Dore (Dorr), Samuel Griswold

Dore (Dorr), Samuel Griswold
SUBJECT AREA: Textiles
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b. USA
d. 1794 England
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American inventor of the first rotary shearing machine.
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To give a smooth surface to cloth such as the old English broadcloth, the nap was raised and then sheared off. Hand-operated shears of enormous size cut the fibres standing proud of the surface while the cloth was laid over a curved table top. Great skill was required to achieve a smooth finish. Various attempts, such as that in 1784 by James Harmer, a clergyman of Sheffield, were made to mechanize the process by placing several pairs of shears in a frame and operating them by cranks, but these were not successful. The first version of a rotary machine was made by Samuel Griswold Dore (sometimes spelt Dorr), an American from Albany, New York. His first frame, patented in 1792 in America, consisted of a wheel of twelve "spring knives" that were fixed like spokes and set at an angle of about 45° to the horizontal. Under this wheel, and on the same axle, rode a second one, carrying four "tangent knives" that lay almost flat upon the cloth. As the two wheels rotated above the cloth's surface, they acted in "the manner of shears". The principle used in Dore's machine is certainly different from that in the later, successful machine of John Lewis. The machine was thought to be too complicated and expensive for American woollen manufacturers and was much better suited to circumstances in the English industry, Dore therefore moved to England. However, in his British patent in 1793, he introduced a different design, which was more like that on which both Lewis's machine and the lawnmower were based, with knives set across the periphery of a hollow cylinder or barrel. Little more was heard of his machine in Britain, possibly because of Dore's death, which is mentioned in his patent of 1794, although it was used in America and France. Dore's son and others improved the machine in America and brought new specifications to England in 1811, when several patents were taken out.
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Bibliography
1792. US patent (rotary shearing machine).
1793. British patent no. 1,945 (rotary shearing machine). 1794. British patent no. 1,985.
Further Reading
D.J.Jeremy, 1981, Transatlantic Industrial Revolution. The Diffusion of Textile Technologies Between Britain and America, 1790–1830s, Oxford (examines Dore's inventions and their transfer to Britain).
Mention of Dore can be found in: J. de L.Mann, 1971, The Cloth Industry in the West of England from 1660 to 1880, Oxford; K.G.Ponting, 1971, The Woollen Industry of South-West England, Bath.
C.Singer (ed.), 1958, A History of Technology, Vol. IV, Oxford: Clarendon Press (discusses Dore's inventions).
RLH

Biographical history of technology. - Taylor & Francis e-Librar. . 2005.

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