The Rajah Quilt

The Rajah Quilt

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Iron in the Blood!

As well as the quilting and sewing I do, I have a love of early sewing machines - perhaps Charles' blacksmithing has rubbed off on me too :)

This is a Charles Raymond machine sold by James G Weir of 2 Carlisle St, Soho Square, London. Serial number W5268 c. 1877.

The 'Improved Gresham' made by Gresham and Craven of Salford, UK (near Manchester).  Serial number 30221, c. 1870's.  This machine does reverse!

A Willcox and Gibbs - American made machine, s/n A373686. 1884.

The Jones Hand, (sometimes called 'Serpentine') Serial number 126331 dates to 1894.  Stamped 'As Supplied to the Princess of Wales' - this is Princess Alexandra, a Danish Princess, she was the wife of Prince Albert Edward, eldest son of Queen Victoria.  She became Queen Alexandra when her husband became King Edward VII on the death of Queen Victoria.  Dates for these machines, with great thanks and admiration, are courtesy of Alan Quinn,

A Wheeler and Wilson 8.  Wheeler and Wilson of Bridgeport, Connecticut USA  Serial number 267958 c. 1885.

This might look more familiar to everyone, a Singer 27, hand machine, Serial number J1523354 dates to the first half of 1905. 

This is just a small sample of my sewing machines, the older more interesting ones which are a different shape to the more modern styling.  I actually have about 30 hand machines, 9 treadles and a selection of vintage electric machines, about 60 altogether. 

I would love to know what Grace thought of the sewing machine when it became available - I suppose she could have been about 50 years of age when she saw one for the first time.  


  1. Wow! How do you find out all this stuff about them Bernadette? Its amazing!

  2. Hi Autumn,
    Some sewing machine company records have been well preserved, and some companies have been well researched by others. Singer were very good, they used consecutive serial numbers across all models , and kept excellent records; a large amount of their production records are online although data from some factories has been lost. I am lucky to be a member of Needlebar where there is a wonderful group and a website full of information.

  3. Ah, this blog post has just answered a question I emailed you...! I recognise the Jones Hand (Serpentine) as I have one too, though mine is in poorer condition (missing the wooden base). Your collection sounds very impressive. Tell me, can you pass a charity shop without picking one up, or are you beyond that? :)