On several occasions Mr. Read’s brother James, a railway engineer, got into trouble at work when, instead of doing his work, he was found playing with mangles and rollers! They decided to bend the needles to fit the curve of the rollers and finally, in 1947, they patented the modern pleater, with four rollers and curved needles.
After the death of the Read brothers, Mr. Stanley Read’s wife and eldest daughter, Sally, continued to run the company, until Mrs. Read gave it to her youngest son, Andrew, after he finished university. In 1982, Sally and her husband moved to Durban and started manufacturing a new pleater, called the Sally Stanley. This pleater became very popular in the market-place but production ceased when Sally and her husband retired a few years ago.
The early Read pleater was the small 16-row, which was subsequently followed by the larger 24-roller and 32-row pleaters in the early eighties. The 32-row is still the only pleater of this size being manufactured in the world.