24. Engine

Gallery: Engine

1846 the Dolphin Mill was supervised by John Meldrum, a veteran jute spinner
from Dundee, Scotland, who steered the factory through several crises in its
first years of operation. In March, 1848, the mil] required a new water wheel,
costing about $10,000. With the use of iron shrouding and reinforcing of the
old wheel, Meldrun was able to get the original wheel back into operation for
$1,000. However, Meldrum's ingenuity could not surmount all of the problems. In January of 1850 the river froze and the raceways were jammed with ice.

In 1869, a fourth floor was built on the original mill, and the
vertical expansion necessitated a steam engine and boiler of 120 horsepower
which the president of Dolphin was instructed to buy for not more than
$12,000,9 in 1870. That year, according to a contemporaneous New Jersey
census, the labor force at the mill had grown to 67 men, 795 women, and 51
children who, attending 22 spining frames, 47 looms, and 960 spindles, wove 942,
864 lbs. of jute cloth and spun 767,296 lbs. of yarn with a gross value of
$217,245. Power was supplied by overshot wheels, with a combined rating of 120


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