American No. 1      American No. 1 Serial No. 132341.
The American Button Hole, Overseaming and Sewing Machine Company, Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, was established in 1867 and attended the Paris International Exhibition in that year. In Great Britain the Company was selling machines through Newton Wilson, 144 High Holbourn, London by 1868 and by 1877 the Company had offices at 87 Queen Victoria Street London.

The New American machine was introduced in 1873 as two models the No. 1 Light Family Machine and the No. 2 Manufacturing Machine for family, tailoring and leather work. Both models were available with various forms of cabinet work ranging from the Plain Table to the top of the range Full Cabinet in Black Walnut with Curled Walnut or Rosewood panels.

In the 1880's the No. 7 and No. 8 machines were introduced. The No. 8 was a hand-crank version which was available with either a cast iron or Walnut base. The American B. H., O. & Sewing Machine Company was to remain in business until at least 1895.

This example, the American No. 1 probably dates to 1877. On the bed of the machine, at the base of the pillar, is a shield listing 19 Patent dates running from Nov 12 1850 through to May 27 1873. The head is worn with little gilt remaining although the Japanning is still in good condition. Sadly the shuttle, bobbin and slide plate had all been lost before we were able to buy this machine.
The very elegant treadle stand has 'AMERICAN' cast into both sides and a single drawer with the letter A embossed on the drawer pull. The bentwood cover is unusual, the ends and lower edges are of wood but the remainder is made from a curved piece of metal painted to simulate wood.

A copy MANUAL is available.

American No.1 Treadle

 Wheeler and Wilson No.8      Wheeler and Wilson No.8: Serial No.173718.
Originally established in Watertown, Connecticut in 1852. Allen B. Wilson patented the rotary hook in 1851 and four motion feed in 1854,
The Wheeler and Wilson Company moved to Bridgeport in 1856 and became known as the Wheeler and Wilson Manufacturing Company.  The factory occupied a 2 acre site and by 1863 had a floor area of 5 acres.
An office was opened in England in 1859 and the Chief Office in London c1878 was at 21 Queen Victoria Street E.C. and in 1880 there were 26 other Depots in Great Britain. By 1897 the Chief Office was at 11 to 21 Paul Street, Finsbury, London.

A range of machines were produced, the No. 1 Family machine, No. 2 was for shirts, collars & cuffs, both of which were curved needle machines. The No. 6 straight needle machine was available in two forms either for tailoring or as a Cylinder machine for Boot Work, the No. 7 was especially suitable for Corset Work, the D.10 for General Manufacturing, Leather work and Tailoring, and there was also an Automatic Buttonhole Machine.

By 1858 a total of only 20,000 machines had been produced. In the following three years production jumped to 20,000 per annum and in 1862 the Company produced 30,000 machines. This increased to 50,000 in 1865 and by 1871 yearly production reached 128,526 machines of various types. Production in 1876 fell to 109,000 machines. Singer took over the Wheeler and Wilson Company in 1905.

The No. 8 was designed for Family use & Light Manufacturing and was produced from 1876 to the early 1890's. The Company was awarded a Grand medal at the Paris International Exhibition 1878 for the No. 8 machine.  This machine dates to 1880, it shows extensive wear and is missing its centre slide plate.
It has a glass presser foot (patented in 1861) and the centre boss has the address 44 Union Square, New York.

A copy MANUAL is available.

 Wheeler and Wilson No.8

 Wheeler and Wilson No.9

    Wheeler and Wilson No.9: Serial No.2292781.
The firm produced the No. 9 machine from 1888 to 1905.
After Singers take over of the Company it was made under the Singer brand name for a number of years.

Made at Bridgeport, Connecticut around 1899, this machine has a bentwood case rather than one with a handle recess. There is no accessory compartment, later machines had a lengthened base to accomodate one which had a hinged lid. The last patent date on the slide plate is Aug 2nd 1892 but we are unfortunately missing the other slide plate.

Thanks to G Forsdyke & C Schmidt for information

 White New White Peerless 'B': Serial No. P25500.
Thomas White started producing chain stitch machines in 1858 in Templeton, Massachusetts.  In 1866 he established a factory at Canal Street, Cleveland, Ohio and was trading as the White Manufacturing Company making New England type machines. The firm was incorporated as the White Sewing Machine Co in 1876, expansion followed with the Company diversifying and moving to new premises.
In 1880 the Company had its Principal European Office at
19 Queen Victoria Street London E.C. In 1916 White bought the Raymond Manufacturing Company based in Canada and in 1924 aquired the Domestic Sewing Machine Company.
The White Sewing Machine Co is one of the few early sewing machine Companies to have survived to the present time.

