Spinning Cotton Yarn, Lawrence, Mass.

Special Collections > Keystone Slides
tiff scanned file from original glass slide
When one looks at a view of this sort, he is confused by the great number of machines. His first thought is that cloth making is too difficult for him to understand. But really there are just two main processes to hold in mind. The first of these is the spinning of the thread by twisting together a number of fibers. The second is the weaving; that is, lacing together two sets of cross threads. Our modern cotton mills weave cloth on a large scale. Most of the work is done by machines which are watched over by careful experts. The first thing done is to examine the cotton in the bale for its quality and its length. It is necessary that the fibers used in a certain grade of cloth be of certain fineness. The machines, too, are set to handle fibers of a certain length. Hence the sorting of the cotton is a very important item. The selected bales are then opened, the cotton is cleaned, and carded. The carding machine combs out the fibers, and makes them lie in parallel rows. These strands are put into cans, and is called sliver (long "i"). The sliver is next "drawn"; that is, 6 strands are drawn through 3 sets of machines until they lie straight and close side by side. The threads pass next into roving frames which make them the desired size. From the roving room the thread is taken into the spinning room. It is this room you see in the view. In these mills more than 330,000 spindles are busy twisting the threads into yarn. It is this yarn that is woven into cloth. The girl watches for broken threads, or empty bobbins. Locate Lawrence on your map. Why are so many of our cotton mills in New England? Why are they not all in the South where cotton is grown? Keystone ID: 22080 Note: All titles, descriptions, and location coordinates are from the original Keystone Slide documentation as supplied by the Keystone View Company. No text has been edited or changed.
Copyright by the Keystone View Company. The original slides are housed in McConnell Library's Special Collections.