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The effort to apply ventilation in these cases, which appears to be the most nearly correct in principle and which has had some success in a few cases, though not a complete one, is an arrangement of steam pipes in a small trough of water over which a current of air from the external atmosphere is deflected, and enters on one side of the room and is drawn across by strong fans on the opposite side, discharging either into flues or into the open air. This plan is not yet generally adopted. If a strong wind is blowing on the inlet side, it will give much too strong a current, and if the external atmosphere be smoky, as in a manufacturing town is usually the case, it would also carry with it a large amount of soot, which would materially damage the yarn for sale.

The arrangement also requires more attention in such a variable climate as ours than would ordinarily be given to it, and is not sufficiently automatic; but it is, as before stated, perhaps the most nearly correct in principle of any yet tried.

It is evident that the problem is both difficult and interesting to secure at once, by a practical working scheme, in all weathers a nearly uniform temperature, which shall in some rooms be about 60° and in others 80° or 90°, as needed, by the introduction and extraction of currents of warm and slightly moistened air, delivered at such levels and so imperceptibly as not to damage such delicate threads, and yet be so powerful as to change the atmosphere and carry away the dust. And there is the further and most important consideration that this has to be done without, either in first outlay or maintenance, materially raising the cost of production.

In ring or throstle-spinning and in doubling rooms the operatives are more numerous, and the heat is often raised in summer to a high degree by the action of the machinery; but there is not the same necessity felt to avoid draughts of air, and the window casements are more freely opened, and in some instances extracting fans are used. In other respects the need of ventilation is the same, and as little attended to as usual.

The various processes of preparing the yarn when made, for the use of the weaver or other manufacturer, and known as reeling, winding, and warping, are carried on usually in separate buildings at the normal temperature in summer and at a temperature of about 60° in winter; the threads are less exposed and, the machines not moving so rapidly, dust is less troublesome. Ventilation is usually unprovided for except by window casements, which are opened in summer but kept carefully closed at other times. These processes are frequently carried on in connection with weaving where to be used at once, and

in separate establishments, or in connection with spinning mills when intended for export.

One special process, known as "Gassing," however, calls for separate notice. In these machines fine threads of yarn are passed rapidly through small jets of lighted gas for the purpose of singeing it, and thus burning off the almost microscopic fluff and leaving the threads, two or more of which are also twisted together, perfectly smooth and hard on the surface, as well as slightly glossy. It will be seen at once that the constant working over the numerous gas jets is trying to the eyes, throat, and lungs, and also renders the atmosphere very impure.

Many efforts have been made, with varying success, to improve these rooms. In some cases, where placed on the ground floor, flues or channels for supplying fresh air by inlets at floor level have been tried; but the inconvenience from the draught to the feet and petticoats of the workers have caused them to be invariably stopped up. The least objection is found when placed in an upper story with other machinery beneath; the greater elevation from the ground, together with the slight movement of the atmosphere caused by the motion of the machinery beneath, appear to imperceptibly penetrate through the floor and help to supply a current which feeds the powerful extracting fans generally used.

The process of weaving into cloth the yarn made in the spinning mill is generally carried on in one-story buildings, lit from the top by skylights facing the north: the temperature in summer is the normal one, and in winter is usually about 60° for ordinary weaving, and where heavy sizing is used varying from an average of 60° in some sheds to 70° in others; and the percentage of saturation by steam in these works also varies from 77 to 88°, and from 33 grains to 7 grains of moisture per cubic foot of space.*

An escape for air is usually provided near the ridge of each roof, but this is generally blocked up the first winter and rarely re-opened.

The practice of steaming the sheds-now prevalent in some districts and special branches of the trade, so that the weaving can be more easily done in heavy sized goods-has attracted so much attention, and has been so fully discussed elsewhere, that I need not now bring it under your notice.

The question of flooring is one of importance, especially in the mule-spinning rooms, where, from the heat averaging 80° at least, and the active movements required in piecing-up the broken threads, the workers have their feet bare. In these

* Heavy Sizing Report, 1st Oct., 1883, p. 4.

rooms boarding is generally used, and is much the best; in some cases tiling has been adopted, and also concrete floors faced with cement. To both the last named there are serious objections, as the cold surface causes both rheumatism in the lower limbs and the disease of flat foot, affecting the muscles of the instep the want of the slight elasticity found in a boarded floor makes the labour much more exhausting, and increases the loss of time from sickness. The passage, for general traffic and skips or boxes of materials, alongside the spinning rooms, is often laid with flags, and in these cases the workers sometimes complain that the change from the warm boards to the colder surface of the stone flag, whilst the feet are bare, strikes a rheumatic chill up the legs. The passages are much better laid with hard wood in narrow widths, laid with the length of the wood at right angles to the line of traffic, so as to diminish any risk of splinters entering the foot. In the cooler rooms and on the ground floors the workers are generally shod, and no inconvenience is felt from the floor being flagged or tiled; more particularly as special precautions are taken to keep them fectly free from damp, which would affect the carding engines and other machinery.


