Author Topic: Wool comber  (Read 6443 times)

Offline nadiawalton

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Wool comber
« on: Friday 10 March 06 14:28 GMT (UK) »
Hi again all

Yes me again!
Another of my ancestors was a Wool Comber.
Obviously this involved combing wool (duh!) but what did THAT actually entail?
He resided in Laisterdyke in Bradford in the early 1800's which is where a large textile mill was built aboutthe same time by W&J Whitehall, so this ties in with what i know already.
Also, he died from "disease of the windpipe" could this have been caused by his job? What is this disease? He was only 39.

Thanks!
WALTON line from Yorkshire is my main interest.
WOOD, TYERMAN, WALKER, HAWE.
Any information on Fryston Colliery and that particular area would also be gratefully received!
William SYKES is also a great interest of mine because i cant seem to find him! Born c.1840 "Iron Chapel" Bradford.
Thanks!!!

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Offline ricky1

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Re: Wool comber
« Reply #1 on: Friday 10 March 06 14:31 GMT (UK) »
Hi
A wool comber worked machinery combing-seperating-fibres for spinning
Ricky (1954 - 2010)

Harby,Garton,Drury,Duncombe,Booth,Catton,Barker, Kirkby, Wilson. Lincolnshire,
Also Murkin's, Jeffery,Pettitt,Carter, from Suffolk/Cambridgeshire boarder
Census information is Crown Copyright from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk

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Offline jorose

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Re: Wool comber
« Reply #2 on: Friday 10 March 06 15:39 GMT (UK) »
Workers in textile mills often had problems caused by inhaling dust - in this case, wool dust - which could cause all sorts of problems with the respiratory system.  Unfortunately with the vague descriptions given on old death certificates it can be hard to tell exactly what the cause of death was.  But it would be likely that his working conditions either caused or exaberated his condition. 

At the time average life expectancy was very low, so for the time and the conditions it wasn't really 'only' 39.  http://www.cepr.org/PUBS/bulletin/dps/dp121.htm - in 1840 average life expectancy in rural Surrey was 45, but in industrial Liverpool was only 27.  (These numbers were strongly influenced by the extremely high infant mortality rates, which bring the average down, but a factory worker of the area living into his sixties, say, would probably be considered unusual.)
Census information is Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk

Offline shadow77

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Re: Wool comber
« Reply #3 on: Saturday 30 November 13 22:58 GMT (UK) »

Offline GrahamSimons

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Re: Wool comber
« Reply #4 on: Sunday 01 December 13 09:12 GMT (UK) »
Simons Barrett Jaffray Waugh Langdale Heugh Meade Garnsey Evans Vazie Mountcure Glascodine Parish Peard Smart Dobbie Sinclair....
in Stirlingshire, Roxburghshire; Bucks; Devon; Somerset; Northumberland; Carmarthenshire; Glamorgan

Offline sallyyorks

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Re: Wool comber
« Reply #5 on: Tuesday 10 December 13 06:58 GMT (UK) »
 
Workers in textile mills often had problems caused by inhaling dust - in this case, wool dust - which could cause all sorts of problems with the respiratory system.  Unfortunately with the vague descriptions given on old death certificates it can be hard to tell exactly what the cause of death was.  But it would be likely that his working conditions either caused or exaberated his condition. 

At the time average life expectancy was very low, so for the time and the conditions it wasn't really 'only' 39.  http://www.cepr.org/PUBS/bulletin/dps/dp121.htm - in 1840 average life expectancy in rural Surrey was 45, but in industrial Liverpool was only 27.  (These numbers were strongly influenced by the extremely high infant mortality rates, which bring the average down, but a factory worker of the area living into his sixties, say, would probably be considered unusual.)

