Major 19th & 20th century USA Manufacturers.

The company was founded in 1868 in Watertown, New York. A relocation to Dayton, Ohio took place around 1890. Large scale production continued for some 30 years or so. In 1924, the National Sewing Machine Co purchased the concern along with all its trade names, and the Dayton manufacturing facility ceased sewing machine production.

Machines were first produced as Norwalk, Ohio, and in 1869 the name "Domestic" was established as a brand. By the early 1870s the manufacturing rights were sold to a New Jersey based concern who then supplied their production to the Domestic Sewing Machine Co in Ohio.
By the turn of the century, these two concerns had amalgamated, with production continuing in New Jersey until approximately 1906. In the years following, Domestic machines were produced in Buffalo, New York. In 1924 the Domestic Company was absorbed into the White Sewing Machine Co of Cleveland, Ohio. The Domestic brand name was still used well into the second half of the 20th Century.

In 1895 the Illinois Sewing Machine Co was founded using assets from the former Royal Sewing Machine Co of Rockford, Illinois. Will C. Free became the president by 1910, and organized a parent company - the Free Sewing Machine Co. Production continued in Rockford until 1958, when it relocated to Los Angeles, California. Manufacture finally ceased about 1969.

Mason, A.G.
The company was established in the early 1900s by A.G.Mason, a former agent for the Davis Sewing Machine Co. The concern specialized in sales through large retail stores, with many marques being used. Following the death of Mason in 1916, the company became a subsidiary of the Domestic Sewing Machine Co.

The National Sewing Machine Co was established in Belvidere, Illinois, in 1890, following the amalgamation of the Eldredge and June companies. The concern prospered well into the 20th Century, and diversified into the manufacture of many other types of domestic machinery. Many of their sewing machines were sold through leading department stores sporting rebranded names. The National Sewing Machine Co finally lost its independence in 1953.

New Home.
The New Home Sewing Machine Co was formed in 1882 at Orange, Massachusetts, following the reorganization of the Gold Medal Sewing Machine Co. Their machines were sold using many marques. It has been claimed that by 1884 production reached 500 machines per day. The company also boasted a considerable needle manufacturing facility, producing needles for competitors' machines as well as its own. The company was also well known for its greyhound trademark.
Reports state that in the year 1906-1907 sewing machine production was approximately 150,000, with a workforce of 743. By the 1920s the company began to lose ground against competitors, and around 1930 the Free Sewing Machine Co took control, with plant moved from Orange to Rockford, Illinois. It has been estimated that 7 million New Home machines were in use by 1937.

Isaac Merrit Singer, the company founder, produced a few machines as early as 1850. Appropriately known as the "No.1", the first commercial design was a heavily constructed machine, more suited to industrial use than domestic.
In accordance with their renowned aggressive sales strategies, Singer became the first company to introduce the concept of hire purchase within the retail world, in 1856.
The first "Family" machine (known today as the "Turtleback") was introduced in 1858. This machine had weaknesses and was not a commercial success. It was quickly replaced with a new model called the "Letter A". In 1865 the now-famous "New Family" machine was introduced. The design was to become the most predominant in the domestic sewing machine market during the subsequent decades, and by the 1880s Singer had produced several million. Numerous other companies throughout the world made vast quantities of sewing machines based on this design well in to the 1900s.
The largest 19th Century Singer plant was at Elizabeth, New Jersey. The former Wheeler & Wilson plant at Bridgeport, Connecticut was used extensively by Singer following the takeover of that company in the early 1900s. Great Britain hosted the European headquarters with a large manufacturing facility built in 1885 at Clydeside, Scotland.
Today we can safely say that the Singer Company has produced more machines for more sewing tasks than any other company ever involved in the sewing machine industry.

Frank and William Mack established the company in 1884 in Cleveland, Ohio. The Cleveland plant continued production for several decades. The company was finally acquired by the Singer company in 1931.

Wheeler & Wilson.
The Wheeler & Wilson concern started production in the very early 1850s, making it one of the earliest US mass sewing machine producers. It was A.B.Wilson's patents concerning the rotary hook (1851), the stationary bobbin (1852), and four motion feed (1854), which provided the basis for the company's future prosperity.
A large manufacturing facility was established in Bridgeport, Connecticut. Their range of models was greatly enhanced with the introduction of the No.8 during the mid 1870s By this time, the company had become one the USA's largest sewing machine producers. During the latter years of the 1800s, its chief rival, the giant Singer company, became the more dominant, and in 1905 the Wheeler & Wilson company was acquired by Singer.

Thomas H. White founded the company. The brand name "White" was first used in 1876. Based in Cleveland, Ohio, the company prospered into the 20th Century, and in 1924 acquired the Domestic and King Sewing Machine Companies. This new conglomerate was renamed the White Sewing Machine Corporation, and continued to grow with the aid of lucrative contracts to supply Sears Roebuck & Co.
During the 1970s the company finally lost its independence to overseas concerns.

Willcox & Gibbs.
The company was formed by James E.A.Gibbs and James Willcox during the late 1850s. Today the company is best remembered for its domestic single thread chain stitch machines. Based in New York, production of their standard model was continuous for approximately 70 years. During this period, only small changes were made to the basic design, making it a true "classic" of the sewing machine industry. Many other leading companies copied or produced direct rivals.
By the mid 1870s, Willcox & Gibbs successfully started to introduce specialist industrial machines, many of which were broadly based on the domestic's design. During the 1900s the industrial market became their forte. The company finally discontinued manufacture in 1973.

July 2002.

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