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at the end or centre, in mills of not less than three hundred and fifty feet in length ?”
1. Cotton manufacturing began in this country by utilizing its water powers, and at these beginnings water-wheels were limited in power; and for this, and also for financial reasons, short mills, say 100 to 150 feet in length, were built, and the power applied at one end.
2. When larger mills were wanted, they were frequently built across the valley of a stream, and two wheels were placed in the centre; to utilize the full power of the stream without digging canals or turning a corner with the power, and for the further reason that the art of making shafting was in its infancy, and 100 to 150 feet was as long as a line would work well; and for these reasons power was applied at the centre.
3. The application of power at the centre of mills, with numerous cumbersome belt boxes, took much valuable room and virtually divided each floor of the mill into two rooms.
4. When steam power began to be used to drive cotton mills in this country, the limitations of shafting led to the application of power at the centre of mills, for a material term of years; and this method necessitated the building of an L, or a separate building in the rear of the centre of a mill; either of which shut off much light; and, in many cases, one tower with stair-case was deemed sufficient for mills not over 350 feet long, and this tower was usually placed at the centre and on the front side of the mill; so that the tower and rear building, together with the belt boxes, shut off all valuable light from the centre of the mill, and in effect divided each floor into two rooms.
5. The introduction of turbine wheels concentrated water power; and this advantage, together with the fact that several of them could be coupled together, so that a very large amount of power could be concentrated, enabled mill builders to change the arrangement of mills to be operated by water power, so that they could be built of any length.
6. The wonderful improvement in steam engines has also concentrated vast amounts of steam power, and made it specially applicable to long mills.
7. Long mills permit the placing of towers not opposite each other; and hence they do not shut out much light.
8. The wonderful improvements in the art of making shafting and belting have also made the operation of long mills practicable.
9. I can best convey an idea of the improvements in shafting by calling your attention to the construction of the Amory Mill at Manchester, N. H., and the application of shafting to one of its rooms. This is a ring spinning room, containing 31,216 frame spindles, 1,500 spooler spindles, 20 warpers and 2 slashers. This room has but one line of shafting to drive the entire load. The power comes up on to the head end, which is 54 inch diameter, with 4 inch bearings. The line runs the entire length of the mill, running at a speed of 455 revolutions per minute, with sizes and lengths of shafting as follows, viz. : 105 feet of 22 inch diameter cold rolled shafting; 231 feet of 23 inch diameter cold rolled shafting ; 167 feet of 113 inch diameter cold rolled shafting.
10. Competition has led manufacturers up to the necessity of building mills so large, that as much machinery can be placed on one floor as one overseer and one second hand can take care of.
11. In conclusion, I feel that I am justified in saying that the improvements in motors, shafting and belting, aided by experience and competition, lead me to conclude that all mills, whether 100 or 600 feet long, should have the power applied at one end.
Mr. MESSENGER. I did not learn why Mr. Kilburn favored applying the power at one end. Perhaps he gave it, but I did not catch all he said about it.
Mr. Kilburn. Simply, the concentrated power keeps your wheels all in one spot; and avoids the darkening of your mills by either towers, or auxiliary buildings, located in the centre for water-wheels or steam engines.
Mr. GARSED. Mr. President, we built a mill in 1853, 500 feet long and 66 feet wide, with the engine in the middle. From that time to the present I think two shafts have probably given out in the picker room, where the girders gave way; therefore I should judge that it was a pretty good system to have the driving power in the middle of the mill. There are 20,000 spindles in that mill, and they have been running ever since 1853.
Mr. KILBURN. Mr. President, it may not be out of order for me to state that, years ago, we did not put upon the ordinary shafting more than one-third the load it was capable of bearing. I think the rule followed years ago by A. D. LOCKWOOD, of obtaining the power of shafting, was to cube the diameter, divide by the velocity in revolution, and multiply by 100. To-day in using ordinary shafting we usually divide by 33. The way ordinary shafting is made to-day, it is capable of bearing three times the load that was formerly put upon it. A cold rolled iron or cold rolled steel shafting is capable of bearing twice as much as ordinary iron; or, fall a little below that, and call it 13 to 1. I see Mr. Knight of the Amory Mills here to-day. He can tell us what the result has been by the use of shafting in that mill, some of which is smaller than I have spoken of.
