Shuttle-making, Crossleys of Todmorden

Ian Beesley
'Shuttle-making, Crossleys of Todmorden', about 1985

'Shuttle-making, Crossleys of Todmorden', about 1985
Ian Beesley/Science Museum Group
© Ian Beesley

Gelatine silver print entitled 'Shuttle-making, Crossleys of Todmorden' by Ian Beesley. Produced for the commission `Through the Mill:, The Story of Yorkshire Wool in Photographs'. 1985-1987'.

The boat-shaped object carries a single thread (weft) crossways along the loom in the over and under procedure of weaving cloth. Before 1733 the weft was passed by hand across the loom limiting the width of any cloth but in that year John Kay is said to have patented his 'flying shuttle'. By tugging a cord, left and right, the wheeled shuttle (often with a pointed metal nose at each end) moved backwards and forwards across the loom. Wooden shuttles are still made today like these at Crossleys in Todmorden, but they are often being superseded by metal shuttles (no bigger than a schoolboy's penknife) which can do far more picks to the minute.

[Table 73: Through the Mill - The Story of Yorkshire Wool in Photographs, by Ian Beesley and Introduction by Gary Firth]


Object Number:
silver gelatin print
The National Media Museum, Bradford