shoe sewing machine

American Sewing Machine Patent Models(Part4)-JYL-G2210-jyl brand shoe sewing mahcine your first choice

By 1943, 15,000 models had been catalogued and moved to another site.

Then came fire number three which destroyed all the unpacked machines, leaving only those in the unopened crates.

Perhaps losing heart, Gilbert does little more and in 1949 fire number four starts, leaving him with just 2,000 crates undamaged.

There is a record at this time of 1,000 models being displayed in a “barn museum” in New Hampshire and three years later a new museum opens in an abandoned hospital in New Plymouth, New Hampshire, again with 1,000 models. It is reasonable to conjecture that these are from the earlier “barn” display.

By 1870 Gilbert has despaired of ever getting a museum off the ground and offers to sell the whole shooting match to the Smithsonian. The Institution officers visited Gilbert’s site, take one look at the vast array of unopened, unidentified crates and walk away shaking their heads, leaving the owner resigned to try to sell off the collection piecemeal.

A series of auctions takes place. As each crate is opened a catalogue is produced and a sale announced. I have a couple of these catalogues but have been unable to locate a full set so it is impossible to estimate how many sewing machineswere sold.

Sewing Machine Patent Models from the Maggie Snell Collection
Graham Forsdyke with a selection of patent models from Maggie Snell’s collection which he used to illustrate his lecture

Certainly they feature strongly in the catalogue that I have.

In 1979 Gilbert stuck a deal with patent model collector Cliff Peterssen who bought most, if not all, of the remaining crates. He has sold models ever since — there are no sewing machines left — we got the last one about 12 years ago.

There has recently surfaced a new company selling patent models at American antique shows. The paperwork it distributes is carefully worded to suggest a tie-up with the Smithsonian Institution, although my information is that no such deal exists.

Models are being offered at outrageous prices with an “own a piece of American history” sales pitch.

These models could be remnants from the Gilbert/Peterssen collection or could have been bought piecemeal over the past few years.

Whatever the case, the whole history of American patent models is a sad, sad story of government neglect.

America is not alone in doing too little too late to preserve its heritage.

A similar lack of foresight saw the selling off for peanuts of much of the British Patent Office library as late as the 1950s. Manchester Patent office disposed of a lot of archive material a couple of years ago, though we managed to rescue a long run of sewing-machine patents for the GF archive.

Other countries probably have similar ghosts in their cupboards, too.

shoe sewing machine

American Sewing Machine Patent Models(Part3)-JYL-G1510 shoe sewing machine your first choice

The remaining models were offered for sale, but interest was low. P T Barnum bought some for a proposed museum in Manhattan and a few went to regional museums. This only reduced the number by 2,000 and Government funds appreciated by less than $65.

The rest, poorly packed and protected, began a sad tour of various storage sites. For a time they rested in the cellars of the House of Representatives, stopped off for a few years in a deserted section of the District of Columbia Workhouse, and finally came to rest in an abandoned livery stable where they rotted away until 1925.

That year, following a series of embarrassing questions in Congress, another attempt was made to find a buyer.

Up stepped Sir Henry Wellcome, the English drug baron, who bought the entire collection — for an undisclosed sum — with the intention of opening a museum. The models were moved to a company warehouse in Tuckahoe, Wyoming.

Wellcome, a great philanthropist, first offered the Smithsonian the chance to take anything from the collection.

The Proof Is In The Label

WITH THE various dispersals of patent models over the years, it’s not surprising that there are still quite a few around.

On a recent three-week trip to the USA I saw over 20 authenticated models for sale at various antique outlets.

I say authenticated because this is vitally important. American antique dealers have a “system” for describing mechanical antiques. It goes something like this:

1. If it’s small, it’s a “tradesman’s sample”.
2. If it’s broken, it’s a “primitive”.
3. If it’s incomplete it’s a “prototype”.
4. If it’s small, broken and incomplete, it’s a “patent model”.

There is only one authentication for a true patent model and that is the original pink-ribboned tag that was affixed to it when the invention was accepted in the Patent Office.

Lack of such a label means, at best, that the model might be from the original patent collection.

Sure, a lot of labels went missing over the years and, when Gilbert and Peterssen sold such models, they included authentication notes that the item had come from the Patent Office collection.

Better than nothing, but not the real thing.

