British Makers Directory

B
/ C / D / E / F
/ G / H / I / J
/ K / L / M / N
/ P / Q / R / S
/ T / U / V / W
/ Z

Maker Location
Dates
Models
Produced
Allbrook
& Hashfield
54 Redcross Street, London EC
Fur-sewing Machines
William Andrews Birmingham
 1878
Sanspareil, Wheeler
& Wilson-type machines
Allen & Sons
(agent)
Pant, Alnwick, Northumberland   Wheeler & Wilson
American Buttonhole,
Overseaming and Sewing Machine Company
87, Queen Victoria Street, London
EC
1877
American, No. 8
Hand
American Sewing
Machine Company
London, 7 Ludgate Square, London
EC
1898
Todd’s Champion
of England, E. Todd Chainstitcher (Guhl & Harbeck), Nelson, Tittel &
Nieß machines
Army & Navy
Stores (retailer)
London   Victoria
Aster Brothers Colchester  
Atlas Sewing Machine
Company
London   Atlas A, Atlas
B, Countess, Una, Atlas C (Grimme Natalis), Atlas D (New Home)

B

Maker Location
Dates
Models
Produced
G. W. Bacon &
Company (retailer)
London Beckwith
D. Bateman Bradford    
Thomas Beecroft
& Company
Leeds Dolly Varden
Bellow Machine
Company Ltd
Leeds Industrial machines
E. G. Benford (retailer) Brighton badged Jones, White ‘Prize’
W. Benscher 44 Fore Street, London agent for Carl
Schmidt & Hengstenberg of Bielefeld
Andre Serton Berg
(retailer)
Exeter
Isaac L. Berridge Gallowtreegate, Leicester agent for American
Buttonhole & Overseaming SM Co
Daniel Berry Northampton Shoe-stitching
machine
S. Bettmann &
Company (agents)
10, Golden Lane, London EC
1888
Biesolt & Locke
machines
Sydney S. Bird Poole   Vulcan Toy Sewing
Machines – Regal, Countess, Classic, Senior, Junior, Minor etc
Bishop’s
Cluster Company Limited
147, Aldersgate Street,
London EC
1877
– 1898
Gloria,
(Agents for J. Silberberg, Hamburg)
Charles
Bradbury (agent)
37, Torrens Road, Brixton,
London SW
1886
Grimme,
Natalis & Company machines, Original Princess, Improved Family, Natalis
D, Medium B & C, Family A
Bradbury
& Company Ltd
Wellington Works, Oldham
1852
– c.1929
Magic,
Lancashire Corset Stitcher, Thomas-system, Wellington, Progress, Belgravia,
Empire, Letter ‘S’ Family & Medium, Rotary B2, Rotary B4, No.1, No.2,
Number 5, Number 6, Bradbury’s Family High Arm TS, Family Low Arm TS, No.
45, Soeze, Family VS, Medium VS, Westerian, Westerian Premier, Universal
Feed, A1, Plain Spool, Family & Medium Improved Singer, Family W &
G System, Beatrice Chainstitcher, Howe System 1, 2 & 3, Wheel Feed 2
& 3, Arm Machines 1 1/2, 2, & 3 Single, Practical Tailor Top &
Bottom Feed, Wax Thread Leather Machine
Thomas Bradford
& Company
Salford   Anchor, Royal Anchor,
Fleet Anchor, Shuttle Anchor,
Britains Petite
Ltd
Nottingham   Petite
Britannia
Manufacturing Company
Colchester
1877
Britannia, Tom
Hood, Improved Wheeler & Wilson, Nos 6, 19, 20 Singer Sytem Machines,
New Family Singer System, No. 13 Thomas System, Willcox System Silent Sewing
Machine
British
United Shoe Machinery Company
Leicester 1899 – ? Shoe-sewing machines
Bromley, Downey
& Crossley
Old Church Street, Oldham
 1875
Howe principle
(No 1A, No2B) machines, Oldham Domestic, Improved Oldham Domestic, Oldham
Medium
Benjamin Brown
& Sons
Birmingham  
Breech Action Mfg Co. Birmingham   Fearnaught
BSM
(British Sewing Machines)
London (Distributors)    
Thomas Bull Newark   Shoe-stitching
machine

C

Maker Location
Dates
Models
Produced
Campion & Johnston Nottingham  
Canada Sewing Machine
Company
46, Wood Street, Liverpool
1877
Empress of India
Alexander Carr
(?retailer)
Darlington  
J. E. Carver Aldersgate Street, London EC

