The 50,000 objects in the textile collections fall into two main categories: raw fibers, yarns, and fabrics, and machines, tools, and other textile technology. Shawls, coverlets, samplers, laces, linens, synthetics, and other fabrics are part of the first group, along with the 400 quilts in the National Quilt Collection. Some of the Museum's most popular artifacts, such as the Star-Spangled Banner and the gowns of the first ladies, have an obvious textile connection.
The machinery and tools include spinning wheels, sewing machines, thimbles, needlework tools, looms, and an invention that changed the course of American agriculture and society. A model of Eli Whitney's cotton gin, made by the inventor in the early 1800s, shows the workings of a machine that helped make cotton plantations profitable in the South and encouraged the spread of slavery.
"Textiles - Overview" 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