Women of Ramsay – Spindles and Flyers–Sarah Ann

Women of Ramsay –  Spindles and Flyers–Sarah Ann
According to thy request, I send thee some facts concerning Sarah Ann of Ramsay Township. Some fifteen years since, her father became very much involved in debt. He owed some ten or twelve hundred hundred dollars, having lost largely by working for the local woollen mills. His business was making spindles and flyers and his daughter, then just sixteen, proposed to go into her father’s shop and assist him, she being the oldest of seven children.

He accepted her offer, and told me himself that in twelve months, she could finish more work and do it better than any man be had ever trained for eighteen years. She earned fifteen dollars a week at the rate and  then paid other hands. Her father died and her two eldest brothers learned the trade from her, and went away.

She has now two younger sisters in apprenticeship and a brother fourteen years of age, all working under her; turning , polishing and and fitting all kinds of machinery. I went out to see her  last week, and she was making water streams to force streams in barns and houses. She is also beginning to make many kinds of carriage axles. She is her own draughtsman, and occasionally occasionally does her own forging.

To use her own words: What any do, I can but try. She has a steam engine, every part of which she understands; and I know that her work gives entire satisfaction. When they have steady employment, they clear sixty dollars a week; and she says she would rather work at it for her bread than at sewing for ten times the money. The truth is, it is a business she is fond of.

About lindaseccaspina

Before she laid her fingers to a keyboard, Linda was a fashion designer, and then owned the eclectic store Flash Cadilac and Savannah Devilles in Ottawa on Rideau Street from 1976-1996. She also did clothing for various media and worked on “You Can’t do that on Television”. After writing for years about things that she cared about or pissed her off on American media she finally found her calling. She is a weekly columnist for the Sherbrooke Record and documents history every single day and has over 6500 blogs about Lanark County and Ottawa and an enormous weekly readership. Linda has published six books and is in her 4th year as a town councillor for Carleton Place. She believes in community and promoting business owners because she believes she can, so she does.

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