20319--Beaming Off, Winding Warp from Large Reel on to Loom Beam--
Silk Industry, So. Manchester, Conn., U.S.A.

The next process in the manufacture of silk, after the threads have been reeled on the "Ferris Wheel," is known as "beaming off." By beaming off is meant the winding of the warp from the reel to a roll or loom beam. The beaming off is not begun until the entire warp has been wound on the reel from the spools. In this operation also great care must be taken that the threads do not become tangled or crossed.

The picture shows us an attendant at the opposite side of the "Ferris Wheel," described in the preceding view. She like the young woman at the other side watching the threads as they are fed in, is on the lookout for threads that might have become dropped or crossed. The beam on which the warp is wound is now ready for the weaving loom. The threads on the beam are then unwound as they are woven into the cloth.

In the silk industry in Japan, the introduction of machinery is very recent. Although labor is and always has been very efficient and inexpensive in their country, the Japanese were forced to install modern, up-to-date machinery because of their home market becoming overwhelmed by foreign manufactured silk in addition to the fact that they were unable to compete in the world's markets with their hand-manufactured silk. The silk industry in Japan is centered in the island of Hondo: the two chief silk centers are the cities of Kioto and Kirju.

From the collection of the Manchester Historical Society.

For pictures and contemporary information on the Spinning Mill or 'Clock Tower Mill' in the
"Cheney Brothers National Historic Landmark District" page, click here.