From the archives comes an unused post card, or “Carte Postale” as it says on the back, from Europe. It has no stamp and no writing, therefore it is actually “brand new”. I would have to say that the rough-looking bunch posing with a Gearhart Knitting Machine are likely from Serbia and the photo was probably taken in the 1916 time frame, during WW-I. The Gearhart Knitting Machine Company had a contract with the Serbian Red Cross during this period, so I think this photo would be related to that contract.

The upper right corner of the post card is slightly stained from fingerprints. This post card was probably passed around many times, from Emory to Joseph, and then on to Leonard, then John, and then to some of the factory workers with oil on their hands, and then back to Emory. Since the post card is likely from 1916, those stains would probably be about 96 years old now.

So why doesn’t anyone smile on old photographs. Have you noticed? In fact, the older the photo, the less, and less, and less a person smiles. I think those new-fangled camera machines must have been serious business to someone that had never had their photo taken before (except for that guy on the right; he’s obviously a happy dude).🙂

I’ve got a collection of old family phtotographs as well as Gearhart Knitting Machine photographs. It is pretty easy to figure out the time and place for the Gearhart Knitting Machines, but those family photos, well, that’s another story.

Take this photo, for instance. The caption says “At Home, 1916 Xmas”. And then in the lower right corner something is written which I cannot make out. Is it the name of the man playing the piano? What is “home”, I wonder? Whose home is this? I’m positive its Emory’s handwriting, so the man at the piano surely must be someone very close.

Of Joseph’s three sons, Leonard (b. 1874, d. 1962) would have been 42, John (b. 1877, d. 1965) would have been 39, and Emory (b. 1888, d. 1969) would have been 28. The side profile doesn’t look like Emory. Plus, Emory did not play the piano.

I suspect you’d probably have to be a close descendant of one of the three sons to make an identification. If you think you can figure out the location and name of this person, I’d sure like to hear from you.

Thanks everybody for continuing to check my blog every now and then. I can see from the statistics, that there are many interested people out there.

So, it been over a year since I last posted…. I bet you are wondering what happened, especially since I’m still logging on to approve and reply to comments.

The archive material is still here. I have, however, added one more family member, and since I’m in the computer industry, I’ve been working hard to stay afloat in this awful economy. Therefore, I haven’t a lot of extra time.

Sophie Gearhart is now a little over one year old, and she is the cutest little thing you’ve ever seen. Of course, I’m 55, so at my age everyone thinks that she’s my grand daughter. In reality though, … I’m doing some math here … so when I’m 77, she’ll be just be graduating from college? Does that mean I’ve got to keep working until I’m 77? Holy smokes.

As I have time, I’m going to try and re-gain some momentum on the history of the Gearhart Knitting Machine Company. There is a lot to say still. I may diverge into old family history, but that’s OK also.

I have recently been in touch with some family members, so hopefully we can share some information and provide some interesting history for your reading pleasure.

I found out recently that one of Joseph Emory Gearhart’s sons, Joseph Emory Gearhart Jr., has passed away. He would be my uncle. I believe he was in his mid to late 80’s. Even though he might have been too young to remember the Gearhart Knitting Machine Company when it was in operation, or shortly thereafter, I’ll never have a chance to ask. If he did indeed remember the company, (and he was certainly living in Clearfield at the time) then I think he was probably the last living human with a direct contact to the company.

So, with his passing, the company’s history is now truely into the history books.

If, by any change, you know of someone still living, who remembers the Gearhart Knitting Machine Company when it was in operation, I would like to hear from you.

I’ve updated my Donate section, which can be selected by pushing the button in the upper right corner of this blog.

Its November 8th, so we’ve got one and a half months till Christmas. Feel like sending me a Christmas present for all my hard work on this blog? You do? Ahh, great! I’m on the lookout for nice socks knitted on the Gearhart Knitting Machine, that I could include with the archive. A subdued factory-color would be nice – a shade of grey would be nice.

Maybe even a non-sock… something like a scarf? That would be a really nice addition to the archive as well!

So if you are in the donating mood and the Christmas mood, then I might be a good candidate for your homemade knitted things.

One of the facinating things about the Gearhart Knitting Machine is that its operation was not limited to just socks. With the machine, you could knit all sorts of things. Of course, Joseph the founder and his son Emory the president knew that as well and promoted it.

In the last half of the booklet titled Do You Know that the Gearhart Hand-Knitting Machine Will Knit More Than One Hundred Different Articles?, there are illustrations of forty three items that can be knit using the machine.

I would be very interested to know if any of today’s knitters are knitting any of these forty three items. Better yet, if you have any photos, I’d love to post them!!

I’m tempted to build a display case for my 1925 machine, which has a stand. Right now, the stand is stored away and the machine itself is sitting in my curio. Its not really the best setting, I’ll admit, especially since I’m supposed to be the one most likely to exhibit the machine in its entirety.

So maybe I’ll build a display case… like the one here… if I can convince my wife that its not an eyesore to have in one’s living room. Speaking of where to put a knitting machine, here is an section from one of the brochures:

Quiet and Easy Running

The Gearhart Hand Knitter when in use is even quieter than most sewing machines. It can barely be heard in the next room. Its mechanical perfection and the skill put into its constructino, have made the machine a marvel of silent operation. Besides, it is light and easy to carry, weighing only thirty pounds, including the strong metal stand it rests on – almost ornamental in appearance. While it can be tucked away in an odd corner because of its compact size, it is not unsightly to have in your living room.

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