cotton manufacture yarn time spinning spindles trade power weaving scotland
SELF-ACTING MULE (fig. 14). - In 1818 William Eaton obtained a patent for a self-acting mule, in which the operations ordinarily performed by the spinner were effected by automatic means, and this machine, though not extensively adopted, contained several ingenious arrangements His faller lock, after a lapse of thirty-six years, was said to be re-invented, and still continues to be the hest in use at the present day. His apparatus for governing the formation of the cop was founded on correct principles, and was a beautiful contrivance, much superior to many that have been since introduced. Mr Smith of Deanston, Scotland, was also the author of several valuable inventions, and others might be named who made efforts, more or less successful, to provide the desired machine.
About 1824 Richard Roberts directed his attention to the best means of rendering the hand mule self-acting, and in 1825 a patent was taken out for his invention. In the mule now introduced the governing power was exercised by what was then and has ever since been called a "cam shaft," by which all the movements were so regulated as to succeed each other in their proper order, the termination of one operation being the initiation of the next. In 1830 Roberts took out another patent for his "quadrant" winding apparatus, and thus completed his self-acting mule, which in its chief essential features remains the same at the present day; for though as regards the headstock there have been improvements, yet the whole combination still bears indelible marks of his genius. Many improvements have of late years been introduced and patented, and the self-acting mule now in use is superior in its manner of working to the one made by Roberts. It is now employed for spinning all sizes of yarns up to 100's and in a few cases as high as 160's, and in the manufacture of these numbers a great saving is effected by its use. It has now almost entirely superseded the hand mule, which only retains its position for the production of the finest yarns, and in a few years will undoubtedly have to give place altogether to the self-actor, on which yarn up to 160's, or even 200's, has already been successfully spun.).
Ejects of _Machinery, &c., on Production and Cost.
About the year 1790 the average product of yarn No. 1C was little more than a hank per spindle per day ; but by the year 1812 it had advanced to two hanks per day, and in 1830 to 21. The effect of this increase of productim upon the cost of the article was very great, as will be seen by the following statement of the reduction of the cost of spinning, and in the price of yarn.
We have already noticed that, until the cancelling of Arkwright's patent, by which the mule spinner became at liberty to use his improved mode of preparation, the few fine wefts required were spun on Hargreaves's jenny. In the year 1786 this yarn was sold in Glasgow and Paisley at 31s. per pound for No. 90, 7s. per pound being the price of spinning it; the warp, spun upon the water or throstle frame, was sold at 47s. Gd. the pound for No. 90.
It was stated by Crompton that, immediately upon completing his invention of the mule in the year 1775, he obtained 14s. per pound for the spinning and preparation of No. 40 ; that a short time after he got 25s. per pound for No. 60 ; and that to show that it was not impossible to spin yarn of so fine a grist, he then manufactured a small quantity of No. 80, for the spinning and preparation of which he got 42s. per pound. For some little time after the mule came into general use, in the year 1786, it was the practice in many places for the spinner to purchase the wool in a prepared state ; and separate concerns for preparing cotton were established and carried on. At that time 10s. per pound was paid for spinning No. 00 ; but soon afterwards the cost for this number was reduced, first to 8s. and then to 6s. Sri. In 1790 the price of spinning No. 100 was 4s. per pound. In 1792 it was brought to 3s. 1d,, and in 1793 to 2s. Gd., at which price it continued till 1795, when, the mule coming to be worked by machinery, and an increase being made in the number of spindles, the spinner was enabled so to extend the quantity of his produce as to admit of another considerable reduction in cost. The price of spinning No. 100 was in the course of a few years brought down to 8d. per pound, and continued so until 1826, when it wasfurther reduced to bid. per pound. Notwithstanding this extraordinary diminution of the price of spinning, such have been the effects of the improvements in machinery, in the selection and preparation of wool, and in the skill and tact brought to bear on the work, that the spinner is able to earn more money now than he did when the wages were at the highest.
The sale prices of the yarn during this period were as follows : - After 1807 the price of yarn underwent various fluctuations; it fell in 1829 to 3s. 2d., and in 1831 to 2s. 11d., at which price it remained in 1832. Since 1832 the fluctuations have not been extreme, the price never rising above 5s. 6d., at which it stood in 1836, nor falling below 2s. 9d., as in 1842. Prices for No. 100 at the close of 1876 were warp-twist 2s. 10d., medium 2s. 6d., and weft ls. 10d.
But the benefits of improved machinery have not been confined to the reduction of the cost of the yarn; they have at the same time considerably increased the quantity which a workman can produce in the same hours of labour.
Application of Steam Power. - During the time that the machines for the different processes of cotton spinning were advancing towards perfection, James Watt had been employed in maturing and reducing to practice his conceptions for extending the powers of the steam-engine.
Among the engines erected by Bolton and Watt in Cotton Supply Improved. - In an account of the means which contributed to the fall in the price of spinning we must not overlook the progressive improvement in the cultivation of the raw material which has taken place, and in the application of its different qualities to their most profitable uses. Previous to the year 1793, the cotton used in the coarser articles of the manufacture. with the exception of a small quantity imported from India and from the Levant for the fustian trade, was wholly the growth of the British and French West India Islands. That for the better kind of goods was raised in Demerara, Surinam, and Berbice. The wool for fine goods was grown in the Brazils ; and that for the few very fine muslins then manufactured, in the isle of Bourbon.
