William Lee (inventor)

William Lee (inventor)

William Lee [c.1563-1614] was an English inventor who devised the first stocking frame knitting machine in 1589, the only one in use for centuries. Its principle of operation remains in use.

Lee was born about the year 1563 in the village of Calverton, Nottinghamshire. He entered Christ's College, Cambridge in 1579 as a sizar and graduated from St. John's College in 1582 [Samuel Smiles: "Self Help" London, 1869] .

Lee was a curate at Calverton when he is said to have developed the machine because a woman whom he was courting showed more interest in knitting than in him (or alternatively that his wife was a very slow knitter). His first machine produced a coarse wool, for stockings. Refused a patent by Queen Elizabeth I, he built an improved machine that increased the number of needles per inch from 8 to 20 and produced a silk of finer texture [ [http://www.knittingtogether.org.uk/doc.asp?doc=7347&cat=737 Knitting Together, The heritage of the East Midlands Knitting Industry] ] , but the queen again denied him a patent because of her concern for the security of the kingdom's many hand knitters. He entered into a partnership agreement with one George Brooks on 6 June 1600 [ [http://www.hucknall-torkard.com/williamlee.html Hucknall-Torkard.com: William Lee inventor of the framework knitting machine ] ] , but the unfortunate Brooks was arrested on a charge of treason and executed. Eventually, he moved to France with his brother James, taking 9 workmen and 9 frames. He found better support from the Hugenot Henry IV of France, who granted him a patent. Lee began stocking manufacture in Rouen, France, and prospered until, shortly before Henry's assassination in 1610, he signed a contract with Pierre de Caux to provide knitting machines for the manufacture of silk and wool stockings. But the climate changed abruptly on the king's death and despite moving to Paris, his claims were ignored and he died in distress in 1614.

After Lee's death, his brother James returned to England and disposed of most of the frames in London before moving to Thoroton, near Nottingham where Lee's apprentice Aston (or Ashton), a miller, had continued to work on the frame and produced a number of improvements. This led to the establishment of two knitting centres, one in London and one in Nottingham.

Although the industry took nearly a century to develop in wool, silk and lace, the machinery that he developed remained the backbone for far longer and this is reflected in his appearance in Coat of arms of Worshipful Company of Frame work knitters [Coat of arms of Worshipful Company of Frame work knitters, showing Lee and the object of his affections [http://www.hucknall-torkard.com/williamlee.html] ] .


ee also

*Negley Harte "William Lee and the Invention of the Knitting Frame". In: "Four Centuries of Machine Knitting" ed. John Millington & Stanley Chapman; Knitting International (1989).
*Painting [http://www.knittingtogether.org.uk/attachment.asp?doc=7347&type=I&title=William+Lee]

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Lee - получить на Академике рабочий купон на скидку Летуаль или выгодно lee купить с бесплатной доставкой на распродаже в Летуаль

  • William Stanley (inventor) — Para otros usos de este término, véase William Stanley. William Ford Robinson Stanley …   Wikipedia Español

  • William Lee — or Will Lee or Bill Lee or Billy Lee may refer to:Miscellaneous*William Lee (inventor) (c.1550–c.1610), inventor of the stocking frame *William Lee (English judge) (1688–1754), British judge *William Lee (valet) (c.1750–1828), George Washington s …   Wikipedia

  • William Bradley — may refer to:* Bill Bradley (born 1943), American basketball star and United States senator from New Jersey * Bill Bradley (baseball player) (1878 1954), American third baseman in Major League Baseball * William Bradley (artist) (1868 1962),… …   Wikipedia

  • William Murdoch — Infobox Scientist name = William Murdoch box width = image width = caption = birth date = Birth date|1754|08|21 birth place = Cumnock, East Ayrshire, Scotland death date = dda|1839|11|15|1754|08|21 death place = Handsworth, nr. Birmingham,… …   Wikipedia

  • Lee (surname) — The surname Lee can be one of the following: *Lee (English name): An English surname. *Lee (Korean name): A Korean name *A common transliteration of Li, one of several Chinese names. (For Hong Kong Chinese and Taiwanese, Lee is more common… …   Wikipedia

  • William S. Burroughs, Jr. — William Seward Burroughs, III (21 July 1947 ndash; 3 March 1981) was an American novelist, also known as William S. Burroughs, Jr. and Billy Burroughs. He bears the name of both his father and his great grandfather, William Seward Burroughs I,… …   Wikipedia

  • William Webb Ellis — (24 November 1806 ndash; 24 January 1872) was a English Anglican clergyman. He is often credited with the invention of rugby football while he was a pupil at Rugby School. The story of how he founded the game may be false, nevertheless, his name… …   Wikipedia

  • William Champion — William Willie Julius Champion Jr., was born on June 15, 1880, in Trinidad, Colorado, and is best known for inventing Kalah, a game in the Mancala family.Early Life and FamilyWilliam Julius Champion Jr. was born on June 15, 1880 in Trinidad,… …   Wikipedia

  • William Thomas Hamilton — (September 8, 1820 ndash;October 26, 1888), a member of the United States Democratic Party, was the 38th Governor of Maryland in the United States from 1880 to 1884. He also served in the United States Senate, representing the State of Maryland,… …   Wikipedia

  • Lee De Forest — Infobox person name = Lee De Forest caption = birth date = birth date|1873|8|26|mf=y birth place = Council Bluffs, Iowa death date = death date and age|1961|6|30|1873|8|26|mf=y death place = Hollywood, Los Angeles, California occupation =… …   Wikipedia