Machines Manufactured Before 1900.
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Atlas A 
Atlas B Louis
Avon
Baach & Klie Defiance
Baach & Klie Elsa
Bremer and Brückmann Original Brunonia
Bradbury Wellingto
Challenge
Davis
Guhl & Harbeck Original Express
Frister & Rossmann Fiddlebase
Grim & Natalis Atlas B
Heinrich Grossmann
Gritzner Graziosa      
Gritzner G Fiddlebase
Johnson Clark Home Companion
Johnson Clark Home Shuttle
Kimball & Morton Eagle
Kimball & Morton Oscillator
Jones Hand  
Jones List
Jones with Badge
Junker & Ruh Rhenania
Singer 12 Fiddlebase
Singer 12 Ottoman  
Tittel and Nies Rhenania
Moldacot
Raymond New England
Raymond55s
Raymond Household
Little Wanzer
Wanzer A
Wanzer B
Wheeler & Wilson 3
Wheeler & Wilson 4
Wheeler & Wilson 8
White Gem
Whites Peerless 
Wilcox & Gibbs Hand
Willcox & Gibbs Treadle,
Wilcox & Gibbs (clone)
This is a Wilcox & Gibbs twisted chain stitch machine on a very ornate bronze effect iron treadle.
The Willcox & Gibbs Sewing Machine Company was founded in 1857 by James E. A. Gibbs and James Willcox and opened its London Office in 1859 at 135 Regent Street . By 1871 the Company's Chief Office for Europe was at 150 Cheapside, London, this office was later moved (post 1885) to 94 - 96 Wigmore Street, then 37 & 39 Moorgate Street (by 1891 to post 1907) and later 20 Fore Street, London Top
In 1886 The Moldacot Pocket Sewing Machine Company Ltd produced a tiny sewing machine called The Moldacot by A. D. Moll and J. C. Cottam, from a patent by S. A. Rosenthal. Production was sub-contracted to William Brown, 45 Brearley Street, Birmingham and James Holroyd of Tomlinson Street, Manchester. In 1888 the Company changed names first to The Moldacot (Colonial Foreign) Pocket Sewing Machine Co. Ltd then in March 1888 to the United Sewing Machine Co. before going into liquidation, leaving dissatisfied shareholders and vast stocks of unsold machines which were sold off at below their original price. The nickel plating has kept many in good condtion along with the fact that they did not actualy sew and got little use.Top
The White Gem is a lockstitch machine employing a curved shuttle race, C1879, with a design which sets it apart from other White machines such as the Peerless range. This one can be identified as an early design because it has a cast iron cover over the needlebar mechanism, (an attractive steel casting was used later), no skirt around the bed and the serial number under the shuttle plate (12122).
Thomas Howard White started producing chain stitch machines in 1858 in Templeton, Massachusetts. In 1866 he established a factory at Canal Street, Cleveland, Ohio and was trading as the White Manufacturing Company. The firm became the White Sewing Machine Co. in 1876 at about the time the Gem was introduced. It seems that their manufacture had ceased by the mid 1880's. Top
This is an early White's Peerless Hand machine. Whites also produced a treadle or "foot" driven version. It has a transverse boat shuttle moved by an elegent lever system in a curved shuttle race. There is an ornate support for the tension discs on top of the arm and a knob extending from the front of the base to alter the stitch length. The thread uptake lever has an unusual transverse mechanism which is abandoned for the more conventional design in the later "New Peerles" models. It is a rare example of an iron based portable and was in very poor condition when I found it. There is usually a frieze on the workplate but it has been attacked by rust on this example. Thomas Howard White started producing chain stitch machines in 1858 in Templeton, Massachusetts. In 1866 he established a factory at Canal Street, Cleveland, Ohio and was trading as the White Manufacturing Company making New England type machines. The firm became the White Sewing Machine Co. in 1876. This White Peerless dates to around 1885.
Circa: 1885   Top
A Wilcox and Gibbs twisted chain -stitch machine. James Gibbs realised that the simple chain stitch would not run if it was twisted before being locked by the next stitch. His carefully shaped rotating hook allowed the manufacture of an exremely fast and efficient machine that could run for long periods without the need for re-loading the small shuttle required in a lockstitch device..
The manufacturing of the Company's' single thread, chain stitch machine was subcontracted to Brown & Sharpe, Rhode Island until 1948. A special hand crank mechanism was produced in England for the European market, but the general design of the Willcox & Gibbs remained essentially the same throughout its production. The only major improvement was in 1875 when the glass tension discs were replaced with an automatic tension device which ensured the machine could not get out of adjustment. Serial number A662761
Circa: 1898 Top
This Wilcox & Gibbs Chainstitch has no badge but "American Sewing - London - Machines" is impressed on the workplate. This is probably the company based at 7 Ludgate Square, London EC from 1898 and known to import from many other companies in the USA and Europe. Unlike most examples there is a screw on the top of the tension discs and it has a hinged presser foot. The serial number is 1969 but I doubt if this one is as old as that might imply.
A Heinrich Grossmann machine for making straw hats. This Dresden company made many varients, based on the Wilcox & Gibbs machine, with different fittings designed to carry out all the functions required in the hat making industry during the mid to late 1800's. These were always bench models so there is no crank handle. They were meant to be bolted to a table so the base on this one is a recent addition. It is similar to the Wilcox and Gibbs Straw Hat Machine model 200 described as a "Visible Stitch Straw Machine".
Circa: 1864     Top
A Raymond (or Weir in the UK), "New England" design, first imported from Canada by James Weir, a Scotsman. The original was patented by Charles Raymond and made in Ontario. This is a simple chain-stitch with a looper but models after 1870 were lock-stitch so it is probably an early model.      Top