6, Gray’s Inn Road, Holborn, London WC

1886

Phoenix, New Phoenix
(German import)
William Carver
& Company
Park Works, Cheetham Hill, Manchester
(W.C. died Jan 1877, Company taken into receivership June 1877)
? – 1877
Crown Family Machine,
No.2 Medium, Lancashire, British Sewing Machine, Wheeler & Wilson-system
Chadwick &
Jones
Oldham & Ashton-under-Lyne  
J. R. Chislett Plymouth  
The Cinemaker Company
Ltd
Nottingham   Astor
Arthur Clegg &
Company
48 Fore Street, London EC
1884
Clegg
Clerkenwell Eng Co. London   The London
Cole & Company
(agent & retailer)
Davenport   Howe, England’s
Queen, Challenge, Raymond
Collier
& Son
London   Swift & Sure,
badged Jones Hands, Collier’s Romance, Farrington, German imports
James W. Columbine London   Weir Machines
Combination Sewing
Machine Company
London   Albion
A. F. Conant (agent) 150, Regent Street, London W
1878
Grover and Baker
Shuttle Machines
Cookson
Lockstitch Sewing Machine Co. Ltd
Lozells Road, Birmingham   Cookson
Coventry Sewing
Machine Company
Coventry   Queen of Hearts,
European, Godiva, Express, Swiftsure
William Crow Birmingham   Royal Mail, Period

D

Maker Location
Dates
Models
Produced
S. Davis &
Company (agents & manufacturers)
15, Blackman Street,
London SE
1877
Davis Circular
Feed, Davis Hand, Rose, Abigail, Beaumont (Atlas A), Empress, Move with
the Times, Junker & Ruh, Singer, Willcox & Gibbs, Thomas, Howe
Fred Dickson 23 Bucklersbury,
London EC.
agent for Gritzner
Dorman Engineering
Company
Northampton Dorman lock-stitch,
Whirlwind, Minerva, Junker & Ruh machines
Duff & Rowntree
(agent)
Bishop Auckland New American

E

Maker Location
Dates
Models
Produced
Éclair Button-hole
Machine Company
London  
Eclipse
Machine Company (formerly Shepherd, Rothwell & Hough)
Cromwell Street,
Oldham
  Eclipse Hand, Family
& Medium
E. M. G Ltd ?   Super Comet
Essex Engineering
Works
Wanstead   Essex., Essex Miniature
European Sewing
Machine Company
Coventry   European

F

Maker Location
Dates
Models
Produced
Faudels (retailer) London   German machines
Feather & Thurlow 39, Chester Street,
Hulme, Manchester
1877
W & G Principle
Machine
H. Ferrabee (distributor) London   British Sewing
Machine
J. R. Foot &
Son
London   Matchless
Y. J. Foot &
Son (agent)
London   Busy Bee
Forward Manchester   Forward of Manchester
John Fox &
Co
Birmingham  
P. Frank (agent) 11, Mount Pleasant
Liverpool
1882
Raymond, Raymond
Household
F. Frank (agent) London   Raymond
Franklin Sewing
Machine Company
Birmingham
 1870
Agenoria, Royal
Franklin
The “Frieda”
Sewing Machine Agency
17, Great St. Helen’s,
London EC
1886
The Frieda 10s
6d Machine

G

Maker Location
Dates
Models
Produced
Gamages (retailer) London   Sophast
Gibson & Co 196 Icknield Street,
Birmingham
  Neptune, Ruby,
Countess
Gordon & Gotch
(agent)
15, St Bride Street,
Ludgate Circus, London EC
1886
Reliable, Little
Domestic, American Domestic
Gough, Jno &
Company
Swan Street, Manchester
1898
 
E. L. Grain Nottingham   Toy machines
J. G. Graves (retailer) Sheffield   Vibra
Graves, Rushton
& Company
Liverpool  
H. Greenaway (agent) Oxford   Home Companion
Greenwood & Batley Albion Works, Leeds   Keats
Gresham & Craven Craven Iron Works,
Ordsall Lane, Salford
 1869
– 1883 (last known gazette entry)
Heron, Seymour,
Gresham, Reversable Feed Gresham, Improved Gresham
G. Griffiths Birmingham  
W. G. Guinness
& Company
London   Guinness

H

Maker Location
Dates
Models
Produced
Hankey & Company
(retailer)
London   Shakespear
Charles & William
Harewood
Birmingham   makers of W. F.
Thomas & Co’s patent machine
Harpur & Mason Manchester &
Birmingham
  Cookson, Handy
Joseph Harris &
Sons
Oriel House, 41
Bull Street, Birmingham
  Imperial, Angenoria,
Challenge, Birmingham, Eureka, Little Wanzer
W.
J. Harris (retailer)
Haymerle St, Peckham,
London SE
  Defiance (Grimme
Natalis), Defiance C (New Home), Premier, Brunswick, Stoewer, badged Frister
& Rossmann, National/Eldredge, L. O. Dietrich, New Home, Jones machines
Joseph Harris Franklin Works,
Park Road, Soho, London + Oriel House, 41 Bull Street, London
  Angenora (c.1875)
Harrison
Brothers & Company
Chorlton-on-Medlock,
Manchester
 1876 – 1895+ The Jewell
Heberling R.S.
Sewing Machine Company
46, Cannon Street,
London EC
1878
1882
Heberling Running
Stitch, Princess Waldeck
W. C. Heighton ?   Original Brunonia
Gustave
Herzfeld (agents)
116
Cheapside, London EC
  Baer
& Rempel (Family, Vertical Cylinder), Seidel & Naumann
George Higgins
(agents)
12, Wardrobe Chambers,
Queen Victoria Street, London EC
1889
Gritzner machines
Hillman & Herbert Premier Works, Coventry   Little Maid
John Holme Manchester   Ariel
John Holroyd Tomlinson Street,
Hulme, Manchester
1886
Moldacot, Holroyd
Hem-stitch, Heberling
Frederick &
Leonard Hopkinson
Doncaster   Hopkinson
Howe
Sewing Machine Company
Avenue Street,
Bridgeton, Glasgow

