One Hundred and Seventy Five years ago, on April 20th, 1837, Mr. Erastus B. Bigelow, of West Boylston, Massachusetts was awarded a patent for a “Power-Loom for weaving coach-lace and other similar fabrics”. The number of the patent was 169. It is also one of the earliest patents in America.
I thought this may be of interest to weaving fans to show how important weaving has been to our Nation from the very beginning. Prior to “Power-Looms” such as this one, countless hand looms have been used to create the fabrics used in daily life. Early settlers needed looms to make the everyday textiles we take for granted. Like hand towels, blankets, dish cloths, sheets, and pillow cases. The fabrics were not as fine or smooth as those created by power-looms, but they sufficed for daily chores.
Today, many of us love to weave as an expression of our creativity. But understanding the history of looms and weaving can help to give us an appreciation for what life must have been like for our ancestors. We weave for fun – they wove out of necessity. They didn’t have a Target or a Bed, Bath, and Beyond.
One of the things I love about the PVC Loom is that it can bring us closer to the elements necessary to create a simple fabric. We have worked not only the warp and weft, but the frame and shafts and mechanism itself that permits us to weave.
Weaving is fun! (Pass it on!) 🙂
BTW, here is a PDF document showing the entire patent: US Patent 169