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Donisthorpe

  • 1 Donisthorpe, George Edmond

    SUBJECT AREA: Textiles
    [br]
    fl. c.1842 England
    [br]
    English inventor of a wool-combing machine.
    [br]
    Edmund Cartwright's combing machine needed a great deal of improvement before it could be used to tackle the finer qualities of wool. Various people carried out experiments over the next thirty years, including G.E.Donisthorpe of Leicester. Together with Henry Rawson, Donisthorpe obtained his first patent for improvements to wool combing in 1835, but his important ones were obtained in 1842 and 1843. These attracted the attention of S.C. Lister, who had become interested in developing a machine to comb wool after seeing the grim working conditions of the hand-combers supplying his mill at Manningham. Lister was quick to perceive that Donisthorpe's invention carried sufficient promise to replace the hand-comber, so in 1842 he made Donisthorpe an offer, which was accepted, of £2,000 for half the patent rights. In the following year Lister purchased the other half of the patent for £10,000, whereby Donisthorpe ceased to have any pecuniary interest in it. Lister took Donisthorpe into partnership and they worked together over the ensuing years with patience and diligence until they eventually succeeded in bringing out a combing machine that was generally acceptable. They were combing fine botany wool for the first time by machine in 1843. Further patents were taken out in their joint names in 1849 and 1850: these included the "nip" mechanism, the priority of which was disputed by Heilmann. Donisthorpe also took out patents for wool combing with John Whitehead in 1849 and John Crofts in 1853.
    [br]
    Bibliography
    1835, British patent no. 6,808 (improvements to wool combing). 1842. British patent no. 9,404.
    1843. British patent no. 9,966.
    1843, British patent no. 9,780.
    1849, with S.C.Lister, British patent no. 12,712.
    1849, with S.C.Lister, British patent no. 13,009. 1849, with S.C.Lister, British patent no. 13,532. 1849, with John Whitehead, British patent no. 12,603. 1853, with John Crofts, British patent no. 216.
    Further Reading
    J.Hogg (ed.), c.1888, Fortunes Made in Business, London (provides an account of the association between Donisthorpe and Lister).
    W.English, 1969, The Textile Industry, London (explains the technical details of combing machines).
    C.Singer (ed.), 1958, A History of Technology, Vol. IV, Oxford: Clarendon Press (includes a good section on combing machines).
    RLH