In 1787 the descriptions of cotton imported into Britain appear to have been as follows :- From the British West Indies 6,800,000 lb From the French and Spanish colonies 6,000,000 From the Dutch do. 1,700,000 From the Portuguese do. 2,500,000 From the Isle of Bourbon, by Ostend 100,000 Smyrna and Turkey . 5,700,000 22,800,000 Had we continued to derive our sole supply of cotton from these countries, the progress of the manufacture would have been greatly retarded, not only from the difficulty of making the production keep pace with the increasing consumption, but from the impossibility of obtaining the qualities suited to the finer descriptions of goods, which the improved machinery enabled us to undertake. But as we have already seen, more abundant supplies were procured from America, and of qualities before unknown, It was soon found that the Sea Island cotton grown in the small islands extending along the American coast from Charleston to Savannah was so exquisitely fine, long, and strong in staple as to surpass any cotton previously obtained from any part of the globe. After a succession of trials its superiority was fully admitted, and it soon came into use for the purposes for which Bourbon cotton had been employed before 1796, and in a short time entirely supplanted it.
Progress of Cotton Manufacture in England, Nottingham, where Arkwright commenced operations, was the seat of the stocking manufacture, in which moreover his partner Need was largely engaged, and the whole produce of his spinning was therefore at first devoted to that industry. The cotton yarn for stockings requires to be particularly smooth and equal ; and to secure these qualities, it is spun by a process differing a little from that employed for ordinary twist. Being from two roves in place of one, it is called double-spun twist. The introduction of this article produced a great change in the stocking manufacture. Hand-spun cotton was entirely laid aside ; and stockings made of twist were of so superior a quality, that in a short time they wholly supplanted those made from thread.
About the year 1773 Need and Strutt made the important discovery, that the yarn produced by the spinning frame had sufficient strength to fit it for warp, although its firmness and hardness rendered it less suitable for weft. The weft, therefore, continued to be spun by Hargreaves's jenny ; and from this time the calicoes, and other articles in imitation of India goods, which had hitherto been manufactured with linen warp, came to be made wholly of cotton ; and the progressive increase of these manufactures, particularly of calicoes, after this time, was unexampled.
After having made a considerable quantity of those goods, Need and Strutt discovered that, when printed, they were subject to double the duty charged upon calicoes woven with linen warp, and that their sale was even prohibited in the home market. After a long and expensive application to the legislature, they succeeded in procuring the repeal of those impolitic laws. Nearly about the same period, calicoes entirely of cotton were begun to be made at Blackburn, and also at Preston, - which places soon became the seat of their manufacture, and for a long time the great market to which the printers from all parts of the kingdom resorted for their supplies. This branch went on increasing for many years in a most extraordinary degree. About the year 1805, it was calculated that the number of pieces sold annually in the Blackburn market was not less than a million ; and by that time the manufacture of this article was not confined to the country around Blackburn, but had spread into the north-west district of Yorkshire, principally about Colne and Bradford, from which part of the country 20,000 pieces weekly are said to have been sent to Manchester.
The first attempts to make muslins in Britain commenced simultaneously in Lancashire and at Glasgow about the year 1780; but were without success. There was no yarn fitted for the weft of these goods, except that spun upon Hargreaves's jenny ; and when made of this, it was found they were not of a marketable quality. Recourse was then had to wefts brought from India ; and although a better article than the former was by this means produced, it was still not of a quality to compete successfully with Indian muslin. As soon, however, as the invention of the mule jenny enabled the spinner to produce yarns suited to such fabrics, the manufacture of the finest cotton articles became an important branch of trade in this country. That machine, as has been mentioned, came into use at the end of the year 1785, upon Arkwright's patent being cancelled; and it is from that period we ought to date the commencement of this part of the manufacture. So rapid was its increase, that in 1787 it was computed that 500,000 pieces of muslin were in that year manufactured in Great Britain.
Power Loom Weaving. - The credit of the invention of the power loom is due to the Rev. E. Cartwright of Hollander House, Kent. The circumstances of his discovery, which will be found fully detailed in the following letter, are curious, and of interest in the history of inventions. Mr Cartwright says" Happening to be at Matlock in the summer of 1784, I fell in company with some gentlemen of Manchester, when the conversation turned on Arkwright's spinning machinery. One of the company observed, that as soon as Arkwright's patent expired, so many mills would be erected, and so much cotton spun, that hands never could be found to weave it. To this observation I replied, that Arkwright must then set his wits to work and invent a weaving mill. This brought on a conversation on the subject, in which the Manchester gentlemen unanimously agreed that the thing was impracticable ; and, in defence of their opinion, they adduced arguments which I certainly was incompetent to answer, or even to comprehend, being totally ignorant of the subject, having never at that time seen a person weave. I controverted, however, the impracticability of the thing, by remarking that there had lately been exhibited in London an automaton figure which played at chess.
