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Post by Stanley » 23 Apr 2012, 07:18

Evan Leigh, 21 December 1810 - 2 February 1876. Was an author, inventor, engineer and manufacturer of cotton spinning equipment. His invention of the twin screw for steam ships was patented in July 1849 and taken up both for mercantile and British Navy fleet.
He was born in Ashton under Lyne, Lancashire. He was the son of Peter Leigh, a Cotton Mill owner. Upon leaving school aged 16 he spent two years in Europe studying and observing engineering and science. When he returned home he took up employment in the families cotton spinning mill. After about 25 years he retired from cotton spinning and took up the manufacture of cotton spinning machinery. He patented among other things the Self Stripping Engine, the Derby Doubler or Lap Machine and the Loose Boss Top Roller. Supplying machines world wide from his Collyhurst Works in Miles Platting, Manchester after moving from Cotton Street, Ashton under Lyne.
He married Anne Allen the daughter of James Allen Esq. In Prestbury, Cheshire on 28 September 1831 they went on to have eight surviving children, three boys and five girls.
In 1870 he published a pamphlet: "A plan for conveying railway trains across the Straights of Dover". In 1871 he published: "The Science of Modern Cotton Spinning" which by his death five years later had been reprinted 3 times selling world wide.
Mr Leigh died at his home: Clarence House, Chorlton upon Medlock after a bout of chronic bronchitis on Wednesday February 2nd 1876 in his 66th year.
A portrait of Evan Leigh is in the possession of the National Portrait Gallery in London [Wykepedia]

Derby and Derbyshire were centres of Britain's industrial revolution. In 1717 Derby was the site of the first water powered silk mill in Britain, built by John Lombe and George Sorocold after Lombe had reputedly stolen the secrets of silk-throwing from Piedmont in what is now Italy, he is alleged to have been poisoned by Piedmontese in revenge in 1722). In 1759 Jedediah Strutt patented and built a machine called the Derby Rib attachment that revolutionised the manufacture of Hose. This attachment was used on the Rev. Lee's Framework knitting machine it was placed in front of and worked in unison with Lee's Frame, to produced ribbed hose (stockings).The partners were Jedediah Strutt, William Woollatt had been joined in 1758 by John Bloodworth & Thomas Stafford, leading hosiers in Derby. The Patent was obtained January 1759, after 3 years Bloodworth & Stafford were paid off and Samuel Need, hosier of Nottingham joined the partnership the firm was known as Need, Strutt & Woollatt. The Patent expired in 1773 the partnership continued until 1781 when Need died.
Messrs Wright the bankers of Nottingham recommended that Richard Arkwright apply to Strutt & Need for finance for his Cotton Spinning Mill. The first Mill opened in Nottingham in 1770 this was driven by horses. In 1771 Richard Arkwright, Samuel Need and Jedediah Strutt built the world's first water-powered Cotton Spinning mill at Cromford, Derbyshire, developing a form of power that was the catalyst for the industrial revolution.
This was followed in Derbyshire by Jedediah Strutt's Cotton Spinning Mills at Belper. The first, South Mill 1775, North Mill 1784 the latter destroyed by fire 12th January 1803 was rebuilt and started work again at the end of 1804,West Mill 1792 commenced working 1796, Reeling Mill 1897, Round Mill took 10 years to build 1803-1813 commenced working 1816 and Milford Mills 1778. The Belper and Milford Mills were NOT built in partnership with Arkwright. These mills were all Strutt owned and financed. The Belper North Mill of 1804 built by William Strutt, Jedediah's son, is the only original Strutt Mill still standing today. It is an Iron Framed - Fire Proof Building. (Now a Visitor Centre open Wed-Sun 1pm. to 5pm.)
Thomas Evans' mill at Darley Abbey (1783). Other famous 18th century figures with connections to Derby include Dr Johnson, the creator of the English dictionary, who married Elizabeth Porter at St. Werburgh's Church, Derby in 1735; the painter Joseph Wright, known as Wright of Derby, who was famous for his revolutionary use of light in his paintings and was an associate of the Royal Academy; and John Whitehurst, a famous clockmaker and philosopher. Erasmus Darwin, doctor, scientist, philosopher and grandfather of Charles Darwin was also to be found in Derby and Derbyshire at much the same time, though his practice was based in Lichfield, Staffordshire.


