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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.
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.
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.
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.
Arkwright's prototype spinning machine, 1769.
Original spinning machine, Sir Richard Arkwright and John Kay, England, 1769.
Singer 'New Family' sewing machine, 1865-1883.
The Singer 'New Family' lockstitch sewing machine, made between 1865 and 1883.
Model of a Jacquard loom, with shuttle and components
Model of a Jacquard loom (Scale 1:2), unknown maker, 1867.
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.
Early hand-powered lock stitch sewing machine
Early Wheeler and Wilson hand-powered lock stitch sewing machine of a design of about 1867; this model was made around 1885.
Copy of Thimonnier's chain-stitch sewing machine, 1830.
Copy of Barthelemy Thimonnier's chain stitch sewing machine, first invented in 1830.
Weaving power loom shuttle
One of five power loom shuttles, by J. Harrison and Sons, Blackburn, Lancashire, England, 1858-1862.
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.
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.
Model of Brunel's cotton winding machine.
Machine for winding cotton into balls, invented by Sir Marc Isambard Brunel, unsigned, United Kingdom, 1800-1802. The first machine made was used at Strutts Cotton Mill. Belper.
Arkwright's Wrap-reel Winding Wheel, English, 1769-1775
Original wrap-reel or winding wheel used at Sir Richard Arkwright's mill and probably made by John Kay, Cromford, Derbyshire, England, 1769-1775.
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.
Singer double-thread chainstitch glove sewing machine
Singer double-thread chainstitch glove sewing machine, c. 1917.
Willcox and Gibbs chain-stitch sewing machine, c 1914.
Willcox and Gibbs chain stitch sewing machine, c. 1914 model.
Portable spinning wheel
Portable spinning wheel, labelled 'James Webster, clockmaker, Salop', Mardol, Shrewsbury, England, 1745-1790.
Closed spindle type bobbin winder for lace
Closed spindle type bobbin winder for lace, with seven bobbins and a paper tape.
Treadle sewing machine sold by Harris Ltd
Treadle sewing machine sold by Harris Ltd, a London retail firm. Harris purchased their machines from others (in this case, the National Sewing Machine Company of Illinois) and then put their own name on them for sale. This was a common practise in the UK and elsewhere.
Power loom manufactured by J. Harrison and Son
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.
Remington Arms Company lock-stitch sewing machine, 1870.
Original Remington Arms lock-stitch sewing machine head: the 'Empire' model of 1870, by the Remington Arms Company, Boston, Massachusetts, United States, 1870.
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.
Scottish wool spinning wheel made by W. Waters of Wick
Scottish wool spinning wheel made by W. Waters of Wick, Scotland.
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 a teasing 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).
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.
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
Jones lock-stitch sewing machine, 1879-1909
Lock stitch sewing machine, by Jones Sewing Machine Company, Manchester, England, 1879-1909
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.
Spinning wheel, English 17th or 18th century
Spinning wheel, English 17th or 18th century
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.
Domestic hand powered Frister and Rossmann vibrating shuttle lock stitch sewing machine
Domestic hand powered Frister and Rossmann vibrating shuttle lock stitch sewing machine, c. 1910.
Record hand knitter no. E24648
Record hand knitter no. E24648, in box purchased Messrs Nicholson Ltd, St. Pauls Yard, London 8.11.54
Model of a handloom (as used previous to the invention of the fly shuttle in 1733)
Model of a handloom (as used previous to the invention of the fly shuttle in 1733), made 1730-1800.
Thomas lock-stitch sewing machine, c 1853.
Early lock-stitch sewing machine made in accordance with W.F. Thomas's patent of 1853
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.
Lock stitch sewing machine made by W. F. Thomas, 1853
Lock stitch sewing machine made by William Frederick Thomas, Holborn, London, England, 1853.
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
Ward model A1 arm and platform lock stitch sewing machine
Ward model A1 arm and platform lock stitch sewing machine, by Edward Ward, London, 1875-1892
Model hand loom for weaving sacks (and so on) without a seam (scale 1:8)
prob year of patent 1802
Model hand loom for weaving sacks (and so on) without a seam (scale 1:8), invented by T. Clulow in 1802.
Table sewing machine made by Nothmann of Berlin
Table sewing machine made by Nothmann of Berlin, 1900. The machine is a close copy of the Singer Model 12 (New Family) machine. Compete with case
Child's chain stitch Singer model 20 sewing machine first in
Child's chain stitch Singer model 20 sewing machine first introduced in 1910.
Model of Grimston's twine-balling machine
Model of Grimston's twine-balling machine, patented in 1860.