Sunday, October 15, 2017

Ancient—Cashie River—Natural Beauty—An Appropriation Needed—Bertie Railroad—Harding Manufacturing Co.—What the South Needs
[By Our Special Reporter.]
Windsor, Bertie Co., N. C.
Nov. 1st, 1879.

            Your reporter reached this ancient town on Sunday last, 26th ultimo.
            Steamers run on the Cashie (River) between here and Plymouth (Washington Co.) daily. The Cashie is a very deep, narrow river, being about 20 feet deep at the wharf here. It is impossible for the pen, or the brush of the painter, to do justice to the autumnal gilded foliage of the trees, which consists of every variety known to this climate, which so densely grow in their primeval wildness on the banks of this deep, dark and currentless little river. The river is very narrow from here for some eight miles below, and being very crooked, the overhanging limbs and fallen trees render navigation tedious and difficult in the extreme. An appropriation of $3,000 would be sufficient to cut away the limbs and trees and make navigation safe. The member of Congress from this district should attend to this matter as soon as possible and secure the above appropriate from congress. The people of Bertie pay their proportionate part of the governmental taxes, and their wants are entitled to substantial consideration. If Mr. Martin will not or cannot effect anything, perhaps some of his more energetic democratic colleagues may.
Cashie River:

            Bertie has a Narrow Gauge Railroad below here, which runs from the Cashie for five miles back to the highlands. This little road is owned and was built by Greenleaf Johnson & Son, of Baltimore, for hauling logs to the river, where they are made into rafts and tow boated to Norfolk and Baltimore.
            The Harding Manufacturing company are putting more machinery in their factory, preparatory for making “ply twist.” “Ply twist” is worth 20 cents per lb. in New York. It would take half dozen more such mills as this to fill the present orders. This factory has two Clement Attachments*, 612 spindles, uses about a bale of cotton per day turning out 300 lbs. of spun cotton from 1,000 pounds of seed cotton. All the waste cotton and cotton seed find a ready sale. The seed cotton is first put through a patent cleaner which thoroughly frees it from all dirt, is then placed on rolling tables which carries it to the “Attachments” from whence it comes out ready for the spindles. This factory cost, complete, $12,000. Mr. Hardin, the President of the company, says the enterprise is now paying 20 per cent. Less politics but more cotton factories is what the South needs.

[The Tarborough Southerner (Tarboro, NC) 6 Nov 1879, p. 3]

            Mr. Hardin, President of Harding Manufacturing wrote to Mr. J. R. Adams of Montgomery, Alabama in June 1880 describing his experience with the Clement Attachment:
            “We started last June, and have been running smoothly ever since. We are pleased with our mill and have already enlarged it, and are going to enlarge it to double the size it is in the fall. We are now running two attachments, 612 spindles. Our mill cost $11,000 as it now stands. We are averaging three hundred pounds of first class yarn per day. Our mill is paying 35 per cent on the investment, and we expect to make it pay 45 per cent as soon as our hands become expert. We have not got a hand that ever saw a mill before. We have met with no reverse, and had no mishap to stop the mill a day since starting. There is an unlimited demand for our yarns. We get the highest market price for our goods.”

[The Weekly Star (Wilmington, NC) 4 Jun 1880, p. 1]

Gin with Clement Attachment: Chicago Tribune(Chicago, Illinois)10 Jan 1880, Page 16

          *The Clement Attachment was invented about 1874 in by a Tennessean named Clement. He lived in Memphis where he had a small shop. He proposed to manufacture his attachment, but died shortly after making his invention, passing it to his heirs. Mr. F. E. Whitfield of Corinth, MS bought ½ interest from the heirs and built , patented and put it into operation. 
          Cotton bolls contain seeds that must be separated from the fiber before it can be used. Before Eli Whitley invented the cotton gin in 1794, this was done by hand. An average worker could only remove seeds from about a pound of cotton per day.
           The cotton gin—the word “gin” was derived from “engine”—had hooks that caught the cotton fiber and pulled it through a mesh too fine for the seeds to go through. Small gins were cranked by hand and larger ones were powered by steam engines. The hand-cranked machine could process 50 pounds of cotton per day.
            The Clement Attachment was explained by its owner F. E. Whitfield:
            “To convert an old into a new process cotton mill, little else is necessary than to get a cleanser of seed cotton…cost from $75 to $100, and to substitute an attachment, costing about $175, for the lickerin and feed rollers on each card.” As the cotton passes through the cleanser, dirt, dust and most motes, trash, etc. are removed. It is then carried by a revolving apron into the attachment where the lint is removed from the seed. As the filaments pass through the attachments, any remaining trash is removed and is combed out so that the filaments are delivered to the card and converted into yarns.[1]

[1] Our country’s wealth and influence, by Linus Pierpont Brockett and Henry Barnard: 1882; page 169.

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