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THE INDUSTRIAL READERS

_Book III_

MAKERS OF MANY THINGS

BY

EVA MARCH TAPPAN, PH.D.

_Author of "England's Story," "American Hero Stories,"
"Old World Hero Stories," "Story of the Greek People,"
"Story of the Roman People," etc. Editor of
"The Children's Hour."_


[Illustration]


HOUGHTON MIFFLIN COMPANY

BOSTON NEW YORK CHICAGO




COPYRIGHT, 1916, BY EVA MARCH TAPPAN

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED




The Riverside Press

CAMBRIDGE . MASSACHUSETTS

U . S . A




PREFACE


The four books of this series have been written not merely to provide
agreeable reading matter for children, but to give them information.
When a child can look at a steel pen not simply as an article
furnished by the city for his use, but rather as the result of many
interesting processes, he has made a distinct growth in intelligence.
When he has begun to apprehend the fruitfulness of the earth, both
above ground and below, and the best way in which its products may be
utilized and carried to the places where they are needed, he has not
only acquired a knowledge of many kinds of industrial life which may
help him to choose his life-work wisely from among them, but he has
learned the dependence of one person upon other persons, of one
part of the world upon other parts, and the necessity of peaceful
intercourse. Best of all, he has learned to see. Wordsworth's familiar
lines say of a man whose eyes had not been opened,--

"A primrose by a river's brim
A yellow primrose was to him,
And it was nothing more."

These books are planned to show the children that there is "something
more"; to broaden their horizon; to reveal to them what invention has
accomplished and what wide room for invention still remains; to teach
them that reward comes to the man who improves his output beyond the
task of the moment; and that success is waiting, not for him who works
because he must, but for him who works because he may.

Acknowledgment is due to the Diamond Match Company, Hood Rubber
Company, S. D. Warren Paper Company, The Riverside Press, E. Faber,
C. Howard Hunt Pen Company, Waltham Watch Company, Mark Cross Company,
I. Prouty & Company, Cheney Brothers, and others, whose advice and
criticism have been of most valuable aid in the preparation of this
volume.

EVA MARCH TAPPAN.




CONTENTS

I. THE LITTLE FRICTION MATCH 1

II. ABOUT INDIA RUBBER 6

III. "KID" GLOVES 16

IV. HOW RAGS AND TREES BECOME PAPER 25

V. HOW BOOKS ARE MADE 36

VI. FROM GOOSE QUILLS TO FOUNTAIN PENS AND LEAD PENCILS 46

VII. THE DISHES ON OUR TABLES 56

VIII. HOW THE WHEELS OF A WATCH GO AROUND 64

IX. THE MAKING OF SHOES 73

X. IN THE COTTON MILL 82

XI. SILKWORMS AND THEIR WORK 92




THE INDUSTRIAL READERS

BOOK III

MAKERS OF MANY THINGS




I

THE LITTLE FRICTION MATCH


I remember being once upon a time ten miles from a store and one mile
from a neighbor; the fire had gone out in the night, and the last
match failed to blaze. We had no flint and steel. We were neither
Indians nor Boy Scouts, and we did not know how to make a fire by
twirling a stick. There was nothing to do but to trudge off through
the snow to the neighbor a mile away and beg some matches. Then was
the time when we appreciated the little match and thought with
profound respect of the men who invented and perfected it.

It is a long way from the safe and reliable match of to-day back to
the splinters that were soaked in chemicals and sold together with
little bottles of sulphuric acid. The splinter was expected to blaze
when dipped into the acid. Sometimes it did blaze, and sometimes it
did not; but it was reasonably certain how the acid would behave, for
it would always sputter and do its best to spoil some one's clothes.
Nevertheless, even such matches as these were regarded as a wonderful
convenience, and were sold at five dollars a hundred. With the next
kind of match that appeared, a piece of folded sandpaper was sold, and
the buyer was told to pinch it hard and draw the match through the
fold. These matches were amazingly cheap--eighty-four of them for only
twenty-five cents! There have been all sorts of odd matches. One kind
actually had a tiny glass ball at the end full of sulphuric acid. To
light this, you had to pinch the ball and the acid that was thus let
out acted upon the other chemicals on the match and kindled it--or was
expected to kindle it, which was not always the same thing.

