Hearthside became known as "Hearthside" because of the Hearthside Looms, a
hand weaving business that was run out of the 3rd floor by Arnold G. Talbot during the early part of the 20th century. Now, the original looms that both Arnold and his wife Katharine used to create some of the country's finest fabrics are back at Hearthside, in the very same place they were some 100 years ago.
This was made possible through the American Textile History Museum in Lowell, MA, where the weaving equipment was donated by Frances Talbot in her will in 1975.
Arnold’s grandson, Bill Talbot of Cincinnati, OH, has granted ownership to Hearthside upon de-accessioning of the collection by the ATHM.
The collection includes large barn looms, spinning wheels, flax wheels, table looms, parlor loom, warping frame, hand loom and a creel as well as coverlets.
The Talbots were highly regarded throughout the country for their fine handiwork on these antique looms. The Talbots weaving represented a rebirth of the American arts and crafts movement, according to the House Beautiful
article in 1907.
The Talbots became the only commercial enterprise in the United States dedicated to weaving ecclesiastical fabrics by hand. With just 8 weavers, the "Hearthside Looms" produced coverlets, curtains, linen, rugs, towels, table and pillow covers, couch covers, portieres, rugs, and altar cloths to customers well beyond the Rhode Island borders.