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The more things change…

…the more they stay the same.

From the pages of the magazine “English Mechanic and the World Of Science,” we have this letter regarding something published in a prior issue:


Sir —
“Harmonious Cotton Spinner” has not penetrated very deeply into the mysteries of cotton spinning if he has not yet discovered a draught between the feed roller and lap roller of a carding engine. He says there is not nor ought there to be a draught here and asks of what use a draught would be. That there is a draught the letter of E Slater, Burnley, on the same page as his own 183 will perhaps convince him; as to its use, I may tell him that it is to keep the lap stretched between the two rollers to prevent its bagging, which it otherwise would do, causing irregularity in the feed. His other assertion about there being no draught but a “Contraction” between doffer and delivery roller is rather Inconsistent with a statement made by him to “Factory Lad” on draughts in the same letter in which he Speaks of a draught of 125 and 2 in the draw box of engine, which of course is between doffer and delivery rollers.

E Halmshaw, Gomersal, is wrong in stating that I said It is immaterial whether tbe bobbin leads the flyer or tho flyer leads the bobbin In tho roving frame. I offered no opinion on the two methods as there was none called for. I merely attempted to describe the *working* of the cone, sun, and planet wheels, and reversing motion, which was all that was asked for by the correspondent who requested an explanation of these parts, and I said It was immaterial to the description which of the two methods was taken to illustrate the matter as the mechanism was alike in both cases, the ouly difference being in the arrangement of the gearing so that when the bobbin led the flyer of the wheel would revolve In the same direction as the wheel, and in a contrary direction when the flyer led the bobbin (for “wheel a”) in the sentence, which in this case revolves in the same direction as the wheel.

I am not aware that there is any superiority in the make of the thread when the bobbin leads the flyer. The roving is more compressed, consequently a greater length and weight can be laid on the bobbin. There is also less waste made as the roving is not thrown off from the bobbin when the end is broken as is sometime the case when the flyer leads the bobbin, but these advantages are more than counterbalanced by the extra power required to drive and the extra wear and tear of machinery.


Apart from a lessening acceptance of lengthy sentences and some slightly flowery phrasing, this surely could come from many a forum we’ve all read in the modern era, couldn’t it? Even better, the next letter:


*Draft of Carding Engine* — Our new correspondent, “Harmonious Cotton Spinner,” seems to understand his business. He is perfectly right in stating that there is not, or ought not to be, any draught between the lap and feed rollers; it would not only be of no use, but would cause irregular feeding in proportion to the draught of pulling out of the lap.

The callender or delivery rollers should be so arranged as to take up from the doffer without being slack or very tight. If slack, the slivery probably enters the funnel lumpy; and if very tight, it would be stretched unevenly. Let the rollers take up properly, and there will not be any material draught between the doffer and the rollers. This decides the question of draught to be between feed rollers and callender rollers (not doffer).

*Draught of Drawing Frame* — There are four replies to this question, including one from myself, page 162. The one from “BWR” I think is rather too keen in the preparing draughts. With regard to Mr. Slater, or Burnley, there must be some mistake, judging him from his two lengthy communications. I must give him credit for knowing better than equalling the three draughts. Surely he is not in earnest in advising people less informed than himself to wet rollers as he is represented to have stated.

I cannot now drop on the question of E. Habergham respecting weights, but the following may prove serviceable to many readers….

(the following being a lengthy set of responses, graphs, charts, documents, and math)

— “Factory Lad.”