+ Holborn Viaduct, London  began production
1873. Letter A, B, C, D & E, Swiftsure, Little Howe (Reciprocating Shuttle),
Little Howe (Rotary)

I

Maker Location
Dates
Models
Produced
Ideal
Sewing Machine Company
 
1910
Ideal
Imperial Sewing Machine Co. Franklin Works, Birmingham
1875
Agenoria, Challenge
Imperial Watch
Company
Imperial Buildings,
Ludgate Circus, London EC
1898
Universum

J

Maker Location
Dates
Models
Produced
William
Jackson & Sons (former Newton Wilson employee)
Warlingham, Surrey
and
1a Caroline St. Eaton Square, London, SW
1867
– 1872
Automaton, Duchess
of Edinburgh
G. W Jennings 35 Newgate Street,
London
1877
The ABC
Jones’
Sewing Machine Company Ltd.
Guide Bridge
1859
– c.1968
Model A, Model
B, Model C, Busy Bee, Family TS , Medium TS, Hand (first type), Hand (second
type), Hand (third type), Hand (fourth type), Medium Spool, Spool Hand,
Spool, Family CS (first type), Family CS (second type), Family CS (third
type), Family CS (fourth type), Medium CS, No.35 CS, CS Model E, Central
Bobbin (CB), Central Bobbin B, D53, D59, D63 Consort, D65, D68, Model
K, Popular,

+ many badged Hand, Family
& Medium CS and Spool machines including Federation (for CWS)- 1,
Federation – 2, The Avenue, Collier’s No.2, Collier’s No.4, The Bedford,
CSCS, Cestrian, Cocks’ Royal Leader, City of London, St. Edmunds, Avenue,
Cowper, E. G. Benford, Rowntree, Joseph Watson Soap Works, Kildare, Martlet,
New Gresham, Vibra, Vichand, Longford, The Lee, G. Davis, Bradbury’s Family
VS, British Harrodia, Empress, The Lightning, Nelson’s, Paragon, Pentagon,
Victoria, Walter Hale, Thomas Gaffer (Norwich), Holiday, Our Own, Arrow,
etc.
Johnson, Clark
& Company (Boston)
83, Queen Victoria
Street, London EC

1877

Home Companion,
Home Shuttle, Improved Home Shuttle
H. Jowett &
Co
Idle, nr. Bradford 
Charles
Judkins
Ludgate
Hill, London EC

1866
– 1867

Raymond-type
machines, Judkins
Daniel Judson &
Co
77, Southwark Street,
London SE

1886

Tabitha

 

K

Maker Location
Dates
Models
Produced
Katz & Lobl 72 Aldersgate St.
London EC
1898
Herman Köhler
importer, Baer & Rempel (Phoenix)
Kay & Company
(retailer)
Worcester   Junker & Ruh
and other German machines, Paragon, Kay’s VS
Kimball
& Morton
82 (later 21)
Bishop Steet, Anderston, Glasgow, Scotland

Bothwell Circus, Glasgow

1867
1889

Family, Family
Hand, New Family, Medium (Black), Medium (Red), Domestic, Oscillator, Stitch-in-Time,
Lion, Glasgow, Family, Morton
King’s Cycle Works
(agents)
Wimbourn &
Poole
 Gritzner-Kayser
machines
J. KnightOxford Street,
London

1866 – 1867

The Wonder

 

L

Maker Location
Dates
Models
Produced
Lakeman & Company Manchester
1848
Cousobrodeur (Thimmonier)
George Lamb Birmingham  
Lancashire Sewing
Machine Company
Manchester
 1853
‘Patent Sewing
Machine’, Grover & Baker-type machines
Leigh & Crawford
(retailer)
London   Rapid, German machines
S. Loewe (agent) London   Frister & Rossmann
C. Lohmann 43, London
Wall, LondonEC