Fortunately, the head of textiles at the Smithsonian at the time was Frederick Lewton, a man greatly into the history of the sewing machine. He pulls out 700 machines but many remained for records of what is in which crate have in some cases disappeared. Again heirs of inventors are given the chance to claim models.

Wellcome died in 1936, his dream of a museum unrealised and his trustees offer the models for sale yet again. They are bought by a syndicate fronted by Broadway producer Crosby Gaige who aims to display them in the Rockefeller Center in New York.

He does show a small number but also sells of 700 to the organisers of the New York World’s Fair. Another 900 are bought by the University of Texas. The World’s Fair models are eventually re-sold to a Tuncliffe Fox who donated them to the Hagley Foundation in Wilmington, Delaware, where they remain today.

In 1940 Gaige sells out to a group of entrepreneurs calling itself “American Patent Models, Inc.” A complete floor of a skyscraper office building is rented and the long job of unpacking the models begun.

Various models go on display at department stores as a teaser for the museum that the syndicate is planning to open in New York City.

Laudable though the intention might be, the group runs short of funds and pressured by the skyscraper owners for rent, moved the collection to the Neptune Storage Company in New Rochelle. Problem was that there wasn’t enough money for this either and in 1941 the group is declared bankrupt.

At the public sale a Garrison, New York, auctioneer O Rundle Gilbert went for broke and bought the entire collection virtually sight unseen for by now most crates were unmarked and many records had been lost.

Gilbert paid $2,000 — sounds cheap even by 1941 standards until you add in the $11,000 storage charge owed to Neptune that came with the deal.

The big unpacking job started but soon Gilbert realised the enormity of the task and decided to sell off the first few hundred out of the crates to help pay for cataloguing those that remain. The models were sold at an auction organised by the Architectural League of New York.

Punching & Sewing all in one machine

American Sewing Machine Patent Models(Part2)-JYL-CF6080-Punching & Sewing all in one machine

So the system of models survived until 1870 when the requirement was removed. But that’s all that happened. The revised law simply said that models were no longer required but inventors, well aware that models were displayed, still sent them with patent applications.

By 1888 the loophole was plugged. No more patent models were to be provided except in two particular cases.

A Willcox and Gibbs Patent Model Sewing Machine
Some patent models were simply machines taken straight from the assembly line. This Willcox and Gibbs machine was used by James Gibbs in 1858 to show improvements in his 1857 patent

Until 1903, when the Wright Brothers got off the ground, models were required for flying machines and even today if you want to patent a perpetual-motion machine, American government officials will want to see a working model first.

So here we had, during the most prolific part of the industrial revolution, tens of thousands of models flowing into the American Patent Office, providing a unique record of invention and achievement.

The official sources in the USA are more than a little coy about what happened to this model archive. If you write to the Patent Office you are fobbed off with a letter which talks about “dispersal to museums”, etc.

The facts are very different and a terrible indictment of the Patent Office and its oh-so-casual approach to the world’s greatest technical archive.

When, on 10 April 1790, the Patent Office was set up in Washington DC, models were stored by inventors’ names as no system of numerical cataloguing had been standardised.

For 20 years the models flowed in to such an extent that storing them was becoming a problem. Congress was approached for funds and agreed to buy Blodgets Hotel, a former music hall in Washington to provide a store and display area.

Maclean and Hooper Centennial Sewing Machine from 1876
Two models from the Maggie Snell Collection, London. The Maclean and Hooper Centennial dates from 1876 — the treadle model has yet to be researched

It immediately became a tourist attraction and, in good US style, opened all day on Sundays and late into the evenings so that the public could see first hand the inventiveness of the American people. British museums please take note.

The first threat to the models came in 1814 when the British were busy burning, sacking, pillaging and whatever else, in Washington. Most civic leaders had fled but not so William Thornton, superintendent of the Patent Office. He stayed and met the British troupes on the steps of the Blodget Hotel. Thornton successfully demanded to see the British commander and launched into a speech in which he likened the proposed burning of the building to the destruction of the library at Alexandria.

Over the top or not, it worked and Blodgets was left standing while all around it other government buildings burned.

In 1836 a new system of numbering was devised and a new, purpose-built home for the models is agreed, but before ground could be broken for the building, Blodgets burnt to the ground destroying every model produced to that date.

The new building was to house 10,000 models which was considered ample for the foreseeable future, but by the time it was completed four years later, rather like the British Library — although that still isn’t finished — it was already too small for the job.

