from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A fabric coated with hot glue and dusted with powdered emery, used for smoothing metallic surfaces.
Sorry, no etymologies found.
I was particularly transported by the action of the transformer: that crunchy, emery-cloth feel as you move the nice chrome lever round the dial, and the evocative smell of hot dust.
The steamer's machine-shop, as I have said, was unusually well fitted and supplied; but even in the short time that the vessel had been lying abandoned in that reeking atmosphere rust had so coated everything not shut up in lockers that all the tools in the racks and the fittings of the lathe -- although the lathe had an oil-cloth hood over it -- had to be cleaned before they could be used: a job that kept me busy with the grind-stone, and emery-cloth, and oiled cotton-waste, for a good long while.