22, Jewin Street, London EC

1862 1889

Agent for Biesolt
& Locke, Baer & Rempel, Dürkopp, Koch and Mundlos, Phoenix,
La A No. 8, La B No.10, La C, La Silencieuse, Defiance A (Baach & Klie),
Defiance B (Baach & Klie)
Hermann Loog (agent)126, 127 &
128, London Wall, London EC

1876

Frister & Rossmann
machines

 

M

Maker Location
Dates
Models
Produced
Maxfield
& Company
Birmingham   Maxfield, Agenoria
McClelland &
Stibbe
40, Union Street,
Glasgow
1886
Agents for Pfaff
machines
David
J. MacDonald
Dundee
1892 – 1984
Chainstitch , Embroidery & Lockstitch Machines.
Overhead handstitch floating barrel sewing machines. Multi-needle lockstitch
machines.
MacKenzie &
Company
Glasgow   MacKenzie Cylinder
Machine
Luke McKernan London   Agent for Howe
Machines 1860 – 1861
Charles
McQuinn
Neptune Works,
Icknield Street, Birmingham
  McQuinn
Meccano Ltd Liverpool   Starlet, Jones-Meccano
Lockstitch
Moldacot Pocket
Sewing Machine Company
London   Moldacot
John G. Murdoch
& Company (maker and retailer)
57d Hatton
Garden EC1 London

91 Farringdon Road, London
EC

1898

Electra (Wertheim),
Original Princess (Grimme Natalis)

 

N

Maker Location
Dates
Models
Produced
I.
Nasch (agent)
16,
Finsbury Pavement, London EC
  Grimme,
Natalis & Co Ltd – Washington Hand, Lincoln Hand, Cylinder Elastic,
Express Single Thread. Singer, W & W, Howe, W & G Sytems
National Sewing
Machine Company (agent & retailer)
37, Fetter Lane,
London EC
1886
Boston Star, National,
National Express, Magician, Willcox & Gibbs
Robert Nelson (incorporated
with J.G.Murdoch)
London   Serata, Nelson’s
(badged Jones CS), Wertheim Machines
New Home Sewing
Machine Co
99 Fenchurch
Street London

24 & 26 Denman St. London
Bridge, London, SE

1898 – 1909

 Newton Wilson &
Company
Birmingham
&

 

Great Central Depot, 144 High
Holborn, London WC

1877

Wilson’s Patent
Whistler, Wilson’s Patent Singer, Blake, Cleopatra, Dorcas, Penelope, Queen
Bess, Queen Mab, Queen O’Scots, Princess of Wales, England’s Queen, Boudoir,
Tower, Perfection, Wallace Ash, Grover & Baker, American Buttonhole
Overseaming & Sewing Machine
W. Nicholson
(retailer)
59, Newport Street,
Bolton
 Bradbury MachinesC. NobleNotting Hill, London North British Machine CompanyGlasgow High-arm TS MachinesNussey & PillingLeeds Little Stranger,
Noiseless Tudor, Wheeler & Wilson-style machines, Family

 

P

Maker Location
Dates
Models
Produced
Frederick
Parker
Sheffield  
W.
Pearson & Co
New Dock Machine
Works, Chadwick Street, Crown Point, Leeds
1877
The Pearson Nos.
A1, 1, 2, 3 & 3A Waxed Thread Leather Machines, No. 4 Mill Band Machine
Pendleton Machine Co. Pendleton, Manchester  
Perkins & Marshall Northampton  
W. Pierssene (agent) London   Frister & Rossmann
Pitt Brothers Alma Foundry, Liversedge,
Yorkshire
1852
1882
Princess,
Planet
Sole Stitcher Company
44, Finsbury Square, London EC2   Sole-stitching machines
Thomas Potter 47 Dunlace Road,
Clapham, London E
  König &
Company’s New Rotary Shuttle Machine
J. Poyser (patentee) ?   Pocket Lockstitch
Sewing Machine

Q

Maker Location
Dates
Models
Produced
O. Quitmann (agent) London   Frister & Rossmann

R

Maker Location
Dates
Models
Produced
E. Rausnitz 184 Aldersgate
Street, London, EC

72 Finsbury Pavement, London,
EC

1898

agent for Clemens
Müller, Gebr. Nothman
Raynor & Lincoln Machine Co.Chorlton-on-Medlock, Manchester Redditch Sewing Machine Co.Redditch, Birmingham RivalRobert ReidBristol ImperatrixRichardson Kettering Rennick, Kemsley
& Company
4 Finsbury Circus,
London
 The Light Running
Standard
Robert Renshaw
& Company
Manchester Ad. Ries &
Company
45 Hatton Garden,
London EC

1888 – 1898

agent for Junker
& Ruh, Rotating Shuttle Two Spool Machine, Gritzner
Owen Robinson &
Company
Champion Works,
Kettering

