The number rapidly increased, and in 1851 there were 66 cotton mills with 860,000 throstle spindles at work.
The importance of the original spinners' representation on the association is shown by the fact that they worked over 14,000,000 spindles: in December 1905 the spindles represented by members had risen to nearly 20,000,000.
When the agents of the spinners, that is, the buying brokers, by becoming principals in some transactions, had acquired interests diametrically opposed to those of their customers, the consequent feeling of distrust among spinners gave birth to the Cotton Buying Company, which, constituted originally of twenty to thrity limited cotton-spinning companies, represents to-day nearly 6,000,000 spindles distributed among nearly one hundred firms. Its object was to squeeze out some middlemen and economize for its members on brokerage.
There were 155 of these factories in 1895, but in 1905 only 108 were in operation, with 715,000 spindles, and about 37, 00 o operatives.
The spindles to which the wheels are attached revolve in a lathe worked by a foot treadle.