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sought ever since the invention of spinning by rollers, and is sure to be discovered. I have very positive convictions that I have found it, but it needs longer time to settle the question than has elapsed since our trial of it began. I do not now intend to bring this specialty before the Association. Suffice it that the top roll that I now hold in my hand has been in operation since Dec. 11th, 1874, and appears to meet all the conditions named. It is now as perfect as when first started, and it promises to wear for a very long period.* My object now is, in submitting these remarks to experts, to see if I have hit the theory, and if my quest for the remedy of the evil of cutting is in the right direction.
I have referred to the seam as one cause of retardation; of course there are very many others, such as the entire want of uniformity of texture in the skins of which the roller cover is made, there being no two alike and no single skin uniform-the disintegration of the woollen sub-cover-the twisting of one cover over the other-patching with paint, glue and the like. In short, you gentlemen are much more familiar with these evils than I am. I am only seeking information, and simply throw out these suggestions in order to promote discussion.
I understand the need of the greatest possible thoroughness. in all these matters. As Mr. DANIELS has said, in considering these matters, we want a complete schedule of the mill; we want the fittings of the mill in all its parts; we want not only the main drafts, but the sub-drafts; we want the number of beaters, and, in every respect, we want a schedule of the mill. Now, in order to get the information from those who are willing to give it, I have prepared a form for a schedule of a mill, which may interest you, and I shall be glad to furnish a copy to anybody who likes, and they may give me as much information or as little as they please. Mr. WEBBER: My friend Mr. JEWELL, who has just come in gives me this information, which bears upon this present subject. He says that within the last week he has made a change in his drawings at the China mill, putting in three doublings, instead of four on his first drawing; and the consequence is, he has been able to run his spinnings on a frame where he has had some trouble before, without any difficulty, and with great improvement in regard to uniformity, the yarn breaking at 61
* At the date of revision of their statement, May 6th, this roll is still running apparently unimpaired.
lbs. where it broke at 57 lbs. before making the alterations. Mr. DRAPER: In regard to the matter of drawing, I may or may not be able to give some information; but I will say this, that the agent of the Manville mill, one of the large mills of the country, told me that they were dispensing with drawing entirely there; that they were selling off their machinery and making yarn without any drawing at all. I merely mention this fact to show what the drift is.
Now, Mr. President, permit me to say, that I am well pleased with what Mr. ATKINSON has told us, although he has not brought out all the causes of the trouble. I am also happy to say that I believe the roll of which he speaks, so far as I have been able to see it, is looking remarkably well. I believe it is a matter in which the manufacturers would be interested. I am sorry that he is so modest that he is unwilling to advertise it; I think if a man believes that he has anything that will be of advantage to the manufacturers, he ought to tell them what he knows about it. They are sharp enough to look out for their own interests.
Mr. ATKINSON: I only hesitate about bringing forward a matter out of which I am hoping to make some money for myself and my associate in the invention, Mr. Edwards. I have a box of the rolls, some of which have been in use since last December. I am not prepared to introduce this thing; but I mean to subject it yet to six months' trial, in the most thorough manner, and then we shall know whether we are right or not. I will state that this substance has one very curious peculiarity for an elastic substance: if it comes out in bad shape, it can be turned or sand-papered off, and still come out and work perfectly well. You will observe that some are more elastic than others; we can regulate that at will. We have operated many of them at a third, and even at a quarter of the usual weight.
Mr. ATKINSON exhibited a number of rolls, of various sizes, which were examined with much interest by many of the manufacturers present, who expressed great satisfaction at their apparent adaptability to the purpose for which they were designed.
The CHAIRMAN: This question of weighting top rolls is now in order, and we should be happy to hear from any one. If there are no further remarks upon that subject the next item on
the list is Fire Escapes. That subject will be in order now. We should be happy to hear from Mr. KILBURN.
Mr. KILBURN: I was hoping to get some information from others on this subject, which is one of deep interest to us all. We want to know what is the best mode of exit from our mills in case of fire. Some disastrous results within the last year have made it a subject of interest to us at the present time. I have had some thoughts in relation to the subject myself, and have taken some pains to find out what other people are doing in that direction. I should be glad to hear from any one who has any new ideas.
Mr. COBURN: The gentleman confesses to having some thoughts on this matter, and to having given some attention to it. I do not see, therefore, why he should allow this time to pass unimproved.
Mr. KILBURN: I have some photographs of the fire escapes that have been constructed at one of the Merrimack mills, which may interest the gentlemen present. In attempting to determine what was the best arrangement for contending with fire and for allowing the people to escape in case of fire at our mills, and taking into consideration the expense of the construction, I was led to a conclusion in my own mind as to the construction of some ladders, and I will endeavor to convey it to the members. [Mr. K. drew upon the black-board a sketch of the ladder which he had devised, which was, in fact, a double ladder, so constructed that the firemen could work upon one part, while the operatives were escaping by the other, and if a person should fall, he could only fall the height of one story. He said that fifty persons could stand on the platforms, which were provided with railings on the outside, so that there was no danger of falling.]
The CHAIRMAN: This is a very important matter; we should be glad to hear suggestions from any other persons.
Mr. GARSED: I have heard in Philadelphia, I cannot tell now how, that in Fall River, since the calamity there, they are building staircases of iron, entirely away from the building, with platforms reaching from the doors of the building to this staircase. Am I correct in that?
Mr. PAINE, of Fall River, Mass.: Some of the mills, I believe, have put outside balconies on the ends of their mills;