According to the "Journal of the Newcomb Looms Historical Society" and other resources the Newcomb Loom Company was established in Davenport by Charles Newcomb in 1889. The looms themselves were manufactured in Tipton, Iowa (a small town about 40 miles northwest of Davenport), while Mr. Newcomb used Davenport as a distribution point. His original three models were the Little Daisy, the Number 3, and the Weaver's Friend. In 1899 he began production of the Weaver's Delight which quickly became the most popular loom of the company.
In 1900 Charles Newcomb resigned from the company to 'enjoy the fruits of his labor' (he had patent rights on all four looms and was quite well off by this time). William Stark appears to have purchased the company and acted as manager, while Charles Pasche became president of the corporation. In 1919 the company was bought by Frank Knierem.
The company published a newsletter ("The Weaver's Monthly") full of weaving tips, stories from weavers, and plenty of advertisements for weaving supplies and (of course) Newcomb Loom equipment including cutting boards, wide rug looms, and something called a Power Frayer. Newcomb offered many services to their customers, including a 'second owner registry'. People who bought used looms were encouraged to register with Newcomb and receive free assembly and instruction booklets. The company would even send someone out to help with assembly and assist in setting up a weaving business. These and other considerations led the company to peak profits in 1955.
Unfortunately, with the exception of a handcraft revival in the 1960s, the demand for large looms faded. In the early 1980s high costs, low profits, and Frank Knierem's poor health led the family to close the company. The company wrote a letter to each customer, thanking them for their business. The company sold off its loom pattern molds in 1983.
Acc#1989-12 Newcomb Loom Company Records. Promotional flyers and instructional booklets. 16 folders. Rg. 37 Sec. 1
Acc#2015-03 Newcomb Loom Company Records. This collection is made up of instructional materials pertaining to the looms produced by the company as well as some promotional items. Business documents include shipping receipts and two registries of ownership; one for Iowa customers and one for Indiana.. 3 boxes. Rg. 33 Sec. 1
"Newcomb Loom Co.". 1911. Catalog.
"Newcomb Looms Historical Society". [1990s]. Correspondence.