February 24, 2010 8:35 PM Subscribe
Antique Circular Sock Knitting Machines
Coveted nowadays by knitters
and antique machine enthusiasts
alike, the circular sock knitting machine has a long and storied past, both as a revolutionary piece of engineering and as one of the last great vestiges of widespread cottage Industry
in America. Dozens of companies sprung up in the late 19th and early 20th Centuries to manufacture numerous versions of knitters, which were primarily sold to rural farm wives, who paid for them by knitting socks for the company, which then sold them (at a substantial profit) to urban clothiers. Once the machine had been "paid off", the socks it made could be still be sold to the company, yielding a regular supplemental income upon which many rural households relied to get through lean times. The recent resurgence in crafting has led to a renaissance
in machine knitting and sparked a renewed interest in the history
(youtube) of these fascinating machines.