University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Digital Library for the Decorative Arts and Material Culture

Page View

Bishop, J. Leander (John Leander), 1820-1868 / A history of American manufactures from 1608 to 1860 : exhibiting the origin and growth of the principal mechanic arts and manufactures, from the earliest colonial period to the adoption of the Constitution ; and comprising annals of the industry of the United States in machinery, manufactures and useful arts, with a notice of the important inventions, tariffs, and the results of each decennial census
Volume 3 (1868)

Manufactures of Trenton,   pp. 237-239

Page 238

business exceeds a half million of dollars, and that the value of the an-
nual product is more than a million of dollars. Of the woollen mills
the principal one is
Samuel K. Wilson's Factory,
A fine four-story brick structure, two hundred and twenty-five feet
long and about sixty-five feet wide. It is erected on the site of an old
cotton mill built by Jacob Hoy as early as 1814. In 1852 the property
passed into the hands of Mr. Wilson, who made important additions to
the buildings, and after the fire in 1864, which destroyed the entire old
portion of the mill, rebuilt it in a substantial manner, making it one of
the most complete and conveniently arranged woollen factories in the
The machinery includes six full sets of cards, eleven mules, three
of them self-acting and larger than ordinary, containing about two
thousand spindles, and two hundred looms.    Nearly all the ma-
chines, excepting the automatic mules, which are of English mauu-
facture, were made at the works of the Bridesburg Manufacturing
Company, and are of the well-known Jenks' Patents. The machinery
is operated by a steam engine of eighty horse power, and a turbine
water-wheel of about seventy horse power. The two mediums of power
are combined upon the shafting, but either steam or water can be used
separately when desired.
This factory employs from two hundred and fifty to three hundred
persons, according to the demands of the season, and when in full ope-
ration consumes twenty-five hundred pounds of wool per day, besides
large quantities of warp purchased from other manufacturers.
The operations of manufacturing cloth, as conducted in this mill, are
not dissimilar from those pursued in other factories, and need no de-
tailed description. The wool is first cleaned or sorted, then scoured to
remove the grease, when it is fit for the dye-vats, in which a day is
sufficient to give the required color. From the dye-house the wool goes
to the picking and carding room, where it is separated and prepared
for the mules, which convert it into threads or warp of sufficient fine-
ness for the looms, which first give it the appearance of cloth. When
it leaves the loom it is eighty inches wide, and full of sieve-like inter-
stices. Another process is required to give it the requisite " body,"
which is supplied by the fulling machine, where, under the action of a
vapor bath, the eighty inches are contracted to fifty-five inches. The
cloth is now ready for the " nap," which is raised by a peculiar kind of
imported burr called " teasel," although the same object can be effected
by other means. It is then dried on a large cylinder heated by steam,

Go up to Top of Page