In juggling, a pattern where one ball is carried up, across, and dropped into the other hand. It is fairly easy to do (one of the harder forms of columns), yet its square form makes it look very distinctive.

Start by juggling two balls in your right hand. (Left-handers: you should learn this both ways round anyway. So there.) As the rightmost ball goes up, bring your left hand up parallel to it. Now as the middle ball comes up, bring your left hand flat across and over the whole pattern, so that it ends up being the rightmost ball in the pattern. As you throw the next ball up, your left hand releases the ball it is holding, and shoots back down to grasp the falling ball. You are now back to the start position.

You have two choices now - either repeat the same sequence of moves, or switch straight into the exact mirror of the pattern; your left hand juggles two in one hand, while the right carries a ball up and across the pattern. This looks nicer than the one-sided version, so try it when you feel able.

Whichever version you are doing, remember to keep the carries straight and sharp. This is what gives the pattern its appeal (and its name). Oh, and one more thing: when carrying the ball, make sure you display it to your audience; don't clench it in a fist. (For extra kudos, place all fingers on top of the ball, and pinch the back of the ball with your thumb, so that the audience cannot see you holding it. This gives the impression of a magnet pulling the ball up and into the factory.)

The distinguished engineer Owen Williams, of the early 1900's, described it well when he said "the factory building is the shell surrounding a process". I believe that without factories, the Industrial Revolution most likely would have never happened.

In the 1800’s the factories were powered by steam or water power transmited by overhead shafts and belts, and were lit by natural gas lights. Then in 1880, Thomas Edison developed the incandescent electric light, and by 1885 his electric lighting system had started to catch on. Electric power of machinery started to take off at about the same time.

The beginning of the 20th century is seen as a period of industrial expansion in the United States. The Westinghouse factories in the US were considered to be among the most modern factories of their time with the best working conditions. Most women that worked in these factories during that time performed repetitious assembly tasks with men doing the “skilled labor”.

As the 20th century has moved along we have seen innovations like the assembly line and computer automation, and improvements to safety and working conditions like powerful overhead lights and safety guards on machines. These days you will find factories manufacturing everything from flutes to Boeing 747’s. We can only wait and see what the 21st century will bring us.

Fac"to*ry (?), n.; pl. Factories (-rz). [Cf. F. factorerie.]


A house or place where factors, or commercial agents, reside, to transact business for their employers.

"The Company's factory at Madras."



The body of factors in any place; as, a chaplain to a British factory.

W. Guthrie.


A building, or collection of buildings, appropriated to the manufacture of goods; the place where workmen are employed in fabricating goods, wares, or utensils; a manufactory; as, a cotton factory.

Factory leg Med., a variety of bandy leg, associated with partial dislocation of the tibia, produced in young children by working in factories.


© Webster 1913.

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