"Some little time afterwards, a particular circumstance recalling this conversation to my mind, it struck me that, as in plain weaving, according to the conception I then had of the business, there could only be three movements, which were to follow each other in succession, there would be little difficulty in producing and repeating them. Full of these ideas I immediately employed a carpenter and smith to carry them into effect. As soon as the machine was finished, I got a weaver to put in the warp, which was of such materials as sail-cloth is usually made of. To my great delight a piece of cloth, such as it was, was the produce. As I had never before turned my thoughts to anything mechanical, either in theory or practice, nor had ever seen a loom at work, or knew anything of its construction, you will readily suppose that my first loom must have been a most rude piece of machinery. The warp was placed perpendicularly, the reed fell with a force of at least half a hundredweight, and the springs which threw the shuttle were strong enough to have thrown a Congreve rocket. In short, it required the strength of two powerful men to work the machine at a slow rate, and only for a short time. Conceiving is my great simplicity that I had accomplished all that was required, I then secured what I thought a most valuable property by a patent, 4th April 1785. This being done, 1 then condescended to see how other people wove ; and you will guess my astonishment when I compared their easy mode of operation with mine. Availing myself, however, of what I then saw, 1 made a loom, in its general principles nearly as they are now made ; but it was not till the year 1787 that I completed my invention, when I took out my last weaving patent, August 1st of that year."
But the idea of weaving by machinery was not new, although it had never been carried into practice. About the close of the preceding century, a drawing and a description of a similar loom (a circumstance unknown to Cartwright) had been presented to the Royal Society of London. The movements, too, in both are the same in principle with those of the inch or tape loom, a machine which had long been in use. Cartwright, after obtaining his second patent, erected a weaving factory at Doncaster, which he filled with looms. This concern was unsuccessfnl, and was at last abandoned. But still the invention was considered so important to the country, that some years after, upon an application from a number of manufacturers at Manchester, Parliament granted Cartwright a sum of money as a remuneration for his ingenuity and trouble. About the year 1790, Grimshaw of Manchester, under a licence from Cartwright, erected a weaving factory, which was to have contained 500 looms, for weaving coarse sacking cloth. He intended also to attempt the weaving of fustians. But after a small part of the machinery had been set agoing, the work was destroyed by fire ; and as the concern during the short trial that had been made did not promise to be successful, the mill was not rebuilt. Weaving by power, in fact, could never have succeeded but for the discovery, by Mr Radcliffe of Stockport, of a process for dressing the web before it is put into the loom. The stoppage of the work from time to time for dressing the web made it impossible to do more than attend to one loon- ; but owing to the introduction of this process, one person was soon enabled to attend to two looms, and can now attend even to four.
The contrivances for " dressing " are very ingenious, the] machinery employed in it deriving its movement from the power which gives motion to the looms. The yarn is first wound from the cop upon bobbins by a winding machine. These are then taken to the warping mill and made into warps of such number of ends and such lengths as may be required by the manufacturer. The warp is taken to the beaming machine to be wound on to beams, and then to the dressing machine, and passed through strong starch liquid, &c. Where the manufacturer is also a spinner he can dispense with the warping mill, the bobbins being taken at once to the beaming machine. The warp is then compressed between two rollers, to free it from the moisture it had imbibed with the dressing, and drawn over a succession of tin cylinders heated by steam, to dry it. During the whole of this last part of its progress, it is lightly brushed as it moves along, and fanned by rapidly revolving fanners.
Peter Marsland of Stockport, who for many years had a large factory for weaving cotton cloth of a superior quality, was the inventor of an improvement upon the power-loom, by means of the double crank, for which, about the year 1807, he obtained a patent. The operation of the crank is to make the lathe give a quick blow to the cloth on coming in contact with it, and by that means render it more stout and even.
The weaving of calicoes by power did not succeed in Lancashire so early as it did in Scotland. In 1817, the number of power-looms in Lancashire was estimated to be about 2000, of which only about 1000 were said to be then in employment. The cause of this was that the price paid at the time we refer to for weaving by the hand had been forced down to the very lowest degree by the depressed state of trade, and the pressure of an overgrown population bearing upon the means of employ ment. Wages had fallen below the rate at which the goods could be produced by machinery. This struggle for existence between the two processes terminated, however, as might have been expected. The hand-weavers, finding it impossible to go on with the reduced wages, gradually gave way. Their numbers ceased to increase ; and the extraordinary addition to the amount of the manufacture since that time has been the product of the power-loom. Goods of very low and fine qualities are still woven by the hand.
There is a branch of the cotton manufacture yet to be noticed, - a branch not derived from the East, like muslin, but one that has had its origin in England, - namely, the bobbinet or Nottingham lace manufacture, which now furnishes employment for a large amount of labour and capital. See LACE.
Cotton Manufacture in Scotland.
Previous to 1778 there were no pure cotton fabrics woven in Scotland, and the only form in which the fibre was used to any considerable extent was in the manufacture of Hunks, a coarse kind of handkerchef having linen warp and cotton weft. The first cotton-mill in Scotland was erected at Penicuik, and the second at Rothesay in 1779. These were succeeded by others at Barrhead, Johnstone, and other localities where a suitable supply of water could be obtained, as, excepting horses and oxen, it was at that period the only power available. The name of David Dale is closely associated with the early progress of cotton spinning and weaving in Scotland. In 1785 Dale began, with Arkwright, who that year had been beaten out of his patent rights by the Lancashire spinners, to erect cotton-mills at New Lanark. These mills were the most extensive of their period ; and they at a later time acquired a very wide notoriety by being made the scene - in conjunction with his establishment at Orbiston in the parish of Bothwell - of the attempt of Robert Owen, Dale's son-in-law, to commence the regeneration of society by a practical exemplification of the virtues of socialism. Owen's fidelity to his convictions cost him a princely fortune, and the mills passed in 1827 into the hands of a firm with, perhaps, less lofty but more practical views. By the year 1787 there were nineteen cotter. spinning-mills in Scotland.
