Handcombing - Detail from S.C. Lister Monument, Lister Park Bradford

Ian Beesley

'Handcombing - a detail from Lister monument, Lister Park, Bradford', 1985
Ian Beesley/Science Museum Group
© Ian Beesley

Gelatine silver print entitled 'Handcombing - Detail from S.C. Lister Monument, Lister Park Bradford' by Ian Beesley. Prodiced for the commission `Through the Mill:, The Story of Yorkshire Wool in Photographs'. 1985-1987'.

This detail in bronze is from the pediment of Samuel Cunliffe Lister's statue in Lister Park, Manningham and clearly shows the traditional skill of combing wool by hand. The wool comber used two heavy combs, each with numerous metal prongs which were heated in charcoal-fuelled pots. One comb was attached to a beam in this unhealthy cottage industry and the other was used to draw out the wool from it, separating the short fibres from the long to create a sliver. The short fibred wool, known as noils, was discarded but about twenty slivers were made into a 'top', the spinners' basic material.

[Table 11: Through the Mill - The Story of Yorkshire Wool in Photographs, by Ian Beesley and Introduction by Gary Firth]


Object Number:
silver gelatin print
The National Media Museum, Bradford

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