Friday, March 30, 2012
These images capture cutting edge technology of the day. Almost all of the machinery on the top floor of the old Silk Mill is powered by single electric motor. I would wager all of the machinery on this floor was originally powered by that single motor. A few rows of machines on one end of the factory floor appears to be newer and each line was powered by it's own, smaller electric motor. More on that in a future post. The power was transmitted down the length of the building via two drive lines attached to the ceiling: One drive line powered the rows of machines on each side of the main, center isle. The direction of rotation had to be reversed from one side to the other, which was the purpose of the figure eight belt in the top photo. The large pulleys and belts seen here and used to transmit power was typical of the early 1900's. Farm equipment from the same era used similar shafts, pulleys, belts and bearings. This type of power transmission was a carry-over from steam powered engines days. It was how things were done in that rapidly changing era of the Industrial Age prior to WWI. When the Silk Mill addition was built around WWII, the power trains had evolved and I will post an example of later.