1857
1877

No.1 Family, New
Medium, No.2B & No3C Champion Wheelfeed Machines, No.4 Backstrap Cylinder
Machine, Robinson’s Front Strap Beading Machine, Little Treasure, Family
Treasure, Champion
Royal
Sewing Machine Company Ltd
Herbert Road, Small
Heath , Birmingham

1860
1877

Shakespear, Royal,
Milton, Eugenie, Windsor, Challenge, The Avon, Times, Monarch, Regent, South
Kensington
W. RushbyLouth 

 

S

Maker Location
Dates
Models
Produced
St. George’s Engineering
Company
Birmingham   The Queen
Silas Covell Salisbury Coventry   Lock-stitch machines,
Grover & Baker-system
Leslie Salter London   Ideal
Sawstone &
Anderson (retailer)
London  
Seidel & Naumann 23 Moor Lane, Fore
Street, London EC
1898
Naumann High Arm
+ others
William
Sellers & Sons
Airedale Works,
Keighley, Yorkshire
1898
Cyprus, Family
Stitchwell (Singer Principle), Medium Stitchwell (Singer principle), Seamstress
(W & W principle), Hand Lockstitch, Universal Feed, 1 & 2 Howe Principle,
1, 1 1/2, 2 & 3 Thomas Principle.
Shakespear &
Illiston
Birmingham   became Royal Sewing
Machine Co.
John Shaw &
Sons (agent)
Wolverhampton   Governor
R. Sheldrake (agent) 10, Middlegate,
Newark
  Wheeler & Wilson,
White, Jones
Shepherd,
Rothwell & Hough
Oldham Sewing Machine
Works, Cromwell Street, Oldham
1888
Howe principle
(A, B, and C Model) machines, Eclipse Family, Eclipse Medium, Hand, Wheel
& Stepfeed Machine
Shillingford Bros.(agent) London   Guelph
R. E. Simpson &
Co.
Glasgow    Singer-system
Singer Manufacturing
Company
St Pauls Churchyard,
London + branches
1898
 
Singer Manufacturing
Company
Bridgeton, Glasgow
 1867
– 1884
 ) 107
different Singer domestic models – Click HERE
Singer Manufacturing
Company
Kilbowie, Cydebank
 1884
– 1980
 ) 23
Singer Industrial Models – Click HERE
Slater
Sewing Machine Company
Birmingham
 1867
People’s Sewing
Machine, Little Wonder, ?Wonder
James Smith & Co. Finsbury, London   English
S. Smith &
Company (retailer)
Soho Bazaar, London   England’s Queen,
Guelph, The Lady, Monarch, Princess Beatrice, Princess of Wales, Shakespear,
Speedwell, Taylor, Thomas, Tom Hood, Beckwith
So-All
Sewing Machine Company
3 Oxford Street,
London
 1892
-1896
So-All
South British Trading
Co.
13 & 15 Wilson
St. Finsbury, London, EC
  agents for Eldredge
& National
Standard Manufacturing
Company
Derby   Excellentia
Smith Starley &
Co Ltd
Trafalgar Works,
Coventry
1872 – 1877
Europa, European,
Little Europa, Queen of Hearts, Little Dorrit
James Starley &
Co.
Coventry   Express, Godiva
James Steel &
Company (agent)
Cheltenham   Howe, Weir, Newton
Wilson, Jones, Royal Sewing Machine Co. machines
Straco ?   Jet Sew-O-Matic,
Little Betty
J. S. Sugden (agent) Market Street,
Bolton
1871
Willcox & Gibbs
machines

T

Maker Location
Dates
Models
Produced
Taylor Driffield   Taylor Twisted
Loop
F B Taylor ?   Little Belle
Taylor-Bird
Sewing Machine Company
Richborough Hall,
Sandwich, Kent
 1945
– 1954
Taylor Bird, Patent
Friction Taylor
John Tester &
Company
43 Farringdon
Road, London EC

21, Jewin Street, London EC

1886

agents for GritznerJ. Theobold &
Company (retailer)
London Advance PremierE. Thomas &
Company
158, Strand, London

1886

Half-Guinea Sewing
Machine
William
Frederick Thomas
1 & 2 Cheapside,
London

 

Regent Circus, Oxford Street,
London

+ Birmingham

1846
1871

Thomas, Celebrated,
New Domestic, Holly, The London, Domestic Hand chainstitcher
Thomson-Knox Company
(agent)
London StandardCharles J. Thurlow39, Chester Street,
Hulme, Manchester
 W & G principle
machines
E. ToddLondon [see American Sewing
Machine Company]
Charles Todd (retailer)London South KensingtonWilliam Toplis,
Sewing Machine Manufacturer
60, Sackville Street,
Manchester

1877

The Toplis MediumTwin Bobbin Sewing Machine Co.Bury, Lancashire Twin Bobbin

 

U

Maker Location
Dates
Models
Produced
Universal Sewing Machine Co. Oldham, Lancashire   Wheeler & Wilson-system

