, and the tin roller to drive the spindles; and the square contains the winding-on drum, &c. From the bobbins A A, placed in the creel, the roving, either single or double as the case may be, passes through the draft rollers B to the spindles C, and by appropriate mechanism the carriage is made to travel outward from the roller beam, the tin roller being driven by ropes and the spindles by bands. The spindles are placed at an angle to the base line of the carriage, inclining towards the rollers, so that during the drawing out of the carriage when the yarn is receiving the required twist from the rapid revolution of the spindles, the yarn may slip off the point of the spindle, and no winding take place.
Towards the completion of the outward run of the carriage certain changes in the gearing are made; the motion of the -draft rollers B ceases, but the spindles C continue to revolve, and, as the yarn is thus held by the motionless rollers, a further stretch, called "after draft" or" jacking," may be given if necessary.
This motion is, however, used only for certain classes of fine yarns. The spindles are then, by the mechanism of the headstock, made to revolve in the opposite direction to their first motion, thus unwinding the spiral coils of yarn on the spindles whilst the faller wire is being depressed to the proper position for guiding the thread on the spindle. In the final, or third movement, the carriage begins its traverse towards the rollers, and as it runs in, the spindles revolve and wind on the spun and twisted length of yarn resulting from the previous cycle of movements.
The length of the stretch averages about 64inches, and according to circumstances up to five stretches per minute are made. As previously stated (see page 47) the mule will spin from the coarsest to the finest counts, and yarn has been spun to the astonishing degree of fineness of No. 400, that is, 400 x 840, or 336,000yards, or about 190 miles in length, for 1 lb. of cotton. From 300 to 400 hanks to the pound are at times spun from Sea Island cotton. The mule illustrated shows rope taking-in motion, patent nosing motion, and other improvements.
Doubling or Twisting of two, three, or more threads is done on either ring or flyer system, according to the purpose for which the yarn is intended. For hosiery, and where a full thread is required, the work is done in a dry state; but for sewings, nettings, &c., the yarn, before being twisted, is passed through water.
The Ring Doubler or Twister (see illustration page 50) is somewhat similar in principle to the ring spinning frame illustrated, but has only one line of delivery rollers instead of draft rollers. These machines are made on the English system, with the water trough behind the rollers, or on the Scotch system, with the rollers revolving in the water troughs, which is largely adopted by the thread trade.
The Self-acting Twiner (see illustration page 51) is another machine used for doubling. It is worked on the same principle as the self-acting mule, but has, instead of the draft rollers, a locking apparatus to hold the threads while the spindles are winding on the doubled yarn as the slide or creel goes in, and to release the threads as the slide or creel draws out. As a rule, the spindles in a twiner are in a stationary frame, in a similar position to that occupied by the roller beam in the mule, whilst the. slide or creel, containing the "cops" or bobbins of yarn to be doubled and twisted, runs to and from this fixed spindle frame.
All recent improvements of the self-acting mule, that are applicable to twiners, such as rope taking-in motion, backing-off chain, tightening motion, and patent nosing motion are adopted. The framing of the headstock is exceptionally solid, and the different parts are easy of access.
Various forms of slides can be supplied, including the old wood locking slide; but the ordinary form is recommended as the simplest and most certain in its action, as it leaves the least slack yarn on unlocking. The slides are arranged for dry doubling, or with water trough, or other arrangements, for wet doubling and with various forms of creels for doubling from" cops" or bobbins, or from winders' bobbins on which two or more threads have been previously wound, The twiners are made to suit any position of main driving shaft in the building to contain them.
Reeling.-In order to facilitate the dyeing of the yarn, it is necessary that it be in an open condition suitable for receiving the dye, and, to achieve this, it is wound from the cop or bobbin on to a swift in the form of a hank, for which purpose reels are constructed in a variety of ways, depending whether the yarn is to be wound from "cops" or bobbins. The "swift" is composed of a light iron tube or a tin cylinder, upon which a number of arms are mounted, and on the ends of these arms are fixed wooden laths or bars, around which the yarn is wound into hanks, from cops to bobbins fixed on suitable skewers, pegs, or spindles, as required.
