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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.
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.
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
Arkwright's prototype spinning machine, 1769.
Original spinning machine, Sir Richard Arkwright and John Kay, England, 1769.
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).
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.
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 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.
Singer 'New Family' sewing machine, 1865-1883.
The Singer 'New Family' lockstitch sewing machine, made between 1865 and 1883.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Weaving power loom shuttle
One of five power loom shuttles, by J. Harrison and Sons, Blackburn, Lancashire, England, 1858-1862.
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.
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.
Model of a Jacquard loom
Model of a Jacquard loom (Scale 1:2), unknown maker, 1867.
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
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).
Willcox and Gibbs chain-stitch sewing machine, c 1914.
Willcox and Gibbs chain stitch sewing machine, c. 1914 model.
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.
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.
Lockstitch sewing machine head of a Howe treadle driven mach
Lockstitch sewing machine head of a Howe treadle driven machine, by the Howe Manufacturing Company, New York, United States, dated 1871.
11th century coptic textile fragments
Two coptic fragments of white linen with red, green, black and gold motifs of dragons and interlacing designs across the middle of each, in glass mounts, Coptic, Egypt, 1000-1100.
Model (scale 1:8) of a wool washing machine made b
Model (scale 1:8) of a wool washing machine made by John & William McNaught, Rochdale, Manchester, England.
Sewing machine, head of a treadle, button-hole type
Head of a treadle, button-hole sewing machine, no. 1342, by the American Button-Hole, Overseaming and Sewing Machine Co., Philadelphia, United States, 1868. There is a needle and swinging hook both above and below the table. This means that the machine is two chain-stitch machines combined, enabling it to sew around a button-hole.
Singer double-thread chainstitch glove sewing machine
Singer double-thread chainstitch glove sewing machine, c. 1917.
Replica of floor standing distaff (half full size)
Replica of floor standing distaff (half full size)
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.
Portable spinning wheel, labelled 'James Webster,
Portable spinning wheel, labelled 'James Webster, clockmaker, Salop', Mardol, Shrewsbury, England, 1745-1790.
Cotton comber web (Nasmith Comber)
Comber web (Nasmith Comber), presented by Laburnum Spinning Company, England
Flax seed, in small glass dish, with spare glass c
Flax seed, in small glass dish, with spare glass cover
Empress "I Move with the Times" lockstitch sewing machine, 1
Empress "I Move with the Times" lockstitch sewing machine, 1880-1890.
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.
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.
Printing block, 1976.
Relief moulded decoration made by methods used for textile printing blocks
Child's chain stitch Singer model 20 sewing machine first in
Child's chain stitch Singer model 20 sewing machine first introduced in 1910.
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
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.
Domestic chain stitch hand sewing machine, made either by th
Domestic chain stitch hand sewing machine, made either by the Guelph Sewing Machine Co. in Ontario, c. 1870, or the Charles Raymond Co., also in Guelph
Specimens of linen, 1783-1784.
Specimens of linen (on two sheets) dated 1783-4, with M.S. descriptions, 'Being patterns submitted for the duty of 15 per cent under the Act 24 Geo. III Chap. 40.' [Act no. 24 of George III, chapter 40] Of German and Flemish origin, unknown maker.
Textile printing block, boxwood face on wooden bac
Textile printing block, boxwood face on wooden backing with a floral design, made in England, 1750-1830.
Arkwright's original drawing frame (lantern frame), 1775.
Arkwright's drawing frame, commonly known as a lantern frame, England, c. 1780.
Bobbin Box of a Northrop single-shuttle 'S' loom
Bobbin box belonging to a Northrop single-shuttle 'S' loom with automatic bobbin insertion, 1939.