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The Sewing Machines in this section are of German origin.
Some are from known manufacturers, but many others were specifically made to be exported and badged often by importers and retailers. Identifying the actual manufacturer of such badged machines is extremely difficult.
Many German manufacturers produced the same design machine with only minimal improvements over long time periods, this particularly occurred with Cast base machines which were produced until at least the First World War.

Grover & Baker Type

    Rhenania?  Serial No. 81777.
This type of machine was made, with minor variations, by many German manufacturers.  It was sold under two main names Rhenania and Humboldt.  Who manufacturered this one is not clear, although it may have been Tittel and Nies, Saalfeld.
It is a crib of a Grover and Baker machine, there is no take up lever instead the thread passes round a pair of discs mounted on top of the needlebar, as the bar rises so thread is drawn from the spool.  Although it is in poor condition suprisingly the brass hemmer guide was still attached to the machine.


    Elsa:  Serial No. 77875.
Originally we thought this machine was a Naumann Glady's however we have now recieved information that it is an Elsa made by Baach & Klie and we think it dates to the 1880's.

Baach & Klie started manufacturing sewing machines in the mid 1870's and in 1890 moved from 8 Salzdahlumer Street to
34 Gertruden Street, Braunschweig.  In 1894 the firms name was changed to "R. Lehnmann formerly Baach & Klie".
The Company specialised in producing machines for export and the British Agent was C. Lohmann, 22 Jewin Street, London. The Elsa was first produced around 1876 and was still being made in 1912.  The firm was still in existance in 1926.
See pictures of the restoration

Thanks to Ludger Halbur, David Sterling and Jennifer Hill of the Needlebar Group for information regarding this machine.


This machine was imported by the American Sewing Machine Company, 7 Ludgate Square, London, which was established by E Todd in 1863.  The firm specialised in importing and badging machines.
We're not sure of the manufacturer of this machine but it may have been made by Junker & Ruh or Böttcher of Berlin who produced an identical machine.  It is typical of the 1880's with its paw base and with top tension.  The handle is of wood not porcelain.
The same type of machine was offered for sale by James G. Weir, and has stamped on the slide plate his trade mark:
"Jas G. Weir" and the address 2 Carlise Street, Soho Square, London, W.

Nelson Decals

The decals on this machine are in particularly good condition.  The Company name is stamped on both slide plates and the number 944 appears on the reverse side, this could be the machines Serial Number as no other number appears anywhere on the machine.  Note the drop down bobbin winder.  We still need to give this machine a good clean.

Thank you to Graham Forsdyke/Claire Sherwell for information regarding this machine.

Junker & Ruh Cast Base

    Junker & Ruh  Serial No. 190710.
Fiddle base Handcrank with an ornate cast base, the decals have all but gone but were originally gold with red pendants around the base.  At the bottom of the Pillar it has ' Made in Germany' and beneath that, although the wording is virtually unreadable, 'Especially for Kay & Company Worcester'. Kays still exist and are a large Mail Order Catologue Company based in Worcester, England.
The bobbin winder on this machine is slightly unusual with a wire "spoon" and "guard".

Thank you to Lyn Forsyth/David Stirling/Claire Sherwell of the Needlebar Group for information regarding this machine.


    Atlas 'B':  Serial No. 188610.
Made by Grimme, Natalis and Co. Braunschweig for the Atlas Sewing Machine Co. Camden Town, London, probably around 1900.  There was also an Atlas 'A' which was made by Bremer und Brückmann D-Braunschweig, between 1876 and 1900.

K. A. Natalis and Carl Grimme had been producing sewing machines independantly of each other but in 1871 combined to form Grimme Natalis and Co.  The Companys Agent in Britain in 1883 until at least 1887 was Charles Bradbury.

Cast Base

    Nothmann:  Serial No. 287112.
Fiddle base Handcrank with an ornate cast base, manufactured by Gebr. Nothmann of Berlin.  The decals are virtually gone but were originally small roses.  Note the position of the bobbin winder which is driven off a straight cut gear - we don't think it's supposed to be that shape!
Unfortunately it is missing a slideplate and its shuttle.

