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The intelligence of the progression of early closing, with which our readers have been presented, cannot, we think, have failed to convince them that the course adopted by the Metropolitan Drapers' Association has been the right one. By moral force, as an instrumentality infinitely more powerful than any physical strength that could by possibility be exerted, they have endeavoured to bring about the extinction of an evil, than which not one now claiming the attention of philanthropists is more unholy or prejudicial. For inasmuch as by its continuance, all the influence and abilities of young men are entirely lost for the advocacy and adoption of principles that tend to the moral and social regeneration of our country and even the world, it lies as it were at the very root of numberless other gigantic evils, which, we might fairly presume, would soon be overpowered, if the young men of England, replete in moral power, and with opportunities at their command, were to bring their energies to bear upon these evils.
And the good cause we have at heart has not suffered by the adoption of a moral agency. In every town and hamlet of England are the labours of the Metropolitan Drapers' Association being experienced in their beneficial results; and there is not a single individual who can boast of any very extensive reading, who is not acquainted with what we may term the philosophy of late trading, as seen in the infinitude of moral, and social, and physical evils it effectually induces. But a spirit of greater determination and energy is required, commensurate indeed with the importance of the work before us. It has been said of the venerable Clarkson, the great and honoured projector of the slave emancipation question, that it was simply by means of an Essay that he wrote on the horrors of slavery, (a subject given by the heads of the college,) and the information he found it necessary to procure for the purpose, that his whole life has been, without weariness or repose, devoted to the noble object of redeeming the wretched sons of Africa from inconceivable cruelties. Would that the detail of harrowing facts exerted a like influence on every mind! Would that the essays that have been circulated, and the facts that have been revealed on the late-hour question, in like manner commanded the undivided sympathy and attention of every individual who is acquainted with them through the length and breadth of our land !
We call upon each and all to whom they are cognizant, by the astounding facts that have been unfolded to them; by the sufferings, and the death, and the destruction of mind and body that our young men are the subjects of, to come forward with their assistance. We beseech each one to individualize and to reflect upon what he may effect for the entire abolition of late trading ; not to consider what society may do, but, as a tiny atom in the mass, at once to work himself in the right direction, always bearing in mind, that “ a little leaven, leaveneth the lump." We address ourselves to individuals; and, while each is perusing these remarks, we entreat them by all that is noble and sacred in religion and humanity, to register a vow that at once they will make it a personal affair, and that, individually, they will work for the extermination of late trading. It is, however, obviously
necessary that each should be acting with certain definite objects in view.
The particles of matter composing the universe exert a stupendous power, because they allexercise that power towards the accomplishment of one object; but, since there is an axiom in natural philosophy, that action and re-action are always equal, if these centres of attraction were to be opposed in their forces, one would destroy the influence of the other. Let each, therefore, like a soldier in the field, place himself under the command and superintendence of the general; and, while unlike in the affairs of a battle, he is able to comprehend the nature and object of his evolutions, let him be resolved to work in any position, knowing that the most humble post is of equal importance with any, in bringing about a good result.
The Metropolitan Drapers' Association have circulated in every direction the principles on which they conduct their operations; but they will, never. theless, be most happy to communicate with any who may desire to gain information or instruction as to the proper manner in which to carry out their plans. Our pages will constantly urge onward, in the true direction, the spirits that act under our control, and afford them encouragement, by holding up the grandeur and holiness of our cause, and the successful attacks that are being perpetrated on our common enemy. And we are fully convinced, that if our countrymen will individually lend us their aid, however weak and feeble it may be, we shall together make such a simultaneous onset at late trading, that our purpose will assuredly be secured, and our young men made free!
