Why Did William Crompton come to America?
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Primary Source 1
Illustrated Catalogue of Looms Manufactured At The Crompton
Courtesy of the Boston Public Library, Rare Books Department
Excerpt 1: In 1839 he returned to the United States, and
in 1840 introduced his invention into the Middlesex Mills of Lowell, Mass.
Up to this time no fancy woollens had been woven in this country. No fancy
cassimeres had been made in Europe, excepting those woven on hand-looms. Therefore,
at the Middlesex Mills, for the first time in this country, or in the world,
fancy cassimeres were woven by power, and in a more perfect manner than could
be made by hand
Excerpt 2: Though the looms were now fairly introduced,
the low tariff which held from 1836 to 1850 was a great hinderance to the increase
of manufactures: consequently the whole amount received during the fourteen-years'
term of the patent on the loom was only fourteen thousand dollars.
Excerpt 3: Furbush and Crompton, the new firm, made narrow
looms from 1851 to 1857, when they brought out the fast-operating broad fancy
loom with improvements in box-motion. Broad looms up to this period operated
at about forty-five picks. The new (1857) broad looms, with twenty-four harnesses
and three boxes at each end, reached the speed of eighty-five picks per minute.
Excerpt 4: This improved loom of 1866 was exhibited at the
Paris Exposition, 1867, and attracted the earnest attention of the Continental
manufacturers. It was awarded a SILVER MEDAL, - the only recognition given
to any loom for weaving woollens, notwithstanding seven different looms were
in competition, from England, Belgium, France, Saxony, and Prussia.
Excerpt 5: The improved woollen looms exhibited at the Centennial
Exhibition, 1876, by these Works, were fitted with this improved pick-finder,
and it contributed towards the basis of the Commissioners' award, which was "For
the BEST looms for weaving on shawls, cassimeres. and satinets, embracing original
invention, ingenious construction, and excellent workmanship."
Excerpt 6: In 1868, soon after Wyman's invention of the
compound lever, crank and gear box-motion, the Works commenced making gingham
looms. The first order of magnitude came from the Renfrew Manufacturing Company,
in 1870, for three hundred and fifty looms. From that time to the present,
this gingham loom has been considered the leading loom by the first-class mills
of the country, such as Renfrew Manufacturing Company, Amoskeag Manufacturing
Company, Lancaster Mills, Glasgow Company, Johnson Manufacturing Company, Whittenton
Manufacturing Company, Parkhill Manufacturing Company, Gloucester Gingham Mills,
Bates Manufacturing Company, etc., and they show their appreciation by continuous
orders. Many thousands are now in use.
Excerpt 7: It is confidently asserted, that, for variety
of fancy looms, no concern can vie with the Crompton Loom Works; and it is
prepared to show that its different looms surpass in execution, product, and
quality, any machines of their class.