    Biographical history of technology > Donisthorpe, George Edmond

  • 2 Holden, Sir Isaac

    SUBJECT AREA: Textiles
    [br]
    b. 7 May 1807 Hurlet, between Paisley and Glasgow, Scotland
    d. 13 August 1897
    [br]
    British developer of the wool-combing machine.
    [br]
    Isaac Holden's father, who had the same name, had been a farmer and lead miner at Alston in Cumbria before moving to work in a coal-mine near Glasgow. After a short period at Kilbarchan grammar school, the younger Isaac was engaged first as a drawboy to two weavers and then, after the family had moved to Johnstone, Scotland, worked in a cotton-spinning mill while attending night school to improve his education. He was able to learn Latin and bookkeeping, but when he was about 15 he was apprenticed to an uncle as a shawl-weaver. This proved to be too much for his strength so he returned to scholastic studies and became Assistant to an able teacher, John Kennedy, who lectured on physics, chemistry and history, which he also taught to his colleague. The elder Isaac died in 1826 and the younger had to provide for his mother and younger brother, but in 1828, at the age of 21, he moved to a teaching post in Leeds. He filled similar positions in Huddersfield and Reading, where in October 1829 he invented and demonstrated the lucifer match but did not seek to exploit it. In 1830 he returned because of ill health to his mother in Scotland, where he began to teach again. However, he was recommended as a bookkeeper to William Townend, member of the firm of Townend Brothers, Cullingworth, near Bingley, Yorkshire. Holden moved there in November 1830 and was soon involved in running the mill, eventually becoming a partner.
    In 1833 Holden urged Messrs Townend to introduce seven wool-combing machines of Collier's designs, but they were found to be very imperfect and brought only trouble and loss. In 1836 Holden began experimenting on the machines until they showed reasonable success. He decided to concentrate entirely on developing the combing machine and in 1846 moved to Bradford to form an alliance with Samuel Lister. A joint patent in 1847 covered improvements to the Collier combing machine. The "square motion" imitated the action of the hand-comber more closely and was patented in 1856. Five more patents followed in 1857 and others from 1858 to 1862. Holden recommended that the machines should be introduced into France, where they would be more valuable for the merino trade. This venture was begun in 1848 in the joint partnership of Lister \& Holden, with equal shares of profits. Holden established a mill at Saint-Denis, first with Donisthorpe machines and then with his own "square motion" type. Other mills were founded at Rheims and at Croix, near Roubaix. In 1858 Lister decided to retire from the French concerns and sold his share to Holden. Soon after this, Holden decided to remodel all their machinery for washing and carding the gill machines as well as perfecting the square comb. Four years of excessive application followed, during which time £20,000 was spent in experiments in a small mill at Bradford. The result fully justified the expenditure and the Alston Works was built in Bradford.
    Holden was a Liberal and from 1865 to 1868 he represented Knaresborough in Parliament. Later he became the Member of Parliament for the Northern Division of the Riding, Yorkshire, and then for the town of Keighley after the constituencies had been altered. He was liberal in his support of religious, charitable and political objectives. His house at Oakworth, near Keighley, must have been one of the earliest to have been lit by electricity.
    [br]
    Principal Honours and Distinctions
    Baronet 1893.
    Bibliography
    1847, with Samuel Lister, British patent no. 11,896 (improved Collier combing machine). 1856. British patent no. 1,058 ("square motion" combing machine).
    1857. British patent no. 278 1857, British patent no. 279 1857, British patent no. 280 1857, British patent no. 281 1857, British patent no. 3,177 1858, British patent no. 597 1859, British patent no. 52 1860, British patent no. 810 1862, British patent no. 1,890 1862, British patent no. 3,394
    Further Reading
    J.Hogg (ed.), c.1888, Fortunes Made in Business, London (provides an account of Holden's life).
    Obituary, 1897, Engineer 84.
    Obituary, 1897, Engineering 64.
    E.M.Sigsworth, 1973, "Sir Isaac Holden, Bt: the first comber in Europe", in N.B.Harte and K.G.Ponting (eds), Textile History and Economic History, Essays in Honour of
    Miss Julia de Lacy Mann, Manchester.
    W.English, 1969, The Textile Industry, London (provides a good explanation of the square motion combing machine).
    RLH