We cannot, in conclusion, but express our deep regret that young men, who themselves labour under the distressing effects of late hours, do not, in greater numbers, enter a manly protest against their continuance. We refer particularly to the assistants in provincial towns, although we cannot but be sensible that a great many, even in the metropolis, seem to toil on and on, without apparently a desire to ameliorate their condition. We call upon such as have hitherto stood aloof from this movement, or who have only dealt in half measures, and have moved sluggishly and slowly, to arouse themselves. These late hours seem to render the mind senseless, even to its own disease; they appear to paralyse all the energies; and while the body and soul are alike being cruelly destroyed, the victim seems to look on with calmness and serenity, and, like the maniac, hugs the chain that enthrals him !
BRITISII ARTS AND MANUFACTURES.No. II.
COTTON.-PREPARATORY PROCESSES. Upon its arrival in this country, the Cotton is so foul and matted (owing to the violent pressure to which it is subjected in its stowage for the voyage) that it is necessary it should undergo several cleansing and preparatory processes before any of the spinning operations should be commenced. Of these, picking, sorting, or loosening, is the first, which is done by women and children, on a kind of table, called a “bing.” The cotton is then exposed to the action of a powerful machine, called a willow,* consisting of a cylinder whose surface is studded with spikes, inelosed in a large wooden
* So named from it originally consisting of a cylindrical willow basket.
box, the inside edges of which are also covered with teeth. It will casily be conceived, how eflectually the cotton will be disentangled and shaken, when the cylinder is made to revolve at the rapid rate of 600 times per minute; all the heavier particles of dirt fall to the ground through a grated bottom, and the lighter are carried away through a funnel in the top of the machine. The willow will clean from 5000 to 7200 pounds of cotton in one day. The manufacturer then proceeds to prepare the cotton for the important operation of carding, by separating it from all particles of extraneous matter, whether lighter or heavier than itself, and by detaching the cotton fibres from each other. This is effected by means of the processes termed “scutching,” “ batting," or beating, and “blowing;" for, although these different terms are used, they are now almost synonymous,-one machine not only scutches, but also beats and blows. The following is the plan by which this is accomplished :—the cotton is spread evenly upon a continuallyrevolving cloth, which carries it to two fluted rollers; upon emerging from between which, a rapidly-rotating bar strikes the cotton, thus most effectually separating the fibres; this action is repeated a second time. There is a fan arranged, so as to produce a strong current of air, by which all the light particles of dirt are blown away through a funnel, and a grid beneath, through which all heavier impurities fall to the ground.
The first bar or scutcher makes about 1200 revolutions per minute, of cach arm, and the second 1300. The two rollers, called feed-rollers, which receive the cotton from the endless apron, make eight revolutions per mimate. Supposing their diameter to be 1] inches, they will introduce cight times their circumference, or about 36 inches in that time: the consequence is, that every 12th or 13th part of an inch of the cotton is struck three times by the scutcher; and the second pair of feed-rollers, by moving proportionally slower, cause the same quantity of cotton to receive 2 blows from the second scutcher. After passing the second scutcher, the cotton is often made to coil upon a wooden roller, which, when full, is removed to the carding engine.
It is the object of this beautiful machine to lay the fibres of the cotton parallel to each other. This is effected in the following manner: a number of stiff, clastic wires are so stuck into pieces of leather or wood, that they shall all be of the same length; if two such pieces are brought into contact, with some cotton between them, and moved in contrary directions, the fibres will evidently be arranged parallel to one another.
