Braiding machine, made by G. Harris, East London, early to mid-19th century.
Mechanical braiding machines like this were first developed in Manchester, with the first patent issued in 1748. Braiding machines work by intertwining three or more strands together.
This machine was made by a London manufacturer, G. Harris, and originally used by a South London company, Benton and Johnson Ltd, who were specialists in making metallic braids, like those used on military uniforms.
After being used at Benton and Johnson Ltd, it was acquired by J. B. Hyde & Co, a small family-run manufacturer of braiding machines in Altrincham, Cheshire, who displayed it in their showroom as an example of early braiding technology. The wooden frame of the machine is typical of early textile machines.