Factory Production in Nineteenth-Century Britain

By Elaine Freedgood | Go to book overview
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Bobbin a cylinder around which thread or yarn is wound so that it can be easily unwound for weaving or other forms of textile production.

Boxing in surrounding machinery with protective fencing or boxing to prevent accidents.

Carding cotton or wool that has been combed; the action of combing cotton or wool.

Collier a coal miner.

Decussate having the shape of an “x.”

Doffing, doffer the action of stripping cotton or wool from a carding machine's spools or bobbins. A doffer was a worker, usually a child, who stripped bits of cotton or wool or removed full bobbins from carding machines. Drawing various operations of pulling threads through other threads or through spindles in the manufacture of textiles.

Effluvia particulate matter in the air, thought to be the primary cause of infectious disease in the mid-nineteenth century.

Fencing in see “boxing in” above.

Fettling the action of lining a furnace.

Flying shuttle shuttle operated by pulling a cord that sent the shuttle from side to side, freeing up one hand of the weaver to press the weft.

Fustian coarse cloth made of cotton and linen combined.

Mule spinner in 1779, Samuel Crompton combined the features of the spinning jenny with those of the water frame to produce a finer quality of yarn than had previously been possible.

Operative worker.

Piecer or piecener one who twists (by hand) broken strands of yarn back together.

This job was usually done by children in the nineteenth-century mill. Rove cotton or wool when it has been drawn out and slightly twisted. “Roving” is the process.

Scrofula in nineteenth-century medicine, a disease characterized by swelling and degeneration of lymph glands. Also called struma.

Scribbler a carding machine.


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