The annexed diagrams will serve to illustrate our meaning more fully:
Suppose, a, (fig. 1) to be one of these cards, and b, to be another; it will be seen, if they are set in motion in the direction of their arrows, with the tuft of cotton between them, that the teeth of a will draw the fibres one way, and those of b the other, to their greatest length. The consequence will be, by a repetition of these strokes, that they will all be placed parallel to each other. Again, imagine this accomplished, and we wish to strip b of the filaments it has secured to itself from a by a transverse inotion; the position
of a has only to be reversed, as in fig. 2, and the object is effected. Bearing these principles in mind, let us apply them to the machine, as seen in fig. 3; a is one of two slots into which slides one end of the rod
upon which the cotton is wound; this coil rests upon a roller b, which aids the two rollers e, in unwinding the lap; a weight g hangs upon the upper one of these; f, is the card-drum, (measuring 35 inches in diameter, and making 130 revolutions per minute) which takes the lap from the two feedrollers e, and carries it in the direction of the arrow, when it is caught by the teeth of the runner p, which by its slower motion (five revolutions per minute) detains the cotton, and thus begins the carding; while the smaller runner r, by its greater velocity (470 revolutions per minute) combs away what cotton attaches itself to p, and surrenders it again to f, which carries it onward to the cards kkk, where the carding is renewed; as the drum passes onward, it encounters h, which strips off the cotton from it, and in consequence is called the doffer; from the doffer it is stripped by in the comb or doffer-knife; the cotton then passes through the funnel n, which contracts it into a narrow riband, and delivers it to the drawing rollers 0, and these again pass it to the last pair u and v, which conduct it into tin cans.
The two pairs of rollers at 0, lengthen the carding, and also diminish its size; the two under are made of iron, and fluted; but the two upper ones (made also of iron) are covered first with a flannel, and then with & leather coating, thus rendering them smooth and elastic; a weight w presses the latter upon the former; the second pair are at some little distance from the first, and revolve with greater rapidity, thus giving out more cotton than they receive. An elongation of the cotton also takes place between the second and the third pair of rollers, by the greater velocity of the latter.
Motion is communicated to the several parts of the machine in the following manner :—the band 99 coming from a main shaft, drives the drum by the pulley t; from another pulley y on the axis of the drum proceeds a band by which the pulley a is driven, which sets in motion the mechanism
Im, working the doffer-knife; a third, from the drum's axis, works the small runner r, giving it its rapid motion; the doffer is set in motion by means of a pinion connected with the pulley a, which also sets in motion the large runner p, by means of the strap and pulley 2, and also the feeding rollers e, and these again, by means of the wheel 2, drive the wheel b.
On leaving the carding engine, the cotton is in a delicate, flat strip, called a “ sliver;" and it is necessary, before communicating to it any degree of tightness and compactness, that the filaments should be made still more even; this is accomplished by means of “ drawing” and “doubling :" but as an example has already occurred in carding, nothing more need be said respecting it, than that doubling is a combination of two or more of the slivers produced by the carding process.
“Roving” is the first spinning process which the cotton undergoes; it is similar to that of drawing : but as the cotton is without any degree of torsion, it would immediately part asunder, were not a twist now given, to convert it into a loose kind of thread. The accompanying diagram (fig. 4) represents the “can roving frame,” contrived by Sir Richard Arkwright, which, till but recently, was in general use; a and b are the two drawing rollers, by which the combined slivers from the cans e, are elongated as before; d is the weight pressing the upper upon the lower ones; on emerging from between the rollers, the sliver is conducted throngh the funnel f, into the can g, which receives its rotatory motion from a band passing round the pulley k, placed a little above the pivot on which it turns; it will then be perceived, that as the can revolves, it gives the cotton-sliver a twist, as well as lays it in an even coil inside the can.
The “bobbin and fly frame,” however, is now the great rover of the cotton manufacture. This machine consists of a series of vertical spindles, on each of which a reel or bobbin is placed, as well as a “fly" or fork, at a greater distance from the axis of the spindle than the bobbin, as seen in the annexed cut; the sliver (indicated by the doted line) having issued from between the drawing rollers as before, then passes down one arm of the fork or flyer, and by its revolution becomes twisted, as well as coiled with great regularity round the bobbin, which, when full, is removed and replaced by another : thus, three distinct operations are performed by this machine, viz. “ drawing” or attenuating the sliver to a still greater thinness and delicacy; “ roving” or slightly twisting it; and lastly, winding it upon the bobbin, thus enabling it to be conveniently conveyed to the spinning machine, of which, however, we shall speak in our next, together with the final process of weaving.