View of Printing Room, Cotton Mills, Lawrence, Mass.

Special Collections > Keystone Slides
tiff scanned file from original glass slide
The gray cotton cloth that comes from the loom is singed over a gas flame to make it smooth. It is then bleached to make it white. The next process is coloring or designing it. Special artists paint attractive designs which are copied on zinc plates and transferred to copper rollers. Only that part of the design that is in one color is out on a roller. Enough rollers are needed to cover all colors the design calls for. These rollers are supplied with the proper colored inks. As they revolve they print the white cloth as it speeds under them. Great care must be taken to see that all colors are properly registered. That is, that part of the design on each copper plate must fall exactly where it belongs or the colors will overlap. The view shows the enormous extent of one of these printing rooms. You will observe the printed cloth coming over. A foreman is here seen inspecting a bit of the print. After it is printed the cloth is run over large copper cylinders filled with steam. The steam dries the inks. The cloth is next folded down in great piles. It is then soaped and washed to make it clean. Again it is drawn over steam cylinders to dry it. It is then starched and stretched and dried-all by special machines. Then comes the calendering, or ironing, if the cloth is to be smoothly finished. If the cloth is not to be smooth, it is run through a napping machine which scratches the surface till it is fuzzy. After the goods have been ironed or napped it is folded, measured, and put on bolts containing 35 or 40 yards of cloth. The factory you have seen in this view finishes about 5,000,000 yards each week. This means that enough cloth of different widths is here made in a year to reach around the world 6 times. Keystone ID: 22083 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.