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Machinery and other objects - from carding engines and looms to printing blocks and fabric specimens - tell the story of Britain's role in textile manufacturing from the Industrial Revolution onwards.
Arkwright's water frame, 1775.
Improved spinning machine (water frame), by Sir Richard Arkwright, England, 1775.
Sewing machine by Elias Howe
Lockstitch sewing machine by Elias Howe, Lowell, Massachusetts, United States, made about 1846, the first sewing machine to be brought to England from America in that year.
Model of a Power loom for plain weaving
Model, scale 1:3, of a power loom for simple plain weaving made by Messrs. Sevill and Woolstenhulme, Oldham, Manchester, England, 1857. This loom gives the most elementary kind of weaving in which weft crosses over and under the warps alternately and was the type used extensively for calico weaving. There is an arrangement for stopping the loom automatically if the shuttle does not reach its box after each pick, and if the weft should break then a weft fork device which is normally balanced to rest on the unbroken thread falls and operates cut off machinery to stop the loom.
Arkwright's prototype spinning machine, 1769.
Original spinning machine, Sir Richard Arkwright and John Kay, England, 1769.
Machine used for covering wires with silk and cotton, 1837
Machine used for covering wires with silk and cotton for electrical purposes, made by W T Henley, Whitechapel, London, England, 1837
Old Spitalfields hand loom with jacquard mechanism
Old Spitalfields hand loom with jacquard mechanism.
Copy of Thimonnier's chain-stitch sewing machine, 1830.
Copy of Barthelemy Thimonnier's chain stitch sewing machine, first invented in 1830.
Singer 'New Family' sewing machine, 1865-1883.
The Singer 'New Family' lockstitch sewing machine, made between 1865 and 1883.
Model of a Jacquard loom
Model of a Jacquard loom (Scale 1:2), unknown maker, 1867.
Early Wheeler and Wilson hand-powered lock stitch sewing mac
Early Wheeler and Wilson hand-powered lock stitch sewing machine of a design of about 1867; this model was made around 1885.
Textile printing block, rectangular
1760-1775 probable date
Textile printing block of irregular rectangular shape, boxwood faced design with some use of metal pins; ornate column with large flowers arranged around it and probably used for soft furnishing. Made in England, probably c. 1760-1775.
Carding machine by Arkwright, 1775, believed to be from Cromford Mill
Carding machine by Sir Richard Arkwright (1732-1792), England, 1771-1780. Believed to be from Cromford Mill, Derbyshire.
A la memoire de J.M. Jacquard
Jacquard-woven picture "A la memoire de J.M. Jacquard" after the original by C. Bonnefond, in frame 20" x 14", frame 31" x 27", 1839
Moldacot pocket sewing machine, 1887.
Moldacot patent lockstitch sewing machine with accessories in tin case, by the Moldacot Pocket Sewing Machine Company, London, England, 1886-1887.
The first Wheeler and Wilson sewing machine, 1866.
Wheeler and Wilson lock stitch sewing machine, type No.1. The first machine with rotary hook and four motion feed patented by Allen B. Wilson 1851 and 1854, and made in 1866.
Model of strand making machine for cotton rope wit
Model of strand making machine for cotton rope with 49 reel frame, unknown maker.
Weir sewing machine, 1872.
J.Weir's chain stitch sewing machine, model no. 55S of 1872.
Power loom manufactured by J. Harrison and Son, Blackburn, England and fitted with the loose reed emergency stop mechanism of 1842. Exhibited at the Great Exhibition of 1851 and subsequently modified by the makers with design changes up to 1858.
Howe lock-stitch sewing machine, c 1888.
Lock stitch sewing machine head representing the final form of the Howe machine, by the Howe Machine Company, Bridgeport, Connecticut, United States, 1883 model.
Judkin's lock-stitch sewing machine, 1851.
Reproduction of Judkin's lockstitch sewing machine made by Platt Bros & Co Ltd., Oldham, Manchester, England, shown at 1851 Exhibition.
Portable spinning wheel, labelled 'James Webster,
Portable spinning wheel, labelled 'James Webster, clockmaker, Salop', Mardol, Shrewsbury, England, 1745-1790.
Coloured drawing depicting Lombe's silk throwing m
Coloured drawing depicting Lombe's silk throwing machine, scale 1:16, made at the Science Museum, London, England, 1857.
Specimen of artificial silk
Early specimen of artificial silk made by Sir Joseph Swan, 1883; crocheted/embroidered by Lady Swan to form a border to a handkerchief, for display at Exhibition of Inventions, London 1885.