V

Maker Location
Dates
Models
Produced
Varley
& Company
Keighley, Yorkshire
1898
Family
Varley
& Wolfenden
Keighley, Yorkshire   Cyclops, Hand
RS, Family, Medium, Longford TS
The Vertical Feed
Sewing Machine Company
52, Queen Victoria
Street, London EC

24 Aldersgate St., London
EC

1886 – 1898

The Vertical Feed
Machine, Davis machines
VickersCrayford, Kent
& Hackney Wick, London

1914 – ?1935

First Model, Model
de Luxe, Model 7000
Victoria Sewing
Machine Company
London VictoriaVulcanPoole see Sydney S. Bird

 

W

Maker Location
Dates
Models
Produced
Henry
Wallwork & Company
City Works, China
Lane, Manchester
1888
The Warwick (2)
The Wanzer Sewing
Machine Company
Cortland Street,
London
  Little Wanzer (‘Time
Utilizer’)
The Wanzer Sewing
Machine Company
4, Great Portland
Street, London W
1882
 
Edward
Ward
Wells Street, Oxford
Street, London
1877
Alert, Arm and
Platform, Lily, Cross Arm, Howe-system
Thomas Ward Kings Lynn  
James
Warwick
Manchester
1869
The Warwick (1)
Watson & Company Lee Mills, Manchester
Street, Oldham
1877
Watson, Singer
principle Family & Medium, Wheeler & Wilson Principle Victoria
machines, Watson Pawfooted Reciprocating Shuttle Machine
R. J. Watts &
Company (agent)
Plymouth   Grover & Baker,
Jones, Howe, Wheeler & Wilson, Singer, Willcox & Gibbs, Circular
Motion, Gresham, Little Wanzer, Agenoria, Challenge, Thomas, Guelph, Weir,
Shakespear
Weaver & Sons
Ltd
Bath   Weaver No. 1, German
machines
Henry Webster (agent) 40 & 41 Chippenham
Terrace, Harrow Road, London W
1886
New Home machines
Weingart, Flaig
& Company (agents)
44, Moorfields,
London EC
1886
Adam Opel machines
James
G. Weir
2, Carlisle
Street, Soho Square, London W

Works – Belmont Street, Chalk
Farm Road London N.W

1867 – 1877

Weir Chainstitcher
, Raymond, The Lady’s, 55s, American, Victoria, Jackson, Zephyr Shuttle
Lockstitch, Argus, Globe, Aurora
Whalley, Smith
& Paget
Parker St. Works,
Keighley
 Wheeler & WilsonPaul Street, London
EC

1898

Wheeler & Wilson
Machines

Henry
Whewell & Company (agents)
Deansgate,
Bolton
1871
Grover
& Baker, Wheeler & Wilson, Willcox & Gibbs, Bradbury, Thomas’s,
Simpson’s, Singer, Wanzer, Howe and Newton Wilson Co’s machines, European,
Sloat’s Elliptic, Westmoreland, Alexandra, Double-action Arm

Whight
& Mann
Gipping Works,
Ipswich

 

143 Holborn-bars, London E.C.

1871 – 1877

Holborn Express,
Little Darling, Prima Donna, Family Shuttle, Alberta, Excelsior, Duchess,
Princess, Monogram, Thomas-type bootstitcher, Columbia (badged Junker &
Ruh)
White Sewing Machine
Company
19, Queen Victoria
Street, London EC

 

48 Holborn Viaduct, London
EC

1886 -1898

White machinesWhiteley (retailer)London Express, badged
Frister & Rossmann, Gloria, Kildare, Universal, Universum, Westbournia
John Whitmee &
Company
London Carley’s Patent
Elastic Stitch Machine
Wilhelm & Company11 Westmoreland
Buildings, Aldersgate Street, London EC

1898

Pfaff MachinesWilliam
Wilding
Ipswich Planet, New EclipseJ. D. Williams
& Company (retailer)
Manchester Haid & Neu
machines, L. O. Dietrich machines
Williams Manufacturing
Company Ltd
London New WilliamsJ. S. Willway (agent)Bristol Willcox & GibbsM. Wilson &
Company
Manchester William
Winter
Leeds, Yorkshire Flowering, Bespoke,
Invincible, Howe-system, Singer-system
Wing & Company? Edward Wiseman? Hat-stitching machineWonder? (retailer)London JudkinsWood & Company
(maker, by c.1884 a distributor)
1, City Road London
EC
 Minerva # 1 &
#2 (Wheeler & Wilson #2 copy), Premier, Improved Premier, Twisted Loop
(Willcox & Gibbs copy) + German-made Singer 12 & 13 copies.
G. E. Wright (distributor)1, New Broad Street,
London EC
 Little Europa,
Express (Guhl & Harbeck), The Langtry
Raymond Wright
(retailer)
Buxton German machinesWyatt & BurrJohn St, Kingsland
Rd, London

1877

Automatic Button
Hole Machine

 

Z

Maker Location
Dates
Models
Produced
E. Zelger London   Agent for Biesolt
& Locke

 

 

 

Southbends Indiana – Singer Cabinets

Singer Sewing Machine Company
Location: 415 E. Madison St. then 2015 Western Ave., South Bend

Isaac M. Singer established his Singer Company in 1851 in Boston. In 1853 he moved his operations to New York City. In 1858 the plants in New York were established in an area surrounded by Mott, Spring, Delancy, and Broome Street. In 1872 the main plants were moved to Elizabeth, New Jersey.