This is a Raymond New England design and was sold as the Weir 55s because it cost 55 shillings. They were originally made by Charles Raymond in Canada but James Weir resold them under his own name. For a time Weir did have a business arrangement with Raymond and patented some improvements to the original design.

This one has a looper producing a simple chain stitch. The bed has a printed shield with the words James G Weir Patent London and the needle-plate is stamped with James W Columbine, 2 Carlisle Street, Soho, London. Columbine was an associate and possibly an in-law of Weir. Beveled gears were one of Weirs improvements and this has the usual variety going straight across the width of the cog so this is probably not one of the later models. It is possibly C1875 but I am happy to take advice on this.
As usual the whole stoy is researched and told by Alex Askaroff on his Sewalot site here:
http://www.sewalot.com/j_g_weir.htm 

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This is a Raymond Household sewing machine from about 1885 made in Guelph, Canada. Charles Raymond is known for the New England style of ornate machine (or Wier in the UK) and later its Family 1, 2, and 3 lock-stitch models. The Household was produced from 1872 for about 10 years. The bobbin winder on this one appears on an 1881 patent and the tension rod is mounted vertically showing that this is a later design. Earlier versions had a horizontal tension rod at the top of the needle bar mechanism. They are now considered rare and highly sought after by collectors.
T. H. Steer is stamped into the shuttle plate. This is Thomas H. Steer, a sewing machine agent and dealer of 21 Northernhay Street, Exeter, according to the History, Gasetter and Directory of the county of Devon. The building still exists and has been turned into flats.
Circa: 1885 
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This is the Challenge designed and first produced by the Royal Sewing Machine Company in 1872 solely for the successful businessman and distributer Joseph Harris. The company was already manufacturing the famous Shakespear machine which has almost identical mechanics as the Challenge but a different shape in the casting. Later, but for a short period only, a similar machine, the Avon, with a different shuttle mchanism was produced. The general shape seems to have been inspired by the highly decorative Agenoria made by Arthur Maxfield. The Challenge is a transverse lockstitch with a straight shuttle race and a unique stitch regulator. This example has the serial number 144573 and “The Royal Sewing Machine Company Limited, Smallheath, Birmingham on the work plate. There is an embossed brass plate cover on the front depicting a knight offering a challenge along with the name and place of manufacture. This machine dates from around 1877.