A stop motion is applied, so that when a certain length has been reeled, the strap is transferred from the fast to the loose pulley, and the machine is stopped .An automatic stop motion when a thread breaks is also applied, when required, for the prevention of short length hanks.
To doff the hanks, the swift is made so that the arms can be drawn together, or closed, thus releasing or slackening the hanks, and enabling the attendant to draw them to the end of the reel, where by a suitable doffing arrangement the hanks may be removed.
If the yarn is intended for export, after being reeled it is made up into bundles of 5lb., 10lb., or 12lb. each in weight.
These bundles are formed by the aid of the bundling press, which contains, within a strong frame, powerful gearing, by which a presser table is moved upwards.
Attached to the side framing are two sets of five or more cast steel side bars, slightly separated from each other to allow of the passage of strings. To one of the sets of side bars are hinged bars, which pass across the top and. are locked automatically by levers jointed to the opposite set, the whole forming a box to contain the requisite number of knotted hanks to form a bundle of the desired weight.
The action of the press with automatic closing box is as follows: The knots or hanks having been placed in the box, and the strap moved from the loose to the fast pulley, the top bars descend and are fastened automatically. The table or presser then rises until the bundle is pressed to the proper size, when the knocking-off motion comes into action and the press stops. The attendant then ties the various strings, and releases a catch from the ratchet wheel on the flywheel shaft, when the presser sinks by its own weight, and during its descent the top bars are automatically unlocked and turned back, and the bundle then removed by the attendant.
Warp Winding Frame.
This machine winds the grey yarn from the mule cop, or ring frame bobbin, onto larger bobbins called warpers' bobbins, and at the same time clears the yarn of impurities.
The machine has on each side two rows of spindles driven by bands from a tin drum or roller, running through the centre of the machine.
The cops or bobbins to be wound are fixed in front of the machine, and the threads pass over a drag roller covered with cloth, and thence over a guide rod, through a card wire brush, and over a guide, on to a .warpers' bobbin.
On each spindle is fixed a cast-iron disc, covered with a flannel washer, on which the bobbin rests and revolves by frictional contact.
The wire brush and guide traverse upwards and downwards whilst filling the bobbins with yarn. As the warpers' bobbins fill and get larger in diameter, a gradually increasing rate of winding and tension on the yarn takes place, owing to the greater circumference of the bobbin; and on this account it is, therefore, usual to run the back row of spindles more slowly than the front row; and as the bobbins on the front row of spindles increase in diameter they are placed on the back row, thus reducing the tension on the yarn.
Bobbins up to about half size are therefore produced on the front row of spindles and full size bobbins on the back row, both sets working, however, at the same time.
The Drum Winder is used for winding hanks on to warping bobbins ready for the creel of the warping or beaming machine. The warpers' bobbins are placed on iron surface. drums, and are driven by frictional contact. By this means a uniform surface velocity is imparted to the bobbin, and consequently a uniform tension on the thread is obtained, which is an important desideratum in winding hanks, the threads of which may have become matted together in the dyeing.
To guide the yarn on to the bobbin, thread guides are fixed to a rod, extending the length of the frame, and to which a lateral traverse equal to the lift of the bobbin or the distance between its flanges is given by suitable mechanism.
The drum winder may be constructed with a line of drums on each side of the machine, with one bobbin per drum, or with a single line of drums in the centre, as illustrated, but with two bobbins per drum. The former type is most convenient where the workpeople are of very short stature.
Pirn Winder for Weft.-
After dyeing the hanks of yarn used for weft in weaving coloured goods, such as checks, it is necessary to re-wind the yarn on the Pirn Winder to prepare "cops" (cannettes) or pirns for the loom shuttle. On each side of this machine are swifts to receive the dyed hanks, the yarn passing from tile hanks over guide rods, one of which has a radial movement to traverse the yarn on to paper tubes or pirns. The form of the cop is obtained by means of a slit conical cup through which the spindle and the pirn pass. The yarn is guided through the slit in the cup on to the revolving pirn, and, as the winding progresses, it accumulates and fills the cup, and causes the cop or pirn to be pushed upwards, at the same time imparting to the cop its conical shape. It maybe added that the machine may be arranged for hanks above or below,
The Warping or Beaming Machine follows the winding frame, and has a V-shaped creel, to contain 500 or more warpers' bobbins, the threads from which are passed through a reed, under and over tension rollers, and thence through a guide comb, and on to a warpers' beam, consisting of a wood roller about 5 inches diameter, with iron flanges about 21 inches diameter. The yarn is now in a suitable condition for being sized, to facilitate weaving, &c.
