Patent Model For A Knitting Machine, Patent No. 125,543 (USA), April 9, 1872
The mechanization of the textile industry in America was the catalyst for the great Industrial Revolution of the 19th-century. While simple technologies for textile production were imported from England at the end of the 1700s, it was the introduction of Eli Whitney’s cotton gin and subsequent knitting and weaving mechanization that laid the groundwork for the transformation of the American economy. These devices helped to bring down the costs of textile production and made an array of industrially produced fabrics available to the vast majority of the American public. It also set in motion a patent frenzy that led to minor improvements on existing technologies, including this highly figural circular knitting machine model that Francis M. Comstock devised. Such knitting machines, which use multiple evenly spaced pins located around a central axis, were used to produce seamless tubes, as seen in the nylon stockings of the 20th century.
It is credited
Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of American History, Cat. T11410.031.
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Its dimensions are
H x W x D: 14 × 21.6 × 25.1 cm (5 1/2 × 8 1/2 × 9 7/8 in.)
This object was previously on display as a part of the exhibition Tools: Extending Our Reach.