Double carding in the cotton trade is nearly as old as the factory system itself, since it was very soon demonstrated that sufficient cleaning and opening of the cotton fibres could not be obtained from single carding in many cases with the cards then in use. Double carding in the ordinary cotton trade has not
entirely disappeared even yet, although in most cases it simply seems to drag on a weary existence for want of sufficient money and enterprise to clear the cards out, and replace them with the revolving flat. It ought to be said, however, in this connection that a few firms still find a market for super-carded yarns, and pass the same cotton through two revolving flat cards to produce the required effect. The particular and principal purpose of the present article is to describe the method or methods of preparing the slivers from the breaker card into a suitable form for feeding to the finisher card.

Practically the only method in use in connexion with the double carding for ordinary cotton spinning purposes was to employ a machine termed the Derby doubler. This machine is practically a combination of the lap-forming rollers and other parts of a scutcher with the sliver and spoon lever stop motion of a draw frame. The Derby doubler in such a case usually produced laps equal to the full width of the finisher card, say, from 36 in. to 44 in. in width as required. According to the width of the lap and the thickness of the sliver, the number of cans of sliver used at the feed part of the machine used to vary from about 55 to 70, or more. For instance, in one particular case the present writer had to do with, the lap produced was 39 in. wide, and 60 back cans were used, the finished slivers being suitable for a 41 hank roving. This particular machine was discarded long ago to make way for single carding. In connexion with the cotton trade, the Derby doubler is now, or has been, employed in three different connexions. (1) As the medium between breaker and finisher in ordinary cotton carding; (2) to fulfil a similar purpose in the treatment of cotton waste; (3) to prepare laps for the cotton comber in mills which do more or less of combing. As stated, the machine is now almost obsolete for ordinary cotton carding, and it is a good illustration of the truism that extremes meet, when we find that it is yet in general and extensive use for fine cotton spinning, and is also largely employed in the coarse cotton-waste trade. As used for the several purposes above explained, the Derby doubler differs very little in principles of construction and action, but there is considerable difference in size and some difference in detail. To take the two extremes, we have already stated that full-width machines taking up to 70 slivers at a time, for laps 40 in. or more in width, were used in ,ordinary cotton carding, and this would be quite possible in carding cotton waste if it were deemed the most convenient practice. Usually, however, in the cotton-waste trade it is the
practice to make the laps half the width of the card, and to place two of these end to end at the finisher card in order to use the full width. Contrasting the full width laps with those used in fine cotton spinning, it is very seldom these latter exceed 12 in. width, and more usually the width may be 9 or 10 in. only, requiring possibly 20 cans of sliver to complete the full width of each lap. It must be noted that in the fine cotton spinning trade the machine is perhaps more often given the designation of “Sliver lap machine”, and its purpose is to convert the requisite number of slivers into narrow laps or sheets of cotton suitable for placing in the creel of the combing machine. It would dreadfully crowd the comber and inconvenience the operatives if the cans of sliver were taken directly to the feed part of the comber.

Confining our remarks now to the Derby doubler as used particularly in the treatment of cotton waste, it is the usual practice to place the requisite number of cans of sliver from the breaker card in suitable position adjacent to a V-shaped table, the long formation of which lends itself to the disposition of the cans along the sides of the V. Each sliver is drawn out of its can through a small, round aperture on a narrow slit in a polished guide plate, which prevents kinks or knots of sliver from passing forward, such entanglements being perforce drawn out straight, or else the sliver is broken, the former being the more common result. As stated, the number of cans may vary somewhat, the standard in one case being taken at each lap to be 24' in. wide, and requiring as many as forty eight cans for each lap. Two of the laps are afterwards placed end to end behind a breaker card of 50 in. width.

In another case, for waste carding the V-shaped feed-table is usually made to hold as many as sixty slivers at one time, but this or any less number may be used to produce laps possibly 23 or 23 ½ in. wide, and two of these are placed side by side on the feed-table of the finisher card of 48 in. width.

Leaving the knot preventer, each sliver passes over a spoon lever, which is part
of a clever device for automatically stopping the machine when any one sliver breaks, or any one back can of sliver runs empty. It is quite important that laps should not be made with absent slivers, as this for one thing would inevitably lead to unlevel yarn, besides interfering with the good working of the laps at the finisher, hence the extreme value of the automatic stop-motion. Without its application the operative would have to exercise a much closer supervision upon the cans and slivers, and this would take up a good deal of time now given to other purposes. Each spoon lever is finely balanced, so that the weight of the sliver keeps the spoon or head part down, and therefore holds the tail or opposite end of the spoon out of the path of an oscillating bar, or else a rotating wing roller. Absence of the cotton permits the tail of the spoon lever to enter the path of the oscillating bar, and to arrest the movement of same. In this way a latched spring rod is released, and a strong spiral spring at once moves the driving belt upon the loose pulley. There is no essential difference in principle between this stop-motion and the mechanical stop-motion used on the draw frame by the same makers. The spoons may be arranged neatly down each side of the V-shaped table and the slivers are conducted by suitable guides, and drawn round almost at right angles, so as to come close together to form an equal sheet of cotton. Mere placing side by side would scarcely give a sufficiently homogeneous sheet of cotton, as the several slivers would retain too much of their individuality. To obviate and partially overcome this separateness it is usual to pass the sheet of cotton between heavy calenders, much the same as on an ordinary scutcher, this being a very convenient thing to do. Finally, the laps are formed upon almost the same exact principle as upon a scutcher.

