The Bobbin Battery

    The bobbin battery, one of the most 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.

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