The Avon is almost identical to the Challenge sewing machine which used Shakespear & Illston's patented shuttle movement. It was made by The Royal Sewing Machine Company at Herbert Road, Small Heath, Birmingham, started in 1868 by Thomas Shakespear & George Illston. The original Challenge was commissioned by Joseph Harris in 1872 and over 2000 machines were made every year.

In 1877 The Royal Sewing Machine Company took over the Imperial Sewing Machine Co. which had been formed when Joseph Harris merged A Maxfield & Co. and the Franklin Sewing Machine Co. in 1874.

In 1882 the firm expanded to become The Royal Machine Manufacturing Company when this version of the Challenge became The Avon. This new company ran until 1888.

The Avon is very rare.     Top
 
This is a close copy of the Wheeler and Wilson Number 4. It was made by Gibson Brothers. From photographs it seems to be the same shape as the Number 4 but smaller and has an ornate arm at the back of the casting to hold the cotton reel. This does not appear on any of the Wheeler and Wilson Models depicted in their sales catalogue of 1866.
Gibson Bros of Hebden Bridge produced a complete set of castings for Wheeler and Wilson sewing machines in 1866. The set comprised a stand, crankshaft, pulleys and all machine parts ready planed and bored to save time in
construction. This design is the true precurser of the modern lock-stitch sewing machine, since it incorporates the rotating hook principle and four motion feed invented by Allen B Wilson (1824-1888). Although Wilson patented his inventions in 1851 and 1854 respectively, the first sewing machine was not made until 1866. In this machine the underthread is contained in a disc bobbin which fits loosely in a ring-shaped holder. Interlocking of the two threads occurs when the loops of the needle thread are caught and extended by the revolving hook and passed under the bobbin. The presser-foot has an inset glass plate which allows the worker to observe the seam at the point of stitching. The machine was treadle driven but the stand is not shown. The price was £2 including post and package.    Top
The Eagle by Kimball & Morton, Glasgow, established in 1867 with a factory at 11 Bothwell Circus, Glasgow. The firm specialised in Industrial sewing machines for sail, sack and tarpaulin work as well as producing a range of Domestic sewing machines including the famous "Lion" sewing machine. The firm became incorporated (Limited) in 1887. This machine was in very poor condition when I rescued it. Very few were produced and it seems to be rare, unlike the "Sew-All" which is a very similar machine by the same company.      Top
The Kimble and Morten Oscillator is a close copy of the Singer model 16-81. It utilises a vertical oscillating hook lock-stitch mechanism with a barrel shaped bobbin similar to those in modern domestic machines. It does not use the usual cam system to move the needle-bar but instead incorporates a crank with a cam on the horizontal axis to work the thread tensioning lever.
The decals are striking and follow a gold floral motif with mother of pearl pieces embedded around the edge of the bed.
It is the heaviest machine in the Warren Collection, a little clunky in use but very robust. Other examples I have seen have been designed for use with a treadle. This one has a large hollow wood base with rosewood veneer. There is a large void under the handle which, on most other manufacturers machines, has a compartment for storage but is completely enclosed in this model.
The first examples of this design, with a different set of decals, appeared in about 1886 to 1889, so this o
ne would be later, perhaps circa 1895. The serial number is 123436. Kimball & Morton was established with a factory at 11 Bothwell Circus, Glasgow in 1867. They produced many domestic and industrial sewing machines including a model shaped as a lion, the Sew-All and the very rare Eagle, also in the Warren collection. The Oscillator was one of their more expensive domestic models. The firm became a limited company in 1887 and by 1895 the address was given as 11a Norfolk Street Glasgow.     Top
This is a Home Shuttle, lockstitch machine from the Gold Medal Company which was owned by Johnson, Clarke & Co. in Orange, Massachusetts. Slightly later versions had a cover over the gear mechanism with the bobbin winder higher. Later still the needle bar mechanism was completely enclosed.
This example does not have these refinements so it is an early model, sourced from the USA  and dated C1870.

