History Of Manufacturing

=Spinning.= Spinning and weaving are two of the earliest arts

practised by man. Yarn for the making of cloth was spun in the

earliest times by the use of the distaff and spindle. The spindle was

a round stick of wood a foot or less in length, tapering at each end.

A ring of stone or clay was placed on the spindle to give it

steadiness and momentum when it revolved. At the top of the spindle

was a slit or notch in which the yarn was caught. The distaff was a

larger, stouter stick, around one end of which the material to be spun

was wound in a loose ball. The spinner fixed the end of the distaff

under her left arm so that the coil of material was in a convenient

position for drawing out to form the yarn. The end of the yarn, after

being prepared, was inserted in the notch, and the spindle was set in

motion by rolling it with the right hand against the leg. Then the

spinner drew from the distaff an additional amount of fiber, which

was formed by the right hand into uniform strands. After the yarn was

twisted, it was released from the notch and wound around the lower

part of the spindle.

In order to spin yarn by the primitive spinner, it was necessary for

the fiber to have sufficient length to enable it to be manipulated,

drawn over, and twisted by the fingers. It is noted that the yarns for

the gossamer-like Dacca muslins of India were so fine that one pound

of cotton was spun into a thread 253 miles long. This was accomplished

with the aid of a bamboo spindle not much bigger than a darning

needle, which was lightly weighted with a pellet of clay. Since such a

slender thread could not support even the weight of so slight a

spindle, the apparatus was rotated upon a piece of hollow shell. It

thus appears that the primitive spinners with distaff and spindle had

nothing to learn in point of fineness from even the most advanced

methods of spinning by machinery.

Certain rude forms of the spinning wheel seem to have been known from

time immemorial. The use of the wheel in Europe cannot, however, be

dated back earlier than the fifteenth century. In the primitive wheel

the spindle, having a groove worked in its whorl, was mounted

horizontally in a framework fixed to the end of a bench. A band

passed around the whorl and was carried around a large wheel fixed

farther back on the bench, and this wheel, being turned by the hand of

the spinner, gave a rapid rotation to the spindle.

The fibers to be spun were first combed out by means of carding

boards--an implement of unknown antiquity, consisting of two boards

with wire teeth set in them at a uniform angle. The fiber to be carded

was thinly spread upon one of the boards, and then the other was

pushed backward and forward across it, the teeth of the two

overlapping at opposite angles, until the fibers were combed out and

laid straight in parallel lines. The fibers were then scraped off the

boards in rollers or "cardings" about twelve inches long and

three-quarters of an inch in diameter. An end of the carding was then

attached to the spindle and the wheel set in motion. The carding

itself was held in the hand of the spinner and gradually drawn out and

twisted by the rotation of the spindle. As soon as a sufficient length

had been attenuated and twisted to the required fineness, the thread

so produced was held at right angles to the spindle and allowed to

wind up on it. But for fine spinning two operations of the wheel were

generally necessary. By the first spinning the fibers were drawn out

and slightly attenuated into what was called a roving, and by the

second spinning the roving itself passed through a similar cycle of

operations to bring it to the required degree of attenuation and


Many improvements in the primitive wheel were introduced from time to

time. In its later developments two spindles were employed, the

spinner being thus enabled to manipulate two threads at once, one in

each hand. This was the latest form of the spinning-wheel, and it

survived until it was superseded in the eighteenth century by the

great series of inventions which inaugurated the industrial revolution

and led in the nineteenth century to the introduction of the factory


=Weaving.= When or where man first began to weave cloth is not known,

nor is it known whether this art sprang from one common center or was

invented by many who dwelt in different parts of the world. There is

such a sameness in the early devices for spinning and weaving that

among some men of science it is thought that the art must have come

from a common center.

Fabrics were made on the farms two or three hundred years ago in the

following manner: the men of the household raised the flocks, while

the women spun the yarn and wove the fabrics. In this way the industry

prospered, giving occupation and income to thousands of the

agricultural class. You might say that in England fabrics were a

by-product of agriculture. As time went on, farmers of certain

sections of England became more expert in the art, and the weaving

became separated from the spinning. The weavers became clustered in

certain towns on account of the higher skill required for the finer

fabrics. The rough work of farming made the hands of the weaver less

skilful. This, coupled with the fact that the looms became more

complicated with improvements, called for a more experienced man.

Great inventions brought about a more rapid development of the


Richard Arkwright, who has been called the "father of the factory

system," built the first cotton mill in the world in Nottingham in

1769. The wheels were turned by horses. In 1771 Arkwright erected at

Crawford a new mill which was turned by water power and supplied with

machinery to accomplish the whole operation of cotton spinning in one

mill, the first machine receiving the cotton as it came from the bale

and the last winding the cotton yarn upon the bobbins. Children were

employed in this mill, as they were found to be more dexterous in

tying the broken ends. As the result of this great invention,

factories sprang up everywhere in England, changing the country scene

into a collection of factories, with tall chimneys, brick buildings,

and streets.

From 1730 to the middle of the nineteenth century the development of

inventions was rapid:

1730--First cotton yarn spun in England by machinery by


1733--English patent granted John Kay for the invention

of the fly shuttle.

1738--Patent granted Lewis Paul for the spinning

machinery supposed to have been invented by Wyatt.

