Thomas Jefferson Papers

George Greer to Thomas Jefferson, 9 August 1814

From George Greer

Baltimore August 9th 1814

Respected Sir

I on the 5th Instant received a Letter from William Thornton Esqr City of Washington, Wishing me to forward for you such parts of Janes’s Domestic & factory Loom, & Such parts only as would require attention in the Construction. from which I inferr that the frame is not included

Mr Francis C Clopper of montgomery County in this State is proprietor of the patent right for the state of Virginia, and has, I have understood sent a loom through Several of the Counties to Show the many advantages it posesses over the Common Loom, And dispose of his right. Whether he will be in your neighbourhood I am not Enabled to Say, however, as few if Any of those looms have yet been Constructed to the Southward of this place, And a little practice as well as attention is necessary to properly Connect the different parts, And do Justice to the inventor; I would with much pleasure have One made complete for you, by a mechanic who has for Some months been engaged in building Said Looms, for a Mr Sullivan & myself in this city, And after puting in a piece, I would with Care have the Loom taken down & safely packed, as well as the gears or headdle[s] Temples & Shuttle, Each of which has been improved by the ingenious inventor

In Connecticut where Mr Janes resides1 the price of a loom is forty Dollars, here we can not get them made for less than fifty, measurably oweing to the increased price of metereals. We have in maryland, for the right of using Each Loom twenty Dollars, & suppos[e] the charge in your State would not Exceed that Sum.

Those looms that have been put in operation here fully Answer Our Expectations & with proper management we have no doubt of their becoming to Our Country, Invalueable

Should the improvement be patronised by you it would I am Satisfied be the means of making its usefulness, much sooner and more generally Known, which induces me again to repeat that I will with much pleasure attend to your Order Should you think proper to Command me

Very Respectfully I remain

Your Obedt Servt

George Greer

RC (MHi); edge trimmed; endorsed by TJ as received 12 Aug. 1814 and so recorded in SJL. RC (MHi); address cover only; with PoC of TJ to Bradford & Inskeep, 17 Aug. 1814, on verso; addressed: “Thomas Jefferson Esqr Monticello Virginia”; franked; postmarked Baltimore, 9 Aug. Enclosed in TJ to Thomas Ritchie, 15 Aug. 1814, and Ritchie to TJ, 9 Oct. 1814.

A loom’s heddles (headdles) guide the warp threads. Its temples keep the cloth stretched to its correct width (OED description begins James A. H. Murray, J. A. Simpson, E. S. C. Weiner, and others, eds., The Oxford English Dictionary, 2d ed., 1989, 20 vols. description ends ).

1Manuscript: “resideds.”

Index Entries

  • Clopper, Francis C.; patent agent search
  • Greer, George; letters from search
  • Janes, Walter; loom of search
  • looms search
  • machines; loom search
  • patents; of W. Janes search
  • Sullivan, Mr.; and W. Janes’s looms search
  • Thornton, William; as patent office superintendent search