These pictures of workers and machinery at the Draper Corporation in Hopedale, Massachusetts are from an
album at the Hopedale Community House.
The comments with many of the pictures were sent by a friend who is very familiar with the machinery. He added,
"There is a chance that all these parts could have been part of the war effort. You may be able to tell having a
good look at the clothes, as some parts look to be far away from what is required in the building of a loom."
Community House HOME
This image looks like a woman drilling the two holes at each end of a shuttle; probably also the hole for the
ceramic bush used for the cotton of the bobbin ( weft thread ) which years ago was sucked through by mouth
causing a fatal disease within the lungs due to the lint build up named "byssinosis " It took years for this practice
to cease even though laws were brought in to try and stop it,and even in the mid 50's it was still around.
Here's a simple engine lathe as they were called with a collet attachment for holding those round objects, most
likely for skimming them up to diameter. The worker is just winding the Steady forward so that it engages within
the hole on the end of the item to avoid vibration when turning. Note the test piece mounted on the bench in the
foreground - have no idea what these would have been used for on or within a loom except for the rollers at the
very top of the frame that are used for lifting the wire screen...
and forming in two blows depending on the die and the products required.
This looks like a lot of cover housings for something. The next bench back the ends covers for bearing
housings normally found with four to eight holes and attached to either side of the loom - for each end of the
many rollers. Note the inspectors chair (on right - INSP) a little back further with her doing some measurements
or checking on the work as it comes down the line.
186 on the bench next to him. Another hole is drilled in the spindle about half an inch out from the larger end
which matches the inside distance of the bearing groove in the actual bearing then used for automatic
lubrication, the both holes meeting within the spindle.
spindle using a keyway, the key being fitted before the item is pressed onto the spindle. Interesting jig on the
mill table which is used to steady the spindle while milling the slot as excessive vibration will allow for an
oversized slot, thus making it a faulty item.
Worker on a Pantograph either milling or drilling the workpiece. It's an interesting set-up as just below his left
hand is an indexing head ( rotary table ) used in very accurately rotating objects for machining, milling and
drilling. Pantograph cutters by their nature are completely different to milling cutters and very small depths only
can be achieved, the actual pantograph being used with a pattern made up first and used as a copying device
so as to be able to get down to much smaller detailed machining. Note the arms at the top. The copy arm can be
set to the pattern size ( say 10 x 1 ) giving one the ability to machine at 1/10 the size of the pattern, so it really
had many potentials in those days for small type work. Now the wire cutter and laser cutter have taken over what
was once a menial type job. The copy head cannot be seen in the photo but could be inverted as it has to be on
the table with the spanner resting upon it.
This worker is drilling and tapping a fairly complex assembly using one of the two multi turret drill presses. To his
left a group of smaller drill presses turned around the other way with the coolant flowing out into a bath behind
the presses in readiness for the next operator on the other side.The other views show multi-turret lathes ( 6
turret ) as in the next view up, plus some other large and small drill presses in groups; some especially designed
for different purposes.
This appears to be the old type of covers that were produced so that one could not put their foot directly on a foot
switch as the switch was incorporated under the cover. They were a safety device and used on many types of
machinery; especially small and large brake presses and steel and paper guillotines and could be moved around
without the switch falling out and then becoming dangerous. The small white fold back cover in the middle
exposed a flange for an Amphenol fitting to be fitted, much the same as the old army type fittings. The photo
below also features them; at this stage the actual switch may be getting fitted.
out by itself on the bench. This may have been used in conjunction with a small shaft coming in from a machine
to count speed and revolutions of a loom or other type of machine. The flange being bolted over the extending
shaft with the shaft having either a machined line along it's length or in later years a reflective line of tape so that
a beam of light is reflected to a receiving unit and then via a series of amplifiers the rotation and speed is
An operator machining what looks like small aluminium bungs. These were later put through a bath to retain their
finish and were used more or less as a decoration to fully close a bearing hole in each side of a loom, many
other types of machinery both in the textile industry and out of it used these to give a good finish to the final
appearance of a newly painted machine.In lot's of cases they were fitted last as the paint within the groove was
enough to retain them, but getting them out proved to be a task.