Sectional Warping is a method largely adopted for dyed or coloured warps, and where the warp yarn is sized in the hank. The machine for this purpose is a diminutive beaming frame, with a creel for 400 to 600 bobbins.
The yarn is warped in sections, or cheeses, about 5 inches in width, the number depending upon the number of threads to be put on the loom beam.
If the yarn is required in balls for transport, the ends from a section are gathered together into a loose rope and coiled in a balling machine.
For warps containing coloured ends, the system of sectional warping presents well known advantages. The yarn can be sized in the hank after reeling (each colour being kept separate), then wound on warpers" bobbins on the Drum Winder, already described, and, finally, placed in the creel of the Sectional Warping machine in the required order to form stripes and other effects as in check and fancy cloths.
This is performed in becks or wooden cisterns fitted with revolving "dashers" to stir the mixture. The mixing of size requires constant care and supervision, as variation in quality of materials used, atmospheric conditions, time of storage, &c. ,necessitate changes in proportions of ingredients to obtain correct and unvarying weights of size in the yarn, and to prevent mildew. The ingredients and the proportions used are very variable, each manufacturer having his own particular recipe; experience, therefore, is the only reliable guide in matters of this kind.
The following are the principal ingredients used :-
1st. Adhesive Substances which have vegetable origin.-Wheat flour, farina, sago, rice, dextrine or British gum, and Irish moss.
2nd Weighting Substances.-China clay, sulphate of lime, French chalk, silicate of magnesia, sulphate of magnesia or Epsom salts, sulphate of soda or Glauber's salts.
3rd Fatty Substances or Dubricants.-Tallow, bleached palm oil, coconut oil, castor oil, olive oil, and paraffin oil.
4th. Deliquescenis and Softeners.-Chloride of magnesium, chloride of calcium, glycerine and soaps.
5th. Antiseptic8.-Chloride of zinc, carbolic acid, cresylic acid and salts of arsenic, &c., including numerous sizing liquors which may be decoctions of chloride of zinc and other antiseptics.
The Slasher Sizing Machine is now almost universally adopted for applying size to the warp yarn. The machine is of considerable length, and consists of a creel for six or eight warpers' beams, a size box with immersion and squeezing rollers, and two copper cylinders for drying, together with the headstock containing the gearing, &c., to wind the sized and dried warp on to the loom beam.
The beams from the warping machine are placed in the creel in two levels, the number of ends on each being such, that the total from all the beams make up the required number of ends in the warp. The ends are gathered together in a sheet, those from the first beams passing under and over those which follow alternately and thence through the sowe box, passing under a skeleton immersion roller, which may be raised or lowered at pleasure, and through a pair of presser rollers, to squeeze out the superfluous size, at the same time pressing the size into the yarn.
The warp then passes forward and is wound round the larger cylinder, thence over carrier rollers, and round the small cylinder ; after which it passes to and fro over other carrier rollers below the machine, and with the assistance of one or two fans is thus thoroughly cooled and dried before being wound on the yarn beam for the loom. ~
Ball Sizing is the system of sizing adopted after the process or ball warping. The warps are uncoiled and run into a large vat of size, passing over a number of immersed rollers, and left until thoroughly soaked, after which the superfluous size is expelled by passing between presser rollers, and the warp taken to a drying machine consisting of about 12 cylinders heated by steam, where it is dried, and afterwards again balled and beamed. Owing, however, to the extra processes involved, and to several other drawbacks inherent to the system, this method is becoming obsolete, and is being superseded by slasher sizing. For the export of sized warps it is, however, still in vogue.