Nothmann Brothers operated from Kaiser-Friedrich Street in Berlin from 1878 to 1909 and the Company was taken over by Frister and Rossmann in 1912.
Thanks to Graham Forsdyke for information regarding this Company.


    Nothmann 'Nuttallia':  Serial No. 344374
Fiddle base Handcrank manufactured by Gebr.Nothmann of Berlin.  The name on the arm is just visible as an impression in the varnish as 'Nuttallia'.  It is a transverse shuttle machine with the inlaid ruler to the base and porcelain handle typical to German machines.  The decals are quite worn being a golden scroll with decorative green and red areas.

 Nothmann Badge


     Saxonia:  Serial No. 1282195.
Fiddle base Handcrank with a geared mechanism recessed into the base.  Probably made by Haid and Neu, Karlsruhe between 1916-1920.  These machines were marketed as 'Excella T' and came with either a wooden base with squared or bentwood case or as a cast base with paw feet.  The machine itself is in poor condition with part of the japanning on the bed missing, but the decals on the arm and shoulder are still bright and we think it is a lovely machine.  The case of this machine is shown on the
Cases & Bases Page

Haid and Neu was established in 1860 in Karlsruhe but by 1868 only 2000 machines had been made.  This had increased ten fold by 1872 and 1881 saw the firms 100,000th machine.  By 1898 half a million machines had been made.  The million was reached in 1904 and two million machines had been made by 1921.  The Company survived the Second World War but in 1958 was taken over by Singer.

 Harris S      Harris 'S'  Serial No. 1783497.
Made probably by Haid & Neu for Harris which was a large London distributor. This machine dates to around 1930, the stylized roses are typical of the Art Deco style. Note the ruler inlaid in the base and the recessed hand crank, with the bobbin winder being directly driven from the gear wheel.

 Harris Flower Decal

Simplex Simplex Centre Decal

    Simplex:  Serial No. 521508.
This very attractive fiddlebase machine is from an unknown German maker but it probably dates to around 1900.
The name Simplex is just visable on the arm.  The bed of the machine has flakes of Mother of Pearl forming a border and the centre decal featues two Mother of Pearl Doves.  The base has an inlaid ruler but no accessory compartment.

 badged german import

    Hengstenberg:  Serial No. 452909.
Although there is no indication of maker this imported machine has been identified as being made by Hengstenberg & Co. Produced in 1898 it was designed by Heinrich Wittler.
The machine would have been sold through an importing Agent and an identical machine was sold by Fortescue Bros, West Street, Reading.  There are remnants of fillagree decals and inlaid Mother of Pearl roses to the centre bed.  It has the most amazing case, see our Restoration page

The original Company was founded by Karl Schmidt in 1876 producing machines mainly for leather work and it wasn't until Hugo Henstenberg became a partner in 1878 that production of domestic sewing machines was increased.  In 1883 Schmidt left the partnership and the firm became Hengstenberg & Co the following year.  By 1885 production of domestic machines totalled 50,000.  Heinrich Wittler joined the Company and introduced the Westfalia in 1886 and the Anker Westfalia in 1894.  The same year the firm started producing bicycles and Wittler left to join Dürkopp.  In 1906 the Company name became Anker-Werke.

Thanks to Ludger Halbur for information regarding this machine.

pretty german machine

    Hengstenberg? Serial No. 455523.
This elegant machine has no makers name but is almost identical to the previous machine so was probably also made by Hengstenberg & Co. Note there is an additional slide plate on the bed.
It has Mother of Pearl flowers, swagged flowers and a bouquet to the centre bed.  The base has an inlaid ruler, decorative marquetry and catch to hold the machine to the base.

Anker     Anker: Serial No. 449402.
Hengstenberg & Co. produced this machine around 1900. Although it is a transverse shuttle machine note the size of the slide-plates when compared with the two machines above.
The decals are an unusual combination of flowers and seagulls! The centre decal of a steam sailing ship and anchor was used as the Company's Trade Mark from about 1895 to 1902.

A copy MANUAL is available.


This website was created by Lin & David Bestİ2002/03/04

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