Wood blocks for printing English chintz and calico designs
23 wood blocks for printing chintz and calico with English designs typical of the period, by unknown maker, England, 1750-1830. Each block consists of a mahogany or oak base with a thin face of more expensive boxwood. The pattern is drawn on reverse on the boxwood and then cut. By about 1900 block printing had largely been superceded by rotary printing.
Saint's sewing machine, 1874.
Saint's chain stitch sewing machine made from drawings contained in a patent granted to Thomas Saint in 1790, by Newton Wilson and Co., 1874.
Grover and Baker two-thread chain-stitch sewing machine, 1871.
Grover and Baker two-thread chain stitch sewing machine, 1871, an improved version of an 1851 model.
Weaving power loom shuttle
One of five power loom shuttles, by J. Harrison and Sons, Blackburn, Lancashire, England, 1858-1862.
Thomas lock-stitch sewing machine, c 1853.
Early lock-stitch sewing machine made in accordance with W.F. Thomas's patent of 1853
Silk printing block mounted on a wooden stand.
Silk printing block mounted on a wooden stand.
Double-thread chain-stitch sewing machine, with needle-bar f
Double-thread chain-stitch sewing machine, with needle-bar feed and winder; patented by G. Whight, 1861
Lockstitch sewing machine, made by the Howe Machine Co., 187
Lockstitch sewing machine, made by the Howe Machine Co., 1876-1886
A Singer model 66 lock stitch oscillating hook sewing machin
Model 66 lock stitch oscillating hook sewing machine,Branded 'Twentieth century', sectioned and mounted above a mirror, Singer Manufacturing Company, 1908-1909.
Record hand knitter no. E24648, in box purchased M
Record hand knitter no. E24648, in box purchased Messrs Nicholson Ltd, St. Pauls Yard, London 8.11.54
Example of original pattern Singer sewing machine of 1851, made c. 1853.
Singer Lockstitch sewing machine model of 1851, by I. M. Singer and Company or the Singer Manufacturing Company, Boston, Massachusetts, United States, 1851-1855
The 'Little Wanzer' lock stitch sewing machine, 1867-1873.
The 'Little Wanzer' lock stitch sewing machine, by the Wanzer Sewing Machine Company Ltd. (London), Great Portland Street, London, England, 1867-1873.
Closed spindle type bobbin winder for lace, with s
Closed spindle type bobbin winder for lace, with seven bobbins and a paper tape.
Cardboard box associated with the Singer model 319K lock stitch electric sewing machine
Cardboard box associated with the Singer model 319K lock stitch electric sewing machine, by the Singer Manufacturing Company, Kilbowie, Clydebank, Dunbartonshire, Scotland, 1948-1958. Box contains eleven small metal components
Fragment of Coptic linen textile
Coptic fragment of white linin with red, green, black and gold motifs of dragons and interlacing designs across the middle, in glass mount, Copt, Egypt, 1000-1100.
The original bobbin-net machine designed and const
The original bobbin-net machine designed and constructed by Samuel Blackmore in 1880 but without some fittings (used on object /1).
Scale Model of Machine for Printing Textiles, 1805
Model (scale 1:6) for printing textiles from engraved copper plate, made by Henry Maudslay, Lambeth, London, England, 1805.
Willcox and Gibbs chainstitch sewing machine, 1877-1904.
Willcox and Gibbs chainstitch sewing machine, made by Brown and Sharpe under the brand name Willcox and Gibbs Sewing Machine Company, 1877-1904.
Passap M 201 flat bed domestic knitting machine, c
Passap M 201 flat bed domestic knitting machine, c. 1950; complete with accessories and operating instructions.
Remains of the models of silk machinery introduced by Sir Thomas Lombe
Remains of the models of silk machinery introduced from Italy by Sir Thomas Lombe, Derby, England, c. 1732; the remains being: a reel, three spindles with bobbins and flyers and a segment of a circular frame, all half size.
Willcox and Gibbs chain-stitch sewing machine, c 1914.
Willcox and Gibbs chain stitch sewing machine, c. 1914 model.
Model of a teasing mill, also known as a gig-mill,
Model of a teasing mill, also known as a gig-mill, for raising the fibres of woollen cloth, reputed to be 18th century (scale 1:8).
Bobbin Box of a Northrop single-shuttle 'S' loom
Bobbin box belonging to a Northrop single-shuttle 'S' loom with automatic bobbin insertion, 1939.