 An improved version was known as the “Dolly Varden”, popular in the UK and named after a well known character from the Dickens story of Barnaby Rudge. These models carry a picture of Dolly on the machine bed.
Alex Askaroff has an excellent article on his Sewalot site at
http://www.sewalot.com/dolly_varden_sewing_machine.htm The Gold Medal Company became the New Home Sewing Machine Co in 1882 and then in In 1927 the Free Sewing Machine Co. bought it, continuing to use the name New Home. Finally the company was absorbed by the National Sewing Machine Co. in 1953.     Top
The Davis company began in 1868 in Watertown, New York and moved to Dayton, Ohio at around 1890. In 1924, the National Sewing Machine Co purchased the company and the Dayton manufacturing facility stopped producing sewing machines. There is no conventional four motion feed as it is the needle bar and presser foot that moves the cloth forward so it is sometime referred to as a walking foot or vertical feed machine. The thread tensioner on top of the arm indicates that this is an earlier model.
This one has Davis SM C0 Watertown on the shuttle cover plate. 1883 is the latest patent date. An extensive search has uncovered no other examples so this may be a rare survivor of a domestic cast iron based model.     Top
This Little Wanzer dates from the early 1870's and was originally from Hamilton, Canada.. The patent dates on the needle bar cover are accompanied by the words "Time Utilser" which the company used as a Trade Mark. It has a more ornate balance wheel than earlier models. The base is black laquered slate where as some models have white marble.
The action is unusual, consisting of a shuttle oscillating in a small vertical arc.     Top
This is a later version of the Wanzer 'A', with the straight shuttle race. The machine was further improved with the addition of an updated bobbin winder. The Company name & London address - Gt Portland Street London are stamped on the slide plate. "WANZER A" is cast on the underneath of the cloth-plate, and the machine sits in an ornamental cast iron base.
Richard M. Wanzer started manufacturing sewing machines in Canada in 1858 in a workshop on James Street, Hamilton. In 1878 the Wanzer Company purchased the Canada Sewing Machine Company, Barton Street, Hamilton developing the site for its purpose built factory which was completed c1880 and which was capable of producing over 100,000 machines a year.

The firm seems to have traded as The Wanzer Sewing Machine Co Ltd in Great Britain and France where there were offices in London at 4 Great Portland Street (1863) and 131 Boulevard Sebastopol, Paris (1867).
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This is a Wanzer Model B, a lockstitch utilising a boat shuttle in a curved race. The patent date on the shuttle plate is 1883 and the serial number is 2230. Wanzer B is also moulded into the casting under the bed. Most of the decals on this example are intact but faded in places. It was distributed through their agents at 4 Great Portland Street, London.

