The Bobbin Battery
The bobbin battery, one of the more important features in the development of the automatic loom,
was the invention of James Northrop. The top picture was taken at the Boott Mill, Lowell National
Historical Park, by Don Barton. The lower one is from the Little Red Shop. If you'd like to see
Draper looms at work, the Lowell park is the place to go. They have 88 looms and whenever I've
been there, they've had a dozen or so running.
Before the development of the Northrop loom, when the thread in the bobbin ran out after being
carried back and forth by the shuttle, the loom would have to be stopped, the empty bobbin
removed from the shuttle, and a new bobbin inserted. With this device, when the loom was started,
it would have many bobbins in the battery. As a bobbin ran out of thread, a new one would
automatically push the empty one out of the shuttle and take its place. The loom wouldn't have to
be stopped and the mill could operate with fewer employees.
Next Red Shop Interior Menu Inventors of Hopedale HOME