Although all the great inventions which revolutionized the spinning trade were of English origin, many adaptations which greatly facilitated the working of spinning machinery were devised by the ingenuity of Scotch manufacturers. Cartwright's power-loom was introduced into Glasgow in 1793, by James Lewis Robertson, who, when on a visit to London, had seen it in operation in the hulks. He obtained and brought away two, which he had fitted up in a cellar in Argyle Street, the motive power being a large Newfoundland dog which walked inside a revolving drum or cylinder. In the following year about forty power-looms were fitted up in a factory at Milton, near Dumbarton, for weaving printing-calicoes, and in 1801 John Monteith erected a factory for the accommodation of 200 looms at Pollokshaws. The looms were subsequently adopted in 1805 by Archibald Buchanan for the CatrineMills; and as the apparatus improved in efficiency its progress became rapid, new power-loom factories being erected almost every year thereafter in Glasgow, till in 1817 there existed fifteen factories containing 2275 looms.
Glasgow ,and Paisley manufacturers having been from very early 'times engaged in the linen, cambric, and lawn trade, to which in the latter town in the year 1760 the manufacture of silk gauzes was added, it was natural that on the introduction of cotton spinning the attention of weavers should be directed to the finer and more delicate fabrics into which cotton fibre can be wrought. Muslins, therefore (plain for the most part in Glasgow, and fancy ornamented in Paisley),were among the earliest and principal cotton fabrics produced on the looms of the west of Scotland. About the year 1780 James Monteith, the father of Henry Monteith, the founder of the great print-works at Barrowfield, and of the spinning and weaving mills at-Blantyre, warped a muslin web, the first attempted in Scotland ; and he set himself resolutely to try to imitate or excel the famous products of Dacca and other Indian muslin-producing centres. As the yarn which could then be produced was not fine enough for his purposes, he procured a quantity of " bird-nest " Indian yarn, "and employed James Dalziel to weave a 6-4th 12°° book with a hand-shuttle, for which he paid him 21d. per ell for weaving. It is worthy of remark that the same kind of web is now wrought at 21d. per ell. The second web was wove with a fly shuttle, which was the second used in Scotland. The Indian yarn was so difficult to wind that Christian Gray, wife of Robert Dougall, bellman, got Cs. 9d. for winding each pound of it. When the web was finished Mr Monteith ordered a dress of it to be embroidered with gold, which he presented to Her Majesty Queen Charlotte." I Once fairly established, the muslin trade and various ether cotton manufactures developed with extraordinary rapidity, and diverged into a great variety of products which were disposed of through equally numerous channels. Among the earliest staples, along with plain hook muslins, came mulls, jacconets or nainsooks, and checked and striped muslins. Ginghams and pullicats formed an early and very important trade with the West Indian market, as well as for home consumption. These articles for a long period afforded the chief employment to the hand-loom weavers in the numerous villages around Glasgow and throughout the west of Scotland. The weaving of sprigged or spotted muslins and lappets was subsequently introduced, the latter not having been commenced till 1814. Although the weaving of ordinary grey calico for bleaching or printing purposes has always held and still retains an important place among Glasgow cotton manufactures, it has never been a peculiar feature of the cotton industry ; and the very extensive bleaching and print-works of the locality have always been supplied with a proportion of their material from the great cotton manufacturing districts of Lancashire.
About the end of last century the ornamentation of plain muslins with hand-sewed patterns began to be practised as a domestic industry in the west of Scotland; and by rapid degrees it rose into high reputation, many manufacturers having realized large fortunes from the trade during its palmy days. The trade continued to flourish till the great commercial crash of 1857, which compelled many to retire from it, and others thereafter gradually withdrew, till it dwindled down to its present comparatively humble proportions. When in its zenith it afforded home-employment to large numbers of females not only throughout the west of Scotland, but across the Irish Channel. Elaborate and artistic patterns were prepared for embroidering by specially trained designers; these patterns were printed, from engraved cylinders of wood, on the surface of suitable pieces of muslin, on which also was printed the number of the pattern, the length of time allowed for sewing it, and the price to be paid by the agent or manufacturer on the work being satisfactorily performed.
Thread Manufacture, a branch of trade very intimately related to ordinary textiles, is carried on on a large scale in Glasgow, and is the outstanding feature in the industries of Paisley. From that town there are probably sent out a greater length and weight of sewing thread than from all the other thread factories of Great Britain combined. Within a comparatively recent period, what constituted the staple trade of the town from thirty to forty years agoihawl weaving - has greatly decreased, whilst the manufacture of cotton thread has considerably extended, principally through the almost universal introduction of sewing machines for dressmaking and other purposes. These machines, by requiring for the most part double threads, and by increasing the sewed work while lessening the cost of dressmaking, have very greatly increased the demand for thread.