Richard Mott Wanzer moved to James Street, Hamilton in Canada from Buffalo, New York, where as a personal friend of Isaac Singer he made Singer and Wheeler-Wilson machines. His own early designes included the Little Wanzer, the Wanzer Model's A and B, all of which are represented iin this collection.
He soon expanded into King Street (1860) and then acquired the Canada Sewing Machine factory in Barton Street (1878). He traded as The Wanzer Sewing Machine Co Ltd in Great Britain and France from offices in London at 4 Great Portland Street (1863) and 131 Boulevard Sebastopol, Paris (1867).
His machines won medals at International Exhibitions including the 1867 Exposition Universelle de Paris, The World Exposition 1873 and the Gold Medal, Centennial Medal and Diploma at the 1876 Centennial Exhibition. The Company closed in 1892.      Top
Wheeler and Wilson. No. 8 machine 1876 - c1887. The rotating hook lockstitch No. 8 was designed for Family use & Light Manufacturing. This one had been kept in dirty, damp conditions for some years but, due to the quality of the manufacture it has cleaned up very well.     Top
One of Guhl & Harbeck's best selling machines was the Original Express chain stitch machine which was sold under many different names. This particular example was named the Original Express and was probably made in the 1880's in Germany. It uses the Gibbs rotating hook.
Guhl & Harbeck was founded in Hamburg in 1867 by Christian Friedrich Harbeck and August Hermann Guhl and continued until 1970. It was sold under different names by different agents in France and Britain.     Top
The Bradbury Wellington from Oldham. This machine was probably made around 1893. It represents the final production version with a nickel plated face plate which folds round the sides. It has the portrait of the Duke of Wellington on the bed of the machine.     Top
This is a Home Companion from Johnsn Clarke, USA.
This lockstitch machine has R.K. stamped onto it. This stands for the British importer and distributor Rennick, Kelmsley & Co. In an advertisement for Johnson, Clark & Co., USA, from the 1877 Trade Press there is shown "The Home Companion" with a picture of this machine. Rennick, Kemsley & Co., had offices at 4 Finsbury Circus, London.
Circa: 1880     Top
Wheeler and Wilson number 3. This machine is the true precurser of the modern lock-stitch sewing machine, since it incorporates the rotating hook principle and four motion feed invented by Allen B Wilson (1824-1888). Although Wilson patented his inventions in 1851 and 1854 respectively, the first sewing machine was not made until 1866. In this machine the underthread is contained in a disc bobbin which fits loosely in a ring-shaped holder. Interlocking of the two threads occurs when the loops of the needle thread are caught and extended by the revolving hook and passed under the bobbin. The presser-foot has an inset glass plate which allows the seamstress to observe the seam at the point of stitching. The machine was treadle driven.     Top
An Atlas Model B by Grimme, Natalis and Co. Braunschweig for the Atlas Sewing Machine Co. Camden Town, London. It is probably a model called the "Original Princess". This is a lockstitch machine with a curved shuttle race moved by a cam on the lower axle. From about 1880. On this one "Manufactured in Germany" and the numbers 124471, Rd44397 and 51180 is stamped on the shuttle plate. The number 471 is stamped on many of the parts. The white dots are mother of pearl inserts but unfortunately, in this example, there are three missing along the front.
Circa: 1880     Top
The Atlas Model A - Justice variant.
This machine has J Collier and Son, 136 Clapham Road, London stamped on the shuttle plate and the serial number 77727 on the casting. Collier would have been an importer, probably from Germany. There are no other identifying marks but I have seen photographs of an identical machine bearing a brass medallion with the inscription “The Atlas Sewing Machine Comy, London” and “Justice Trade Mark” around a figure holding a sword and a pair of scales. The raised casting on the front is meant to resemble a pair of scales. Apart from the decoration on the casting it is very similar to the Original Brunonia made by Bremer and Brückmann.     Top
This has Original Brunonia etched on the shuttle cover and the logo for Bremer and Brückmann at Braunschweig in Germany, There is a fainter stamp on both cover plates bearing the words "Martin, Mecanicien, 45 R Aux Siers, Alencon" so this is probably from a distributer in Paris. They were produced between 1876 and 1900 and also imported and re-badged by distributers such as Atlas, Collier and Harris. It is identical to the Atlas Model A known to be imported by J Collier and Son, 136 Clapham Road, London. There was also an Atlas Sewing Machine Company, London, selling very similar machines with slightly different raised decoration on the base. This was meant to resemble the scales of justice which was the logo of the Atlas company. It has a horizontal cam under the workplate with two grooves to control the movement of the needle bar and shuttle and is a close copy of an earlier Howe design.
