University of Nottingham - logo
Periodic Table of Nottingham


Nottingham element: Stocking Frame

Although it's more readily associated with lace Nottingham can also boast the inventor of the Knitting Frame (also known as the Stocking Frame).

William Lee was born in Woodborough, just outside Nottingham, in 1563. By 1589 he was working as a curate in Calverton.

The story goes that Lee was deeply in love with a woman from Calverton but she didn't return his affections. Indeed, when he went to her house, she preferred knitting her own stockings and teaching others to do the same, rather than get closer to her man.

Fed up with the situation Lee determined to invent a machine that would make individual stocking making redundant.The result was a stocking-weaving machine made almost entirely from wood.

His ministry forgotten, Lee started stocking weaving in Calverton and trained up his brother James and several relatives to do the same.

Scientific element: Scandium

Scandium oxidizes when exposed to air and its color will be tinged with yellow or pink due to the formation of scandium oxide on the surface.

It is more abundant on the moon and the sun than on Earth. And on Earth, the scandium tends to be spread thinly across the surface rather than concentrated in any certain locations.

Watch and learn

Explore more elements