Making matches is a big business, even if one hundred of them are
sold for a cent. It is estimated that on an average each person uses
seven matches every day. To provide so many would require some seven
hundred million matches a day in this country alone. It seems like
a very simple matter to cut a splinter of wood, dip it into some
chemicals, and pack it into a box for sale; and it would be simple
if it were all done by hand, but the matches would also be irregular
and extremely expensive. The way to make anything cheap and uniform
is to manufacture it by machinery.

[Illustration: THE ENDLESS MATCH MACHINE

The match splints are set in tiny holes like pins in a pincushion, and
the belt revolves, passing their heads through various chemicals.]

The first step in making matches is to select some white-pine plank of
good quality and cut it into blocks of the proper size. These are fed
into a machine which sends sharp dies through them and thus cuts the
match splints. Over the splint cutter a carrier chain is continuously
moving, and into holes in this chain the ends of the match splints
are forced at the rate of ten or twelve thousand a minute.

The splints remain in the chain for about an hour, and during this
hour all sorts of things happen to them. First, they are dipped into
hot paraffin wax, because this will light even more easily than wood.
As soon as the wax is dry, the industrious chain carries them over a
dipping-roll covered with a layer consisting partly of glue and rosin.
Currents of air now play upon the splint, and in about ten minutes the
glue and rosin on one end of it have hardened into a hard bulb. It is
not a match yet by any means, for scratching it would not make it
light. The phosphorus which is to make it into a match is on another
dipping-roll. This is sesqui-sulphide of phosphorus. The common yellow
phosphorus is poisonous, and workmen in match factories where it was
used were in danger of suffering from a terrible disease of the jaw
bone. At length it was discovered that sesqui-sulphide of phosphorus
would make just as good matches and was harmless. Our largest match
company held the patent giving them the exclusive right to certain
processes by which the sesqui-sulphide was made; and this patent they
generously gave up to the people of the United States.

After the splints have been dipped into the preparation of phosphorus,
they are carried about on the chain vertically, horizontally, on the
outside of some wheels and the inside of others, and through currents
of air. Then they are turned over to a chain divided into sections
which carries them to a packing-machine. This machine packs them into
boxes, a certain number in each box, and they are slid down to girls
who make the boxes into packages. These are put into wooden containers
and are ready for sale.

As in most manufactures, these processes must be carried on with
great care and exactness. The wood must be carefully selected and of
straight grain, the dipping-rolls must be kept covered with a fresh
supply of composition, and its depth must be always uniform. Even the
currents of air in which the splints are dried must be just warm
enough to dry them and just moist enough not to dry them too rapidly.

The old sulphur matches made in "card and block" can no longer be
bought in this country; the safety match has taken their place. One
kind of safety match has the phosphorus on the box and the other
igniting substances on the match, so that the match will not light
unless it is scratched on the box; but this kind has never been a
favorite in the United States. The second kind, the one generally
used, may be struck anywhere, but these matches are safe because
even stepping upon one will not light it; it must be scratched.

A match is a little thing, but nothing else can do its work.




II

ABOUT INDIA RUBBER


When you pick a dandelion or a milkweed, a white sticky "milk" oozes
out; and this looks just like the juice of the various sorts of trees,
shrubs, and vines from which India rubber is made. The "rubber plant"
which has been such a favorite in houses is one of these; in India it
becomes a large tree which has the peculiar habit of dropping down
from its branches "bush-ropes," as they are called. These take root
and become stout trunks. There is literally a "rubber belt" around the
world, for nearly all rubber comes from the countries lying between
the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn. More than half of
all that is brought to market is produced in the valley of the Amazon
River; and some of this "Para rubber," as it is called, from the
seaport whence it is shipped, is the best in the world.

[Illustration: _Courtesy General Rubber Co._

TAPPING RUBBER TREES IN SUMATRA

The plantation on which this photograph was taken has 45,000 acres of
planted rubber trees, and employs 14,000 coolies.]

The juice or latex flows best about sunrise, and so the natives who
collect it have to be early risers. They make little cuts in the bark
of the tree, stick on with a bit of clay a tiny cup underneath each
cut, and move on through the forest to the next tree. Sometimes they
make narrow V-shaped cuts in the bark, one above another, but all
coming into a perpendicular channel leading to the foot of the tree.
Later in the day the collectors empty the cups into great jugs and
carry them to the camp.

When the rubber juice reaches the camp, it is poured into a great
bowl.



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