The Draper and Dutcher Temples
device that kept the cloth stretched to the desired degree as it was woven in a loom.
Eventually his son, Ebenezer, obtained the patent. Ebenezer and his wife, Anna, were
among the original members of the Hopedale Community. The temple became one of a
number of products manufactured in the little shop at the Freedom Street dam on the
Mill River. It was, however, the most financially successful product. In 1853, Ebenezer's
brother, George, moved to Hopedale and joined the Community. By 1856, the temple
was selling so well that Ebenezer and George owned three-quarters of the stock in the
Community. They decided to withdraw their investment, which resulted in the failure of
the Community. Over the next several decades, the company the Draper brothers
formed produced and sold many different parts for spinning and weaving machinery,
and in 1894 they sold their first looms.
Here's what the official Draper history has to say on the matter:
In 1816 Ira was granted a patent on an improved fly-shuttle hand loom. It was superior
in many ways to the hand looms then in use, but the advent of the power loom made it
inadvisable to push its manufacture and sale.
A feature of his loom patent, however, was the fact that it covered the invention of the
first self-acting loom temple, which proved as timely as his loom was untimely. It was
attached to the loom breast beam, held the cloth over a revolving star wheel, and was
practically automatic. The temples in use at that time were of the stretcher type and had
to be taken off and readjusted so often they required a considerable part of the
weaver's time and labor.
Mr. Daper's temple, by relieving the weaver of this time-killing labor, greatly increased
the product of the new power looms and enabled the weaver to run two looms instead of
one. For fifty years, or until England began to use self-acting temples, it established and
kept the number of looms per weaver in American mills above that of their English
Ira Draper's invention of the temple was notable in textile history for several reasons. It
was the second invention in the textile field by an American. Eli Whitney's cotton gin was
the first. It came at a time to contribute powerfully to the successful establishment of the
factory system in America. It was outstandingly notable because it became the
foundation of the business of Draper Corporation which through five generations of
Drapers has given the American textile industry hundreds of machines and devices that
have marked the progress of cloth-making in this country. William H. Chase, Five
Generations of Loom Builders, pp. 4 - 5.
A little further on, Chase continues with the next development in temples:
In 1854 he [George Draper] bought an interest in the new Dutcher temple, then made
in North Bennington, Vt., the first temple with cylindrical rolls and the first to be
reciprocated by the lay. The business was moved to Hopedale two years later, when the
inventor joined the two Draper brothers in the partnership of W.W. Dutcher & Co.
Chase, p. 7.
The photos below show the Dutcher temple. The temples are circled in red in the first
two pictures. The real working part, the temple roll, is out of sight. It's a small, rotating
cylinder with many projecting points which engage the cloth as it passes by. You can
see the roll in the fourth picture and in a page from a Dutcher catalog at the bottom.
Temple rolls were produced in an area of the shop called the roll room. Only women
were employed for this job. (Starting during World War I women were hired for other
jobs in Drapers, but up until then, the roll room was the only department where they
were allowed to work. Actually, so far I've been unable to find out in what year women
were first hired to work in the roll room.) Instead of patenting the process of inserting
the teeth into the cylinder, Drapers kept it secret. The roll room was kept locked. Ira's
temple was patented, but it seems that either the Ducher and later models or the
process of manufacturing them, or both, weren't.
Draper Menu Bobbin battery Inventors of Hopedale
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temple roll, the "heart of the temple."
The Draper temple
and George Draper, inherited his father's temple
patent. Below is the first ad he placed for their
sale. It was in the first issue of the Boston Daily
Evening Transcript, July 24, 1830
Photos of Dutcher temple rolls and box sent by Sarah
Carr, White Sulphur Spring, West Virginia in June 2017.
The Dutcher temple
Warren Dutcher, originally of North Bennington, Vermont,
in the 1850s invented a temple that was an improvement
on the Draper temple. George Draper bought an interest
in it, and in 1856, Dutcher moved to Hopedale where the
business was eventually operated under the name,
Dutcher Temple Company.
The "Diamond D," which eventually was used
as the Draper Corporation logo, was originally
the Draper Temple Company trademark.
A sign evidently from when the original Dutcher Temple Co
building was replaced with a new shop..
The location of the Dutcher Temple Company shop can be seen in this
drawing just below Social Street. At that time, Social and Union streets
crossed Hopedale Street and continued a little further to the west. Those
sections of them were later discontinued as the business of the Draper
Company increased and they built more shops.