 White Centre Decal

The New White Peerless was produced as three versions based on identical heads.  The 'A' and 'C' both appear to have cast bases but were fitted with different hand crank mechanisms.
This machine however is the type 'B' with elegant Bent Wood cover and Wood Base.  Made in Cleveland around 1899, it is in very good condition, with attractive Lily of the Valley floral decals.  Eleven U.S. Patent dates are listed on the rear slideplate, the first being Mar 20 1877 the last Mar 11 1890 with other patents pending.

 White Case

The bentwood case has carved ends with decorative moulding on the sides and the Company name in black letters.

Many thanks to White for information supplied. The history of the Company may be viewed at White Sewing Machine Company


    Governor A: Serial No. 2263543.
This machine was made by the National Sewing Machine Company of Belvidere, Illinois which was formed in 1890 by the merger of the Eldredge Sewing Machine Company (est.1869) and the June Manufacturing Company (est. 1881).  The firm appears to have specialised in producing badged machines for retailers.  In 1953 it merged with Free Sewing Machine Co. but was unable to compete with imported models and the National Sewing Machine Company closed in 1957.

This machine has a very angular shape and was made before 1900.  The design stems from an Eldredge machine and this version was known in America as the Improved Eldredge B.  In the 1920's the machine was given a complete face lift and sold as a Badged machine.

 Governor Badge The Trade Mark logo is an illustration of a Governor which is a mechanical device found on steam engines.  Beneath the logo is the Latin inscription "Nil Desperandum" followed by the initials J.S. & S. which stand for John Shaw & Sons of Wolverhampton who sold Governor machines.

This machine came complete with shuttle, spare bobbins and tin of attachments. It is set in a stunning five drawer drophead stand which is shown on the Cases and Bases Page.

Thanks to Alan Quinn of the NeedleBar Group for information on J.S.& S.

 Willcox and Gibbs     Willcox and Gibbs: Serial No. A539298.
The Willcox & Gibbs Sewing Machine Company was founded in 1857 and opened its London Office in 1859 at 135 Regent Street.  By 1871 the Companys Chief Office for Europe was at 150 Cheapside, London, this office was later moved to 94 - 96 Wigmore Street, London.
The manufacturing of the Companys' single thread, chain stitch machine was subcontracted to Brown & Sharpe, Rhode Island until 1948.
A special handcrank mechanism was produced in England for the European market, but the general design of the Willcox & Gibbs remained essentially the same throughout its production. The only major improvement was in 1875 when the glass tension discs were replaced with an automatic tension device which ensured the machine could not get out of adjustment.
The Company finally closed in 1973.

This Willcox & Gibbs came complete with its wooden carry case which is shown on the Cases and Bases Page.  The machine was made in America in 1903 but it has the elegant hand crank produced for the European market. The cloth plate has a stitch length indicator as well as various patent dates for both the U.S.A. and Great Britain the last of which is 1894.

A copy MANUAL is available.

 Willcox & Gibbs Badge

 Worcester New Climax

    Worcester New Climax: Serial No. 3656838.
This machine was made in America by the New Home Sewing Machine Company.  The firm was established in 1882 but prior to that New Home had been the brand name of Johnson, Clark & Co, Orange, Massachusetts which had been established in 1860 making sewing machines as The Gold Medal Sewing Machine Company.  The New Home Sewing Machine Co. was taken over by the Free Sewing Machine Company in 1927.  It continued to use the New Home brand name but Free itself was taken over by National in 1953.
New Home introduced its Climax range of sewing machines in 1893 which it badged for various retailers.

This machine was produced around 1916 and badged for Kays of Worcester.  Kays are a large United Kingdom Mail order catalogue company.
The Case of this machine is shown on the Cases & Bases Page

Thanks to G Forsdyke for identifying the manufacturer


     Hexagon: Serial No. X1655.
Believed to have been made by the Standard Sewing Machine Co., Cleveland, Ohio which operated from its incorporation in 1884 until it was taken over by Singer in 1929. This machine is badged for the Hexagon Sewing Machine Company Ltd and came with a manual dated 1919.  Although it was missing a slide plate we found those from a Singer 28 fit perfectly.

A copy MANUAL is available

This webpage was created by Lin & David BestŠ2002/03/04

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