Section 1. The Inventions and Ideas of Sakichi Toyoda

Item 5. Invention of the Circular Loom and Circular Single Flow Motor

In 1906 Sakichi Toyoda invented the circular loom, acquiring a patent for the machine the following year in 1907. Later, in 1924, he invented a heddle for the circular loom, a shuttle-changer for the circular loom, and a winding mechanism for the circular loom, and patented these devices the following year. In contrast to standard looms, in which the shuttle moved back and forth to incorporate the weft, in the circular loom the shuttle moved in a circular motion to insert the weft, reducing energy loss and operational noise.

Using the same concept, in 1914 Sakichi invented and patented the circular single flow motor, which switched the back and forth movements of steam engine pistons for a circular motion. In addition, he also invented and patented improved versions of the circular engine in 1917, as well as the circular single flow motor in 1920.1 Sakichi believed that circular motion was more energy efficient than reciprocating motion, and worked to invent circular looms because, as he saw it, "circular motion, rather than the reciprocating motion of the past and present, is the ideal we must strive when creating looms"2

Kiichiro Toyoda, who took over his father's research after Sakichi's death, exhibited the circular loom at the Fourth Inventors Exposition in Tokyo in 1932.

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