Saturday, 13 March 2010

Sepia Saturday - Spinning

(Best viewed large)

Spinning
was the final stage in converting wool to worsted yarns which could be woven. The machines drew out the roving to its final thickness (count) and added twist for strength (just like a hand spinning wheel does). There are three main types of spinning machine (flyer, cap and ring)
but they all work on similar principles and mainly differ in the way the twist is made and the yarn wound onto bobbins. One of my books has a photograph of the windowless spinning shed in Salts Mill in 1947: 630 feet long, it had 16,380 cap spindles, on row upon row of machines. (See blog post here)

When I think of a textile mill, I suppose it's the spinning machines that I imagine. They would have been tightly packed together and the noise from them would have been incredible.
From the picture of the mill on the wall above, you can see how narrow the aisles between the machines were. I imagine that the children, for so long employed in these mills, would have been very useful - their smaller bodies would have more easily been able to move under and around the machines.

I think the photo on the wall qualifies this as a Sepia Saturday entry - for more fascinating entries, see here.

13 comments:

  1. Another nice photo to go with the history. Thanks, Jennyfreckles!

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  2. I am enjoying the shots in the mill; industrial history. Hope you don't mind, left a comment on the 'bobbin' shot.

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  3. The photograph on the wall certainly qualifies this as a Sepia Saturday entry. The people in that picture lived and breathed and had a story to tell.

    Working in a place like this "..630 feet long, it had 16,380 cap spindles, on row upon row of machines.." I can't begin to imagine.

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  4. How interesting! The spinning machines are huge. It must have been a tough environment to work in back in the day. You mentioned the noise, but I would think it would also be very hot with all those big machines running.
    Thanks for stopping by & it is nice to meet you.

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  5. Fascinating, and I think the picture on the wall counts as well.

    one of these Saturdays I'll have to tell the story of my wife's Aunt and her spinning wheel which we discovered by accident in Scotland.

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  6. I used to have a spinning bobbin like those in the picture. I knew it was an antique, but didn't know exactly what it was until now! Thank you! LOL!

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  7. I like the composition leading the eye to the poster on the wall. Very interesting history of the wool industry. The history textile industry and wool making in particular is quite fascinating.

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  8. The machine in itself is really beautiful. I would very much like to see it in action. I can imagine the sound it might make.

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  9. I think children were often sought for such environments precisely because of their small size and small hands. I wonder how many of them were killed or injured as a result of the absence of child labor laws?

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  10. I am really enjoying this tour through the mill. Very nicely organized. Great job.

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  11. Excellent photograph ... and an excellent post. My family roots - and those of my wife - go way back into the West Yorkshire textile industry. I well remember taking my late father-in-law to the Bradford Industrial Museum where they had a display of old spinning machines. He wasn't particularly impressed as he was still working on a similar machine at the time!

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  12. This industrial image is so perfect in sepia. Your's should be on the wall too! ~Lili

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