Mr. KNIGHT. Mr. President, I can only say that the transmission of power in the Amory Mill is very satisfactory. The only peculiarity that I have noticed in the spinning room is that the shafting runs at very high speed, enabling us to use very large pulleys on the frames. We use a fourteen-inch pulley to drive 240 spindles; and we have no slipping of belts. In one of our mills we put in some spinning frames very similar to those in the Amory Mill, and both run 9,000 revolutions on No. 28 yarn. We did not get the yarn per spindle, that we did in the Amory Mill; very much to my surprise. On inquiry into the cause, I found that, as the bobbin was filled, the load became heavier on the spindles, and the belts were slipping. We did not get the speed on the front rolls that we did when they began with empty bobbins. The size of the frame-pulley, there, was nine inches. The pulley on shafting was something like 34 inches, I think, in diameter; but passed up through the floor onto the nine-inch pulley; as you see, covering only a small part of the circumference of the nine-inch pulley. In the Amory Mill we have no trouble of that nd. The slipping of belts, or anything of that kind, is almost an unheard-of thing.
Mr. Wm. J. KENT. Mr. President, when I was at the Grinnell Mill we had our belts all at one end; and we were thereby enabled to raise them up and get rid of the dirt, and passed the belt through the belt hole from one room to another.
Mr. BOURNE. Mr. President, I would like to inquire about the cold rolled shaft. I have had a little experience, and my experience has not been wholly satisfactory. I put in some a number of years ago. Whether I have had poor luck, or not, I cannot say.
Mr. KILBURN. Mr. President, I would say, as the result of my experience, that I occasionally get a poor shaft made of cold rolled iron; and when I do I send it back to the manufacturers and tell them to send me a new one, and I get it.
The PRESIDENT. We had a steel shaft in one of our mills that broke, and was renewed, several times; finally we got disgusted with it, and threw it out, and put in its place a common iron shaft of the same size, which has given us no trouble. Mr. KILBURN. I have not been troubled with the iron shaft.
I The brittleness of the steel shaft makes it objectionable, and I have avoided its use; but I have found extreme satisfaction in the use of the cold rolled iron, as far as my experience has gone.
Mr. MESSENGER. Mr. President, I presume the first cost of shafting would be considerable, would it not?
Mr. KILBURN. Of course the less shafting, the easier it is to run.
Mr. PARKER. It does not seem to me that the advantage of taking power into the end of the mill has been proven. On the other hand, I think that, as mills are belted to-day, - and no one perhaps would think of building a mill without putting the belting within a closed room or belt tower, — there is just as much light cut off from the machinery as if the belts were taken in at the centre or the engine room, and the belt tower
were placed in the centre of the mill, rather than at the end. At a mill in Lawrence there is a belt tower about 12 feet square that contains all the belts which drive the mill; requiring about 1,200 horse-power. Those belts enter the mill horizontally, without interfering with the running of the machinery. Possibly there is a little trouble in arranging the counter-belts which are needed near these main belts; but aside from that there is no interference, and there is no trouble whatever in bringing the belts in where they belong, and getting power on the main shafting. The suggestion that the shafting would have to be larger if the power enters at one end of the mill is a vital one; making the shafting cost more than it would if you should take your power in at the centre of the mill, especially where the power at the centre of the mill can be quickly distributed from that point. Several mills that I am acquainted with have the picking department, for instance, at the opposite end of the mill from where the engines are; and a very large amount of power has to be taken over a large shaft the whole length of the mill. There, of course, the application of the power at the centre of the mill or nearer the picker room would be of obvious advantage ; but as mills are ordinarily arranged, or, we will say, with the best arrangement that it is possible to make, there is no doubt in my mind that the shafting could be placed in a mill for less money where the power was taken in at the centre than at the end; and I cannot see how there would be any less light in the mill so arranged. In the case of the Lawrence mill the shaft runs across the mill, and the belts are run with a quarter turn; and where the belts enter
l the different rooms they run over carrier pulleys. We have never had any trouble with these belts. All are 20 inches wide, and two of them over 240 feet in length; and they have run eight years.
A MEMBER. What percentage of the total power is used in driving the shafting and loose pulleys, belts, etc.?
Mr. PARKER. I cannot give any figures for that mill; but I can quote from a paper which Mr. SHELDON should have read here at the last meeting, where he states that the least friction