The book of trades; or, Familiar descriptions of the most useful trades, manufactures, and arts practised in England : and the manner in which the workmen perform their various employments.
(undated, inscribed 1829)
The comb-maker., pp. 32 ff.
32 THE COMB-MAKER. A COMiB is an instrument made of ivory, tortoise-shell, horn, &c. and is used in se- parating and adjusting the hair. Combs are made both for ornament and use, and are sometimes set with a variety of precious stones. The common sort of Combs are made of bullock's horns, prepared in the following manner:-The tips are firstsawed off, they are then held in the flame of a wood fire till they are nearly as soft as leather; they are then split open on one side, and pressed in a machine between two iron plates, then put into a tub of water, from which they come out hard and flat; they are then cut with a saw according to the size required. In cutting the teeth, the piece is fixed into a claw. The maker, sit- ting on a stool to his work, has placed under him the claw that holds the horn, ivory, &c. that is to be formed into the comb, the teeth are cut with a fine saw, and finished with a file; a rasp is used in reducing the horn to aproper thickness; and when completely made, they are first polished with charcoal and water, and lastly, with powder of rotten stone. A journeyman comb-maker usually earns from twenty-five to thirty shillings per week.
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