John Gledhill, of New York City, has mad several improvements in looms, most of whicl are for weaving hair cloth, an article whicl: has heretolore been manufactured but slowly owing to the difficulty of introducing so many short pieces as the hair is composed of, tc form cloth: several attendants were heretofore necessary to select and distribute the hairs, and at best the process was but a slow one. By the present improvements Mr. G so constructs the power loom as to insure the making of hair cloth quite rapid, and at the same time requiring the attention of but one person to each loom. It will be difficult to give an accurate or comprehensive description oi the various improvements made by the inventor in so brief a notice as this—engraving: would be necessary in order to give a cleaj description of machinery of this character Those acquainted with looms may, however, get a general idea of its principal improvements by the following explanation:— The first improvement of Mr. G. relates to the lay motion, and is applicable tofall power looms. It is desirable in all looms to allow as much time as possible for the passage oi the shuttle or other device which carries the weft through the shed; this is more particularly the case in weaving hair cloth, as the device which takes the hair must pass through the shed or opening formed by the heddles upon the warp, and return while it is open ; time may be gained for this purpose by allowing the lay or bar which brings up the threads or hair to form the cloth, to be kept back as long as possible in the widest part of the shed. An arrangement for the accomplishment of this purpose has been invented, which consists in transmitting motion from cranks upon the driving shaft to the lay. by connecting rods formed in two pieces, one being connected to the lay and the other to the crank, and both connected together by a suitable joint with a radius), rod capable of working freely on a fixed centre, so that the latter part of the lay motion in retreating, and the first part of its motion in beating up, are retarded, and the lay kept longer in the wider part of the shed. The heddles in the above arrangement are not balanced by weights in the usual manner, but one leaf is made by means of pulleys to balance another next to it, and so on. Several other improvements relate to the arrangements for weaving hair cloth, which are not applicable to common looms. By means of a very ingenious contrivance the hair is taken and carried to its proper place in the cloth, the opposite ends of the hair being alternately taken, so that the cloth will not be rendered uneven by the taper. The inventor is a practical mechanical man, and we hope this improvement may tend to bring this fabric into more general use.
This article was originally published with the title "Looms for Weaving Hair Cloth" in Scientific American 8, 36, 282 (May 1853)