The circular sock knitting machines (CSM) holding the interest of persons in our group are primarily collector’s items. These machines were manufactured during the late 19th and about the first half of the 20th century. They were manufactured by light industry, machine-age companies. These companies produced quality products but their products would not be considered ‘precision’ in the sense of today’s techniques.
When the CSMs were being sold new, usually directly from the factory, a trained mechanic adjusted each machine before shipping it. Adjustments were made concerning such things as: the smoothness of the cams to pickup and return the needles; positioning the yarn guide for needle pickup; location and position of the ribber for ribber and cylinder needle matching; and other similar conditions. One of the first cautions mentioned in the instruction books that came with many machines was, DO NOT TRY TO ADJUST THE MACHINE.
There is evidence from correspondence of the time that in spite of the best efforts of the factory mechanics, some machines worked better than others. Many purchasers never put machines into use. The reason for this, substantiated by existing correspondence, was that the machines were difficult to use and did not work as advertised.