-Before the yarn beam is ready for the loom, each end must be drawn through the eyes or mails of the healds and through a dent in the reed; this process is termed drawing-in. The healds are used in making the shed for the passage of the shuttle, and consist of two staves or rods connected by heald cord, in the centre of which is an eye or mail. A set of healds comprises two or more sets of staves. To separate the warp to form a shed, one or more healds are raised and one or more lowered in the loom, and thus form the desired effect or pattern of cloth.
The reed or comb is an arrangement of dents-pieces of flattened and polished wire about five inches long-fixed between strips of wood by pitched band. The dents are closer or further apart as the reed is finer or coarser in counts. Two ends are generally drawn between each split or dent.
Where the healds have been used before with the same counts per inch, &c., the ends from a new beam are pieced by a loomer, or twister-in, to a corresponding end which has been left in the heald from an old beam; this process is termed twisting-in.
The object of the loom is to interlace the warp and weft yarns in such a manner as to form a firm texture of plain or fancy cloth according to requirements.
The beam, containing the sized warp yarn, is placed in suitable bearings at the back of the loom, from whence the yarn passes upwards and over the back rest, through the heald eyes and through the reed or comb; at this point the shuttle containing the weft yarn is caused to pass through the opening-termed a shed created by the division of the warp into two portions by the lifting of some and lowering of other healds, and the weft, thus projected across the warp, is immediately beaten up by the reed held by the lathe or slay close to the previous pick or shot of weft; the cloth thus woven then passes over an iron surface roller, covered with perforated steel filleting, on to the cloth roller.
To keep the warp at a suitable tension, the yarn beam is held by means of chains and weighted levers, the chains passing round the collars of the beams at each end, the threads of yarn from the beam being separated by two lease rods, placed across the warp between the back rest and the healds, the alternate ends passing under one rod and over the other, to keep them thoroughly separated, and independent of each other.
The healds are carried by straps and cords from heald rollers fixed to the cross framing over the top of the loom, and are operated from a tappet shaft below the machine by means of levers, the tappet shaft being driven from the crank shaft by spur gearing outside the loom framing.
The shuttle containing the weft yarn traverses the warp by the action of a cam or picking plate on the tappet shaft, which communicates by a blow a quick movement to the picking-stick, on which is ~ leather strap connected to the picker-a piece of leather or buffalo hide-against which the shuttle rests in the shuttle box; the motion of the picking-stick is transmitted to the picker, and the shuttle is driven over the slay and across the loom into a similar box on the other side.
A positive take-up motion is applied to the roller to take up the woven cloth at a definite rate, and thus determine the density of the cloth by controlling the number of picks or shots of weft in a given space; and a motion is also applied to stop the loom when the weft breaks, or when the cop or pirn in the shuttle is empty. The variety of cloths that may be woven on the loom is almost illimitable, while for the weaving of checks, figured goods, gauze, pile, or other patterns of fancy cloths, special appliances or motions are used, such as additional tappets of various kinds, circular or drop shuttle box motions for 3, 4, or 6 shuttles on one or both sides, and dobbies and jacquards for complicated or figured cloths.
The cloth from the loom is taken to the warehouse, where, after being examined, it is folded and made up into bundles of about 10 pieces ready for transport.
Cloth Folding Machine.-
This machine, as its name implies, folds the cloth in plaits or layers, varying in size from 18 inches to 44 inches, according to requirements.
The cloth is placed on a tray in front of the machine and passes upwards over an inclined table, where by means of reciprocating knives stretching across the machine the cloth is carried backwards and forwards and folded in layers on a sinking table, convex in shape, to conform to the curve described by the moving knife.
The mechanism of the machine is of a simple character, consisting of a series of levers actuated by a cam driven from the driving shaft, and an apparatus is applied to stop the machine as soon as the end of the cloth passes over it.
The Hydraulic Cloth Press.-This machine is intended to press the cloth in order to reduce its bulk. The illustration shows the press to work by power only, but when desired it can be constructed to work also by hand, the method of working being readily understood from the illustration. The pump lifts the water from the tank and forces it into the ram cylinder; the pressure of the water then compels the ram to rise, and with it the table on which the cloth has been placed. The table is thus gradually forced against the plate overhead, supported by four pillars; and, by means of a rod fixed to one side of the table, the driving strap is changed from the fast to the loose pulley when the desired pressure has been obtained, and by opening the valve the table descends by its own weight, and the water in the ram cylinder is returned to the tank.