    Biographical history of technology > Holden, Sir Isaac

  • 3 Lister, Samuel Cunliffe, 1st Baron Masham

    SUBJECT AREA: Textiles
    [br]
    b. 1 January 1815 Calverly Hall, Bradford, England
    d. 2 February 1906 Swinton Park, near Bradford, England
    [br]
    English inventor of successful wool-combing and waste-silk spinning machines.
    [br]
    Lister was descended from one of the old Yorkshire families, the Cunliffe Listers of Manningham, and was the fourth son of his father Ellis. After attending a school on Clapham Common, Lister would not go to university; his family hoped he would enter the Church, but instead he started work with the Liverpool merchants Sands, Turner \& Co., who frequently sent him to America. In 1837 his father built for him and his brother a worsted mill at Manningham, where Samuel invented a swivel shuttle and a machine for making fringes on shawls. It was here that he first became aware of the unhealthy occupation of combing wool by hand. Four years later, after seeing the machine that G.E. Donisthorpe was trying to work out, he turned his attention to mechanizing wool-combing. Lister took Donisthorpe into partnership after paying him £12,000 for his patent, and developed the Lister-Cartwright "square nip" comber. Until this time, combing machines were little different from Cartwright's original, but Lister was able to improve on this with continuous operation and by 1843 was combing the first fine botany wool that had ever been combed by machinery. In the following year he received an order for fifty machines to comb all qualities of wool. Further combing patents were taken out with Donisthorpe in 1849, 1850, 1851 and 1852, the last two being in Lister's name only. One of the important features of these patents was the provision of a gripping device or "nip" which held the wool fibres at one end while the rest of the tuft was being combed. Lister was soon running nine combing mills. In the 1850s Lister had become involved in disputes with others who held combing patents, such as his associate Isaac Holden and the Frenchman Josué Heilmann. Lister bought up the Heilmann machine patents and afterwards other types until he obtained a complete monopoly of combing machines before the patents expired. His invention stimulated demand for wool by cheapening the product and gave a vital boost to the Australian wool trade. By 1856 he was at the head of a wool-combing business such as had never been seen before, with mills at Manningham, Bradford, Halifax, Keighley and other places in the West Riding, as well as abroad.
    His inventive genius also extended to other fields. In 1848 he patented automatic compressed air brakes for railways, and in 1853 alone he took out twelve patents for various textile machines. He then tried to spin waste silk and made a second commercial career, turning what was called "chassum" and hitherto regarded as refuse into beautiful velvets, silks, plush and other fine materials. Waste silk consisted of cocoon remnants from the reeling process, damaged cocoons and fibres rejected from other processes. There was also wild silk obtained from uncultivated worms. This is what Lister saw in a London warehouse as a mass of knotty, dirty, impure stuff, full of bits of stick and dead mulberry leaves, which he bought for a halfpenny a pound. He spent ten years trying to solve the problems, but after a loss of £250,000 and desertion by his partner his machine caught on in 1865 and brought Lister another fortune. Having failed to comb this waste silk, Lister turned his attention to the idea of "dressing" it and separating the qualities automatically. He patented a machine in 1877 that gave a graduated combing. To weave his new silk, he imported from Spain to Bradford, together with its inventor Jose Reixach, a velvet loom that was still giving trouble. It wove two fabrics face to face, but the problem lay in separating the layers so that the pile remained regular in length. Eventually Lister was inspired by watching a scissors grinder in the street to use small emery wheels to sharpen the cutters that divided the layers of fabric. Lister took out several patents for this loom in his own name in 1868 and 1869, while in 1871 he took out one jointly with Reixach. It is said that he spent £29,000 over an eleven-year period on this loom, but this was more than recouped from the sale of reasonably priced high-quality velvets and plushes once success was achieved. Manningham mills were greatly enlarged to accommodate this new manufacture.
    In later years Lister had an annual profit from his mills of £250,000, much of which was presented to Bradford city in gifts such as Lister Park, the original home of the Listers. He was connected with the Bradford Chamber of Commerce for many years and held the position of President of the Fair Trade League for some time. In 1887 he became High Sheriff of Yorkshire, and in 1891 he was made 1st Baron Masham. He was also Deputy Lieutenant in North and West Riding.
    [br]
    Principal Honours and Distinctions
    Created 1st Baron Masham 1891.
    Bibliography
    1849, with G.E.Donisthorpe, British patent no. 12,712. 1850, with G.E. Donisthorpe, British patent no. 13,009. 1851, British patent no. 13,532.
    1852, British patent no. 14,135.
    1877, British patent no. 3,600 (combing machine). 1868, British patent no. 470.
    1868, British patent no. 2,386.
    1868, British patent no. 2,429.
    1868, British patent no. 3,669.
    1868, British patent no. 1,549.
    1871, with J.Reixach, British patent no. 1,117. 1905, Lord Masham's Inventions (autobiography).
    Further Reading
    J.Hogg (ed.), c. 1888, Fortunes Made in Business, London (biography).
    W.English, 1969, The Textile Industry, London; and C.Singer (ed.), 1958, A History of Technology, Vol. IV, Oxford: Clarendon Press (both cover the technical details of Lister's invention).
    RLH

    Biographical history of technology > Lister, Samuel Cunliffe, 1st Baron Masham

  • 4 Textiles

    [br]
    Dore, Samuel Griswold
    Heilmann, Josué
    Levers, John
    Lister, Samuel Cunliffe
    Ma Jun
    Song Yingxing

    Biographical history of technology > Textiles

См. также в других словарях:

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