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Auto Knitter Knitting Machine

Made in Leicester, England, this sock machine's outfit included a 30 slot ribber dial and 60 slot cylinder.   Although quite similar to the Canadian and American Auto Knitters, this English sock machine is strikingly different.  Cam shells and cylinder tension mechanisms were made of of solid iron.  Ribbers and cylinders were composed of solid steel, not pot metal or aluminum.  Yarn carriers and tappet plates were styled after the Creelman and Legare sock knitting machines.   Note that the large ribber arm pin is on the right (New Improved Canadian Automatic Knitting Machines), not the left (Legares, Creelmans and Canadian/American Auto Knitters).

Auto Knitter Knitting Machine - Vintage

Manufactured in England from the earliest patents, this English sock machine is one of the oldest in the series of Auto Knitters.  The rectangular shaped ribber arm, beveled crank wheel, detachable needle holders, cloverleaf base and yarn carrier are hallmarks of English engineering.  Note the shape and design of the accessories.  Despite the advancement of technology, few changes in their construction were undertaken.  The English Auto Knitter was constructed of cast iron, steel and brass.  It came standard with 30/60 and 40/80 combinations.

Cymbal Circular Knitting Machine

Manufactured in Newcastle Upon Tyne, the Cymbal sock machine came complete with solid brass accessories and 5 pounds of wool.  A 42 slot ribber dial and 84 slot cylinder accompanied each Cymbal knitting machine.

Foster Star N2 Circular Knitting Machine

The Star N2 circular knitting machine was produced by English inventor James Foster of Friargate, Preston.  This 4 sock machine came standard with a 36 slot ribber dial and a 72 slot cylinder.

Golden Fleece Circular Knitting Machine

Manufactured in England, the Golden Fleece sock machine closely resembles the Auto Knitter sock machine in design.  Parts and accessories of Golden Fleece knitting machines were constructed of brass, iron and chrome.  A handy tabulator was built into the sock machine to assist with row counting.

Griswold & Hainsworth Circular Knitting Machine

Manufactured in England, this English sock machine remains one of the oldest in existence.  Spindle shaped bobbins rotate around the cylinder whilst in operation.  Unlike the traditional horizontal arrangement, the yarn mast stands vertical to the cylinder.  Adjustment of the ribber height is attained by untightening a large thumb screw and lowering or raising the centre ribber post.  The unparalleled design of this English sock machine originates from the British inventors, Hainsworth and Griswold.

Griswold Circular Knitting Machine

In England, domestic circular knitting machines became known by the term "Griswold", owing to Henry Josiah Griswold (1837 - 1929) of Madison, Connecticut.  In 1891, Griswold formed the London and Leicester Hosiery Company and leased a factory on Winifred Street in Leicester, England.  Between 1890 and 1892, Griswold returned to America and sold his rights to the firm to I. L. Berridge.

Numerous improvements were introduced to Griswold sock machines.  Nevertheless, they remained solid.  The most common setup for Griswold sock machines was a 42 slot ribber dial and an 84 slot cylinder.

Harrison Circular Knitting Machine

The Harrison circular knitting machine was manufactured in Manchester, England by the Harrison Patent Knitting Machine Co. Ltd.  Harrison knitting machines have the company's emblem conspicuously stamped in their bases.  A 42/84 setup came standard with each machine.  Cast iron stands, balling machines and large hand winders were available at additional cost.  At the turn of the century, the Harrison circular knitting machine underwent a final improvement and was termed the New Sun Circular Knitting Machine.

During their age of manufacture, Harrison circular knitting machines won 38 awards for superiority of construction and capacity of work.  The Harrison Patent Knitting Machine company was the only English manufacturer of knitting machines to win 10 gold medals for craftsmanship in the knitting machine industry.  In 1908, the company was awarded the highly acclaimed Grand Prix gold medal at the Franco-British exhibition.

