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A place where bones are boiled and crashed, and where cast-off woollen clothing—some of it gathered from refueeheaps—is reseivedand operated on, is not one a nun in fall possession of the five senses would elect to Hnger for a longer period than is absolutely necessary. Not as a i ule, at any rate. The lousinesses referred to must of necessity diffuse offensive smells, unless special pains are taken to ensure quick and thorough purification of the material and complete ventilation of the premises; and it is easy to conceive that the annoyance spoken of may carry with it the more serious risk of endangering health. Mr James Durston has succeeded to a marked degree in counteracting the evils spoken of, and his factory in the Kaikorai Valley would never suggest to the nose of the passer-by the nature of the operations that are conducted on the premises. The reason why noxious smells aie not perceived is simply this: that the building and yards are kept absolutely clean. There is a sort of "bony" scent about the place, but it is nothing to sicken : one ; and the rag department is as innocent of taint as a milliner's shop. Two or three weeks ago one of our medical men inspected the factory, and watched the processes ; and as a result Dr Alexander certifies that the flock prepared at this mill is pure-free from dirt and dust and cleansed from any possibility of contamination ; while Dr John Macdonald avouches that " the different processes are most thoroughly carried out. The treatment to which the rags are subjected ensures a pure and clean flock." This professional testimony is completely endorsed by our reporter, who says that he does not see how there can be any risk of infection from flock prepared by Mr Durston'a I process. Some of our readers may be ignorant of how flock is made. For the instruction of any such we will briefly describe the process as carried on at this mill. The rags as received from the marine storekeepers or other gatherers—we do not profess to know how they are collected—are first denuded of their buttons or other metal fastenings, and then stored in a stable, from which they are carried in bushel baskets to the washer. This is a wooden drum, in four compartments, 6ft in diameter and 3ft through. The rags are raked into the drum, which is shut up when filled, and started revolving in boiling water, to which soft soap, black soap, and soda are added. After twenty minutes of this treatment the things are forked out into the baskets again, dragged along a plank, and shot down an incline into a rinsing tank of cold water, which is kept constantly in motion. Here the old shirts or trousers, or whatever else may be in the batch, are thoroughly stirred about for a few minutes and then lifted out on to a gridiron, where they remain perhaps three days, to drain and sweeten by the action of the air. Next they are subjected to a thorough fumigation with common sulphur; and afterwards conveyed by a lift to the drying chamber, in which, between the heat of the boiler underneath and the current of air waft< d above them by a powerful fan, the clothes are completely rid of all moisture and made " bone dry," as the washerwomen say. drying chamber measures 35ft x 14ft. A bli jot leading from this compartment conveys the purified rags to the mill, which is a contrivance for tearing the rags to pieces and converting them into a sort of rough flock. J-Mts of blanket, tattered knickerbockers, Focks full of "potatoes," and everything else submitted to this machine at the feed end come out at the other end recreated a valuable article of commercp. From the mill the flock passes to what is called a " wilier," which is scarcely less wonderful than the mill itself, for it sucks in the stuff by means of a strong draught, gives the flock the necessary curling, and ejects it into a bin, from which it is taken and done up into bales ready for the market. It is worthy of note that in this particular precautions have been taken agiiust risk to the hands employed. The machinery is carefully guarded, the rags are handled as little as possible, and by an ingenious arrangement of air tubes the dust and liner particles exuded from the flock are conducted through the furnace and thence to the chimney, instead of being left to float about the premises, and thus breed lung disease. There is an abundant supply of pure water, a stream that conies in from the back of Sonntag's nursery gardens flowing through the yard. The water is lifted from tie. stream to a dam by means of a force paaop,. and from the dam the water is laid oa to. all parts of the premises. The machinery», too, is abreast of the requirements of thet age. One powerful engine supplies the>. motive power for all the machinery on, the premises. We need not say anything about the bone mill further thiu» to assure our readers that it is capable of supplying orders as fast as they come in, and that the arrangements are so disposed as to prevent more than ore handling of the bones from the time they are Bhot into the hopper until the dust is bagged. Mr Durston, it may be added, started business in the Kaikorai in 187?, and has been for eight years in the present! building. Originally he did a large line in, tallow,butDowconfineshimselfalmostßtrictly: to the manufacture of woollen flock and the, grinding of bonedust. The tallow " diges, ters" are et'll used to extract the oily matter from the bones before they are ground, but this i 3 only an adjunct to the business.

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Bibliographic details

DURSTON'S FLOCK MILL AND BONK CRUSHERY., Evening Star, Issue 8000, 31 August 1889, Supplement

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DURSTON'S FLOCK MILL AND BONK CRUSHERY. Evening Star, Issue 8000, 31 August 1889, Supplement