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Mr. W. J. KENT. I should like to ask what objection you have to the trunks?
The PRESIDENT. The principal objection I have is to the first cost, and the cost of tending and cleaning. I contend that what dust we gather in the trunks, if we didn't have them, would go into the dust room. The trunks are put on the first section, and of course they gather a great deal of dust, and some bolls, sand, etc.; but if they were put on the last section, on the finisher, you would find it altogether different.
Mr. E. A. LEIGH. Mr. President, it will perhaps be of interest to the meeting if I give a short account of the best English system of picking. As many of you are aware, the bale breaker is now universally adopted in all modern mills in England, both for coarse and fine work. The object is to pull the cotton into small pieces, the matted pieces thus being opened out and the dirt exposed. The cotton is delivered from the bale breaker by lattices to the different mixings, and for fine work should stand in the mixing at least a week — longer, if possible. Should the cotton be of a leafy nature, the room should be heated artificially, so that each fibre becomes of the same temperature. Another reason is, that when cotton containing leaf is subjected to a little heat the leaf rolls up and becomes crisp, and can be got out by the heater without being broken up. If the cotton contains seeds, heat causes trouble, as the cotton clings to the seeds. By allowing the cotton to lie in an open state in the mixing a few days, the dirt being more exposed and the fibres of an even temperature, we can treat it less harshly in the opening and scutching, by running the beaters slower, and do not knock the nature out of the staple, thereby making stronger yarn.
The patent exhaust opener is also almost universally adopted for coarse and medium counts in modern mills in England, and for fine work it is gradually superseding the opener with one porcupine cylinder and one beater, which does its work well, but is of small production, say about eight thousand pounds per week of good work; whereas the exhaust opener will do
really good work on the finest counts at twenty-five thousand pounds per week, making a thirty-seven to a forty-pound lap on a forty-one-inch wide machine in about four minutes. The exhaust opener is followed by two single-breaker and two single-finisher lap machines for ordinary American cotton, and by three single-beater finishers only for the highest grade of American and Egyptian cottons.
For example, take an Oldham mill of ninety-five thousand mule spindles for a calculated production of about fifty-four thousand pounds of average thirty-four twist and fifty-five filling per week from American cotton. There would be one bale breaker, which delivers by lattices to six mixings; two lattice feeders in the same room feed two exhaust openers in the room below. To the lattice feeders are attached breaker rollers, which give the cotton another pulling, and a small cylinder which gives a good amount of cleaning with very little punishment. The cotton then passes over a set of patent dust trunks, with a grid travelling slowly in the opposite direction which collects a great deal of seed and leaf, and empties the dirt automatically into a bag at either end, thus keeping the room free from dust, the cotton being then drawn onto the exhaust openers. The two exhaust openers make laps for five single-beater intermediate and five single-beater finisher lappers, each four laps into one.
Again, take a Bolton mill, containing sixty-five thousand mule spindles, producing say twenty-four thousand pounds per week of average sixty twist from Egyptian cotton. There would be one bale breaker, delivering to three mixings, one patent exhaust opener, with lattice feeder in mixing room, making say an eleven-ounce lap, and which would feed three single-finisher lap machines, making forty-inch laps of nine and one-half ounces to the yard.
It will be seen from what I have said that on the English system fewer machines are used and the cotton is not so severely handled, although the maximum of cleaning is obtained with a less stringy and more even lap.
Mr. Brown. I would like to ask the gentleman what machine it was that put through 25,000 pounds a week ? Mr. LEIGH.
An exhaust opener. Mr. BROWN. Not having much experience with English cards, I don't know that I can discuss the question at all. We have one card only; that is working well. I think you said picking should have a gauge box. Allow me to ask why, and why should the system of picking for English, be different from that for American carding? Turning back to the history of picking, from the Whitin picker to the present day, it seems to me there has been little or no change. We have the same murderous machine we have always had, except for the improved methods of taking the air away and introducing air, and the evening of the lap. If there has been anything else, I wish some one would tell us would tell us what it is.
