Auto-Knitter Hosiery

Here’s an ad from the September 19 1925 Toronto Globe that caught my eye:


Some snooping in the Toronto city directories yielded the following information about the Auto-Knitter Hosiery Company:

  • The company first appears in the 1917 directory at 257 College Street, with Alfred W. Orme as its manager.
  • Thomas W. Chadburn (pictured in the ad) took over as manager in 1918.
  • In 1920, the firm had moved to 607 College Street, and then moved to 1870 Davenport Road before 1923.
  • The firm remained in business until 1945, at which point Mr. Chadburn apparently married his long-time secretary-treasurer and became vice-president of a medical products company.
  • He appears in city directories as late as 1965 – his occupation isn’t listed, so he was probably retired by then.

A search for “auto-knitter hosiery” turned up the following:

  • The Grey Roots Museum and Archives site has a page on the company.
  • The 100 Hidden Histories blog has photographs of a knitting machine.
  • The Trampled by Geese blog describes trying to get an auto-knitter to work.


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