The process of thread-making is so well known that few words are required to describe it. It is chiefly carried on by twisters, who purchase the yarn needed from cotton-spinners. To spin from the raw cotton, and twist yarn into thread, in the same factory, would require premises of much greater extent than any hitherto employed ; or the spinning and twisting would need to be confined to a small range of numbers. The manufacture of sewing cotton is, therefore, generally understood as confined to the twining or doubling of yarn previously obtained from the spinner. When the yarn is received it is tested by being reeled from the cops, and having a certain length of hank weighed. This is called sizing. The next process is cop-winding - that is, winding it from the cop on bobbins - two or three ply as required. These bobbins are taken to the twisting frame and twisted first two ply, then this is doubled or tripled for four or six cord as required. Each number of yarn has its own twist, that is, the number of turns it gets per inch. When finished the thread is taken from the twisting frames, and according to the size so much of it is wound upon a large bobbin, from which it is reeled into banks for bleaching or dyeing. After bleaching it is given out in bundles to the hank-winder, who winds it on a large bobbin, and that in its turn is handed to the spooler, who fills the bobbin with a certain length of thread - say 100, 200, or 300 yards, and upwards. The largest portion of thread made is sold on spools, which contain a great variety of lengths. After spooling the bobbins are labelled on each end ; they are then arranged in dozens and grosses, papered and stringed, and finished for the market. The qualities principally used are 3, 4, and 6 cord - the greatest portion of the sewing-machine thread being 6-cord. A large quantity of thread is now polished, and is known in the trade as glace. Of late there has hewn an increasing demand for crotchet thread, the manufactnre of which is somewhat similar to the process for ordinary sewing cotton.
The sloops are made of birch or ash - preferably the former - and the wood is obtained chiefly from the Highlands of Scotland. Finished spools are made in large quantities by wood turners in various localities, particularly in the Lake districts in the north of England, and find their way to those thread manufacturers who are unable to turn the whole of the spools they require. The birch, to be in proper condition, is cut when the sap is out of it, and partially rinded at once to prevent souring. After remaining in stock till perfectly dry it is sawn up into cross sections, from which are blocked out the various diameters of spools wanted. The blocking machines now in use over the whole country were invented at Ferguslie Works, Paisley (Messrs J. & P. Coats), and by their employment a great saving in both wood and labour is effected. These blocks are placed on the self-acting lathe, which turns them out finished spools with great rapidity.
Statistics of Scotch Cotton Trade. - In the year 1787 there were only nineteen cotton mills in the whole of Scotland, of which Lanarkshire and Renfrewshire each possessed four. In the report of Leonard Horner as one of the Factory Commissioners, dated 1834, it is stated that " in Scotland there are 134 cotton mills ; with the exception of some large establishments at Aberdeen and one at Stanley near Perth, the cotton manufacture is almost confined to Glasgow and the country immediately adjoining, to a distance of about 25 miles radius ; and all these cotton mills, even including the great house at Stanley, are connected with Glasgow houses or the Glasgow trade. In Lanarkshire, in which Glasgow is situated, there are 74 cotton factories; in Renfrewshire, 41 ; Dumbartonshire, 4 ; Buteshire, 2 ; Argyleshire, 1 ; Perthshire, 1. In these six counties there are 123 cotton mills, nearly 100 of which belong to Glasgow. . . . . In Lanarkshire there are 74 cotton mills, 2 woollen and 2 silk factories ; 78 steam-engines and 5 water wheels ; total horse-power, 2914, of which steam 2394, water 520. Total persons employed in factories, 17,969." In 1838, according to the report on hand-loom weavers by Mr Symons, there were more than 37,000 hand-looms in the west of Scotland directly connected with cotton weaving. According to a Parliamentary return the cotton industries of Lanark, Ayr, and Renfrew in 1850 were distributed in 146 factories, of which 94 were in Lanark, 51 in Renfrew, and 4 in Ayr. These establishments had jointly 1,410,054 spindles and 21,575 power-looms, the whole of which gave occupation to 31,710 persons. In 1861 the same counties possessed 143 factories, with an aggregate of 1,577,584 spindles and 28,085 power-looms, in all employing 36,903 hands. In the year 1875 the three counties possessed 84 cotton factories, in which there were 1,526,980 spinning and doubling spindles and 27,489 power-looms, the whole cotton industry giving occupation to 33,276 individuals. The total number of factories in Scotland in the same year was 96, containing 1,711,214 spindles and 29,171 power-looms, giving employment in all to 35,652 persons, of whom nearly 30,000 were females above thirteen years of age.
It may be gathered from this table that the Glasgow district has still a practical monopoly of the Scotch cotton trade, not more than 10 per cent. of the work being distrib-sted among counties other than the three above named. On the other hand Scotland, taken altogether, does not employ in cotton factories more than one-thirteenth part of the number of operatives in the enormous cotton industries of England, while Scotch spindles are only as one to twenty-five of the English, and power-looms are as one t;-) about fourteen.
