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Textiles and Nonwovens
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Business: Textiles and Nonwovens: Resources: History
- Article from the February 1, 1916 issue of the Cotton Seed Oil Magazine, presenting a history of the cotton industry in Southern USA, and the invention and commercial development of the mechanical gin and cotton press. [PDF]
Eli Whitney's Patent for the Cotton Gin
- Web site of the US National Archives providing classroom information for teachers about Eli Whitney and the patenting of the cotton gin, and the impact of his invention on the production of raw cotton. Includes copies of the original patent documents.
Flax and Hemp gin
- Page from the Illustrated London News of November 1, 1862, with an illustration of the American flax gin developed by Sandford and Mallory, and a short description of its operation.
History of Jacquard Looms
- Illustrated history of Joseph-Marie Jacquard's invention and development of perforated cards and a means of storing machine-readable data as a component of automatic weaving looms. From The Pianola Institute.
History of the Automatic Loom
- Short history of the weaving loom, from the times of the hand weaving looms, until the inventions of the Industrial Revolution enabled the invention of the foot peddle loom in Japan from which the fully automatic shuttle loom was later developed. From the Yoshida Machinery Co., Ltd web site.
The Horizontal Loom
- Short description of the horizontal foot treadle weaving loom with shuttle, which was introduced into Europe in the 11th Century. From The Medieval Technology Pages.
Inventing the Cotton Gin: Machine and Myth in Antebellum America
- Alternative view of the history of the cotton gin as an aspect of global history and an artifact of the industrial development of Southern USA. Author: Angela Lakwete.
The Invention of the Power Loom
- Short overview of the inventions in mechanised yarn spinning and cloth weaving during the Industrial Revolution which led to the development of the steam powered loom, and the disastrous effect it has had on the hand loom industry of India. From The Hindu newspaper.
Knitting History; From Hand Knitting to Knitting Machines
- Short history of the development of knitting machinery and technology, by Sharon Nani. Links to knitting articles and related sites.
Kuba Textiles: An Introduction
- Short article about the single heddle loom weaving technology of the Congo based Kuba people, including embroidery, applique, patchwork and dyeing techniques. Author: Ann E. Svenson.
Leeds Woollen Workers Petition
- Letter published in local newspapers by 1786 by textile mill workers in Leeds, United Kingdom, complaining about the effects of machines on the previously well-paid skilled workers. From the Modern History Sourcebook.
Letter of Leeds Cloth Merchants
- Letter addressed to Leeds' citizenry and published in local newspapers, written in 1791 by a committee of Leeds' cloth merchants in defence of the introduction of mechanised textile manufacture. From the Modern History Sourcebook.
Medieval North European Spindles and Whorls
- Short article with descriptions of the spindles and whorls used by Scandinavian yarn spinners from 800 to 1500 CE. Author: Carolyn Priest-Dorman.
Monticello: The Plantation
- Short article on the development of mechanised yarn spinning and cloth weaving on Thomas Jefferson's Monticello cotton plantation in 1812. Resources related to Jefferson.
On Power Looms
- Excerpts from an early 19th century autobiography, written by William Radcliffe, and dealing with the implications of the introduction of the power loom for the local textile industry. Edited by Mr. Paul Halsall for the Modern History Sourcebook.
- Blog with multiple links to articles and information about inventors and inventions which determined the growth and industrial development of the textile industry, and were the start and driving force behind the Industrial Revolution.
- The history of the water powered yarn spinning frame, and Richard Arkwright's unsuccessful legal struggle to obtain recognition for his 1773 invention. From A Scrapbook of Cheshire Antiquities.
Servant in the House: A Brief History of the Sewing Machine
- History of the development and introduction into the industry of the sewing machine, originally published by the Smithsonian Report in 1930. Author: Frederick Lewis Lewton.
The Sewing Machine: Its Invention and Development
- Smithsonian Institution's web publication of a 1976 book on the invention, development and introduction of the sewing machine, by Grace Rogers Cooper.
Sewing Machines: Historical Trade Literature in Smithsonian Institution Collections
- From the Smithsonian Institution's Library of Historical Trade Literature, a guide to the range of materials published by and about sewing machine companies in the US and other countries, starting in the 1840's. [PDF]
Spinning and Spinning Wheels A Brief History of Machines for Making Thread and Yarn
- History of the development of tools and equipment for yarn spinning, from the drop spindle to the spinning wheel. Author: W.J. McNabb.
The Steam Loom
- Excerpt from Richard Guest's, Compendious History of the Cotton Manufacture (1823), and dealing with the invention and application of the steam loom in the British textile industry. Edited by Mr. Paul Halsall for the Modern History Sourcebook.
- Finland. Includes on-line reconstruction of the water powered textile mill at Tampere.
Viking Textile Tools
- Web site about the reconstruction of soapstone spindle whorls, metal needles and needle cases, and whalebone smoothing boards used by the Viking people to produce yarns, fabrics and garments. From Sarah Goslee's homepage about braiding and tablet weaving.
What's a Cotton "Gin"?
- Jonah Begone providing an explanation for the term gin, and a short history of the invention and social implications of the cotton gin in pre-Civil War American society.
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