Such is a description of the process upon the Derby doubler. An average machine of this description might occupy a floor space of 13 ft. 8 in. x 6 ft.. 2 ½ in. Driving pulleys about 12 in. diameter by 1 ¾ " in. width for both fast and loose pulleys. Speed of driving pulleys about 200 revolutions per minute. Speed of line shaft and diameter of drum on same proportioned to give the above. Power required per machine about one 1hp. Gross weight about 50 cwt., net weight 40 cwt. Measurements about 125 cubic ft. The length of the driving belt required would of course be decided by the position and height of the line shaft or counter-shaft. It may be explained that for different makers there may be a different gearing arrangement from pulley shaft to calenders, and lap rollers and a lower speed of pulley shaft would be required in such cases.


This machine is for the purpose of forming the slivers taken from the breaking carding engine into laps for the finishing carding engine. It is found that the yarn produced from installations where this machine is adopted shows the best result as to regularity of counts and appearance of the yarn. It is especially suited when spinning counts, say 5's to 12's, from broken-up hard waste, comber waste, etc.

Two designs of this machine are made, either as fig. 28 to make laps half the width of the finishing engine feeder, or as fig. 29 more recently introduced to make laps full width of the finishing engine feeder.

Specification. Machine to make half-laps, fig. 28: For engines 48 in. wide on wire it is prepared for forty-eight cans to make laps 23 ¼ in. wide. For engines 40 in. wide on wire it is prepared for forty cans to make laps 19 ¼ in. wide.

Machine to make full-width laps, fig. 29: For engines 48 in. wide on wire it is prepared for ninety-six cans to make laps 46 ¾ in. wide. For engines 40 in. wide on wire it is prepared for eighty cans to make laps 38 ¾ in. wide.

An automatic stop motion is fitted which stops the machine when an end breaks or a can runs empty, also a knocking-off motion to stop the machine when the lap is full diameter. The slivers from the cans (which are not shown) pass over the spoons to the taking-in rollers, then the slivers are drawn over the V shaped table and pass between heavy calender rollers to the lap
forming arrangement. The laps are wound on to a wooden barrel 4 in. in diameter and are kept in position endways by two disk plates set close to ends of calender rollers. The laps are consolidated by means of a top calender roller, which lifts as the laps become larger in diameter.

Machine to make full-width laps. The construction and working is the same as above described, with the exception that the laps are formed in a different manner. These are wound on to a hollow wooden barrel 4 in. diameter, kept in position endways by two disk plates fitting close to ends of calender rollers. A lap rod is passed through the disk plates and wooden barrel, and pressure is applied to ends of the lap rod by means of two vertical racks.

The main advantage of full-width laps is that there is less likelihood of irregular yarn caused sometimes by the clearance between the half-laps varying in width. It is advisable that a Derby doubler as used in the treatment of cotton waste should be strongly built at the lap head, or otherwise breakdown may occur too frequently. It is the modern practice to make the various parts to template so that they are interchangeable, this being a convenience in the case of renewal or breakdown.

It is usual to apply a full lap automatic stop-motion to each Derby doubler, and naturally such a motion will be simplified and modified from the one used on a scutcher, so as to suit the fact that there are no cages to be stopped and started, and no fan or beater to be. considered. It has been usual to make 2 laps each 24in. wide on the Derby doubler and put these end to end behind the finisher card. An objection to this practice is the bad piecing in the middle of the card width where the two lap ends come together. Partly for this reason the Derby doubler is now sometimes made to produce laps the full 48 in. width.

The Derby doubler appears to find more use in the manipulation of hard waste, and the Scotch feed more in the case of soft waste and perhaps lower counts.

[Taken from ‘COTTON WASTE ITS PRODUCTION, MANIPULATION AND USES’. By Thomas Thornley. 1912. Scott Greenwood and Son publishers.]

Derby doubler at Whitaker’s mill, Helmshore.

SCG/10 May 2008
Stanley Challenger Graham
Stanley's View
scg1936 at talktalk.net

"Beware of certitude" (Jimmy Reid)
The floggings will continue until morale improves!

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