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Posted By: 2-piper PMs - 04/17/20 10:50 PM
Since stating the present condition of my Cancer I have received a good many PMs. Too many for me to try & answer individually. All to date have been of a positive nature & just want all to know they were gratefully appreciated.

I currently monitor four forums on a regular basis, two regarding Double Guns & two related to "People Powered" sewing machines. I will continue to monitor all of these as long as I can.

It's interesting to note that Oliver Winchester had made a fortune as a shirt maker which provided him the funds to buy the stock of the gun company which would be renamed first the new Haven gun company & later WRA. He was already using Wheeler & Wilson sewing machines prior to entering the gun trade.
Posted By: Rocketman Re: PMs - 04/19/20 04:25 AM
2-p, good to see you busy. Glad you feel like it!!

Several fortunes made on the invention and commercial application of sewing machines. Foot powdered of course. The Boss (gotta love the name) is very interesting for a modern day lever operated single stitch per lever cycle sewing machine; able to stitch 3/4" thick leather articles in a single lever stroke.

Posted By: 2-piper Re: PMs - 04/19/20 10:46 PM
Two of the longest-lived sewing machines, though neither were heavy-duty were the Curved Needle Wheeler & Wilson & the Singer Class 15.
The W&W was n production by 1853 & remained in Singer/Bridgeport catalogs until at least 1924 & perhaps 1925. The Singer 15 was introduced in 1889 & is I believe still in production in the far East for sale to third world countries.

Both were sold as family machines as well as for light industrial machines. Singer bought W&W in 1905 & used their Bridgeport factory for industrials. Only one family machine was ever made there, the Singer 9W which was their version of the W&W D-9
Posted By: ClapperZapper Re: PMs - 04/19/20 11:48 PM
I was selling and splicing leather sewing machine belts for treadle machines until 1980 in my parent's hardware store.

I wonder if anyone even knows how to do that anymore.
Posted By: DmColonial Re: PMs - 04/20/20 02:52 AM
Yup, still have two, one is in a nice oak cabinet, the machine slides vertically to hide.

Originally Posted By: ClapperZapper
I was selling and splicing leather sewing machine belts for treadle machines until 1980 in my parent's hardware store.

I wonder if anyone even knows how to do that anymore.
Posted By: Ted Schefelbein Re: PMs - 04/20/20 01:49 PM
Originally Posted By: ClapperZapper
I was selling and splicing leather sewing machine belts for treadle machines until 1980 in my parent's hardware store.

I wonder if anyone even knows how to do that anymore.

Oddly enough, I do. I can also “skive” new and broken synthetic flat belts, and fuse round belts. The first folder I ever ran, circa 1979, had wooden rollers in the 8 and 16 page sections, and were driven with leather belts. The machine was old, back then, perhaps 1930s-1940s.

There are less than 200 people in my local, 1B, and fewer then half hold a Journeyman card.

The world has changed.

Miller, hope you are feeling well.

Posted By: 2-piper Re: PMs - 04/20/20 10:23 PM
Thanks, Ted; There is growing interest in the old sewing machines & several forums for them. I belong to three, in fact, am co-owner of one on the Wheeler & Wilson machines. The other two are generic & for all brands. Our local Janome dealer keeps the round belts in stock.

The curved needle W&W uses a flat belt, but as it cannot be taken off in one piece they were all laced rather than being skived & spliced. I have an old South Bend lathe that uses a flat belt which I did skive & splice.
Posted By: Ted Schefelbein Re: PMs - 04/21/20 12:04 AM
A long time ago, someone put two old sewing machines out by the curb, the universal sign for “free” in this part of the world, both machines were too rusty to bother trying to repair, but, I salvaged all of the screws, hardware and fasteners from them,
Beautifully made screws, nuts, washers and hardware, that met my needs for repair and fabrication in my shop for many years. It was too long ago to remember what kind of machines they were, but, neither was human powered, both had fractional horsepower electric motors and associated pulleys and belts.

Posted By: 2-piper Re: PMs - 04/21/20 10:30 PM
They must not have been Singers. I do not believe there is a single screw on a singer than will match any standard of today's screws. Many have stated this was to force people to buy replacement screws directly from Singer. Fact is these screws were all made to suit a purpose long before there was a Standard. By the time there was a standard they had been in production so long Singer felt it in their best interest to continue with the same sizes rather than having different sizes on older & newer machines. The threads per inch are all regular but the diameter & TPI vary from today's standard. There were no Numbered sizes at that point in time such as a #6-40 etc. Singer did use a 9/64-40 a lot of places which is .002" larger in diameter than a 6-40 so those will sometimes interchange depending on tolerance
Posted By: ChiefAmungum Re: PMs - 04/21/20 10:48 PM
Hello Miller, Sewing machines too!?

Don't be sure those machines weren't human powered at one time Ted. My Mom has a Singer treadle machine that was converted to electric motor at some point. retains the nice oak cabinet/wrought iron stand though.

Posted By: 2-piper Re: PMs - 04/21/20 11:50 PM
Yes, I have a good number of sewing machines, both people-powered & some electrics. I have three electric conversions, two Singers & a Wheeler & Wilson. The Singers are from 1891 & 1898 The W&W around 1900. The 11898 Singer & the W&W were both put into portable cases. The 1891 Singer is mounted on a board & has a very unusual motor with a friction drive mounted below the handwheel. The handwheel itself has also been changed & to date, no-one has been able to identify it, doesn't seem to be a Singer wheel.
Posted By: ChiefAmungum Re: PMs - 04/23/20 12:53 AM
Hello Miller,
Mom and other Moms' kept us clothed with them. I can't remember how the drive was arranged with hers. Fascinating pieces of machinery when you consider the day.
Posted By: Argo44 Re: PMs - 04/23/20 03:50 AM
Miller, my French wife uses her's regularly. She claims the sewing machine, like Denim, and a dozen other products, was invented in France but was perfected in America and came back to France as an American product.

Just about all the French gun manufacturers also made sewing machines. When I watch my wife, who remembers washing clothes in a river and using cast-iron charcoal heated irons to press them, feel a piece of's like watching an artist look at the brush strokes on a Leonardo.

Posted By: 2-piper Re: PMs - 04/24/20 10:53 PM
The first patent ever issued for a sewing machine was to one Thomas Saint of England prior to 1800. It is, however, unknown if he ever actually made one or not, definitely did not go into production on them. Possibly made one for his own use, was a cobbler by trade. Between 1800 & 1810 a couple of specialized machines were built, one in England for stitching layers of canvas t make belts, either transmission or carrier belts. The 2nd was made in Germany fr doing embroidery. The significance of these were they were the first to use an eye pointed needle. In the 1820s Bartholomy Thimonnier of Paris began the development of a chain stitch sewing machine. Neither his machine nor Saint's used an eyed needle. By 1930 he had it developed & had built at least 30 machines, some say as many as 80, & equipped a shop with them & obtained a contract from the French Legion for sewing uniforms. With a bit of practice, these machines could make around 200 stitches per minute. This is credited as being the first, practical, garment sewing machine. Unfortunately, fr him a group of Parisian Tailors, fearful of his machine putting them out of work broke into his shop one night with sledgehammers & torches & smashed his machines then set fire to his shop. Timonnier, fearful for his life fled to England.
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