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.
- Loom Temple Patent Model
- Patent No. 987, issued October 19, 1838
- Emory A. Angell of Killingly, Connecticut
- In his patent specification, Angell stated that “this temple is of the kind which holds the selvage of the cloth between jaws, which are opened by the beat of the lathe, and is in many respects similar to such as have been long in use.” He claimed, as his invention, the way in which the upper and lower jaws were connected by pins to form the hinge-joints.
- On the original wrapper containing the patent application papers is a faint handwritten note “see Saml. P. Mason’s Temple July 1837.” In the process of checking Angell’s patent, Charles M. Keller, the patent examiner, probably wrote that notation but found no conflict with the Mason patent and thus granted Angell his patent.
- Currently not on view
- model constructed
- before 1838-10-19
- patent date
- Angell, Emory A.
- ID Number
- catalog number
- accession number
- patent number
- Data Source
- National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center