Harrison New Sunette Circular Ribber Knitting Machine

The New Harrison Sunette Circular Ribber sock machine was manufactured by the Harrison Patent Knitting Machine Co. L. t. d.  This English sock machine was one of their earliest editions.  Note the sparse, golden decals along the base of the machine; a sharp contrast to the Harrison Sun Circular Ribbing machine.  The New Sunette Circular Ribber sock machine came standard with a 42/84 combination and an array of knitting accessories.

Harrison Sun Circular 3 Knitting Machine

Harrison Sun Circular machines were manufactured in 3, 3, and 4 inch diameters for baby and infant stockings.  Harrison Sun Circular 3 sock machines came standard with 36/72 or 42/84 combinations.  Like Harrison's standard 4 diameter Sun Circular Ribbing machines, the 3 Sun Circular Ribbing machines were composed of cast iron, steel and brass.

Harrison Sun Circular Ribbing Machine

The Harrison Sun Circular Sock Machines were notable for the conspicuous golden decals along their bases and ribber arms.  In addition, the firm routinely engraved their name into the base plates of their knitting machines.  Known the world over for outstanding engineering, the Harrison Knitting Machine company produced a catalog of circular and flat bed knitting machines for domestic and commercial trade.

Imperia Circular Knitting Machine

Well known for its unique design, this English sock machine displayed a solid brass counter that operated in forward and reverse.  Parts of this sock machine were composed of solid chrome and iron.  Alignment of the ribber dial was accomplished by rotating a lever on the left side of the sock machine which attached directly to the cylinder.  This lever enabled the ribber to rotate backwards and forwards.  The shape of the yarn mast replicates the royal order in moderate fashion.  Its 42 slot ribber and 84 slot cylinder were popular for gentlemen's trouser hose and ladies' saxony hosiery.

Imperia Circular Knitting Machine - Quadruplex

Imperia's Quadruplex sock machine included many of the ribber dial and cylinder combinations produced by the company.  Imperia's Quadruplex model enabled the production of fine, saxony hosiery, as well as conventional trouser socks.  The Quadruplex model was well-suited for commercial knitting or retail trade.  Ribber dial and cylinder outfits of 36/72, 42/84, 54/108 and 60/120 came standard with Imperia's Quadruplex model.

Imperia Circular Knitting Machine - Triplex

The Triplex Imperia sock machine was commonly used to produce argyle stockings, saxony hosiery and fine knitwear due to its high slot counts.  The Triplex Imperia sock machine featured ribber dial and cylinder outfits of 36/72, 42/84 and 54/108.  The 42/84 combination is shown inside the machine.

London Knitting Machine Company Duplex Knitting Machine

Known for its

Victoria Automatic Improved Knitting Machine

Manufactured by W & J Foster, this English sock knitting machine is one of their later versions.  The Victoria Automatic Knitting machines featured solid brass ribber dials, brass counters, brass cylinder belts, brass wing nuts and brass set up umbrellas.  Their design approximates the Griswold circular knitting machines.  As with most English circular knitting machines, a 42/84 set up was standard.

Victoria Automatic Knitting Machine

Manufactured by W & J Foster, this English sock knitting machine is an early edition.  Victoria Automatic Knitting machines had the capability of accommodating duplex cylinders.  Note the two part yarn carrier.  Parallel screws allow proper alignment to various cylinder sizes.

Duplex cylinders have diameters of 3, 3 or 3 inches and readily interchange with standard 4 inch diameter cam shells.  In this fashion, ribbed, seamless socks for babies and children could be knitted quite easily.  Duplex machines came standard with a 42/84, 4 inch diameter combination and a 36/72, 3 inch diameter combination.

Victoria Automatic Knitting Machine

The influence of regality and sovereignty is readily demonstrated in the Victoria Automatic Knitting machine.  Manufactured in London, England, the base of the Victoria sock machine replicates the contour of the royal crown.  Note the queen like quality of the yarn mast.  Solid brass ribber dials, cylinder belts and row counters impart a majestic impression.

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