AMERICAN SEWING MACHINE  COMPANIES

OF  

19th  CENTUARY

During the latter half of the 19th century, there was a total of 200 or more sewing-machine companies in the United States. Although a great many manufacturing-type machines were sold, this business was carried on by relatively few companies and most were primarily concerned with the family-type machines. A representative number of these family machines together with information concerning both the company and serial-number dating are found in figures 68 through 132. A great many of the companies were licensed by the “Combination,” but, in addition, some companies were constructing machines that did not infringe the patents, other companies infringed the patents but managed to avoid legal action, and there were numerous companies that mushroomed into existence after the “Combination” was dissolved in 1877. Most of the latter were very short-lived. It is difficult to establish the exact dates of some of these companies as many of their records were incomplete or have since disappeared; even a great many of the“Combination” records were lost by fire. A summary of the existing records kept by the “Combination” is given in figure 37.

As will be noted in the subsequent listing, only a small percentage of the companies were in business for a period longer than ten years; of those that continued longer, all but a few had disappeared by 1910. Today there are about 60 United States sewing-machine companies. Most of them manufacture highly specialized sewing machines used for specific types of commercial work; only a few produce family or home-style machines. Foreign competition has increased, and the high cost of skilled labor in this country has made competition in this consumer-product field increasingly difficult. The countless varieties of American family sewing machines, so evident in the 19th century, have passed away.


Manufacturer                                                         First Made              Discontinue

   or                                                                          or                             or    

 Company                                                          Earliest Record         Last Record


Aetna Sewing Machine Co., Lowell, Mass.               ca. 1867                  ca.  1877

Ithaca, N.Y.                                                            ca. 1855            before   1880

American Sewing Machine Co.                                     1854 

American Buttonhole, Overseaming and                                                             Sewing Machine Co., Philadelphia, Pa.                          1869                   ca. 1874

Later New American (fig. 69)

American Sewing Machine Co., Philadelphia, Pa.      ca. 1874                 ca. 1886

American Magnetic (fig. 70)

American Magnetic Sewing Machine Company, Ithaca, N.Y.   1853     1854

Atlantic (fig. 71)                                                            1869   ca. 1870

Atwater (fig. 87)                                                            1857   ca. 1860

 

Avery

Avery Sewing Machine Co., New York, N.Y.                    1852        185-

Avery

Avery Manufacturing Co., New York, N.Y.              1875 1886-1900

A. Bartholf Manfr. A. Bartholf, manufacturer, New York, N.Y. ca. 1850 185-

Blodgett & Lerow patent 1849 (see also)

A. Bartholf Manfr. A. Bartholf, manufacturer, New York, N.Y. 1853 ca. 1856

Howe’s patent, 1846 (fig. 72)

Bartholf

A. Bartholf, manufacturer                                          1857   1859

 

  Bartholf Sewing Machine Co.                                  1859    ca. 1865

 

 

Bartlett (fig. 73)

 

Goodspeed & Wyman 1866 ca. 1870

 

Bartlett Sewing Machine Co., New York, N.Y.              ca. 1870 1872

Baker —— —

 

before 1880

 

Bartram & Fanton (fig. 74)

Bartram & Fanton Mfg. Co., Danbury, Conn.

 

 

1867 1874

 Bay State

 

—— — before 1880

Beckwith (fig. 75)

Barlow & Son, New York, N.Y.

 1871

 

1872

 

  Beckwith Sewing Machine Co., New York, N.Y. 1872 ca. 1876

Blees

Blees Sewing Machine Co.

1870

 1873

 

 

Blodgett & Lerow

O. Phelps, Boston, Mass.

1849

 1849

 

 

(fig. 21) Goddard, Rice & Co., Worcester, Mass. 1849 1850

(fig. 20) A. Bartholf, manufacturer, New York, N.Y. 1849 185-

Bond —— — before 1880

Boston J. F. Paul & Co., Boston, Mass. 1880 —

Later New Boston Boston Sewing Machine Co., Boston, Mass. — after 1886

Boudoir (fig. 76) Daniel Harris, inventor and patentee

Manufacturer—several 1857 ca. 1870

Bradford & Barber Bradford & Barber, manufacturers, Boston, Mass. 1860 1861

Brattleboro Samuel Barker and Thomas White, Brattleboro, Vt. ca. 1858 1861

Buckeye Wilson [W.G.] Sewing Machine Company, Cleveland, Ohio ca. 1867 ca. 1876

Later New Buckeye (fig. 77) (see Wilson)