The PRESIDENT. In regard to the gauge box, I have had considerable experience with the trunk system with the gauge box attached, and also without any gauge box. For instance, when you stop the machine, if you do not have a gauge box there will be quite an accumulation of cotton next to the screens when it starts, and then you have a very heavy, thick place; and without the gauge box the feed is more irregular, it strikes the screens in large and small pieces, at irregular intervals; but where there is a gauge box it ensures an even feed. There is always supposed to be cotton in the gauge box, from onethird to two-thirds full, and sometimes full and running over. Our tests that we have made have proved that we could make a much more even lap with the gauge box than without.
Mr. Brown. Have you tried a machine with an evener, without a gauge box?
The PRESIDENT. I think that has been tried. I should prefer to have a gauge box; in fact, I wouldn't have a trunk without one, if I could avoid it.
Mr. W. J. KENT. I would like to ask Mr. PERHAM to defend his trunk system, and answer Mr. Brown's question.
Mr. PERHAM. I did not intend to discuss this question ; but, in answer to Mr. Brown, will say that we deal in both the gauge-box system and the screen-section system; it is immaterial which we furnish the customer. With a gauge box on the breaker you get an even feed. Referring to the latter part of the President's paper in regard to the trunk, I differ from him on that point. I think in the use of a low-grade cotton that trunks are very necessary, placed between the opener and other distant parts of the machine, for making the lap. All the heavy dirt taken out by the trunk saves so much in subsequent cleaning; and I believe it takes out a great deal that would go to the card.
to the card. I would like to hear from someone in relation to trunks.
Mr. MOORE. I should like to ask Mr. LEIGH if in the English mills they use a breaker with the exhaust trunk.
Mr. JOHNSTON. What they call a bale breaker? Mr. MOORE. Yes, sir. . Mr. JOHNSTON. As to the necessity for a bale breaker, where you have a self-feeder, if the bale breaker does not meet all the requirements, the self-feeder would save the extra handling of stock. In relation to trunks, I would say, with reference to what our President said about the piling up of the cotton where you stop your feed; that is avoided where you have the self-acting valve; and when the feed stops, the valve is closed at the opener cylinder, and the draft immediately stopped, and whatever cotton is in the trunk drops at that spot, going on again when the feeder is started. In this way you avoid one difficulty that has existed in relation to trunks. There are evils connected with the use of trunks; with the old construction there were great evils. It is like the old lickerin, having inherent defects. The point is the cleaning of the cotton, and how we can clean it best without detriment to it. You take the trunk, and you get out a certain amount of heavy dirt that it seems you cannot get out well in any other way; but yet there are inherent defects in relation to currents of air, especially on a wide trunk, where the currents do not carry so strong at the outer edges, and the cotton is held back, the other passes it, it gets twisted up, and you cannot then get the dirt out, or straighten the cotton out, after it gets to the card under these conditions.
Mr. LEIGH. The object is to open the cotton properly, and the English machine secures this. The purpose of the bale breaker is to have the cotton pulled properly apart, and get it perfectly dry. The automatic feed opens it still further, and is a great saving of labor in tending a number of machines,
Mr. BOURNE. After going through the bale breaker, how long before the cotton is used ?
Mr. LEIGH. They let it lie as long as they can, three days or a week if they have the room, and in some places even longer for fine work, so that when the cotton goes to the opener, the dirt being exposed can be got out without running the beaters at an excessive speed.
Mr. BROWN. As to the bale breaker, I should judge that there are not many used in this country. Two or three years ago a party recommended a bale breaker to me very highly, and told me I could put a bale of cotton through in five minutes. I told him if I could get it through in five minutes I would be glad to have it. I succeeded in getting a bale through in ten minutes. The builder said “speed it.” I speeded it, and it went to pieces. I have never started it since.
Mr. KNIGHT. Mr. Leigh spoke of an important matter, something which we do not perhaps give enough of attention to in this country, and that was the ageing of cotton. My friend Mr. BOURNE has an arrangement that I have been considerably interested in, and, as he is naturally modest, I will give you a description of it. He has in the bay back of the machine a bin, which is perhaps thirty or forty feet away. This bin or enclosure I should say is about eight or nine feet wide at the bottom, and somewhat narrower at the top, and at the bottom are planks laid across on a track, so they can be pried forward as the bin is filled. The bin is seven or eight feet long and perhaps seven feet high; and, being narrower at