As the Industrial Revolution influenced the 19th Century world, techiqnues like the Bessemer steel production process enabled inventors and engineers to utilize metal for springs and frames. Fueled by the enormous demand for iron rails by the formative American railroad industry, and the demand for hundreds of thousands of miles of barbed wire fencing to conquer and enclose the Westward expansio. The telegraph industry that first stared in 1844 with the 40 mile line between Washington, D.C. and Baltimore within just 10 years had grown to over 5000 miles. It took 250 pounds of iron to make a mile of wire. Production methods were perfected. Hoop skirts were another craze. The mattress industry finally began adopted steel springs and other "contraptions" into sleep products. Bed frames, springs, and woven wires were becoming the fashion of the late 19th Century but non eof it would have been possible without the important historic events previously mentioned.
Click to enter a summary of this case. Describe the case background and basic facts, but be concise: July 27, 1869, Alois Kneppler from East New York received patent 93, 096 for an "improved Spring Bed Bottom that used conical springs sitting on the top of a wooden slat network. This prevented the woven wire from stretching or sagging.
Daniel and John Gail, of Brooklyn, New York, improved the "woven wire mattress or bed bottoms" with an interlinked construction as depicted.
The word "fabric" became used for metal wire fashioned and woven into links or chains, just like cloth textile uses warp and weft to create substance.
Small industrial operations sprung up all over the northeast that produced woven wires.
This "mattress" was the cumulative prpoduct of mass produced wire, iron rods, and spiral springs. The rope edge would fit into a rope bed frame. The plain edge was made for a plain iron frame.
Woven wire mesh or fabric was allos incorporated into cots and portable beds. Eventually this wire link materials was utilized in the modern folding sleeper sofas introduced in the 1930s.
This photo depicts a cotton mattress on top of a woven wire sprikng assisted mattress and demonstrates in a single image both 19th Century definitions of mattress.
Woven wires eventually evolved into a complete spring bed bottom.
The English word comes from Old French matelas, and, that word came from the Norman conquest of Silicy in about 1091 A.D. How did that happen?
Silicy was occupied by Arabs from Africa after their conquest in 902 A.D. The Arabs brought many plants and trees, customs, and food, and some interesting loan words.
One of these words, al-matrah, came from the Arab root verb ta-raha meaning "to thrown down, or the place to throw down" or "place where something is thrown" or "a mat bed"; the common Arab daily use of this word was place where camp was made and where the sleeping mats were placed.
In the medieval period Arabs slept on cushions thrown on the floor. Matrah came to mean a cushion or mat in Arabic and eventually passed into English as materas when the Crusaders and the Normans brought this custom of sleeping on cushions to Europe. The Anglo-Saxon word for "making your bed" meant "to prepare straw". The mattress was a vast improvement.
The word mattress has had two meanings: (1) the bed or under foundation such as the original Arab use, (2) an article, stuffed with vegetation fiber or hair that is designed for sleeping.
In 1755, Samuel Johnson's Dictionary referred to a mattress as "a kind of quilt to lie upon"; "Their mattresses were made of feathers and straw, and sometimes of furs from Gaul."
By the middle 19th Century into the early 20th Century most English dictionaries defined a mattress as cotton stuffed into casing for sleeping upon.
We have this unique history to thank for an invention we use every day.
In the formative years of the American bedding industry, mattress was used as a foundation. The woven wire mattress was not directly slept on, but served as a foundation for cloth encasement, usually with cotton batting, we called a mattress.