Buell, “E. T. Lathbury’s Patent” A. B. Buell, Westmoreland, New York ca. 1860 —

Burnet & Broderick Burnet, Broderick and Co. 1859 ca. 1860

Centennial (fig. 78) Centennial Sewing Machine Co. (see McLean and Hooper), Philadelphia, Pa. 1873 1876

Chamberlain Woolridge, Keene and Moore, Lynn, Mass. 1853 ca. 1854

 

Chicago Singer Scates, Tryber & Sweetland Mfg. Co., Chicago, Ill. 1879 1882

Later Chicago Chicago Sewing Machine Co. 1882 ca. 1885

Chicopee      

(see Shaw & Clark)

Clark (fig. 42) D. W. Clark, Bridgeport, Conn. ca. 1858 after 1860

Clark’s Revolving Looper [double thread] (fig. 79) Lamson, Goodnow & Yale, Windsor, Vt. 1859 1861

(see Windsor)

Clinton Clinton Brothers, Ithaca, N.Y. ca. 1861 ca. 1865

Companion Thurston Mfg. Co., Marlboro, N.H. 1882 —

Crown Florence Sewing Machine Co., Florence, Mass. 1879 after 1886

(see Florence)

Dauntless (later New Dauntless) Dauntless Mfg. Co., Norwalk, Ohio 1877 after 1882

Davis J.A. Davis, New York, N.Y. ca. 1860 —

Davis Vertical Feed Davis Sewing Machine Co., Watertown, N.Y. 1869 after 1886

Davis Vertical Feed and Rotary Shuttle Davis Sewing Machine Co., Dayton, Ohio after 1886 1924

Decker (also The Princess) Decker Mfg. Co., Detroit, Mich. — before 1881

Demorest Demorest Mfg. Co (formerly N.Y. Sewing Machine Co.) 1882 1908

Diamond (formerly Sigwalt) Sigwalt Sewing Machine Co., Chicago, Ill. 1880 —

Domestic Wm. A. Mack & Co. and N. S. Perkins, Norwalk, Ohio 1864 1869

Domestic Domestic Sewing Machine Co., Norwalk, Ohio, acquired by White Sewing Machine Co. in 1924 and maintained as a subsidiary at Cleveland, Ohio. 1869 [A]

Dorcas John P. Bowker, Boston, Mass. 1853 185-

Du Laney (fig. 80)      

Also called Little Monitor (see)      

Durgin Charles A. Durgin, New York, N.Y. 1853 after 1855

Eldredge Eldredge Sewing Machine Co., Chicago, Ill. 1869 1890

Elliptic      

Sloat’s Elliptic George B. Sloat and Co., Philadelphia, Pa. ca. 1858 ca. 1860

Sloat’s Elliptic Union Sewing Machine Co., Richmond, Va. 1860 1861

Elliptic Wheeler & Wilson Mfg. Co. 1861 ca. 1867

  Elliptic Sewing Machine Co., N.Y., N.Y. 1867 before 1880

Empire (fig. 86) Empire Sewing Machine Co., Boston, Mass. ca. 1860 1869

Later Remington-Empire

Empress Manufactured on order through Jerome B. Secor, Bridgeport, Conn. 1877 —

Estey Estey Sewing Machine Co. ca. 1880 1882

Estey, Fuller-Model Brattleboro Sewing Machine Co., Brattleboro, Vt. 1883 after 1886

Eureka (fig. 81) Eureka Shuttle Sewing New York, N.Y. 1859 —

Excelsior Excelsior Sewing Machine Co., New York, N.Y. 1854 1854

Fairy (figs. 51, 52) Madame Demorest, New York, N.Y. 1863 ca. 1865

Finkle, M. (fig. 82) M. Finkle, Boston, Mass. 1856 ca. 1859

Finkle & Lyon Finkle & Lyon Sewing Machine Co., Boston, Mass. ca. 1859 1867

Later Victor

First and Frost First and Frost, New York, N.Y. ca. 1859 ca. 1861

Florence (fig. 83) Florence Sewing Machine Co., Florence, Mass. ca. 1860 after 1878

Later Crown

Folsom Folsom, J. G., Winchendon, Mass. 1865 ca. 1871

(see Globe and New England)

Fosket and Savage Fosket and Savage, Meriden, Conn. 1858 1859

Foxboro Foxboro Rotary Shuttle Co., Foxboro, Mass. ca. 1882 —

Franklin Franklin Sewing Machine Co., Mason Village, N.H. 1871 1871

Free Free Sewing Machine Co., Chicago and Rockford, Ill. 1898 [A]

