Bobbinet lace machine, no. 136

Contributed by Tiverton Museum of Mid Devon Life

Bobbinet lace machine, no. 136

This machine was made in 1853 and weighs 6 tons. Inside the machine are 4360 bobbins in two rows each containing 600 meters of fine silk thread. Machines like this one were used in the Heathcoat factory in Tiverton until the 1970s. The wedding veils of many members of the Royal Family (inlcuding Queen Victoria, Queen Elizabeth II and Princess Diana) were made on machines just like this at the Heathcoat Factory.

John Heathcoat patented a 'bobbin-net' lace machine in 1809. These were installed in his mill in Loughborough, Leicestershire. Heathcoat moved his family and operation to Tiverton after his mill was attacked by Luddites in 1816. Many of his original workforce moved to Tiverton with him - walking all the way.

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