In weaving sheds there has long been an idea that the flags should be bedded on sand laid on clay or earth; in this respect following the idea of the old hand-loom weaver, who generally preferred his floor, where practicable, to be of well-trodden clay. The conditions of power-loom weaving are, however, so different, that the same rule does not apply, and there is said to be much less sickness where the flagging has been placed on a good deep layer of dry ballast; and this should always be done.

In many of the American mills the main passages in the rooms are washed once a week, and the other portions of the floor at frequent intervals; this is done at the request of the Insurance Companies to prevent any accumulation of fluff or dust on the floors, which is also regularly removed from all pipes, &c. The result is to make the rooms much sweeter and the floors much cleaner, more sightly and healthy; and the adoption of such a rule in English mills would be a great improvement.

Whilst speaking of American mills it may also be named here that in "the American mills wardrobes, with separate compartments, are provided for the clothes of the workpeople, who are allowed 15 minutes 'fixing time' before the machinery is stopped. The American mill hands are very well dressed outside."

* J. B. Gass, Godwin Bursary Report, 1885, p. 19.

It is supposed that an eye is kept on the work during this time, but there will be a liability to some loss both in quantity and quality of work from this practice, which will be however of such immense value in other ways as to be well worth consideration for partial adoption here.

The water closets, or other arrangement for disposal of excreta, naturally claim the next place in the matters to be brought before you.

In many manufactories where the workshops are mainly on the ground floor, and only males employed, the system of the common privy placed in blocks of five or six, with a cesspool to same, is still used; and with the object of deterring loiterers, they are kept as plain as possible, and uncomfortable rather than otherwise. These are however being gradually superseded by those built of salt or other glazed bricks, and fitted with water-closets similar in construction to such as are afterwards referred to.

Where the works are carried on in buildings of several stories, closets are generally provided on each floor, and arranged in tiers in a projecting block forming an external pier.

The old provision for these was similar to that said to be, until the last few years, universal in French and other foreign hotels, viz.: an upright pipe of iron or socketted earthenware secured to the wall, and having obtuse-angled branches with hoppers and seats; the excreta falling by gravitation and the occasional assistance of a bucket of water to the foot of the upright pipe, and thence by a short elbow making its way into a cesspool. I am glad to say that I do not, personally, know of a single instance of this system remaining in use in this district.

Various causes retarded the use of water-closets in factories, as there is not only the question of the expense of water, but of repairs where there is the slightest possibility of a closet being thrown out of order by use or carelessness.

I believe earthenware hopper closets, fitted with lead or earthenware traps, and fixed in wooden framing, were next introduced, and these, in many cases, were prepared to discharge from the cistern by self-acting levers, moved by the weight of the body on the seat. Objections were felt to these on account of their liability to be thrown out of order, the quantity of water consumed, and the waste of the material used in the manufacture, and which there were no means of checking or detecting.

Trough closets, let off at certain hours by an attendant, as manufactured by some of the Scotch firms and others, were introduced to meet these objections, and came into extensive


Being made of iron they however soon became very foul and offensive, and this led to the manufacture of them in earthenware, and various slight improvements have been adopted.

The closets of this class are generally re-charged by a selfacting ball tap, and these are soon out of order; in addition to which, if a piece of paper or any other matter lodged on the seat of the outlet valve, a leakage took place, which led to a waste of water: from these causes the ball taps have been in many cases taken out, and ordinary taps substituted, by which the attendant charges the trough at his periodical visit.

The latest closets are of earthenware, in the various forms made, and discharged by automatic syphon flushing apparatus. In some cases where the water supply is obtained at the cost of pumping only, improved forms of hopper closet, with trap combined, and discharged by the weight of the body on the seat, are again being introduced.

The question of the form of aperture in the closet seat may seem trivial, but is really of some importance where, as in factories, the closets are to be used by a number of persons, any one of whom, if uncleanly in habit, or suffering from infectious diseases, may cause, in the first case annoyance and inconvenience, and in the latter case serious dangers to others, who may thus innocently be subject to grievous penalties.

The ordinary shape is adapted to the form of closet, but is generally too short. Where trough closets are used opportunity is afforded to make the aperture a longer oblong, with rounded front, instead of the ordinary slightly oval form. By this means the back of the closet seat is less liable to be fouled by an uncleanly person, and the front is less likely to be infected. in the case of its being used by a person suffering from venereal or other similar disease.

It may be noted here that, as in all cases closets are rarely inspected, it is desirable to make them give as little harbourage for dirt in corners and elsewhere as possible; that they should, for the same reason, be well lighted, and the lower portion of the walls either faced with glazed bricks or painted with an enamel or varnish paint, so as to be easily cleaned. Where the building is lofty the upper parts of walls are best lime-washed.

Where practicable a small ante, lighted and ventilated on each side, between the main workroom and the closet is exceedingly desirable, and though in many cases the processes of workmanship lead to a jealous exclusion of currents of cold air, the ante is valuable in such cases also. The upper part of door to such ante may be glazed in all cases, and so assist in preventing it being a harbour for loiterers, into the difficulties of dealing with whom I do not propose to enter.

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