View Full Version : Mystery Tool

Ian B
10-26-2007, 03:29 AM
Anyone know what this is?


It came out of a factory clearance, and it had been used for putting corrugated edges in lead sheet. The badge says "Wilcox & Gibbs Sewing Machine Co".

Turning the handwheel on the right hand side turns the lower corrugated wheel; the upper wheel turns with it, and can be raised or lowered with the lever. It's held down by a fairly strong spring.



10-26-2007, 06:07 AM
It's a Wrinklier.

10-26-2007, 06:38 AM
It bears a striking resemblance to a duct corragator that were in most heating and furnace sheet metal shops before it became cheaper to by the ducts to install and rectangular became the normal. The were mounted on a pedestal so the metal could roll around. http://i35.photobucket.com/albums/d200/ptsideshow/DSC02023.jpg]
Here is the hand tool that is favored in the field to day:D

10-26-2007, 06:54 AM
Wait a minute. What size is this thing? Or, more to the point, what size is that spool of wire in the background?

10-26-2007, 07:37 AM
I ruled out the duct corrugater because of the flat plate.

10-26-2007, 07:42 AM
Wait a minute. What size is this thing? Or, more to the point, what size is that spool of wire in the background?
My guess is that it is just an ordinary every-day large/normal-sized spool of MIG wire.

10-26-2007, 09:04 AM
Stove pipe crimper?? JIM

Spin Doctor
10-26-2007, 11:42 AM
For corrugating thin strips of cardboard :D Heavy duty ravioli sealer?

10-26-2007, 12:04 PM
I'm not sure the original use was, but once your wife sees it I'd bet your pies have a fancy edge from then on :D Leather work of some sort is my guess.

oil mac
10-26-2007, 12:04 PM
Fascinated by the " gismo" Ian, Wilcox & Gibb, were sewing machine manufacturers, which puts the mystery machine in the textile industry, That it was from a factory clearance in a metal working environment, makes one wonder if it has not been a case of " It just happened along," and somebody thought , Maybe we can use this to crimp lead, i would have thought it was way to light for that duty, and possibly for this machines salvation it was found unsuitable.
My thoughts are it is a light duty laundry goffering machine, Which harks back to the days, when hospital matrons & charge nurses had lovely starched collars, with a " corrugated design" pressed in This design was pressed on the heavily starched coller, whilst still damp & upon drying gave a really smart apearance, Discipline & good order was the merit of the day!

By the look of the undrneath drive shaft, i think somebody has done an alteration, from a light flat belt drive (Poss. fast & loose pulleys), Messrs Tullis & Co of Clydebank near Glasgow and Also Ritchie & Co of Partick, also ofGlasgow, were manufacturers of this type of machine, as were various English & no doubt American firms. If this is the case it is of interest to see a "sewing machine adaptation in design". This type of machine was a fairly slow operation about 60 revs/ min.

10-26-2007, 01:04 PM
Used to gather material... maybe. It could be a ruffler or a pleater. Like on a curtain.

Ian B
10-27-2007, 04:21 AM
Thanks guys,

The machine is about 16" long. I think the guesses at stove pipe crimper are probably right - it was the 'sewing machine company' badge that confuses things. I can imagine that it will crimp metal (and it'll then stay crimped), but wouldn't textiles just flatten out after going through it?

Anyway, it's a nice old thing that'll end up on a shelf somewhere as a curio...


Ed Tipton
10-27-2007, 06:25 AM
I'll opt for the material "fluter". I've seen many examples of "fluters" which were two piece doo-hickeys commonly in use during Victorian times in the home. They consisted of a curved or straight "anvil" piece and a mating piece that was used to "roll" over the edge of material to produce the crinkled or fluted effect. They resembled a short rack and pinion with the "rack" being about six inches long and the "pinion" being about two inches in diameter. Typically, they were used to give the desired effect to either a shirt collar or sometimes the cuff of the sleeve, or to any piece of material where that type of design was wanted. In practice, the two pieces were heated on the stove, and then the wet material was "pressed" between the two mating pieces. This appears to me to be simply a "production" tool for the same intended purpose, although I see no provision for heat. There was also another type that consisted of two "wheels" where one of the wheels was driven by a hand crank, and this type was not heated as far as I know, but you could probably have applied greater and more consistant pressure with the crank type.

10-27-2007, 08:38 AM
I'd go along with that Ed.
I've seen similar Edwardian and Victorian "ruffle irons"

10-27-2007, 11:09 AM
A typical pipe crimper has both wheels out in the open and extended out so you have room under the wheel for the bottom of the pipe. You could fit a large dia pipe over top, but that doesn't seem likely as you couldn't see what you were doing. Pipe crimpers, at least the ones I have used also have much finer teeth as well. I don't have any idea how it would be used in Textile, but just the shape and general look of it is just like older industrial sewing machines.

Another feature of crimpers is you can replace one wheel with a flat wheel and stretch metal with it.

Bill S

10-27-2007, 12:01 PM
I started doing a patents search on Googles patents site: http://www.google.com/patents. "Wilcox & Gibbs Sewing Machine Co".
Has hundreds of patents on differant types of sewing gizmos, alot of them very much like this one. Check it out.

Alistair Hosie
10-27-2007, 12:01 PM
It's a Wrinklier.

what I need is a de-wrinkler.:DAlistair

10-27-2007, 12:32 PM
It's a Wrinklier.

what I need is a de-wrinkler.:DAlistair

I could barrow a steam roller.:eek: