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The Manufacture Of Needles

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From the lecture on "Steel in Modern Times," by Mr. S. Perisse, reproduced in a recent number of the Revue Scientiflque, we take the followmg notes on the curious and interesting needie manufacturing industry: ïhe needJe, says Mr. Perisse, passes through the hands of eighty workmen before it is ready to deliver to the trade; and, if he take into consideration that these articles cost at the very most only $2 per thousand, on an average, we find that the 8,000 operations are remunerated by the sum of 20 cents. Owing to the progress eftected in the art of drawing steel into wire, cast steel has been principally employed for some years past. Pormerly, in France and Germany, manufacturers used iron wire, which was conveited into steel during the course of the operation. ïhe manner of manufacturing differs but littJe. At Borcette, the center of needie production of the continent of Europes there are five series of operations involved in the manufacture: (1) Conversión of the wire into needies in the rough; (2) tempering and annealing; (3J polishing; (4) softening of the polished needies; (5) putting up into packages. 1. The. Conversión into Needies in the Kough iuvolves twenty operations, the principal ones of these being gauging the wire, cleaning, reeling, and outting into pieces of a lengtli equal to two needies. Sharpening or pointing is done by means of grindstones. By the aid of a leather thumbstall the workman holds fifty wires at a time. The Jatter become red hot by friction on the stone, and a constant stream of line partióles of steel and stone is thrown off, which formerly brought aUout phthisis in the workman after a time, but the adoption of powerful ventilators has now remedied all that. Alter pointing, the wire is cut into, the head is Üattened, and it is then annealed. Then the eye is punched in the head by means of a sieel punch, the operation being performed by children in less time than it takes to describe it. Other children "hole" the needies, that is, remove the partiële of steel detached by the punch. After this the heads are hollowed, sorted, and, when necessary, cemented. 2. Tempering and Annealing of the raw product requires nine operations, but they are performed with lots of 30 pounds weight, each containing more than 300,000 needies. 3. Polishing is the longest operation, although a million are polished at once. It requires üve operations, each of which is repeated seven or eight times. The needies are put into rolling cylinders along with small hard stones and oil of colza. The stones gradually become crushed, and the friction of the partióles during the motion of the rollers eïïects the polish. The last polish is performed with oil alone and coarse taan. 4. The Horting of the Polished Needies involves five operations, and, after burnishing, which is a very delicate and important process and that which gives the luster, the needies undergo the last operation of being put up into packages. From the Moor to the negro is but a step, though it is a step of race, perhaps of species. The'political and religions connection of Morrocco with with the Soudan is a very close one, and. whatever may be the future of the Mediterranean provinces fronting the Spanish coast it cannot be doubted that the Moorish form of Mohammedanism will be perpetuated in Central África. It is there, indeed, that Islam has the best certainty of expansión and the fairest field for a propagation of its creed. Statistics, if they could be obtained, would show an immense Mohammedan progress within the last hundred years among the negro races. Punch says that "The wind is illtempered to the shorn lamb."


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Ann Arbor Democrat