Thursday, July 21, 2005

Machine twist

Samuel Lapham Hill 1806-1882 Photo
This 1850 photo shows Brian David Mccullough's
Born in Rhode Island, he lived for a time in Connecticut before becoming one of the founders of the commune which became Florence, Massachusetts.
He was the benefactor of the Hill Institute, the first free public kindergarten in the US.

Roxana Maria (Gaylord) Hill 1812-1848 Photo

This remarkable photo, taken in about 1846, shows Brian David Mccullough's great-great-grandmother holding her two surviving children, Arthur and Emily Hill. Given that she died within a decade of the emergence of photography, her image is not one he ever expected to see. The original ambrotype was in the possession of a cousin in Florence, Massachusetts

The Nonotuck Silk Company and the Invention of Machine- Twist
One of them was Samuel Lapham Hill. The recently invented sewing machine was plagued with problems, not least the uneven quality of the available thread. Hill seized the challenge to devise a stronger, smoother filament. The judges at the 1876 Centennial Exhibition tell the story: Hill " . . . submitted it, in 1852, to Mr. Singer . . . . [who] put a spool on his machine, threaded it up, and commenced sewing. After sewing sufficiently to enable him to judge of its merit, he [. . exclaimed . . ], 'I shall want all you can make,'--a prophecy literally fulfilled. The new fabric assumed the name of 'machine twist,' and from that time to the present the amount of silk consumed upon sewing-machines is marvelous." Machine twist put Hill's company on the Silk Map: in just over two decades it was the largest silk thread manufacturer in the country. Yet, it seems, no one has studied the development of this marvelous invention! This paper seeks to fill that gap.
Marjorie Senechal is the Louise Wolff Kahn Professor in Mathematics and History of Science and Technology

Digital Collection - "Hill Machine Works" Advertisement

date May 31, 1890 Greenfield Gazette and Courier Massachusetts Ancestry of Brian D. McCullough of Massachusetts


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