Back in 1888, my great grandfather invented a knitting machine, founded the Gearhart Knitting Machine Company, produced over 200,000 machines, and employed an army of 40,000 home-workers to manufacture socks for sale all over the world. By the time the company had stopped production in 1925, Joseph was a very wealthy man.
Of course, its too bad the company didn’t continue. Otherwise I’d probably be a very wealthy man also.
Fast forward to 2010, to a small machine company out in Missouri. The Erlbacher Gear and Machine Works has been run by Peewee Erlbacher for 50 years. He recently came across a Gearhart Knitting Machine and marveled at its engineering genius (his son’s words). So, it looks like he is going to reproduce the machine.
Wow!! I say. I’d been tossing the same idea back and forth for several years now, but given all my family and work commitments as well as the startup cost of machining, I have not had the energy to start the job. But Peewee has a great running start with his machine shop, so it will be very nice to follow his progress and help where I can.
Here is a blog run by Grayson Erlbacher gearhartreproductions.blogspot.com. Check out the progress. Looks pretty good!