The business ruined, James at the age of 16, decided to leave home and strike out on his own.

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They were also heavy cumbersome beasts and amazingly expensive.

So he hit the Patent Office and after detailed research found that he had two ideas that no one had patented, his looper method and feed method.

Over the winter of 1851-52 James, now 22, is found helping in the construction of a saw and grist mill (grain grinding) for one Colonel S Given in Nicholas County.

Here he used his piercing blue eyes and easy manner to good use on the Colonels' daughter.

His mum was Isabella Poague Gibbs from Connecticut.

As James grew he worked, like all children in those days, for his father on the farm and in his father's carding business.

Their beautiful lines and superb stitching make them a collectors dream.

Today every collector and enthusiast has at least one W&G in their collection.

I could shape a piece of hard ivy into the different contours needed to grasp the thread and hold it for the necessary duration of the stitch formation.