Check out this great site devoted to sock machines from the late 1800s (visit the museum pages for tons of machine photos) – “Welcome to Old Tyme Stockings! – celebrating the tradition of sock machine knitting, the restoration of antique sock machines and the promotion of sock machine knitting. Circular sock machines were manufactured in almost every country. Virtually every nation held a patent. Most sock machines were produced between the early 1800s and 1920s. Newer sock machines, such as the Harmony Auto Knitter ceased production in the late 1980s…” [via] – Link.
Sock Machines and circular knitting