Bobbin driver

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Throughout history, lockstitch sewing machines have used a variety of methods to drive their bobbins so as to create the lockstitch.

Names Invented Description Picture Notes
Transverse shuttle

Longitudinal shuttle

1846 by Elias Howe[1]
Figure 5 from Howe's patent 4750, showing transverse shuttle 'K' in its race
Transverse shuttles carry the bobbin in a boat-shaped shuttle, and reciprocate the shuttle along a straight horizontal shaft. The design was popularized in Singer's 'New Family' machine.[2] The design became obsolete once the other bobbin driver designs were developed.[3]
Shuttle from a transverse shuttle bobbin driver
Sometimes incorrectly called an "oscillating shuttle".
Vibrating shuttle 1850 by Allen B. Wilson[4]
Figure 2 from Wilson's patent 7776, showing vibrating shuttle
Vibrating shuttle machines carry their bobbin in a bullet-shaped shuttle, and reciprocate their shuttle through a short arc. The design was popularized in the White Sewing Machine Company's 'White Sewing Machine' and Singer's 27-series machines.[5] Now obsolete.[6]
Shuttle from a vibrating shuttle bobbin driver
Rotary hook

Rotating hook
Rotary loop taker[7]
Revolving hook

1851 by Allen B. Wilson[8]
Figures from Wilson's patent 9041, showing rotary hook and bobbin
Rotary hook machines hold their bobbin stationary, and continuously rotate the thread hook around it. The design was popularized in the White Sewing Machine Company's 'Family Rotary' sewing machine[9] and Singer's models 95 and 115.[10]
Hook from a rotary hook bobbin driver
Oscillating shuttle 1877 by Lebbeus B. Miller and Phillip Diehl[11]
Figure 10 from Miller/Diehl patent 208838, showing oscillating shuttle
Oscillating shuttle machines mount their bobbin on the hook, and reciprocate the hook through a short arc. The design was popularized in Singer's models 15 'Improved Family' and 31.[12]
Shuttle and bobbin from an oscillating shuttle bobbin driver
 
Oscillating hook ? Oscillating hook machines hold their bobbin stationary, and reciprocate the hook through a short arc. The bobbin lays horizontally, right under the needle plate. The design was popularized in Singer's model 66.[13]
Hook from an oscillating hook bobbin driver
 

"Rotating shuttle"[edit]

The term rotating shuttle is ambiguous. Sometimes it refers to a bobbin case,[14] and sometimes it refers to a rotary hook design.[15]

References[edit]

  1. ^ US patent 4750, published 10 September 1846 
  2. ^ Singer Sewing Machine Company (1914). "Monograph 5". Mechanics of the Sewing Machine. p. 49. 
  3. ^ Grace Cooper (2004). "1913 trade flyer offering a treadle cabinet and a choice of machines representing every bobbin driver design except the transverse shuttle". The Sewing Machine: Its Invention and Use. Smithsonian Museum. p. 152. 
  4. ^ Refer to Vibrating shuttle for full inventor credits with references
  5. ^ All information drawn from the Vibrating shuttle article
  6. ^ Singer's last vibrating shuttle machine was built in 1962, according to the references on the Singer Model 27 and 127 page
  7. ^ See e.g. US patent 5617803, "Rotary Loop Taker with Replaceable Tip", issued 1997 
  8. ^ US patent 9041, published 15 June 1852 ; but see Rotary hook for full inventor credits with references
  9. ^ All information drawn from the Rotary hook article
  10. ^ Singer Sewing Machine Company (1914). "Monograph 5". Mechanics of the Sewing Machine. pp. 54–55. 
  11. ^ US patent 208838, issued 8 Oct 1878 ; and refinement US patent 221338, issued 4 November 1879 . The Singer Sewing Machine Company (1914). "Monograph 5". Mechanics of the Sewing Machine. p. 50. , the date of invention is given as 1879, but the Miller/Diehl patent trail actually began in 1877.
  12. ^ Singer Sewing Machine Company (1914). "Monograph 5". Mechanics of the Sewing Machine. p. 52. 
  13. ^ Singer Sewing Machine Company (1914). "Monograph 5". Mechanics of the Sewing Machine. p. 53. 
  14. ^ See e.g. US patent 3921553, "Lock Stitch Rotating Shuttle", issued 1975 , or US patent 3698333, "Rotating Shuttle Drive Mechanisms", issued 1972 
  15. ^ See e.g. US patent 36256, "Sewing Machine"  (ironically filed by Wheeler & Wilson), or US patent 2257950, "Sewing Machine", issued 1941