Circa: 1888     Top
This is a Rhenania made by Junker & Ruh as stated on the brass plate. The horizontal axis under the bed has two cylindrcal cams to move the needle arm amd the shuttle. It is similar to an earlier Grover and Baker machine. There is no takeup lever. Instead, the thread passes round a pair of discs mounted on top of the needlebar, as the bar rises so thread is drawn from the spool.
Circa: 1890     Top
Harris Defiance. There are similarities in the shoulder bulge, the shuttle plates and the scrolls supporting the needle bar mechanism between this machine and the Elsa; so this is almost certainly an import from Baach & Klie/Lehnmann of Germany and sold by W. J. Harris & Co. 219 Old Kent Road, London. I have the instruction book for this which gives Harris as the manufacturer. This is very unlikely as Harris just imported and re-badged machines. They sold a number of machines with the name Defiance or Defiant. This is a lock-stitch with a curved shuttle race. Later versions of this model had the needle bar mechanism enclosed and the scrolls at the end of the arm omitted. It was in very poor condition when I saved it and all the decals were already eroded.
Circa: 1895     Top
This Wheeler and Wilson No. 8 machine 1876 - c1887 is complete with its treadle. The No. 8 was designed for Family use & Light Manufacturing. It seems likely that production of the No. 8 machine ceased when the No. 9 machine was introduced. It has a glass presser foot (patented in 1861) and the centre boss has the address 44 Union Square, New York.     Top
The Elsa was produced by Baach & Klie who started manufacturing sewing machines in the mid 1870's and in 1890 moved from 8 Salzdahlumer Street to 34 Gertruden Street, Braunschweig. In 1894 the firms name was changed to "R. Lehnmann formerly Baach & Klie". Elsa's were built between 1876 and 1912. There are similarities in the shoulder bulge and the scrolls supporting the needle bar mechanism between this machine and the Harris Defiance.
Circa: 1890     Top
The Jones Hand, made in Guide Bridge, Manchester, was introduced in 1879. It was made in large numbers and remained in production for some 20 years, the earliest versions do not have a take-up lever and the tension discs are mounted on the arm of the machine. From 1891 onwards a Brass medallion replaced the centre decal and in addition to the Company stamp the words- 'As supplied to H.R.H. The Princess of Wales' work surface. The Jones Hand was badged for various retailers up until c1907 so other makers names are often seen on these machines. William Jones started making sewing machines in 1859 and in 1860 formed a partnership with ThomasChadwick. As Chadwick & Jones they manufactured sewing machines at Ashton-under-Lyne until 1863. Thomas Chadwick later joined Bradbury & Co. Whilst William Jones opened a factory in Guide Bridge, Manchester in 1869. The firm was re-named as the Jones Sewing Machine Co. Ltd in July 1869 and later became Brother UK Ltd. This machine employs a transverse boat shuttle mechanism forming a lock stitch. This one has flower motif on the bed.
Circa: 1890     Top
William Jones started making sewing machines in 1859 and in 1860 formed a partnership with Thomas Chadwick. As Chadwick & Jones they manufactured sewing machines at Ashton-under-Lyne until 1863. Thomas Chadwick later joined Bradbury & Co. Whilst William Jones opened a factory in Guide Bridge, Manchester in 1869. The firm was re-named as the Jones Sewing Machine Co. Ltd in July 1869 and later became Brother UK Ltd.     Top
Jones Serpent design, The badge indicates that this is after 1891. These are still quite common in good condition.     Top
This is a lockstitch machine with a curved shuttle race moved by a cam on the lower axle. "The Louise" can just be made out on the head and the words Wilcox & Noble, Wilcox & Carlton and Gibbs can just be seen on the shuttle plate. From about 1880.
It is identical to the Atlas Model B by Grimme, Natalis and Co. Braunschweig for the Atlas Sewing Machine Co. Camden Town, London. It is probably a model called the "Original Princess".     Top
This is a Graziosa, which is Italian for “pretty”, manufactured by Gritzner.
The serial number is 141934, etched under one of the shuttle plates. This would make it Circa 1880 as number 50 is 1872 and 280,000 is 1892.
It is a VS machine, with the boat shuttle vibrating from left to right in a curved shuttle race. The cam and lever arrangement under the plate is the same as that used in the Kimble and Morten Eagle and the Johnson, Clarke Home Shuttle.