In some of the Glasgow establishments the only fabrics manufactured are printers' cloths, grey calicoes, jacconets, and fancy textures, which are subsequently prepared for the market by calico-printing. In the case of others exclusive attention is bestowed on the weaving of coloured goods, such as ginghams, Oxford and other fancy shirtings, dress stripes, Sc., and several devote their attention peculiarly to the weaving of muslins and similar delicate fabrics.
Cotton Manufacture in Ireland.
Little notice has been taken of the cotton manufacture in Ireland, the great seat of the once rival fax manufacture; but it may be observed that cotton has not furnished any considerable employment for capital and labour in that island. Some attempts to introduce the manufacture of cotton goods in Ireland were made as early as 1770, but the manufacture continued on a very limited scale until the year 1790. After this period the progress was more considerable, although out of all comparison with what took place during the same time in Great Britain ; indeed, its products have never been such as to enter into competition with those of England.
The chief seat of this manufacture in Ireland is Belfast, and the district of country situated within twenty miles of that town. But a good many calicoes, fustiaus, and cotton checks +are made in Dublin, Balbriggan, Bandon, and Cork. All these goods are consigned to factors in Dublin for sale, except a part of the calicoes, which the manufacturers sometimes dispose of to printers on the spot.
The cotton trade of Ireland is, as already indicated, at the present day of limited extent, embracing only 8 factories, and giving employment to about 3000 persons.
Statistics of Progress of the Cotton Manufacture.
The enormous increase which has taken place in the production and consumption of cotton, as shown in the accompanying tables, implies a corresponding increase in the manufacture and consumption of yarn and cloth. It would be difficult to find any trade which has exhibited so rapid a development, or which has attained such vast proportions, as the British cotton manufacture. It has for three quarters of a century gone on extending from year to year, working up all the cotton which the world could supply, and producing goods in enormous quantities, which have found heir way into every part of the globe. At the beginning of the century less then a hundred thousand bales- of cotton were sufficient for the requirements of Great Britain, and now about three and a half millions of bales are required. The quantity of yarn and piece goods produced for home and foreign consumption amounted in 1803 to 404,970,000 lb in weight, and in value to £59,795,000 ; but in 1875, a year of great stagnation in the cotton trade, the production had reached 1,088,890,000 lb in weight, and £95,447,000 in value. Notwithstanding protracted periods of depression, and increased competition on the part of other nations, England at the present time employs more spindles than all the rest of the world combined.
Tables IV. and V. subjoined show the quantities of yarn produced, and the principal markets to which yarn and goods are consigned for the years stated. From Table VI. (page 504) it appears that the value of the production of the cotton manufacture of Great Britain in 1875 exceeded £95,000,000 sterling, of which upwards of £77,000,000 was the value of goods and yarn made for exportation. Table VII. (page 505) presents a synoptical view of the cotton industry of Great Britain.
In the year 1812, when Crompton applied to Parliament for a remuneration for Lis invention, he found by as accurate an investigation as he could make that the number of mule spindles in the country was between four and five millions ; and Kennedy, in his memoir of Crompton, has stated that the number in 1829 had increased to seven millions. In 1817, he estimated the number of persons employed in the spinning of cotton in Great Britain- at 110,763, and the number of spindles in motion at 6,645,833, and the quantity of yarn produced at 99,687,500 lb. The quantity of cotton yarn spun in 1832 was 222,000,000 lb, of which 132,000,000 lb was manufactured into cloth, giving employment to 203,373 looms; but in 1853 the yarn spun was 685,440,000.
A tolerably accurate estimate of the capital now invested in the cotton trade and of the persons dependent upon its prosperity may be formed from the following particulars taken from the reports of the factory inspectors. In 1871 the cost of the buildings and machinery employed in the trade was £57,000,000, whilst the floating capital was not less than £30,000,000, making together at least £87,000,000, sterling. From a Parliamentary return issued in August 1875, it appears that in that year there were in the United Kingdom 2655 factories employed in spinning, weaving, and other industries connected with the .manufaetore of cotton. Of that number 2542 were in England and Wales, 105 in Scotland, and only 8 in Ireland. These factories contained 71,166 carding machines, 2901 combing machines, 37,515,772 spinning spindles, 4,366,017 doubling spindles, and 463,118 power looms. The total number of persons employed was 479,515, - of these 440,336 being in England, 36,104 in Scotland, and 3075 in Ireland. Of the total number 115,391 were adult males, 258,667 were females above thirteen years of age, 39,557 were males between thirteen and eighteen, and the remainder were halftime boys and girls in about equal numbers. Probably the number of persons directly or indirectly dependent on the cotton trade in the United Kingdom is not much under two As successive mechanical inventions came to be applied to the manufacture, they changed the principal of production, and made what had been nearly wholly a product of labour become almost entirely a product of capital. Important results flowed from this change. It enabled Great Britain, the principal holder of these machines, to become the furnisher of a commodity which up to that time had been brought at a great expense from India. It further enabled her to reduce its cost, and render what till then had been accessible only to the rich, and of limited sale, an article of general wear. During the long struggle which took place between machinery and hand labour, this country continued to be the nearly exclusive possessor of the machines by which the reduction of cost was effected. Having in consequence, in a great measure, a monopoly of the supply, she was enabled to reap that harvest of prosperity which so unusual a combination of circumstances was calculated to produce; an improvement in the condition of every class of the community followed the advance of the manufacture.
