1838 Bigelow's Patent Model of a Loom


Loom for Weaving Knotted Counterpanes Patent Model

Patent No. 546, issued January 6, 1838

Erastus B. Bigelow of West Boylston, Massachusetts

Erastus B. Bigelow primarily claimed the mechanism that raised the knots that formed the figures or patterns on the counterpane. His patent specification was lengthy, five pages of drawings and nine pages of written specifications.

In 1840, the editor of the Journal of the Franklin Institute wrote, “. . . the goods produced in this loom are of a quality very superior to such as are produced in the hand loom; at all events we have not met with any thing of the kind in the shops that will compare with them for texture, and for beauty and regularity of pattern. . . . We anticipate that at a very early day, American counterpanes will become as general as berths on board steamboats, and as beds at hotels. The articles are for sale in all our large cities, and as soon as there is a sufficient supply, will make their way into every part of the Union.”

Bigelow was a prolific inventor, patenting at least 33 loom improvements. In 1842 he revolutionized carpet manufacture by a series of inventions that made the carpet loom automatic. The automatic features enabled manufacturers to replace male weavers with less costly female weavers or boys. His inventions for the power weaving of Brussels, Jacquard, Ingrain, and Wilton carpet were quite successful. Before the mid-19th century, the importance of these inventions was recognized both in the United States and in Europe.

Model Constructed: before 1838-01-06Patent Date: 1838-01-06

Inventor: Bigelow, Erastus Brigham

Location: Currently not on view

Associated Place: United States: Massachusetts, West Boylston

Classified: Patent ModelsInvention


See more items in: Home and Community Life: Textiles, Patent Models, Textile Machinery, Textiles, Patent Models


Exhibition Location:

Related Publication: Janssen, Barbara Suit. Patent Models Index

Data Source: National Museum of American History

Id Number: TE.T11411.128Accession Number: 89797Catalog Number: T11411.128Patent Number: 546

Object Name: loom patent modelObject Type: Patent Model

Physical Description: wood (overall material)metal (mechanisms material)

Guid: http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/ng49ca746a9-0b06-704b-e053-15f76fa0b4fa

Record Id: nmah_1070864

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