1837 Swasey's Patent Model of a Cloth Napping Machine

Cloth Napping Machine Patent Model
Patent No. 350, issued August 8, 1837
Benjamin Swasey of Mount Vernon, Maine
Swasey’s patent concerned the setting of teazles ( thistle-like plant heads) in the wires of the large napping cylinder. He also claimed certain springs and levers that shifted the cloth rollers in and out of gear. This shifting of the cloth rollers caused the cloth to come in contact with the teazles as the cloth was wound forward and then disengaged the cloth from the teazles as the cloth rewound.
In this way, the cloth could roll from one cylinder to another as long as necessary to ensure a well-napped surface. Also, the shifting of gears did not require a person to match and unmatch the gears. Friction bands on the ends of the cloth rollers, together with hanging weights, kept tension on the cloth even.
Currently not on view
Object Name
cloth napping machine
cloth napping machine patent model
model constructed
before 1837-08-08
date made
patent date
Swasey, Benjamin
Physical Description
wood (overall material)
metal (mechanisms material)
cloth (cylinders material)
associated place
United States: Maine, Mount Vernon
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
accession number
patent number
Patent Models
Patent Models
Patent Models, Textile Machinery
See more items in
Home and Community Life: Textiles
Patent Models
Patent Models, Textile Machinery
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Janssen, Barbara Suit. Patent Models Index

Visitor Comments

Add a comment about this object

**Please read before submitting the form**

Have a comment or question about this object to share with the community? Please use the form below. Selected comments will appear on this page and may receive a museum response (but we can't promise). Please note that we generally cannot answer questions about the history, rarity, or value of your personal artifacts.

Have a question about anything else, or would you prefer a personal response? Please visit our FAQ or contact page.

Personal information will not be shared or result in unsolicited e-mail. See our privacy policy.

Enter the characters shown in the image.