To preserve the pre-eminence gained by this great branch of British industry against all the competitors which it has had to encounter, has tasked to the utmost the inventive genius and energies of all connected with it. The rival manufacturers in India, Europe, and America have put forth all their resources to impair or destroy the supremacy which England has established in the markets of the world. In almost all cases, not even excluding our own colonies and dependencies, these rivals, in addition to any natural advantages which they might possess, have been aidod by the establishment of high protective tariffs.
Fears have often been expressed that the lower wages for which the labourers of some other countries can work, may ultimately enable them to take the manufacture out of our hands, In reply to this, it may perhaps be sufficient to recall to our readers the small part of the cost of the commodity which now belongs to the labour of the hand, and the daily diminution which is taking place even of that part, by the introduction of new mechanical substitutes. Thus, for example, in 1767 each spindle required a person to work it ; but now one man, with the aid of two pieeers to take up and join his broken ends, can work two thousand spindles. In speaking on this subject in 1874 Mr Hugh Mason, then president of the Manchester Chamber of Commerce, endeavoured to reassure some of his timid colleagues by such facts as these, viz., that in 1850 the export froth this country of cotton cloth had attained for the first time the amount of 1,000,000,000 yards; that in 1860 the exports for the first time had reached 2,000,000,000 yards ; and that in the year 1870 the export of manufactured cotton goods from this country had amounted for the first time to 3,000,000,000 yards. Although foreign competitors are able in common with ourselves to buy the best machinery that can be made, and • have free and cheap imports of the raw material, in addition to any special advantages as to cheaper labour and longer hours or otherwise which they may possess, and although great advances have taken place in the wages of the operatives employed in our factories, while there has been great diminution in the hours of labour during these two decades, and these are now still further reduced, we have still almost undisputed possession of the home trade, and our foreign trade has at the same time increased from 1,000,000,000 yards to 3,000,000,000 yards of our manufactured cotton cloth. The quantity of cotton piece goods exported from the United Kingdom in 1876 exceeds that ever exported before in any one year, and amounts to 3,668,582,100 yards, an average of more than 10,000,000 yards a day.
The following table presents a summary of the cotton industry of Great Britain for the year 1876 : - TABLE -VIII. - Details of Cotton Industry.
Number of factories. 2,655 Number of spindles (including doubling) 91,881,789 Number of power looms 463,118 Number of persons employed 479,515 Estimated capital invested £90,000,000 Quactity of cotton consumed (in bales of Cost of cotton consumed. £32,855,000 Quantity of yarn produced 1,131,056,000 It) Quantity of cloth manufactured 898,906,000 lb Quantity of yarn and goods made for • borne consumption 163,906,000 lb Quantity of yarn and piece goods exported 967,150,000 lb Annual value of home consumption of yarns and cloth £17,777,000 The rapid growth and enormous extent of the cotton industry, the numerous vicissitudes through which it has passed, the elasticity which it has shown in periods of deep depression, and tho vitality and latent power which, notwithstanding all past development and progress, it still possesses, may well excite astonishment and admiration. It is a proud memorial of the genius, and energy, and enterprise of the men who have conducted it from its small beginnings to its present gigantic proportions. Whilst at home the consumption of cotton goods has been steadily increasing, the export trade with all its fluctuations remains more than double that in any other article of commerce. The free-trade policy of Britain promotes an interchange of commodities with all other countries. We are as ready to purchase what they can offer as we are to sell them our goods, and even in the same branch of manufacture there are often shades of difference in the fabrics produced, upon which taste, or fashion, or caprice has fixed an arbitrary value, which may make the exchange of goods by rivals mutually beneficial. This example and influence are beginning to lead other countries to perceive and understand that isolation and rigid protection can confer but little real benefit even upon themselves, and must eventually injure those who thus stand aloof from the commercial comity of nations.
Cotton Industry on the Continent.
The progress and present state of the cotton industry on the continent of Europe have been carefully ascertained by Messrs Ellison & Co., from their own special correspondents in all the manufacturing centres. The statistics furnished by them, in their review of the cotton trade for the season 1875-76, are as follows :- Russia and Poland. - Spindles in Russia, 2,300,000 ; in Poland, 200,000 ; total, 2,500,000. Average consumption of cotton 60 lb per spindle per annum.
Sweden and Norway. - Spindles in Sweden, 245,000; in Norway, 60,000; total, 305,000. Average consumption of cotton 65 It per spindle per annum.
Cermany. - The estimates vary, but the following is the nearest approximation attainable: - Some estimates exceed this, and make the total 5,000,000 or 5,200,000. Average consumption of cotton for all Germany about 55 lb per spindle per annum.
Austria. - Spindles in Austria, 1,555,000, including 740,000 in Bohemia, and 500,000 in the Vienna district. Average rate of consumption of cotton 67 lb per spindle per annum.
Switzerland. - According to a recent Government estimate, made in view of negotiations for a new treaty of commerce, the number of spindles is 1,854,091. Average consumption of cotton, used chiefly for the production of fine goods, about 25 lb per spindle per annum.
Holland. - The estimated number of spindles is 230,000. Average consumption of cotton about 60 lb per spindle per annum.
