All material copyright David G. Best 2002 - 2009 All Rights Reserved.
These machines were produced at the Wellington Works and were designed for making and repairing footwear. The machine was available with or without a stand. Pre 1874 foot plate was plain with later machines having B & C O on both the centre of the stand and the footplate. By late 1879 this had changed to Bradbury & Co Limited Oldham on the stand and the footplate was plain.
Initially it was known as the Universal Feed Machine or Elastic Machine and was available with two different arm lengths, the No. 1 had a 9 inch arm, and the No. 2 had an 11½ inch arm. It was the latter that eventually became known as the A1 Repairing machine.
On 19th March 1878 T. Chadwick and T. Sugden patented a modification which, by reducing the work-supporting arm, allowed the circular rotating shuttle to be enlarged. This modification was subsequently put into production and the Patent No. 1080 appears on later machines. This design improvement had two direct benefits, the A1 Repairing machine had the smallest arm in its class and the shuttle held a larger reel.
This machine was particularly successful in the United States and many of the approximatly 60,000 machines of this type that were made were exported to America, as such it was a resounding success for the Bradbury Company.
Contemporary reports even quote it as having been used during the American Civil War although we have yet to verify this.
The A1 Repairing Machine was also available with a still smaller arm which had a shuttle box the size of a sixpence as well as a larger arm with a shuttle that held 30 yards of No.50 Linen thread making it a useful machine for Cloggers, Harness Makers, Coach Trimmers and the like.
In 1871 it cost £9, the price was same in 1884 but by 1912 this had increased to £9 12s
INDEX of BRADBURY SEWING MACHINES
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