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This form of spindle was the standard till the spring of 1888, when it was decided to lengthen the spindle and its
bolster, to give a greater length of bearing.
No substantial changes have been made since that time, and the operation of the spindle is so near absolute perfection that it would seem as though none were required.
I have omitted to mention another invention which has been used from the first on the Rabbeth and Sherman spindles, made by William T. Carroll of Worcester. On tapering spindles, prior to his invention, the bobbin was driven by the frictional contact of its bore with the outer surface of the spindle. With this arrangement the bobbins always stood at varying heights on the spindle, and were liable to be split. Carroll applied a cup to the spindle, which embraced the bottom of the bobbin, and drove it by external rather than by internal friction, thus obviating the difficulties mentioned.
Going back again, and referring to the “Sherman spindle," a modification made in it about 1879, experimentally, by Mr. G. E. Taft, superintendent of the Whitin Machine Works, at Whitinsville, Mass. This modification was perfected and introduced in 1883, and has since been largely sold under the name of the “ Whitin gravity” spindle. The main difference between this and the Sherman is as follows: Sherman's bolster is loosely fitted in the supporting tube, while Whitin's has, or is supposed to have, a sliding fit in its support
ing tube, without lateral motion, opposite the bolster bearing. There are some other differences in detail between the two structures.
Nearly or quite a million of these spindles have been sold, as the Whitin Machine Works have built nothing else in their frames for five or six years, and they have been to some extent applied to old frames.
The Rabheth spindle, in some of its forms before mentioned, may be said to be universally adopted. All new mills are equipped with it, and old ones unfortunate enough to be without it are changing as rapidly as their circumstances permit.
Manufacturers having the Sawyer spindle cannot compete on even terms, and the old spindle, known as the “common,” is now most uncommon and substantially obsolete. Four forms of Rabbeth spindles are being made by American builders of ring frames at the present time. These are known as the Rabbeth proper or the No. 491 Rabbeth, the Sherman, the Whitin, and the McMullan. They all possess the characteristic features which permit the spindle to be run at high speed ; namely, the sleeve whirl and the supporting tube within it, containing loose bearings, and serving as a reservoir for the oil to lubricate them.
The differences between these different types have been indicated in the preceding descriptions. The Rabbeth spindle proper is the one most largely built to-day, and the one that the writer believes to be the best of all the forms. Owing to its tapering bearing it requires less power, and owing to the packing it will run more steadily.
The feature of adjusting the fit of the spindle in the bolster I also consider of McMullan Spindle.
great importance, as affecting power, steadiness of running, and durability.
The McMullan type, by having its step and bolster made in separate pieces, has a double cushion, which those having the step and bolster made in the same piece do not possess. This feature tends to decrease the vibration of the spindle in running
The Sherman and Whitin spindles have the merit of comparative simplicity, and are popular with spinners who object to the use of packing.
The number of spindles producing cotton yarn in this country, according to latest statistics obtainable, is about 14,550,000. As ring frames are universally used for warp yarn, and quite largely for filling, it is probably a safe estimate to call the number of ring frame spindles running eight million.
The number of Rabbeth spindles of all these forms in use Jan. 1, 1891, exceeds five million. These, with the three million Sawyer, would make the whole number in use eight million.
There are in scattered lots, especially in the South, a few old-fashioned spindles still running ; but, on the other hand, some of the Sawyer frames have been changed to Rabbeth, so that the above estimate seems to be sustained by the number of these spindles sold.
The field for the Rabbeth in this country in the future is therefore substantially limited to the demand for additional spindles, and to the number required to replace the Sawyer.
The value of the introduction of these spindles to the community has been enormous. The figures below will show approximately this value, though they are believed to be low, as many incidental gains are not reckoned.
The average speed of common spindles before the invention of the Sawyer did not exceed 5,500 revolutions per minute. The average speed of the Sawyer spindle may be considered as 7,500, and that of the Rabbeth as 9,000.
The production of yarn is substantially in proportion to the speed of the spindle. We have found that the increase of production in altered frames was greater rather than less than the increase in speed, owing to the greater steadiness in running. On the basis of the speed, however, 5,000,000 Rabbeth spindles produce as much yarn as would more than 8,000,000 common; 3,000,000 Sawyer spindles produce as much yarn as would 4,000,000 common. It follows that, had the new spindles not been introduced, more than four million additional common spindles would have been required to produce the yarn now spun in this country.
The cost of spinning frames complete per spindle is about $3.
It is estimated that a square foot of floor space is required per spindle, to give suitable room for spinning frames and alleys. This costs at the lowest estimate 65 cents per square foot.
The necessary plant in and for shafting, heating, lighting, belting, etc., for this room would carry the cost for machinery and room above $4 per spindle.
At this figure, therefore, the saving in room, machinery, etc., has been 4,000,000 spindles at $4 each, or $16,000,000.
But this is not all. The old spindles, at 5,500 turns, required as much power as the modern spindles, either Sawyer or Rabbeth, at the higher speeds run; hence the power required to drive these 4,000,000 common spindles may be counted an entire saving. At 100 spindles to the horse-power, this would amount to a saving of 40,000 horsepower, or more than three water-powers like that of Lowell, and worth, at $30 per horse-power per annum (surely a low enough price for steam-power in New England), $1,200,000
Then, owing to the better running of these spindles, they require no more attention at their high speed than the common spindles at the low speed. The labor cost for spinning, including all employés, from the spinner to the overseer, is, in the best mills, about a cent and one-tenth per spindle per week, or fifty-seven cents a year. The labor saved per annum is, therefore, above $2,200,000.