The Temple  

     In 1816, Ira Draper invented an improved type of temple (shown at top of page), a device that kept
    the cloth stretched to the desired degree as it was woven in a loom. Eventually his son, Ebenezer,
    obtained the patent. Ebenezer and his wife, Anna, were among the original members of the Hopedale
    Community. The temple became one of a number of products manufactured in the little shop at the
    Freedom Street dam on the Mill River. It was, however, the most financially successful product. In
    1853, Ebenezer's brother, George, moved to Hopedale and joined the Community. By 1856, the
    temple was selling so well that Ebenezer and George owned three-quarters of the stock in the
    Community. They decided to withdraw their investment, which resulted in the failure of the Community.
    Over the next several decades, the company the Draper brothers formed produced and sold many
    different parts for spinning and weaving machinery, and in 1894 they sold their first looms.

    Here's what the official Draper history has to say on the matter:

    In 1816 Ira was granted a patent on an improved fly-shuttle hand loom. It was superior in many ways
    to the hand looms then in use, but the advent of the power loom made it inadvisable to push its
    manufacture and sale.

    A feature of his loom patent, however, was the fact that it covered the invention of the first self-acting
    loom temple, which proved as timely as his loom was untimely. It was attached to the loom breast
    beam, held the cloth over a revolving star wheel, and was practically automatic. The temples in use at
    that time were of the stretcher type and had to be taken off and readjusted so often they required a
    considerable part of the weaver's time and labor.

     Mr. Daper's temple, by relieving the weaver of this time-killing labor, greatly increased the product of
    the new power looms and enabled the weaver to run two looms instead of one. For fifty years, or until
    England began to use self-acting temples, it established and kept the number of looms per weaver in
    American mills above that of their English cousins.

     Ira Draper's invention of the temple was notable in textile history for several reasons. It was the
    second invention in the textile field by an American. Eli Whitney's cotton gin was the first. It came at a
    time to contribute powerfully to the successful establishment of the factory system in America. It was
    outstandingly notable because it became the foundation of the business of Draper Corporation which
    through five generations of Drapers has given the American textile industry hundreds of machines and
    devices that have marked the progress of cloth-making in this country. William H. Chase, Five
    Generations of Loom Builders, pp. 4 - 5.

     A little further on, Chase continues with the next development in temples:

     In 1854 he [George Draper] bought an interest in the new Dutcher temple, then made in North
    Bennington, Vt., the first temple with cylindrical rolls and the first to be reciprocated by the lay. The
    business was moved to Hopedale two years later, when the inventor joined the two Draper brothers in
    the partnership of W.W. Dutcher & Co. Chase, p. 7.

     The photos below show the Dutcher temple. The temples are circled in red in the first two pictures.
    The real working part, the temple roll, is out of sight. It's a small, rotating cylinder with many projecting
    points which engage the cloth as it passes by. You can see the roll in the fourth picture and in a page
    from a Dutcher catalog at the bottom. Temple rolls were produced in an area of the shop called the roll
    room. Only women were employed for this job. (Starting during World War I women were hired for
    other jobs in Drapers, but up until then, the roll room was the only department where they were allowed
    to work. Actually, so far I've been unable to find out in what year women were first hired to work in the
    roll room.)  Instead of patenting the process of inserting the teeth into the cylinder, Drapers kept it
    secret. The roll room was kept locked. Ira's temple was patented, but it seems that either the Ducher
    and later models or the process of manufacturing them, or both, weren't.

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     See Dutcher temples below.  The photo below the Dutcher catalog page shows the temple roll, the
    "heart of the temple."

The Draper temple

    Ira Draper,shown holding a loom temple in his left hand. This 1816 invention of
    his was the foundation of the Draper business. The portrait was given to the
    Hopedale Community House by the Gannett family.

    James Draper, son of Ira and brother of Ebenezer and George
    Draper, inherited his father's temple patent. Above is the first
    ad he placed for their sale. It was in the first issue of the
    Boston Daily Evening Transcript, July 24, 1830

    Photos of Dutcher temple rolls and box sent by Sarah
    Carr, White Sulphur Spring, West Virginia in June 2017.