thirty persons in the almshouse, and forty in the workhouse that should have been in the almshouse.
To relieve this situation it was proposed to employ two hundred of the poor of the town in spinning and carding.
Schoolmistresses were to be procured and a number of spinning wheels and a quantity of wool; and the same to be converted into yarn to be disposed of to several persons, lately arrived from abroad, who had been brought up and were master workmen in the manufacturing of ‘shalloons, durants, camblitts, callamancos, duroys and legathies, and in general mens' summer ware,’ and who were determined to carry on business as soon as they could be furnished with a sufficient number of spinners to keep their looms employed.
The town contracted with Mr. William Molyneux
to furnish spinning wheels and cards and teach the poor to spin, for the next two years.
One of the most important inventions in the manufacture of all textiles was that of machine-made cards.
These were the leather and wire cards with which the revolving cylinders were covered.
Hundreds of fine wire teeth are set in a square inch of leather.
The leather is pierced, the wire cut and bent twice into a loop, then thrust through the leather and bent into two knees.
The angle at which the wire teeth strike the fibre is an important element in carding.
In making the ‘hand cards,’ used for ages past, all this work was painfully manipulated.
In 1770 Lemuel Cox
invented a machine for cutting card wires, which machine was preserved by him through his lifetime.
Soon one, John McGlench
, unduly got a sight of the same, improved upon it and claimed to be the original inventor.
After the Revolution McGlench
was located at the corner of Washington and Bedford streets, and there did business as a card maker.
Others also went into the manufacture.
& Co., wool and cotton card
manufacturers, were located at 2 Hanover street in 1789.