Page images

while the arc light is very valuable. In weaving mills of over thirteen feet stud, used for manufacturing colored goods, halfare lights of 1,200 candle-power are generally used ; and under such circumstances the arc light is considered more advantageous than the incandescent light. In illumination for such inside work in weaving mills, the half-arc lights will go just as far as the full 2,000 candle-power arc lights, on account of the necessity of a certain number of lights to do away with shadows, and are more agreeable to the eyes of the weavers.

As I remember the figures, some persons illuminate as many as thirtysix looms to one are light. If the room is not high enough, it will require a larger number of arc lights for illumination. For a 1,200 candle-power light it would require about fiveeighths of a horse-power at the dynamo for each light, perhaps a little less. In most instances incandescent lights are preferable to arc lights in textile mills.

The PRESIDENT. I notice that Mr. SOUTHWORTH states quite a difference in the cost of gas and electricity. I would like to ask him if he would recommend any one who has a gas plant to abandon it and put electricity into his mill?

Mr. SOUTHWORTH. Speaking for myself, I should say, if the Massachusetts Company could afford it, I should be glad to supersede all my gas lights by electric lamps, and I think it would be profitable.

The PRESIDENT. That does not exactly answer the question, which was, if you had a gas plant, would you abandon that plant and put in electricity ?

Mr. SOUTHWORTH. I beg pardon for having misunderstood the question. I know nothing whatever about the operation of a gas plant or the cost of gas so obtained; so that, looking at the matter from the stand-point of cost only, I really could not give an intelligent reply. From some figures just given me by Mr. WEEKS as to the cost of his gas, I should judge it was far cheaper to use gas than electric lights; supposing the plant already established.

The PRESIDENT. I should agree with that statement, and should say that, if any one has already a gas plant in, it would be cheaper to continue the use of it than to supplant it by electric light. Whether it is better or not is another question.

We will pass on to the next topic, which is “ Picking, as applied to the English system of carding.” That subject is not one of my choice. It has been assigned to me, and I have consented to present it.



By Mr. Robert MCARTHUR, Biddeford, Me.

The preliminary notice of our last meeting, which was sent to each member of this Association, intimates that it is desirable that those who have been assigned the introduction of subjects will open them briefly. Since there are a large number of topics arranged for this meeting, it is almost imperative that they should be presented in as concise a manner as possible, otherwise there would be little or no time left for discussion.

As the picking department is the starting-point toward the product of our looms, it follows that, in order to have our mills produce good work, we must commence right. Sometimes we begin right and come out wrong; but we can't very well start wrong and come out right.

With the American system of double carding, we have always considered an even lap not only desirable but very essential for the production of even yarn. Now, if an even and otherwise good lap is essential in double carding, surely it must be much more so to the manufacturers who have adopted the English system of single carding. It is quite evident to all these that they must have an even lap, for without this important factor it is next to impossible to produce good work.

Before going further, I wish to say that I have no disposition to find fault with the builders of picking machinery; on the contrary, I believe they deserve much credit for the many valuable improvements that have been applied to their machines during the past thirty years. This is evident from the fact that we can produce more and of better quality with the common card now than we could thirty years ago, when we ran our mills twenty per cent. longer, or two hours a day more than we do at the present time. This is not due to the improvements on the common card. I claim that, while the picker builders have advanced, the builders of the common card have stood comparatively still; that is, so far as the quantity and quality of work produced is concerned. But, notwithstanding the improvements that have been made in picking machinery, I believe the requirements of the English system of single carding will stimulate the builders to produce something better.

I shall not attempt to describe all of the many different systems of picking, as only a few of them are pertinent to this subject. Our main object should be to ascertain the best method of producing a well-picked, clean and even lap. We know that this cannot be done by crowding a large amount of cotton through a double or triple beater opener, making a heavy, badly picked and uneven lap; neither can we remedy this evil by passing it through the next process, say two doublebeater finishers. I contend that we ought to have as many openers as we have finishers. It is a common practice among mill managers in this country, and as I understand in England also, to have from fifty to twenty-five per cent. less breaker or opener machines than of finishers, which I believe is wrong.

The ideal system is, in my opinion, to have four processes of single-beater machines, and an equal number of machines, in each process; openers with the automatic feeders attached, and double four laps on each of the other three processes, making about a twelve-ounce lap all through.

Objections to this system may be raised on account of the extra cost of machinery, labor of tending and floor space. A A more feasible plan is to have a double-beater opener with the automatic feeder, followed by single beater, intermediate and finisher, doubling four laps on each of the two latter. In case the room will not admit of placing the machines required on one floor, the opener can be divided by locating the first section on the floor above or below, wherever it is most convenient to open the cotton, the connection with the lap-head section being made by the trunk system, which may be applied either inclined, horizontal or vertical. With a connection of this kind, the lap-head section should have a gauge-box attachment, to ensure an even feed, otherwise the laps will be irregular.

In regard to the trunk system, I have little to say in its favor. If the opening machine must be divided, it answers very well as a connecting link; but it is much more satisfactory to have all the machines on one floor, and dispense with the trunks.

In conclusion, I would say that the proper mixing of the cotton, the speed of the beaters and fans, the adjustment of the feed rolls, and ample ventilation of the dust room, are matters of great importance, and should have careful attention.


« PreviousContinue »