Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 39.djvu/200

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188
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

from diminishing the field for the exercise of the human mind in the woolen manufacture, have greatly increased it.

The evolution of the wool manufacture has not succeeded in reducing the number of the processes through which the wool must pass in its long journey from the back of the sheep to the back of man. It has only expedited and simplified them. When Dr. Ure exploited the philosophy of manufactures in 1835 he gave

PSM V39 D200 Ladies carding and spinning wool.jpg
Fig. 6. — Ladies Carding and Spinning Wool. (From a fourteenth-century MS. in the British Museum.)

a list of the operatives whose separate manipulations were necessary to the woolen manufacture — twenty-four in all. The list is remarkable alike for its length and for its nomenclature — it being plain how words were coined, out of the nature of the occupation, to meet each case. In tracing the evolution of the manufacture, it is well to have this list before us: "Wool-sorters, pickers, willyers (winnowers), carders, scribblers, pieceners, slubbers, spinners, warpers, sizers, weavers, scourers, dyers, burlers, fullers, boilers, giggers, driers, croppers, singers, glossers, pressers, brushers, and steamers."

Each of these names stood for a distinct process in the manufacture through which the fiber must pass before it was converted into cloth. Many of them are now known by different names, but all of them represented successive steps in the manufacture, some of which are now combined, but all of which are still necessary, and all of which, except the first, are now performed automatically, by a great variety of machines, bewildering in their number, complicated in their movement, and representing a body of inventions, as applied to all the textile industries with the necessary variations, which finds no parallel in any other of the human arts. Each of these processes was by hand up to about the middle of the last century.

It will be necessary to confine our attention in this paper to the historical development of the main processes of the manufacture — the carding, the combing, the spinning, the weaving, and