Around 1864, the western agents of the Singer company were having trouble getting machines from the Chicago distributor. Fred Grettner, the South Bend agent, and the Chicago agent thought that they could get local furniture factories to bid on cabinet construction (because the sewing machines were installed in a wooden case with a foot pedal for operation). Apparently at this time Singer sewing machine cabinets were not built by Singer, but on contract with other manufacturers. Grettner approached several South Bend furniture makers such as: B.F. Price, Smith & Rilling, and Montgomery, for bids on 5,000 to 10,000 cabinets per month. This would include tables, box covers, and drawers. All those approached refused to bid; Grettner implied that they did not want such small work.

Because South Bend was the center of black walnut production it was an excellent location for furniture making. In 1868, Leighton Pine came from the New York Singer office to establish a Singer cabinet factory in the South Bend area. He selected a site on the East Race, owned by a Mrs. Sherland, which was purchased for $2,500. The town of Mishawaka, wishing to obtain the factory for their city offered Pine and the other Singer officials who had come to inspect the South Bend site, better water power, factory site, and 20 additional acres, all free. The officials decided to accept the offer and even directed Grettner to move his distribution center to Mishawaka. Grettner decided to raise the money to pay Mrs. Sherland for the South Bend site by subscription from South Bend citizens, and persuaded Miller & Greene, proprietors of the East Race water power, to offer free power to Singer. This offer was sent to the officials who had returned to New York and it was accepted. Grettner had not even raised all of the funds of his subscription yet, some of which was coming in $.25 pledges. Eventually, all funds were raised and Singer came to South Bend.

Leighton Pine, who established the Singer cabinet works in South Bend, was born in New York in 1844. During the Civil War he was a photographer. In the mid-1860s he entered the employ of Singer was a cabinet worker. In 1868 he established the South Bend plant and supervised its construction. After the plant was built he did most of the office work himself. During the first year in South Bend, the plant employed 168 men and made $10,000 worth of cabinets.

In 1875 Pine left Singer and became a general manager at the South Bend Ironworks. In November 1879 he returned to Singer and stayed with the firm until his death in 1905. While working for the Singer Sewing Machine Company, Pine became involved with, at least, two other South Bend business ventures, the Economist Plow Company and the Spring Curry Comb Company. Eventually, Pine became general manager of all Singer cabinet factories in Cairo, IL; Kilbourne, Scotland; Wittenberg, Germany; Floridsdorf, Austria; and Podolsk and Moscow, Russia. He continued to live in South Bend, but died in 1905 while on a business trip to Scotland.

Leighton Pine took and active role in community affairs. One unsuccessful venture was to establish the Cushman Telephone Company to compete against Bell Telephone Company.

Pine was successful in his campaign to establish a standpipe water storage system, over the Holly system favored by John M. Studebaker. This issue was one of the most hotly contested issues of the 1872 mayoral race. The standpipe advocates won the election and the standpipe was constructed. On Christmas Day 1873, a wager was set up between Pine and Studebaker. Pine bet Studebaker that he could drive Studebaker from the belfry on the Studebaker factory office (approximately 6 stories off the ground) with water from a hydrant near the factory (water pressure being supplied by the newly installed standpipe), while several other hydrants in the area were opened. This would finally prove that the standpipe system produced enough pressure to effectively pump water, which the Holly system advocates did not believe. Pine turned on the water and immediately drove J.M. Studebaker and his friends from the belfry. The prize brought forth in the bet was a cow which was turned over to the Ladies Benevolent Aid Society for benefit of the poor.

Singer Sewing Machine Comapny South Bend, IndianaBy 1891, Singer Sewing Machine Company in South Bend had 898 employees and by 1900 it was clear that these facilities along the East Race had been outgrown. At this time, some officials of Singer advocated moving the cabinet works to Cairo, IL, but Leighton Pine persuaded them to keep the works in South Bend and to move the factory. Pine acquired the site on the west side of South Bend along Division Street (now Western Avenue). This site was very close to the Economist Plow Works, which Pine had had an interest in, and the Economist factory was eventually incorporated into the Singer factory as a foundry, which was needed to cast and japan (a type of iron treatment) the stands and treadles.

