In 1894, Issac Wixom Lamb, a Baptist minister, came to town not only to shepherd a new congregation but to start a mitten factory using a knitting machine he had invented.
Born in 1840, Lamb, a Livingston County native, was inventive and mechanically inclined. At age 19, he secured a patent for a machine to braid whip lashes; four years later, in 1863, he received the patent for his flat knitting machine.
He exhibited his invention at the 1867 Paris World's Fair, won first prize and founded knitting factories in France and Switerland.
When Lamb returned to the United States, he was ordained a Baptist minister but continued to work on improving his machines. Less than a month after his April 1894 arrival in Perry he opened the Perry Mitten & Glove Company.
Lamb's first building at Perry was a wooden structure in 1894. A new block building was built in 1905. At its height, the company employed 650 people, one third of the town's residents.
Lamb retired from the ministry in 1899 and devoted all his time to the knitting factory until his death in 1906.
Thanks to Larry Meeker of www.patented-antiques.com for supplying the following info on his Lamb Knitter.
Below.....Early Patented Lamb Knitter
Today, the 1905 block building is used as Perry Michigan City Hall, below.
More Perry, Michigan History