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Bridgend Textile Machinery
Lochgilphead, Argyll and Bute
associated engineer
Anon
date  circa 1890
era  Victorian  |  category  Industrial Machinery  |  reference  NR352632
The piecing machine, slubbing billy and spinning jennies still in situ at this water-powered woollen mill are all in excellent condition, and all are rare surviving examples of their kind. Indeed, the Slubbing Billy may be unique.
Piecing machines were introduced into British mills in the mid-C19th to join wool into continuous strips for weaving — work which had previously been done by hand, often by children.
This version is made to Robert Archibald's patent and consists of V-shaped trays which received the carded wool, a trip mechanism which tipped the wool onto 10 leather belts with metal fins, and a system of heavy press-rollers and bobbins which twisted each piece of wool onto the end of a piece from the preceding batch, on a timed conveyor system. The slubbing billy came next, drawing out the pieced yarn into finer strands for spinning.
The machine consists of a standing frame 31ft long with a wheeled carriage running along it. The carriage holds nine piecing machine bobbins, each carrying 10 strands of yarn, and these turned slowly by friction as the carriage revolved at high speed on a pulley system.
Last in the process came the spinning jennies: the mill holds two, of 102 spindles and 118 spindles respectively. They consist of fixed wooden skewers and fast-turning spindles set on a similar mechanism to that of the slubbing billy, and produced the finished yarn.
reference sources   LG/SJ
Location

Bridgend Textile Machinery