Sunday 7 May 2017

Nothing Like a Pair of Home Made Socks . . . or is there

This cool contraption caught my eye this week. The Auto Knitter Hosiery Co. Ltd. was located at 1870 Davenport Road, Toronto, Ontario. During the early 1900’s it shipped knitting machines throughout Canada. It was a way for people to discretely earn a wage cheque by producing socks and other knitted goods at home and sending them to Toronto. Prior to WW1 socks were normally handknit by family members, but the need for multiple changes of socks for the soldiers in the trenches to prevent ‘trench foot’ led to mechanization of this skill. A good hand knitter could complete a pair of socks in a week, but an experienced operator of a circular sock knitting machine could see a pair completed in less than an hour! It is complete including the shipping case, and was shipped to Mrs A Ralph Spragg of Saint John and donated to the museum by her daughter E M Dearman. 

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