The early venture of Mr. Henry Platt soon outgrew its humble environment, and he shortly entered into partnership with Mr. Elijah Hibbert, an Oldham engineer, and father of Sir John Tomlinson Hibbert, K.C.B.,J.P., D.L., D.C.L., a former Member of Parliament for the borough of Oldham. The partnership was known by the name of Hibbert & Platt, and proved so successful, that a further enlargement of premises was necessary. The old quarters at Ferney Bank were given up for a far more advantageous site at the east end of the town. These works were later known as the Hartford Old Works, to distinguish them from the Hartford New Works, which were subsequently erected at the West, or Werneth side.
In 1837 interests in the firm were secured by John and Joseph Platt, the two eldest sons of the founder, and the name of the concern was changed to Hibbert, Platt, & Sons. In 1842Mr. Henry Platt died, followed three years later by Mr. Joseph Platt, and the concern then passed into the hands of Mr. Hibbert and the remaining Mr. John Platt. At this juncture Mr. James Platt, another son of the founder, joined the firm, and when in 1846 Mr. Hibbert died, the entire management of the works, which by this time had acquired a notable reputation and assumed important dimensions, devolved on the two surviving partners. Eventually they acquired the interest which Mr. Hibbert had in the firm, and became absolute proprietors of the industry,
though the name of Hibbert, Platt, & Sons was retained until 1854. By this time, however, the concern had quite outgrown the capacities of the earlier management, and with the admission of Mr. William Frederick Palmer, Mr. William Richardson, and Mr. Edmund Hartley, into partnership the name and style of the firm was changed to Platt Brothers & Company. The new partners had for a long period occupied important positions in the concern, and the impetus of their accession to authority was soon evidenced by a further expansion of its operations.
In .1864, Mr. Eli Spencer was taken into partnership and four years later the whole concern was converted into a limited' liability company. The principle of allotting proprietary shares in the profits of the concern to the heads of the various departments was also adopted, to ensure that live interest in efficiency which so largely contributes to success.
The first chairman of the company was Mr. John Platt, the premier partner in the industry. His name and services to the borough of Oldham are fully recognised by its inhabitants. For several years he was an alderman of the town, and in 1861 filled also the Mayoral chair, while from 1865to the time of his death in May, 1872, he represented the borough in Parliament. A monument erected to his memory in the centre of the town testifies to the high esteem in which his name is held. He was succeeded as chairman of the company by his son, Mr. Samuel Radcliffe Platt, who continued the municipal work with which his father had for so long been associated. He filled the position of mayor, was a justice of the Peace in the borough, and in 1897 discharged the duties of High Sheriff of Lancashire. On his death in September, 1902, he was succeeded by the vice-chairman, Mr. John Dodd. The present directors are ;-
George William Needham, Chairman.
Henry Platt Hall, Vice-Chairman.
Thomas Rodgerson Marsden, J.P.
John Stafford Nuttall.
Frank Waugh Chadderton.
Charles Arthur Hempstock, Secretary.
The range of their activities and changes in the constitution of the firm have been accompanied by a corresponding growth in its operations, and it may be well to glance for a moment at the panorama of activities they embrace, though it is difficult to convey in words an adequate idea of their range and complexity.
A bird's-eye view of the Hartford New Works at Werneth would reveal an interminable range of huge building sand workshops extending in all directions, and intersected with miles of storage yards and railway lines; the Hartford Forge, the Hartford Sawmills, and the Werneth Spindle Works, in addition to three large collieries at Butterworth Hall, Jubilee, and Moston, owned by the firm and supplying it with fuel, and, at the other end of the town, the Hartford Old Works complete the picture.
At Hartford Forge all the wrought iron used by the firm in the construction of its machines is produced; and with the enormous mass of raw and finished materials to be dealt with, nothing short of a complete system of railways and locomotives inside the works suffices for the transit of the materials from one department to another.
Following the forge are the Sawmills, equipped with numerous tools of the firm's special design, and capable of converting over five hundred thousand cubic feet of timber into finished form every year.
The Hartford New Works.
