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struck a sharp blow; this forces some of the paper down into the tube and closes it effectively. The operation, like all the other

Figure 39. Punching Holes for Loading. (Courtesy Wallace Clark.)

114 "

Figure 39. Punching Holes for Loading. (Courtesy Wallace Clark.)

114 "

Figure 40. Loading. Filling the Tubes with Powder.

Figure 41. Fusing and Crimping. (Courtesy Wallace Clark.)

Figure 42. Making the Fuse. (Courtesy Wallace Clark.)

operations in the manufacture of the crackers, is carried out very rapidly.

Figure 43. Making the Crackers into Bunches by Braiding Fuses Together.

(Courtesy Wallace Clark.)

Figure 41. Fusing and Crimping. (Courtesy Wallace Clark.)

Figure 43. Making the Crackers into Bunches by Braiding Fuses Together.

(Courtesy Wallace Clark.)

A sheet of paper is then pasted over the other side of the hexagonal bundle of tubes^ closing the ends which are later to carry the fuses. When this is dry, holes corresponding to the tubes are punched in the paper. The operation is carried out by young girls who punch the holes four at a time by means of four bamboo sticks held in one hand while they hold the bundle of tubes steady with the other; Figure 39. The edges of the paper are then bent slightly upward, giving it the form of a shallow saucer with 1000 holes in its bottom. The powder for charging the crackers is then introduced into this saucer, and the whole is"

Figure 44. Wrapping the Bunches. (Courtesy Wallace Clark.)

shaken gently until all the tubes are full; Figure 40. Then, by a deft movement of the worker's hands and wrists, the excess powder in the saucer, and a portion of the powder in each of the tubes, is emptied out quickly, each of the tubes being left partly full of powder with enough empty space at the top for the fuse and the crimp. This operation, of all those in the manufacture, is considered to be the one which requires the greatest skill. Day after day the average consumption of powder per 1000 or per 100,000 crackers is remarkably constant.

The paper is then torn off from the hexagonal bundle, and the fuses, cut to length, are put in place by one workman while another with a pointed bamboo stick rapidly • crimps the paper around them; Figure 41. The fuse is made from narrow strips of tissue paper about 2 feet long. While one end of the strip is clamped to the bench and the other is held in the hand, the strip

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