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 Post subject: Cotton Tape Labourer
PostPosted: Sun Sep 02, 2012 6:40 pm 
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Joined: Fri Feb 05, 2010 11:33 am
Posts: 60
I wonder if someone could help me by telling me what a Tape Labourer did? My 2x Great Uncle was a Cotton Tape labourer before and after he served in the RAF during WW1, I have tried looking on various sites which list old occupations but can't find anything. We visited Queens St Mill last week and I couldn't see anywhere that mentioned what a Tape Labourer did or what part of the cotton mill he would have worked!


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 Post subject: Re: Cotton Tape Labourer
PostPosted: Mon Sep 03, 2012 11:43 am 

Joined: Mon Aug 13, 2007 12:27 pm
Posts: 18
Location: Barrowford
Taping is the process of sizing cotton warps with flour and tallow (and sometimes an antiseptic to prevent the growth of mildew). Wet taping meant that the warp was passed through steam over heated drums.

Warps ran from the full beam, through the tape machine, and were wound onto an empty beam.
The sized full warp beam was removed and was ready for the loom - these beams were moved by the tape labourer on small wooden trolleys - he carried the empty beams on his shoulder.

Specialist firms of tapers and sizers included Haworths of Nelson - some mills had their own in-house sizing operations. It was not uncommon for the sizing machine to cause an outbreak of lung disease within the mills due to a high mildew content in the air.


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 Post subject: Re: Cotton Tape Labourer
PostPosted: Mon Sep 03, 2012 8:47 pm 
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Joined: Fri Feb 05, 2010 11:33 am
Posts: 60
Thankyou so much for your explanation of what a Tape Labourer did. I find it fascinating finding out about the old occupations that our Ancestors did to earn a living! :D


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