Deverill, Hooton

SUBJECT AREA: Textiles
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fl. c.1835 England
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English patentee of the first successful adaptation of the Jacquard machine for patterned lacemaking.
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After John Levers had brought out his lacemaking machine in 1813, other lacemakers proceeded to elaborate their machinery so as to imitate the more complicated forms of handwork. One of these was Samuel Draper of Nottingham, who took out one patent in 1835 for the use of a Jacquard mechanism on a lace making machine, followed by another in 1837. However, material made on his machine cost more than the handmade article, so the experiment was abandoned after three years. Then, in Nottingham in 1841, Hooton Deverill patented the first truly successful application of the Jacquard to lacemaking. The Jacquard needles caused the warp threads to be pushed sideways to form the holes in the lace while the bobbins were moved around them to bind them together. This made it possible to reproduce most of the traditional patterns of handmade lace in both narrow and wide pieces. Lace made on these machines became cheap enough for most people to be able to hang it in their windows as curtains, or to use it for trimming clothing. However, it raised in a most serious form the problem of patent rights between the two patentees, Deverill and Draper, threatening much litigation. Deverill's patent was bought by Richard Birkin, who with his partner Biddle relinquished the patent rights. The lacemaking trade on these machines was thus thrown open to the public and a new development of the trade took place. Levers lace is still made in the way described here.
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Bibliography
1841, British patent no. 8,955 (adaptation of Jacquard machine for patterned lacemaking).
Further Reading
W.Felkin, 1867, History of Machine-Wrought Hosiery and Lace Manufacture (provides an account of Deverill's patent).
C.Singer (ed.), 1958, A History of'Technology, Vol. V, Oxford: Clarendon Press (a modern account).
T.K.Derry and T.I.Williams, 1960, A Short History of Technology from the Earliest
Times to AD 1900, Oxford.
RLH

Biographical history of technology. - Taylor & Francis e-Librar. . 2005.

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