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.
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- H. Joseph Gerber, an Austrian immigrant, was an inventor and entrepreneur who had over 400 patents and received the Presidential National Medal of Technology. By the time of his death in 1996 he owned four companies including Gerber Sign Products and Gerber Scientific.
- The collection documents Gerber Scientific, a company that specialized in the application of numerical control technology to various industries, particularly the apparel industry. The collection documents the manner in which the invention process develops in an industrial setting, from conception through development to production and marketing. The collection includes patent files and photographs that document the company's products. Volumnious legal files document the protection of Gerber's inventions. Printed materials include articles and clippings; trade literature; product catalogs; instruction manuals; and files on specific machine development projects.
- Cite as
- Gerber Scientific Instrument Company Records, 1911-1999, Archives Center, National Museum of American History
- 20th century
- Gerber Scientific Instrument Company (Hartford, Conn.)
- Gerber, H. Joseph 1924-1996
- Local number
- 2006.3090 (NMAH Acc.)
- Data Source
- Archives Center - NMAH