Gardner C. R. Gardner, Detroit, Mich. 1856 —

Globe (figs. 84, 85) J. G. Folsom, Winchendon, Mass. 1865 1869

Gold Medal (chainstitch) Gold Medal Sewing Machine Co., Orange, Mass. 1863 1876

Gold Medal (running stitch) —— 1863 ca. 1865

Gold Hibbard Hibbard, B. S., & Co. 1875 —

Goodbody (sewing shears) Goodbody Sewing Machine Co., Bridgeport, Conn. 1880 ca. 1890

Goodes Rex & Bockius, Philadelphia, Pa. ca. 1876 before 1881

Goodrich H. B. Goodrich, Chicago, Ill. ca. 1880 ca. 1895

Grant Brothers (fig. 90) Grant Bros. & Co., Philadelphia, Pa. 1867 ca. 1870

Greenman and True (fig. 91) Greenman and True Mfg. Co. Norwich, Conn. 1859 1860

Morse and True 1860 1861

Green Mountain —— ca. 1860 —

Griswold Variety L. Griswold, New York, N.Y. ca. 1886 ca. 1890

Grover and Baker (figs. 34-36, 92) Grover and Baker Sewing Machine Co., Boston, Mass. 1851 1875

Hancock (figs. 93, 94) —— 1868 before 1881

Heberling Running Stitch John Heberling 1878 ca. 1885

Herron’s Patent (fig. 95) —— 1857 —

Higby Higby Sewing Machine Co., Brattleboro, Vt. ca. 1882 after 1886

Later Acme      

Home

Home Shuttle Johnson, Clark & Co., Orange, Mass. 1869 after 1876

Homestead —— ca. 1881 —

Household Providence Tool Co., Providence, R.I. 1880 ca. 1884

Household Sewing Machine Co. ca. 1885 1906

Howe

(figs. 96, 97)

Howe Sewing Machine Co., New York, N.Y. 1853 1873

(company of A. B. Howe sold to Howe Machine Co.)    

Howe    (fig. 98) Howe Machine Co., Bridgeport, Conn. 1867 1886

Howe’s Improved Patent (fig. 107) Nichols and Bliss, Boston, Mass. 1852 1853

J. B. Nichols & Co. 1853 1854

which became Leavitt Nichols, Leavitt & Co., Boston, Mass. 1854 1856

N. Hunt, which became Hunt and Webster (figs. 99, 100) N. Hunt & Co., Boston, Mass. 1853 1854

Hunt and Webster, Boston, Mass. 1854 1857

Later Ladd and Webster (see)      

Improved Common Sense (fig. 102) —— ca. 1870 —

Independent Noiseless Independent Sewing Machine Co., Binghamton, N.Y. 1873 —

Jennie June June Mfg. Co., Chicago, Ill. 1881 1890

  Later Belvidere, Ill.    

Jewel Jewel Mfg. Co., Toledo, Ohio 1884 after 1886

Johnson (fig. 103) Emery, Houghton & Co., Boston, Mass. 1856 after 1865

Keystone Keystone Sewing Machine Co. before 1872 ca. 1874

Ladd & Webster (fig. 101) Ladd, Webster & Co., Boston, Mass. 1858 ca. 1866

Ladies Companion (fig. 115) —— 1858 ca. 1858

(see Pratt’s Patent)      

“Lady” (fig. 104) —— 1859 —

Landfear’s Patent (fig. 105) Parkers, Snow, Brooks & Co., West Meriden, Conn. 1857 —

Langdon L.W. Langdon 1856 —

Lathrop (fig. 106) Lathrop Combination Sewing Machine Co. 1873 —

Leader Leader Sewing Machine Co., Springfield, Mass. 1882 —

Leavitt (fig. 108) Nichols, Leavitt & Co., Boston, Mass. 1855 1857

  Leavitt & Co. 1857 ca. 1865

  Leavitt Sewing Machine Co. ca. 1865 1870

Leslie Revolving Shuttle Leslie Sewing Machine Co., Cleveland, Ohio 1881 —

Lester (fig. 109) J.H. Lester, Brooklyn, N.Y. ca. 1858 early 1860

  Lester Mfg. Co., Richmond, Va. early 1860 late 1860

  Union Sewing Machine Co., Richmond, Va. late 1860 1861

Little Gem —— — ca. 1870

Little Giant Domestic Sewing Machine Co., Norwalk, Ohio ca. 1882 —

Little Monitor (not associated with Monitor) G.L. Du Laney, Brooklyn, N.Y. ca. 1866 after 1875

Love Love Mfg. Co., Pittsburgh, Pa. 1885 after 1886

Lyon Lyon Sewing Machine Co. 1879 ca. 1880

Macauley Thos. A. Macauley Mfg., New York, N.Y. before 1879 —

Manhattan Manhattan Sewing Machine Co. ca. 1868 ca. 1880

McKay McKay Sewing Machine Assoc. 1870 1876

McLean and Hooper B. W. Lacy & Co., Philadelphia, Pa. ca. 1869 ca. 1873

  (see Centennial)    