1742--First mill for spinning cotton built at

Birmingham; moved by asses; but not successful.

1748--Patent on a cylinder card as first used by hand,

granted Lewis Paul.

1750--Fly shuttle in general use in England.

1756--Cotton velvets and quiltings first made in


1760--Stock cards first used for cotton by J. Hargreave.

Drop box invented by Kay.

1762-67--Spinning-jenny invented by Hargreave.

1769--Arkwright obtains his first patent on spinning.

1774--Bill passed in England to prevent the export of

cotton machinery.

1775--Second patent of Arkwright on carding, drawing,

and spinning.

1779--Mule spinning invented by Crompton. Peele's patent

on carding, roving, and spinning.

1782--Date of Watt's patent for the steam-engine.

1783--Bounty granted in England for the export of

certain cotton goods.

1785--Power loom invented by Cartwright. Cylinder

printing invented by Bell. A warp stop-motion described

in Cartwright's patent.

1788--First cotton factory built in the United States,

at Beverly.

1789--Sea Island cotton first planted in the United

States. Samuel Slater starts cotton machinery in New


1790--First cotton factory built in Rhode Island by


1792--First American loom patent granted to Kirk and


1794--Cotton-gin patented by Eli Whitney.

1801--Date given for invention of the Jacquard machine

in France.

1803--Dressing machine and warper invented in England by

Radcliffe, Ross, and Johnson.

1804--First cotton mill built in New Hampshire, at New


1805--Power loom successfully introduced in England

after many failures.

1806--First cotton mill built in Connecticut, at


1809--First cotton mill built in Maine, at Brunswick.

1812--First cotton mill built at Fall River.

1814--Cotton opener with lap attachment invented in

England by Creighton.

1815--Power loom introduced into the United States at


1816--First loom temple of Ira Draper patented in the

United States.

1818--Machinery for preparing sewing cotton invented in

England by Holt.

1822--First cotton factory erected at Lowell.

1823--Differential motion for roving frames patented by

Arnold. First export of raw cotton from Egypt to


1824--Tube frame or speeder patented by Danforth.

1825--Self-acting mule patented in England by Roberts.

1828--Ring spinning patented by John Thorpe. Cap

spinning patented by Danforth.

1829--Revolving loom temple improvements patented by Ira


1832--Stop-motion for drawing frames invented by


1833--Ring spinning frames first built by William


1834--Weft fork patented in England by Ramsbottom and

Hope. Shuttle-changing loom by Reid and Johnson.

1840--Automatic loom led off. Important temple


1849--First cotton mill erected in Lawrence.

Through this great change from hand to power work, thousands were

thrown out of employment in the great textile centers, and much

suffering occurred, which led to the smashing of machinery.

=Knitting Machinery.= Like many other industries, the hosiery trade

owes its first and most important impetus to the genius of one who was

not connected with the business in a practical way. This event took

place when the Rev. William Lee invented the hand frame. He was

married early in life, and his wife was obliged, on account of the

slender family finances, to knit continuously at home. Struck with the

monotony and toil involved in knitting with the hand pins, Mr. Lee

evolved a means of knitting by machinery and brought out the hand

stocking-frame, which to-day preserves its chief features very much as

Lee invented them. When knitting by hand, one must form each loop

separately, and loop follows loop laboriously until the width of

fabric has been worked. Lee contrived to make the whole row of loops

across the width simultaneously by arranging a needle for each loop

and placing in connection with each needle a sinker and other

apparatus for completing the formation of the loop. First of all, the

yarn is laid over the needles, which are arranged horizontally, and

the sinkers come down on the yarn and cause it to form partial loops

between the needles. The old loops of the previous course are now

brought forward and the new yarn is drawn through them in the same way

as is done on the hand pins. Thus the new yarn of one course is drawn

through the loops of the preceding one, and so the whole fabric is

built up. This frame of Lee's held its own in the great centers until

some thirty years ago.

Lee's hand frame gave way to what is termed the jack and sinker rotary

frame, which was like the hand frame in its chief features, but with

the advantage that all the motions were brought about by power. The

various operations were put under the control of a set of cams[20] and

made to perform their movements in exactly the same way as in the case

of the hand frame. In the first power machine for knitting, the

machine builder used the cam mechanism, and in examining the latest

machines we find that he has persisted in this course throughout. The

cam movement is characterized by great smoothness of working and

absence of vibration, which is very necessary in a machine of the

delicate adjustment of the knitting frame. It is usual to connect some

of the parts with two of these cams, one of which controls the

up-and-down motion and the other the out-and-in movement. When these

two cams work in conjunction, we obtain all the possible degrees of

harmonic motion.

From the jack and sinker frame the next really important step was

taken when William Cotton brought out his famous Cotton's patent

frame. In his machine the frame was in a sense turned on its back, for

the parts, such as the needles, which had been horizontal, were made

vertical and vice versa. He also reduced the number of the moving

parts and perfected the cam arrangement. Another very important

development of the machine was when it was built in a number of

divisions so as to work a number of articles side by side at one time.

At present there are knitting frames which can make twelve full-sized

garments at one and the same time.

Another important improvement was effected when the fashioning

apparatus was supplied to the machine, by means of which the garments

could be shaped according to the human form by increasing or

decreasing the width as desired.

History Of Lace History Of Textiles facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail