Patent Models: Textile and Sewing Machines
For much of the nineteenth century, inventors submitted a model with their patent application to the United States Patent Office. The National Museum of American History’s patent model collection began with the acquisition of 284 models from the Patent Office in June 1908, and reached more than 1,000 models by the end of that summer. In 1926, Congress decided to dispense with the stored collection of models and gave the Smithsonian Institution the opportunity to collect any models it wanted. Today, the Museum’s collection exceeds 10,000 patent models dating from 1836 to 1910.
The Museum’s Textile Collection contains over four thousand patent models. The collection includes many examples of carding machines, spinning machines, knitting machines, rope making machines, looms, baskets, carpets, fabrics, and sewing machines. Even the simple clothespin is well represented, with 41 patent models.
This sampling of patent models from the Textile Collection describes the two major groupings, textile machinery and sewing machines. In both groups, the examination of the models begins with the earliest of the inventions. In this early group of patent models, the textile machinery models date from 1837 to 1840, and the sewing machine models from 1842 to 1854.
For more information about the Museum’s patent model collection, see Patent Model Index, Guide to the Collections of the National Museum of American History.
"Patent Models: Textile and Sewing Machines - Introduction" showing 1 items.
- Spindle and Flyer Patent Model
- Patent No. 781, issued June 12, 1838
- Richard E. Yerkes of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
- According to his patent specification, Yerkes patented “the revolving arrangement and combination of the sliding shaft, with the broach, or with the spool, for the purpose of removing and renewing the latter . . . .” The action of the sliding shaft enabled the operator to remove and change the spool when the spring was pressed down. In addition, he patented the ring in combination with the flyers that distributed the yarn on the spool. Yerkes intended his improvements to be used on machines for spinning cotton and other fibers.
- Currently not on view
- model constructed
- before 1838-06-12
- patent date
- Yerkes, Richard E.
- ID Number
- catalog number
- accession number
- patent number
- Data Source
- National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center