From Chadwick's report 1842

Average age of death

Professional/Gentry
Rutlandshire 52
Manchester 38
Leeds 45

Tradesmen/Farmers/Shopkeepers
Rutlandshire 41
Manchester 20
Leeds 26

Mechanics/Labourers
Rutlandshire 38
Manchester 17
Leeds 16




Offline sallyyorks

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Re: Wool comber
« Reply #6 on: Tuesday 10 December 13 07:02 GMT (UK) »
....description of woolcombers Bradford, 1837 sanitation report

"Bradford is the dirtiest town in England, were Mills abound in great plenty, and their number is daily increasing while the town itself extends in like proportions. Bradford is essentially a new town and half a century ago it was a mere a cluster of huts. Now the district of which it is the heart contains upwards of 132,000 inhabitants. Fortunes have been made in Bradford with rapidity almost unequalled, even in the manufacturing districts….The greatest part of the labour of male adults through the worsted districts consists of combing wool. In Bradford, I am told on good authority, there are about 15,000 woolcombers. These men sometimes work singly, but more often three, four or five club together and labour in what is called a shop, generally consisting of the upper room or chamber over the lower room of the house. Their wives and children assist them to a certain extent in the first and almost unskilled portions of the operation, but the whole process is rude and easily acquired. It consists of forcibly pulling the wool through metal combs or spikes of different lengths and set five or six deep. These combs must be kept at a high temperature and consequently the central apparatus in a combing room is always a fire-pot, burning either coke, coal or charcoal, and constructed so as to allow three, four or five combs to be heated at it…the vessel being in these cases respectively called a “pot o’ three”, “pot o’ four” or “ pot o’ five”. When coals are burned, the pot is a fixed apparatus like a small stove with a regular funnel to carry away the smoke. When charcoal is used, the pot is a movable vessel without a funnel, the noxious fumes too often spreading freely through the room. Scattered throughout the chamber are frequently two or more poles or masts, to which the combs after being heated, are firmly attached, while the workman drags the wool through them until he has reduced it to a soft mass of filament which he draws by skillful manipulation out of the compact lump into long semi-transparent “slivers” which, after certain minor operations, are returned to the factory to be subjected to the drawing machines. The general aspect of a combing-room may therefore be described as that of a bare chamber, heated to 85 degrees. A round five-pot stands in the centre, and masses of wool are heaped about with four or five men in their shirtsleeves working busily.”
.."Such was the concern in Keighley (near Bradford) about the rising mortality rate among woolcombers, that a local surgeon, John Milligan, gave three lectures in February and March of 1847 at the Keighley Mechanics Institute on the subject of public health and sanitary conditions in the town. Among the startling statistics Milligan revealed, was that the average age of death varied considerably according to class and occupation....rising from a mere nineteen years for woolcombers to thirty-eight for widows and spinsters!  A move was then made to raise a public subscription for the distressed poor in the town , but this failed to materialise because it was generally felt that relief should be given from public rates rather than private charity.

Another report produced in 1862, called the Ranger Report, described Keighley  woolcomber families as "living  in the depths of extreme poverty, rarely tasting animal food from year to year.... One family of eight had sheep's head or liver occasionally.... another family of nine had not had 6 lbs of meat for the last 18 months... and another family of five had none"

http://bancroftsfromyorkshire.blogspot.co.uk/2010/10/woolcombing-in-yorkshire-dirty-business.html?m=1

Online stonechat

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Re: Wool comber
« Reply #7 on: Thursday 22 March 18 22:52 GMT (UK) »
I have just found that an ancestor who died in Wellington Somerset in 1839 was a woolcomber.
Though he died of Asthma, he was 79, so did not really cut him short
Douglas, Varnden, Joy(i)ce Surrey, Clarke Northants/Hunts, Pullen Worcs/Herefords, Holmes Birmingham/USA/Canada/Australia, Jackson Cheshire/Yorkshire, Lomas Cheshire, Lee Yorkshire, Cocks Lancashire, Leah Cheshire, Cook Yorkshire, Catlow Lancashire
See my website http://www.cotswan.com