The annexed engravings are views of improvements in Hand Looms, invented by Stephen C. Mendenhall, ot Richmond, Ind., and Obed King and Ezra King, of Salem, Iowa and for which a patent was granted on the 9th of last November (1852). Figure 1 is a transverse vertical section, showing the treddle stick depressing one of the heddles to the fullest extent. Figure 2 is a view of the mechanism for effecting the throwing of the shuttle. Fig. 3 is a detached view of the finger shaft and finger, with the springs for recoiliiig the same. Fig. 4 is a detached view of the picker-staff, showing the double inclined planes upon its end. Figure 5 is a view of the mechanism for effecting a movement of the heddles, detached from the lay and breast beam. Similar letters refer to like parts.The improvements consist, first, in effecting a movement of any number of heddles, and varying the number of the same by a motion derived from the lay, so as to produce fabrics of two or more leaves with the same loom, without the use of cams and without removing any part of the machinery. Second, in effecting a throwing of the shuttle by an inclined plane actior.Jwhich operates independently ot that for shedding the web. a are the beams ; b the stanchions connected together by the breast beam and other cross ties, which are constructed of such form and size as are suitable to support and sustain the moving porj|pns of the machinery. A are the treddles (which can be varied to any desired number, as we can operate two or more of them at pleasure, and can produce with the same loom fabrics of any number of leaves), swungfrom behind, instead of from the breastbeam, as usual in hand looms, from the arms B, projecting down from the treddle tie, C. D are arms secured to the tops of the treddles, which serve as guides and butments of the fin. ger, E, to act against. The mechanism to operate any number of heddles, and vary the number of the same at pleasure, with the same loom, without the use of cams and without removing any part of the machinery, consists, and may be described as follows:mdash;F is the finger shaft, which is constructed square at one end for part of its length, the remainingpartbeingaround shaft, cut through its square end is a mortise through which pass and are secured a serieB ot pinB, H, which correspond in number to the treddlee, and serve as butments for the nerves, K, to act against. On the top side of said square end are provided a series af notches, I, which are the same distance apart as the pins, H, but are less in number than the treddles, and suitably suspended on a fulcrum in the beam of the lay is a pawl. J, which falls into said notches, so as to prevent the shaft, F, from moving in one direction, while it is kept from moving in the opposite direction by a spring, G'. Attached to the square end of said shalt is an inclined plane, 0. E is the treddle stick or finger which moves freely on the round part of said shaft, but is kept close against the shoulder by a spring, G, which spring also answers the purpose oi causing said finger to act gradually upon the butments, D, and assume a position, again, when the lay is on its backward movement to operate against the butment in the same manner when the lay is again on its forward movement. Cut through the beam of the lay is a mortise into which is secured the guide boards, M M', and it is provided with an inclined plane, N; the guide-boardsare for the purpose ot guiding the nerve, K, into the mortise of the finger shaft, and the inclined plane, N, by its action upon the end of said nerve causes a movement of the finger and shaft at each backward movement of the lay in the following manner:mdash;On the back ward movement of the lay; the nerve, K which is hinged to the under side of the breasl beam, and provided with a spring, L, which keeps it close against the side of the board, M'. is guided by said boards so as to enter the mortise in said finger shaft, and by acting against the inclined plane, or by the action of the inclined plane upon its end, causesjit to force the finger shaft to slide the distance of one of the notches, I, or in position to operate upon the next treddle, thus at each backward move ment of the lay, the shaft, F, is moved one notch by the action of the nerve, as described, in which position it is retained by the pawl, J, until the finger has operated a treddle, and the nerve adjusts it again, ready to operate the next treddle. After the number of treddles, to produce the number of sheds required, have been successively operated in this manner, the inclined plane, 0, causes the nerve, K, to slide up over it, and under the pawl, J, which releases said shaft, F, and allows it to recoil to the starting point, ready to repeat the same sheds. With this arrangement for effecting a movement ol the heddles, it will be seen that to vary the number of heddles to produce any number of sheds of the web, it is only necessary to prescribe the limit to which the finger shaft shall slide or recoil in the lay, and that said shaft can be adjusted so as to operate two or any number of treddles, by simply inserting a pin through holes provided on the lay beam at suitable distances apart for that purpose, as represented in fig. 5, or a bit ot wood placed in the mortise in which the shaft slides, so as to check it, will answer the same purpose. In the action of the treddle stick or finger on the treddles, there is this leature of difference between this arrangement and all other hand looms : the treddlet are swung from behind instead of from the front, so that the finger acts upon them at or nearly a right angle, and the leverage can be increased to any extent, whereas, on other looms, where the treddles are swung trom the breast beam, the finger acts at a greater angle, and consequently diminishes its power, to effect a movement of the heddles. The simple device for effecting the throwing of the shuttle backward and lorth, when the web is shed by mechanism independent of that for shedding the web, operates upon the princip4e-ei-tJe4Heltl plane. The picker staff is provided with inclined planes near its tulcrum, which are so arranged with and operated upon by hooks on the breast beam as to produce a very regular and perfect back and forth motion to the shuttle, said hooks being self-acting. Q is the picker-staff, formed with inclined planes, Q', on each side of its fulcrum. This peculiar construction of the picker-staff, in combination with the hooks, R' R, and spring, T, have the effect to raise said hooks alternately clear of the shoulders, S S, on said picker-staff, producing a catching or impinging of said hooks against the shoulders of said picker-staff, on the forward movement of the lay ; said hooks are hinged to the breast beam, and have a spring, T, between them, so that they shall have both lateral and vertical play ; when the picker-staff is in the position represented, one hookis acting against one ot its shoulders, S, while the other hook, which is held close against the round part of said picker-staff, by the action of the spring, T, is forced to slide up the inclined plana, Q', thus clearing the hooks of the shoulders of said picker-staff, alternately, and effecting a sure throwing of the shuttle. More information may be obtained by letter addressed to Mr. Mendenhall.
This article was originally published with the title "Improvement in Hand Looms" in Scientific American 8, 19, 148 (January 1853)