Meyers J. M. Meyers 1859 —

Miller’s Patent —— 1853 —

Monitor (fig. 88) Shaw & Clark Sewing Machine Co., Biddeford, Me. 1860 1864

Moore Moore Sewing Machine Co. ca. 1860 —

Morey & Johnson (fig. 18) Safford & Williams Makers, Boston, Mass. 1849 ca. 1851

Morrison Morrison, Wilkinson & Co., Hartford, Conn. 1881 —

Mower —— ca. 1863 —

National Johnson, Clark & Co., Orange, Mass. 1874 —

National (also sold under distributor’s name) National Sewing Machine Co. (consolidation of the June and Eldredge Companies), Belvidere, Ill. 1890 1953

Ne Plus Ultra (fig. 110) O. L. Reynolds Manufacturing Co., Dover, N.H. 1857 —

Nettleton & Raymond (fig. 111) Nettleton & Raymond, Brattleboro, Vt. ca. 1857 —

New England (figs. 112, 113) Charles Raymond (also by: ca. 1859 1866

  Grout & White, Orange, Mass.; 1862 1863

  William Grout, Winchendon, Mass.; 1863 —

  and J. G. Folsom, Winchendon, Mass.) 1865 1865

Newell —— 1881 —

New Fairbanks J. H. Drew & Co. 1878 1880

  Thomas M. Cochrane Co., Belleville, Ill. 1880 —

New Home New Home Sewing Machine Co., Orange, Mass. (in 1928 became affiliated with Free Sewing Machine Co.) 1876 [A]

New York ——, New York, N.Y. ca. 1855 ca. 1855

New York Shuttle N.Y. Sewing Machine Co., New York, N.Y. (later Demorest Mfg. Co.) before 1880 1882

Noble Noble Sewing Machine Co., Erie, Pa. before 1881 after 1886

Novelty C. A. French, Boston, Mass. 1869 —

Old Dominion Old Dominion Sewing Machine Co., Richmond, Va. ca. 1858 1860

Pardox —— ca. 1865 —

Parham Parham Sewing Machine Co., Philadelphia, Pa. ca. 1869 ca. 1871

Parker Charles Parker Co., Meriden, Conn. before 1860 after 1865

  Later Parker Sewing Machine Co.    

Pearl —— Bennett ca. 1859 —

Philadelphia Philadelphia Sewing Machine Co., Philadelphia, Pa. ca. 1872 ca. 1881

Post Combination Post Combination Sewing Machine Co., Washington, D.C. before 1885 after 1886

Pratt’s Patent (fig. 114) —— 1857 ca. 1858

Later Ladies Companion      

Queen Dauntless Mfg Co., Norwalk, Ohio ca. 1881 —

Quaker City (fig. 116) Quaker City Sewing Machine Co., Philadelphia, Pa. 1859 ca. 1861

Remington Empire

Later Remington Remington Empire Sewing Machine Co. 1870 1872

  E. Remington & Sons, Philadelphia, Pa. 1873 ca. 1894

Robertson (dolphin & cherub) (figs. 40, 41) T. W. Robertson, New York, N.Y. 1855 after 1860

Robinson F. R. Robinson, Boston, Mass. 1853 ca. 1855

Robinson’s patent sewing machine with Roper’s improvement (fig. 117) Howard & Davis, Boston, Mass. 1855 —

Later Robinson and Roper (fig. 118) same 1856 before 1860

Royal St. John (formerly St. John) Royal Sewing Machine Co., Springfield, Ohio (later Free Co.) ca. 1883 1898

Ruddick —— ca. 1860 —

Secor Secor Machine Co., Bridgeport, Conn. 1870 1876

Sewing Shears (Hendrick’s patent) (fig. 43) Nettleton & Raymond, Bristol, Conn. ca. 1859 —

Sewing Shears American Hand Sewing Machine Co., Bridgeport, Conn. ca. 1884 ca. 1900

Shaw & Clark Shaw & Clark Co., Biddeford, Me. ca. 1857 1866

Running Stitch Machine (fig. 53)      

Chainstitch Machine (fig. 119)      

Chainstitch Machine (fig. 120) Shaw & Clark Co., Chicopee Falls, Mass. 1867 1868

  Chicopee Sewing Machine Co., Chicopee Falls, Mass. 1868 ca. 1869

Sigwalt Sigwalt Sewing Machine Co., Chicago, Ill. ca. 1879 —

Singer (figs. 28, 29, 30, 32, 33, 121, 122) I. M. Singer & Co. (later Singer Mfg. Co.). Moved from Boston to New York to Elizabethport, N.J. (factory). 1851 [A]

