Mr. Ralph P. Richardson
(-1950), was an important man in the Indian textile industry. He became the first Spinning master, who took charge of the Spinning Section of the Technological Laboratory, then, and now CIRCOT
on 3 November
. Arthur James Turner joined as the Director, in January, 1924. Mr. Turner had a small stint of service at The Shirley Institute
, prior coming to India, to take over as the Director of The Laboratory. Richardson and Turner worked together for the improvement of the quality of Indian cottons. They planned meticulously, assessing all the available cotton resource in India, and streamlined them to implement the type of research needed for the respective Cotton Growing Zones. The British Government laid the paramount importance to this ambitious project. Initially, Mr. Briggs was appointed to the post, of Spinning master on March 1
. Since he was indisposed, Mr. W. B. Walmsley took over, temporarily, until the arrival of Mr. Richardson, who joined on November 3 1924
The long and varied textile career
- Started the Textile career, in the Clearence mills, Stanley Bridge in 1889, worked for three years.
- Joined The Queen Mill at Dukinfield. Left in 1912.
- Joined The Dominion Textile Mills, Montreal, Canada.
- Joined The Galbraith Mills, Glasgow, Scotland, and assumed the post of Spinning master.
- Joined as The Demonstrator, in Cotton Spinning Division at the Technical School, Oldham. For the session 1915-16.
- Served Newton Moore Spinning Co; Lancashire, Dukinfield, as a Ring winding and Beaming overlooker, until his arrival in India.
- Worked at Mesrs. John and Company, Agra, for 5 years.
- Was transferred to Tinnaveli Textiles, at Kovilpatti.
His long and varied experiences of nearly 25 years in Textile Manufacture culminated when he was appointed as Spinning Master, at the Technological Laboratory, Bombay, in 1924.
Interest in research
Mr. Richardson and Mr. Turner were the first to initiate Research Programmes on Indian Cottons, at the Technological Laboratory, practically from the very beginning. First, Mr. Richardson worked under the guidance of Dr. Turner, and when he left the organization and went to England, later with Dr. Nazir Ahmed. Every study connected with improving Cottons, invariably needed Spinning Performance Test. To spin such a wide range of varieties needed highly competent Personnel, some one like that of Mr. Richardson. The knowledge gained in Canada
and South and North India helped him a lot.
Richardson trained the staff of Spinning Section
Mr. Richardson’s 12 years Research Contributions in the initial stages, were immensely helpful. He trained the Indian staff at The Technological Laboratory, at all the relevant areas of Cotton Spinning. Typically a Lancashire man of frank and sociable nature, was exceedingly popular among all members of the Staff and Industry. Sri. Dorab Kapadia, was working under him, for some time and joined VJTI, Bombay. Later, Shri. N. Iyengar joined as Spinning Assistant and was there for quite a long period. Richardson, was a Prominent Member of the Bombay European Textile Association.
- Mule copping,
- High drafting of cottons.
Were well appreciated in India and abroad. Mule spinning was very complicated Spinning Process which was in vogue during those days. From Bombay, Richardson, went back to Britain, and worked for few years. After retirement, he came back to India, and worked at Kanpur. Richardson died at Bangalore, in August 1950.
Some Awards and Recognitions
Most of the Bombay Textile Mills were running by steam power. Only a single shift was run. The machines were mostly Mule frames. Ring frames, started coming in some of the Mills, and were lesser known in the industry.
The Bombay of 1930s was still a Tyro in Cotton Research
The concept of Research on Cotton Technology, was initiated by the Europeans, mostly by British. The Spinning section, was first built in 1924, and the Research wing was later added. The connected work, was being done at VJTI, Bombay
, which had just built her new premises, and started using it. (This Institute did not have their own Building, then, and was being run at Byculla, Bombay)
Preliminary studies on Cotton lead to augment the Research on the Technical side also. The latest Laboratory model Ring frame machines were installed at the Technological laboratory, while Bombay Textile Mills were still hesitating to install.
The Cotton improvement scheme, needed thorough and exhaustive basic studies, from all the regions of the country, and as well as the cottons belonging to different regions of the world. The Empire Cotton Growing Association, had Shirley Institute, to support the Technical and Scientific related matters. This has to cater to the needs of the African regions, Egypt, Sudan and West Indies. In India, ICCC relied mostly on the Technical support of Technological Laboratory. Cottons belonging to different regions of the country, have to be properly assessed for their specific traits, etc; there were nearly 58 Textile Mills in Bombay then. They were operated one shift only. Steam power was utilized to run the huge mills, although the sufficient power was being supplied by TATA house for the Industrial units. People were visiting England for their studies, in textiles. ICCC appointed IAS Qualified Secretaries, to look after the management of the Committee, and as well as the connected Laboratory. The Directors were next in line of activities.
- Richardson, R. P ; “Combing of good quality cottons” , Indian Text, J; 45, 337 (1935)
- Richardson, R. P ; and Ahmad, N; “Application of different systems of high draft spinning to mixings of Indian cottons “, Technol. Bull. A-19 (1932)
- Richardson, R. P ; and Ahmad N.” Combing of good quality of good quality Indian cottons “, Technol Bull. A-27 (1935)
- Richardson, R. P ; and Ahmad, N; “The effect of employing different roller settings and twists on the spinning performance of three Indian cottons “, Technol, Bull. A-32 (1936)
- Richardson, R. P ; Ahmad N; “ Further tests on Indian cottons, with different systems of high draft spinning “, Technol Bull. A-37 (1937)
- Richardson, R. P; and Turner, A. J ; “Preliminary spinning tests on mixing of Indian and American cottons using ordinary and high drafts “, Technol. Bull. A-15 (1930)
- Richardson, R. P; and Turner A. J; “Limit spinning tests on Cambodia and Mollisoni Cottons “, Technol, Bull. A-17 (1930)
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