little problem. If the mechanics of Massachusetts and Connecticut cannot solve it, I do not know who can.
The Vicol labourers proceed to the Idtes in couples, carrying their simple and efficient apparatus, all of which, except the knife, they make themselves.
One man cuts down the plant, removes the outer covering, and separates the layers forming the stem, dividing them into strips about one and a half inches wide, and spreading them out to air.
The other man standing at his bench, takes a strip and places the middle of it across the convex block and under the knife, which is held up by the spring of a sapling overhead. Then, placing one foot on a treadle hanging from the handle of the knife, he firmly presses the latter down on the block. It should be explained that the knife is not sharp enough to cut the fibres. Firmly grasping the strip in both hands, and throwing his body backwards, he steadily draws the strip towards him till all the fibre has passed the knife ; then, removing his foot from the treadle, the knife is lifted from the block by the spring, leaving the pulp and waste behind it. Sweeping this off, he reverses the half-cleaned strip, and twisting the cleaned fibre round one hand and wrist, and grasping it also with the other, he draws the part he formerly held, under the knife, pressing the treadle with the foot as before, and thus completes the cleaning of one strip. The fibre is often six feet long, and only requires drying in the sun to be marketable.
A man is able to clean about twenty-five pounds of hemp per day, and receives one half of it for his labour.
He usually sells his share to his employer for a trifle under the market price.He usually sells his share to his employer for a trifle under the market price.