Springfield Springfield Sewing Machine Co., Springfield, Mass. 1880 —

Standard (chainstitch) (fig. 123) —— 1870 —

Standard (shuttle) Standard Shuttle Sewing Machine Co., New York, N.Y. 1874 ca. 1881

Standard Standard Sewing Machine Co., Cleveland, Ohio (acquired by Singer Co.) 1884 ca. 1930

Stewart Henry Stewart & Co., N.Y., N.Y. 1874 1880

Later New Stewart Stewart Mfg Co. 1880 ca. 1883

St. John (later Royal St. John) St. John Sewing Machine Co., Springfield, O. 1870 ca. 1883

Taggart & Farr (figs. 124, 125) Taggart & Farr, Philadelphia, Pa. 1858 —

Thompson C. F. Thompson Co. 1871 1871

  T. C. Thompson, Ithaca, N.Y. ca. 1854 —

Union Johnson, Clark & Co., Orange, Mass. 1876 —

Victor Finkle & Lyon Mfg. Co. 1867 ca. 1872

  Victor Sewing Machine Co., Middletown, Conn. ca. 1872 ca. 1890

Wardwell Wardwell Mfg. Co., St. Louis, Mo. ca. 1876 1890

Watson (fig. 126) Jones & Lee 1850 ca. 1853

  Watson & Wooster, Bristol, Conn. ca. 1853 ca. 1860

Waterbury Waterbury Co., Waterbury, Conn. 1853 ca. 1860

Weed T. E. Weed & Co. (became Whitney & Lyons) 1854 —

Weed Weed Sewing Machine Co. (reorganized from Whitney & Lyons), Hartford, Conn. 1865 —

Family Favorite   1867 —

Manu. Favorite   1868 —

General Favorite   1872 —

Hartford   1881 ca. 1900

Wesson Farmer & Gardner Manufacturing Co. 1879 1880

  D. B. Wesson Sewing Machine Co., Springfield, Mass. 1880 —

West & Willson (fig. 127) West & Willson Co., Elyria, Ohio 1858 —

A. B. Wilson (fig. 23) E. E. Lee & Co., New York, N.Y. 1851 1852

A. B. Wilson’s patent seaming lathe Wheeler, Wilson, Co., Watertown, N.Y. late 1851 1856

Later Wheeler and Wilson (fig. 26, 27, 128, 129) Wheeler & Wilson Mfg.Co., Bridgeport, Conn. 1856 1905

  Wheeler and Wilson Singer Co., Bridgeport, Conn. 1905 1907

White (fig. 130) White Sewing Machine Co., Cleveland, Ohio 1876 [A]

Whitehill Whitehill Mfg. Co., Milwaukee, Wis. ca. 1875 after 1886

Whitney Whitney Sewing Machine Co., Paterson, N.J. ca. 1872 ca. 1880

Whitney & Lyons Whitney & Lyons (a machine based on the 1854 patent of T. E. Weed) ca. 1859 ca. 1865

Wickersham Butterfield & Stevens Mfg. Co., Boston, Mass. 1853 —

Willcox & Gibbs (figs. 39, 131) Willcox & Gibbs Sewing Machine Co., New York, N.Y. 1857 [A]

Williams & Orvis Williams & Orvis Sewing Machine Co., Boston, Mass. ca. 1859 after 1860

Wilson (fig. 89) Wilson (W.G.) Sewing Machine Co., Cleveland, Ohio ca. 1867 after 1885

(see Buckeye)      

Windsor (one thread) Vermont Arms Co., Windsor, Vt. 1856 1858

Windsor Lamson, Goodnow & Yale, Windsor, Vt. 1859 1861

(see Clark’s Revolving Looper)      

Name Unknown John W. Beane 1853 —

“ Henry Brind 1860 —

“ Garfield Sewing Machine Co. 1881 —

“ Geneva Sewing Machine Co. 1880 —

“ Gove & Howard 1855 —

“ Charles W. Howland, Wilmington, Del. ca. 1860 —

“ Miles Greenwood & Co., Cincinnati, Ohio ca. 1861 —

“ Hood, Batelle & Co. 1854 1854

“ Wells & Haynes 1854 1854

“ Wilson H. Smith, Birmingham, Conn. ca. 1860 —

  

 

[A] Still in existence.

Produced by Chris Curnow, Joseph Cooper, Louise Pattison

SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTION

UNITED STATES NATIONAL MUSEUM