At the Hartford New Works there are eight Foundries, served by as many huge cupolas, turning out over seven hundred and fifty tons of castings weekly.
The Hartford Old Works.
At the east end of Oldham are the Hartford Old Works, including the spot where the firm first commenced to build up this mammoth concern. The machines erected here differ somewhat from those built at the Hartford New Works, being more concerned with the preliminary processes of cotton manufacture. Carding engines are included in the Old Hartford category. Several thousand work people find constant employment in these works, though, of course, the works are hardly as extensive as those situated at Werneth. Further afield again are the Collieries already mentioned.
In the Roller Department. of the-Hartford New Works, situated on the ground floor of an extensive range of buildings, as many as 15,000 lengths, or 150 miles of rollers are fluted and finished weekly; while in the department for mule carriages, the carriages made yearly would extend 25 miles, and contain millions of spindles. Grinding shops, smiths' forges, millwright and loom shops, turning shops-one department alone containing over 400 lathes-meet the eye; whilst in the packing case department over 5,000,000 superficial feet of deal are converted into packing cases annually. Next come the departments for the construction of drawing, slubbing, intermediate, and roving frames for the preparation of cotton sliver or roving; and furthermore those for self-acting mules, and ring spinning frames for spinning the roving into yarn, and looms for weaving the yam into cloth. Stores, packing rooms, case-hardening shops, brass foundries, and a multitude of lesser departments abound. Electric and hydraulic lifts, hoists, and other mechanical contrivances for facilitating or saving hand labour present themselves at every turn, nothing being done by hand that can be accomplished better or more easily by machinery.
Underneath the entire works .is a complete electric car system or subterranean railway for convenience of transport, and communication between the different parts of the works.
The Werneth Spindle Works.-
Adjoining the Hartford New Works are situated the Werneth Spindle Works, also owned by the firm, where nearly 1,500 workpeople are employed and where upwards of 21 million spindles and about 54 miles of tin rollers are produced yearly. Altogether this concern consumes about 50,000 tons of iron, and some 350,000 cubic feet of timber in its annual output of machinery.
To enumerate all the forms of machinery manufactured by Messrs. Platt Brothers & Company, Ltd., would be to review the whole range of mechanical construction in the textile industries. Opening, carding, combing, preparing, spinning, doubling, and weaving cotton, wool, worsted, silk waste, and asbestos machines are all turned out by the firm, in addition to seed cotton opening and ginning machinery. The specialities of the firm are many, chief among them being the cotton gin, hopper bale breaker, hopper feeder, lattice feeding machine, Crighton opener cylinder part, exhaust opener, cotton combing machine, worsted machinery on the French and Bradford systems, ring spinning frames for wool and waste, and Chapon's patent cup spinning machine for cotton waste.
Special mention, too, must be made of their flat carding engine and fine spinning mule, the latter prepared for spinning counts of 90's and upwards.
There is not a country in Europe where cotton is manufactured that has not been invaded by the productions of this Oldham firm; and the Continent is but the threshold of its domain. The Nile flows past mills filled with its machinery; China, Japan, and America, no less than Europe, are indebted to this Lancashire concern for much of their machinery; while the textile industries that have grown up on the banks of the Indus and the Ganges come equally under its sway.
In fact, there is hardly a corner of the globe where the name of “Platts" is unknown; while to thousands it is such a household word that they scarcely realise its significance and perhaps no greater tribute than this fact can be paid to its commanding excellence. A visit to the magnificent showroom in connection with the Hartford New Works is a liberal education in this respect and strikingly demonstrates the way in which the solidity and attractiveness of the firm's textile machines are combined with marvellous accuracy by means of the latest automatic appliances. Tangible tributes to the 'merit of Platts' machinery have not been lacking since the era of universal exhibitions was inaugurated in.1851. Beginning with the London Exhibition of that year, at which they received the Council medal, Platts have probably an unequalled record of international honours.
PLATT BROS. & CO., LTD., Hartford Works, OLDHAM, England.
MANCHESTER OFFICE-5, St. Ann's Square.
GLASGOW-Mr. Murray, 228, Central Chambers, 109, Hope Street.
RUSSIA (except Poland)-Messrs. de Jersey & Co., Manchester; and Mr. L. Knoop, Moscow.
