Machine used for covering wires with silk and cotton for electrical purposes, made by W T Henley, Whitechapel, London, England, 1837
Machine used for covering wires with silk and cotton for electrical purposes, made by W T Henley, Whitechapel, England, 1837.
This machine was made by W T Henley in 1837, in order to cover wires in silk or cotton thread for electrical purposes. This may be Henley’s original experimental model. Similar machines were supplied to workers at home who made up the wire on piecework rates. This machine was key to Henley's early success: copper or iron wire could be easily purchased, but getting it covered was an expensive process, a deterrent for anyone experimenting with electromagnetism. Henley could cover six wires at a time with this machine, and could therefore make enough wire not only for his own purposes, but also to sell to a large group of customers. Henley found that he could make £1 a day selling his wires, and by 1839, his wire supplies were about half the price of any other sellers.
- Science Museum, Information Age Gallery: Cable
- Textiles Machinery
- Object Number:
- winding machine
- furnishing and equipment
- tools & equipment
- Donated by W.T. Henley's Telegraph Works Company Limited
- Permanent collection
Cite this page
We encourage the use and reuse of our collection data.
Data in the title, made, maker and details fields are released under Creative Commons Zero
Descriptions and all other text content are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 licence
Download catalogue entry as json
Our records are constantly being enhanced and improved, but please note that we cannot guarantee the accuracy of any information shown on this website.