This example was in very poor condition when I bought it for just £31. There were no decals with very little of the original paintwork left so it was completely stripped down and re-painted. This is something I do only if a machine has deteriorated to a point where it has already lost most of its antique value with no visible decals.

It has a brass plate on the pillar with the name A. F Ivey, Factors, 48 George Street, Plymouth. These were import agents known to have also sold the Guhl and Harbeck Original express. They would advertise various items including mangles in the West Briton and Cornwall Advertiser. Apart from the serial number there are no other identifying marks.
I could locate only two others, both on German web sites so I believe them to be rare, at least in the UK.     Top

This is a low arm transverse shuttle model G Gritzner fiddlebase. There is not a great deal of information on these but the serial number is only 38887 so it was definitely produced between 1872 and 1892 with numbers in the region of 280000 at the end of this period. Therefore C1880 would be a safe estimate for this machine.

The action is almost identical to the Singer 12 fiddlebase but this model has a very heavy, ornate cast iron base instead of the usual wooden casing. Very little of the decals remain. A search has revealed that a few have survived but all the ones that I have seen so far are in poor decorative condition.

Gritzner began in 1872 at Karlruhe in Germany. The firm expanded rapidly, making other products such as bicycles and motorcycles. The model G seems to have been a diversion because most of their early sewing machines were based on the Singer 12 or the typical Hight arm TS with a rectangular base in wood. The other Gritzner in the Warren Collection is a High Arm TS with stunning coloured decals and mother of pearl inlay.     Top

The Singer New Family machine was introduced in America c1863 and in Great Britain in about c1866. It would later become known as the Singer 12 and was manufactured in enormous numbers up to 1902. It was a superb machine of such high quality of manufacture that it became the benchmark for other companies who copied it as soon as the relevant patents ran out.

It is a transverse shuttle machine using a "boat" type shuttle. Some minor improvements were made to the machine during its long production run including the tension adjustment screw which was moved from the front of the face-plate to the top of the needle head by the presser foot and needle bars (c1873).

This one has a ratchet arrangement to free the flywheel when thread is being wound onto the bobbin where as later versions had a threaded knob. The serial numbers on this one are 5780172 over 1220372 – which gives 1873 as the date of manufacture. It has a black painted flywheel indicating that it may have been intended for export.
Alex Askaroff has lots more to say about the Singer 12 on his Sewalot site.
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A Singer12 with Ottoman Carnation decals. This is a fiddle base using a "boat" type transverse shuttle. with a striking "Peacock" or "Ottoman Carnation" design from George Alfred Squire of, New Jersey, first seen in about 1884. Variations were used on other machines. The other, 1873 model 12 in the collection has a pivoting lever for disengaging the drive to the machine, whilst this 1888 version has a button behind the flywheel which has to be pulled and twisted to disengage the drive from the main shaft. This model also has a more sophisticated bobbin winder.
Circa: 1888     Top
This Frister & Rossmann from about 1885 is a close copy of the Singer 12. They were produced from 1872 at Skalitzerstrasse, Berlin. The brass plate says that it was distributed from 19 Fore Street, London by the agent S. Loewe. It also has the Frister and Rossmann logo with the words Fabrikmarke stamped on the shuttle plate. The decal pattern of gold foliage and mother of pearl inlay is known as the Snowflakes & Shield. It is a transvers shuttle lock-stitch and the engineering is top quality.
Circa: 1885     Top
This is a Rhenenia by Tittel & Nies. It is a version of an earlier Grover and Baker machine. There is no takeup lever but instead, the thread passes round a pair of discs mounted on top of the needlebar, as the bar rises so thread is drawn from the spool. The needle bar and shuttle are controlled via a horizontal cam under the plate. There was originally a colourful flower decal with gold foliage on the bed but much of this has faded in this example.
I have seen an advert for an almost identical machine from Junker & Ruh with the spelling "Renania". These have wider shuttle plates than the Tittel and Nies machine.
The company began in 1863 by Wilhelm Tittel and became Tittel and Nies, Germany in 1884 with Gottfried Nies as a partner. The firm was taken over by Adolf Knoch in 1911.  Circa: 1890  Top