John M. Collins

John M. Collins, Engineer and Machinist, 89 and 45, Bartholomew Street.—

    This business has been in existence since 1868, at which time it was located in the Trongate. It was subsequently removed. Since 1872 the firm has been located at the present premises, which consist of two very spacious flats that cover a considerable space of ground. The establishment is well fitted in every department, and contains plant, tools, and machinery for producing good work. The number of hands that are employed average about thirty, and these have been carefully selected from among the most skilled and experienced artisans in the trade. The proprietor is widely renowned in all branches of engineering, but devotes special attention to certain branches in which the firm has become highly celebrated for exceptionally superior work.

    Among the leading features may be mentioned the tarlton motion for handkerchiefs, &c., for power looms, and the manufacture of all classes of machinery used in the dyeing trade, to which very special attention has been devoted ; we may also mention Mr. Collins’s improved scouring and stretching machines for wool hanks. Dyers well know that they have a difficulty in preventing matting or felting when scouring, also nipping and flattening the ends of the heads of yam when coming to the squeezing rolls. This difficulty, we find, is prevented by a very simple positive forward frictional arrangement, entirely self-adjusting. There is also another very decided improvement which is worthy of notice, viz., after the hanks have been linked together and are passing through the scourer, if anything should go wrong with the yarn while immersed, the frame may be lifted up and the yam replaced while the machine is in motion. The advantage in this arrangement will be apparent ; the machines are used in pairs — one for scouring and the other for washing off. These can be seen working daily convenient to the works, and are extensively used in Scotland, England, and America. Again, before leaving the dyeing process, we can see at this establishment two machines of great note, viz. that of the hank dyeing machine for cotton and wools of all colours, and also the improved warp dyeing machine.

    Another industry catered for is that of shawl fringing and birling, Mr. Collins making a large amount of machinery, also check motions and dobbins for looms. In connection with this trade is fringing machines on a very extensive scale. Here again we see plain machines, which can only work plain, mostly used for cordinette or plain-class shawls. The overhand machine will work either plain or overhand combined. The double-colour machine, one and one about, mixing the two colours. The colours pacing machine, any number of given stitches off different colours. The bed quilt machine, only used for bed quilts, and the looping machine, will work one or two colours, and for putting short top on fringe is very neatly constructed. These machines just mentioned are specially adapted for shawl manufacturers and others, and are made in various styles to suit different classes of shawls, hearthrugs, bed quilts, &c. They are in use and well recommended by all the shawl manufacturers in Paisley, Alva, Tillicoultry, Yorkshire, and the Continent.

    Before leaving this establishment we must give vent to the variable transmitter, used for driving sewing machines by power. This can be so arranged that the operator has full control of starting and stopping a machine instantly, and by the action of the foot can go quick or slow, as found suitable for the work in hand. Manufacturers will find this a very effective and economical plan. A speciality of this firm and a credit to the proprietor is that nearly all these many patents we have viewed are of his own production.

    In every department both material and workmanship are of the best class, and the work is executed under the careful and personal supervision of the proprietor. The business is very ably and energetically conducted, and among the principal houses similarly engaged holds a very prominent and leading position. Mr. John M. Collins has appointed Messrs. F. A. Leigh & Co., 35 and 36, Mason Buildings, Boston, Mass., sole agents for the United States and Canada.

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