Belgium. - Estimated spindles, 800,000. Average consumption of cotton about 501b per spindle per annum.
France. - The total number of spindles is about 5,000,000, and the average consumption of cotton 42 lb per spindle per annum.
Spain. - Estimated number of spindles, 1,750,000. Average consumption of cotton about 46 lb per spindle per annum.
Italy. - The total number of spindles is about 800,000. The consumption of cotton averages 56 lb per spindle per annum.
The total number of spindles at work in the various manufacturing countries of Europe is 19,440,000, to which must be added 9,500,000 in the United States, and 39,000,000 in Great Britain, making a total of 67,940,000, requiring not less than 7,000,000 hales of cotton of 400 lb each, or at least 2,800,000,0001b, to keep them in operation.
Cotton iliannfacture in the United States.
The Government of the United States at an early period evinced great anxiety to promote the establishment of the cotton manufacture in the northern part of the Union. In tracing the rise of the American cotton manufacture, we shall refer chiefly to the public documents, in which its growth is studiously detailed, and the difficulties it has had to struggle with are anxiously dwelt upon.
Before the year 1791, America possessed no manufacture except fur domestic production and family use. But it appears from a report of the secretary to the American treasury, drawn up in 1810, that a cotton-mill was erected in the State of Rhode Island in that year ; that another mill was erected in the same State in 1795, and two more in the Sate of Massachusetts in 1803 and 180-1; that during the three succeeding years ten more were erected in Rhode Island, and one in Connecticut, making together fifteen mills, working about 8000 spindles, and producing about 300,000 pounds of yarn in the year; that by a return which was made at the date of the report, eighty-seven additional mills had bean erected by the end of the year 1809, which with others soon to be in operation, would, it was estimated, work more than 80,000 spindles at the commencement of 1811. The capital required to carry on the manufacture was believed to be at the rate of sixty dollars per spindle, each producing annually from forty-five pounds of cotton about thirty-six pounds of yarn, of the average worth of one dollar twelve and a half cents per pound. Eight hundred spindles employed forty persons, viz., five men and thirty-five women and children.
We learn the farther progress of this manufacture from a report of the House of Representatives, presented in the spring session of 1816. The report states that the quantity of cotton manufactured in the year 1815 was 90,000 bales, a quantity nearly equal to that used in the cotton manufacture of France ; and that the quantity used in 1810 was 10,000 bales; in 1S05, 1000 bales; and in 1800, 500 bales; and gives the following statement of the condition of the cotton industry in the United States: - Capital employed.. 40,000,000 dollars.
Males employed from the age.of seventeen and upwards 10,000 Women and female children 66,000 Boys under seventeen years of age 24,000 Cotton manufactured, 90,000 bales 27,000,000 lb Cotton cloth of various kinds manufactured 81,000,000 yards.- Cost 24,000,000 dollars.
At the date of this report the duty upon cotton goods imported into the United States was 15 per cent ; before charging it, 10 per cent. was added to the invoice, and the duty thus raised to 16A- per cent. Upon the recommendation of the committee, 10 per cent. more was ' imposed ; and the whole being charged upon 1110 for every 1100 of net value brought it up to 27) per cent. Besides this, it was ordered that all cotton goods below 131d. per yard should be rated at 13),d., and the difference added to the amount of the invoice before calculating the duty.
New tariff Acts were successively passed in 1824, 1828, 1832, and 1854, in each of which the duty upon cotton goods imported was declared to ba 25 per cent. ad valorem, the coarser fabrics being rated as in 1816.
The manufacture, under this protection against foreign competition, rapidly increased. Power-loom works were erected; the most approved processes both in spinning and weaving were adopted ; and the business was generally successful. The manufacture is no longer confined to tho States of New York and Rhode Island, and the New England States, though in these it has been greatly extended. In other Northern States, such as New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Ohio, and Indiana new mills have been erected ; whilst in the Southern States, especially in Alabama, Georgia, North and South Carolina, Mississippi, Virginia, &c., the manufacture as well as the growth of cotton has become an important industry. The following statement (Table IX.) shows the progress already made : - increase, until the anticipated condition has at length been reached when the product exceeds the demand for the home consumption. As the surplus could not be disposed of in foreign markets, the manufacturers have had to experience similar distress to that which befell the cotton manufacturers of France in the years from 1827 to 1832.
of the world. But all aspirations of this kind must be doomed to disappointment so long as the protectionist policy of the States is upheld - the very means which they adopt to shut out all other manufactures from their markets must have the effect of shutting out their own from the markets of the world - they cannot sell freely to other nations from which they refuse to buy. Although, therefore, much is from time to time spoken and written by alarmists of the danger to be apprehended by the cotton-manufacturing interests of England from American competition, we believe the fears entertained to be without any real foundation. The addition of 50 per cent., more or less, made by the tariff to the cost of English-made goods would be unnecessary to prevent competition, if the American manufacturer could produce those goods as cheaply as his foreign rival. If America be thought to possess any superiority over England in the greater facility and cheapness with which the raw material can be provided - and even this may be doubtful - such advantage is more than counterbalanced in other respects, and especially as regards labour. Wages in the States have been gradually declin ing, and are probably now 20 per cent. lower than in 1869, but they are still about 40 per cent. higher than in 1860.