The Division Street plant was supposed to be the largest sewing machine cabinet factory in the world when it was built, although it was later exceeded by the works in Scotland. The new South Bend plant covered about 60 acres, including 20 acres of lumber yards. There was an in-factory railroad with about five miles of track. The factory adjoined the Lake Shore & Michigan Railroad. At the time of construction it was thought the capacity of the factory was 7,000 sets per day and had 3,000 employees. All operations were performed in the South Bend plant, including drying of lumber, cutting, veneering, and assembling of cabinets. According to an article in the newspaper at the time the new plant was built, this plant was being duplicated in Moscow.

With the new plant Singer was able to greatly expand operations in South Bend. The South Bend plant was already a distribution center and this function grew. By 1907, 10,000 sewing machine cabinet sets were manufactured per day. Only part of these were completely finished, many sets were shipped to Scotland “in part white,” that is, unfinished and unassembled. Of the finished sets, half were sent to Elizabeth, New Jersey to have the machines installed and be shipped to the U.S. seaboard, South America, and Asia. Machines were sent from Elizabeth to be installed at South Bend and the completed sewing machine distributed from here. The cabinet work was done on very close tolerances in order to make parts interchangeable, no matter where they were shipped.

The year of 1914 was the peak year for production in South Bend. At that time there were about 3,000 employees working in the Division Street plant. In the early years of the 20th century, about 50 million feet of hardwood lumber for cabinets, 20 million feet of softwood lumber for packing boxes, and 10 million feet of walnut, oak, gum for veneer were used in the South Bend plant per year. This was all stockpiled in the huge 20 acre lumber yards adjoining the factory. David Pollack, a Singer researcher, estimated that three-quarters of all sewing machine cases and cabinets in the world at that time were made in South Bend, with a year output of 2,000,000 cabinets.

After 1914 changes occurred which affected the operation in South Bend. The plants in Germany became self-sustaining and Scotland was getting close to self-sustaining. They could buy European lumber at a better price than the cost of shipping it from the United States. Of course, the plants in Russia were lost as a result of the Russian Revolution. These plants had received many cabinets from the U.S. Within the U.S., it became more economical to dry and rough cut lumber at the Singer plant near Trumann, Arkansas, which was closer to a lumber supply and to apply veneer at the plant in Cairo, IL. All of these developments cut into the work done at South Bend. Stockpiling of lumber ceased in 1933 and the lumber yard employment reduced to zero from a 1913 high of 224 workers. The foundry operation could be more effectively handed in Elizabeth, NJ since the electric machine did not need cast treadles and stands any longer. The foundry buildings (which use to belong to the Economist Plow Company) were sold in 1937.

The Depression years were not good for Singer in South Bend (nor anywhere). In 1932 there were 650 employees, and most of these employees worked a 16 hour a week schedule. There was some growth after this, but it seems that throughout the 1930s there were only around 800 or 900 employees. They were mostly on a 40 hour work week in the later years. In 1938 the factory was unionized and Local 917 of the United Electrical Radio & Machine workers were established. By the beginning of World War II there were 1,200 employees.

There seems to have been only two strikes at the Singer factory. The first one was in 1902 where there was a controversy over who should name the assistant plant manager. In 1939, the newly unionized employees started a strike at the plant over the hiring practices by the company. The employees wanted laid off workers hired back into new positions rather than new people. This strike started on April 11, 1939, because a 19 year old girl with no previous experience had been hired. The strike continued until May when the workers returned to work, the girl was re-hired and the strike was resumed after one day of working. The strike was finally called off July 23, 1939. This time the controversial girl was not re-hired, but apparently none of the other issues were resolved. At this time the 800 production workers were working a 3-day work week.

The Singer company in South Bend had problems with conversion to wartime production during World War II sincere there was not a great demand for wood products for defense. The main products from the plant were wooden packing crates for guns and other material and plywood sub-assemblies for planes and gliders. Such products as gun stocks and wooden propellers were rejected as inappropriate. There were fewer workers at the South Bend plant than before the war and those that were employed were not using the peak of their skills.

In July 1945 Singer was given permission to return to domestic production on a limited basis. There were 500 employees left at the plant because of the lack of war work available and suitable for the cabinet works. Management expected this number to rise to about 1,300 with the resumption of civilian work. The main problem in conversion back to civilian production was the lack of raw material available to the South Bend plant.

After World War II, it seems that things never really got back to normal at the South Bend plant. A strike at the New Jersey plant in 1949 cut off the supply of sewing machine heads and so reduced the need for cabinets made in South Bend. Many workers were laid off. In April 1954 the closing of the South Bend plant was announced. The reason given was to consolidate the cabinet work at plants nearer to the lumber supply. This had, of course, been under way since 1914. The 90-day shutdown process began in January 1955.

Today there is only one building remaining on the Western Avenue Singer plant. It is currently known as the Mary Crest Building.