POIAND-Mr. Max Mors, Lodz.
FRANCE - BELGIUM - ITALY - BAVARIA, &c. - Messrs. Adolphus Singtou & Co., Manchester.
BOHEMIA – SAXONY - SILESIA-Mr. W. W. Derham, Leipsic.
AUSTRIA - HUNGARY-Messrs. M. Schoch & Co., Vienna.
RHENISH PRUSSIA, &c.-Messrs. Carl Fleer & Co., Rheydt.
BADEN-WURTEMBERG AND SWITZERLAND-Messrs. M.Schoch & Co., Zurich.
HOLLAND (for Cotton Machinery)-Messrs. S. D. Bles and Sons, Manchester.
SPAIN -Messrs. Bastes, Bertran Hennanos & Co.,Barcelona.
MEXICO -Messrs. E. A. Ehlinger & Co., S, Brazennose Street, Manchester, and Puebla.
UNITED STATES AND CANADA -Messrs. Leigh & Butler.232, Summer Street, Boston, Mass.
INDIA - Messrs. Nowrosjee Wadia & Sons, Home Street,.Fort, Bombay.
JAPAN, KOREA, AND CHINA, -Messrs. Mitsui & Co., Ltd.,32, Lime Street, London, E.C.
LONDON, COUNCIL MEDAL, 1851.
PARIS, GRANDE MEDAILLE D'HONNEUR, 1855.
LONDON, PRIZE MEDAL, 1862.
CONSTANTINOPLE, ORDER OF MEDJIDIE, (FOR GINS), 1863.
NAPLES, SILVER MEDAL (FOR GINS), 1864.
PARIS, GOLD MEDAL, 1867.
MOSCOW, GOLD MEDAL, 1872.
VIENNA, DIPLOMA OF HONOUR AND CROSS OF KNIGHT OF THE ORDER OF FRANCIS JOSEPH TO THE CHAIRM.AN OF THE COMPANY, S. R.PLATT, ESQ., 1873.
PHILADELPHIA, DIPLOMA AND MEDAL (FOR GINS), 1876.
PARIS, GRAND PRIX D'HONNEUR (THE ONLY ONE FOR SECTION No. 56), GOLD MEDAL, AND THE CROSS OF THE LEGION OF HONOUR TO THECHAIRMAN OF THE COMPANY, S. R. PLATT,ESQ., 1878.
CRYSTAL PALACE, LONDON, GOLD MEDAL,1881.
ATLANTA (U.S.), GOLD MEDAL (FOR GINS), 1881.
CHARLESTON (U.S.), GOLD MEDAL (FOR GINS),1881.
BRADFORD, 1 GOLD AND 2 SILVER MEDALS, 1882.
HUDDERSFIELD, 1 GOLD AND 2 SILYER MEDALS,1883.
EDINBURGH, GOLD MEDAL, 1886.
BARCELONA, GOLD MEDAL AND DIPLOMA, 1888.
CHICAGO, GOLD MEDAL AND DIPLOMA, 1893.
ATLANTA (U.S.), GOLD MEDAL (FOR GINS), 1896.
ROUEN, DIPLOME DE GRAND PRIX, 1896.
PARIS, GRAND PRIX AND GOLD MEDAL, 1900.
ST. LOUIS (U.S.), GRAND PRIZE, 1904.
CRYSTAL PALACE, LONDON, GRAND PRIZE (FOR GINS), 1905.
REICHENBERG, STAATS-EHRENDIPLOM, 1906.
LAGOS, SILVER MEDAL (For, GINS), 1906.
NAGPUR, CENTRAL PROVINCES AND BERAR EXHIBI'I'ION, GOLD MEDAL (FOR GINS), 1908.
LONDON, JAPAN-BRITISH EXHIBITION,DIPLOMA FOR GRAND PRIZE, 1910.
The Scientific Publishing Co.
53 New Bailey Street
This book was scanned and digitised by William Bridge in 2011 & 2015.
He is the great grandson of Henry Platt Hall who, at the time of this book’s original publication in 1913, was vice-chairman of the company. Henry Platt Hall became chairman from 1920-24.