Greetings from frosty Easton! A good frost finally made an appearance in town over the last two days, necessitating an extra few minutes to run the windshield defrosters before hitting the road.
Don't forget that Daylight Savings Time ends this weekend. Set your clocks back 1 hour tonight!
Thank you to all who supported us through the Shaw's Bag Program. I do not yet have the final number of bags sold, but I will let you know how we did.
Over the next few weeks, I'll be taking a look at an under the radar industry that once existed in South Easton. The Easton Machine Company, located originally in the former Morse Thread Mill at 7 Central Street, built a number of specialized machinery - one being the Morse Car. However, the company also specialized in building machines with highly complex movements, something that Alfred B. Morse was a genius at designing. More than knowing machinery, he had a great vision and understanding of a science called mechanism, or how parts interact and function as a unit to produce a finished product.
At some time in the early 1900's, Morse designed machinery to produce various lace materials, and he was one of the first, if not the first, in America to produce those machines for the textile industry. By 1912 the business grew enough to deserve its own building, and at that time, the former Crofoot Gear Building at 20 Central Street was constructed.
Today's image comes from a book given to us by Alfred Morse, grandson of Alfred B. Morse. in the 1990's. It is a photo of a Model KJ Jacquard Loom built by the Easton Machine Company. The 160 bar references the number of interchangeable "cards" that determined the pattern being produced. First introduced more than 100 years ago, Jacquard refers to the process used to create the lace and not the product itself. A good history of this can be found at the link below. Our book is dated 1914 and was probably used by salesmen to show machinery to prospective customers. I do not know how many machines were made, or if any survive today. Take a few minutes to appreciate how much ingenuity and movement went into making something so beautiful as lace!
Until next time,
Curator: Frank Meninno