During the next 30 years the situation got completely out of hand. models were stored on window ledges, stairways and corridors.

In 1877 the situation was eased somewhat by fire number two which destroyed a third of the models but they were still coming in quicker than they could be burnt and only the new law of 1888 stemmed the flood.

With no new models expected the Patent Office had simply to deal with the problem of how to deal with the ones it had.

Models which survived the blaze were moved into storage at the Union building and in 1908 certain institutions and inventors’ heirs were allowed to pick over them. The Smithsonian grabbed a few as did the Edison Company, but only 1,000 were disposed of in this way. Some of those picked out by Edison can still be seen today at the Deerborn Museum, Detroit, USA.

JYL-CF6050

American Sewing Machine Patent Models(Part1)–JYL-DF6050-Nailing & Sewing all in one machine

AMERICAN patent law was, before 1790, based on previous English law but with the 1776 war of Independence sweeping away ties with the previous administration, many new regulations were brought out including new patent legislation which required a model to be submitted with every application.

The reasoning behind this was simple, and difficult to fault.

Grover and Baker Patent Model Sewing Machine
Perhaps the most famous patent model of them all –the machine submitted by Elias Howe in 1846

Before 1790 patents were granted at local legal offices where the officials had little or no engineering background. Rather like asking your local driving licence centre to check over an improvement in the electronic-engine management system on a Ferrari.

Clerks in these offices, whilst not able to read an engineering drawing, could be expected to understand a model. A model could also be used to demonstrate to officials that an idea actually worked.

Some American states had a model requirement before 1790 but it was not until that year that it became an America-wide law.

Grover and Baker 1851 Patent Model Sewing Machine
The Grover & Baker patent of 1851was supported by this model which shows little resemblance to the eventual machine

For three years the new system worked well. Patent applications were checked for merit and originality but such investigation took far too long, with non-experts being called upon to do the research and in 1793 the act was repealed.

From that date patents were simply granted following the application with no checks made at all. The idea was that the courts could be relied upon to settle any disputes between various inventors.

This decision made models even more important. Now judges and juries would have to compare various claims – so much easier for the layman with a three-dimensional model rather than a confusing set of drawings.

But, of course, this led to further complications. With no expert checking of patent applications, the court cases threw up the poor standard of some patent descriptions. In fact, some were so badly and inaccurately worded that technical experts had to be called in to re-write them with only the actual model as a reference.

By 1833 this system of wholesale acceptance was causing big problems — too many hair-brained and crackpot ideas were being promoted and the worthlessness of a patent wasn’t appreciated by the public who were led to believe that the granting of a US patent was a recommendation of the product by the American government.

Even the system of deciding a patent’s validity by the Courts was turning into a joke. Should a patentee not like the decision in a court he would simply take the matter up in another state and keep trying until he got a satisfactory result.

In 1836 the legislature finally got its act together and changed the law so that every application would in future go before a team of experts who would grant patents solely on merit.

These teams, with knowledge of industry and engineering, could cope with working drawings and serious consideration was given to abandoning the model requirement. But it was argued that models would still provide a “fast-filing system” for the administrators and a facility for the public and wannabe inventors to check what had been achieved before.

JYL-DF6050-1

5 Most Frustrating Sewing Machine Problems-JYL-DF6050,Computerized pattern sewing machine,for your private custom service

I think it has happened to all of us at one time or another. You are right in the middle of a big sewing project and then your best sewing machine begins to act up. It might pop a bobbin, or the thread begins to not look right. And this usually happens at the most difficult or critical stitch. It just seems like your machine has turned against you and you will never get the project finished.

Sewing machine problems can be really frustrating. Especially when you feel like you have done everything right. You have maintained your machine the proper way and you have been following all the best practices. Yet it still happens. Regardless of preparation, skill level or attention to detail.

Even though you can’t really prevent every single unfortunate glitch that happens while you are sewing, you can take steps to correct them when they do happen. Today, I am going to cover some of the biggest and most frustrating problems that may arise with your machine and give you some quick fixes to correct them. Hopefully, this will save you at least some aggravation.

#1: Thread Problems

Sometimes you are just going along and your threading doesn’t look right. The stitches are too loose or too tight, or there is some other problem going on. In these instances, you might have a tension problem and need to re-thread the machine.

#2: Check The Bobbin

If re-threading the machine doesn’t work, then you might want to check your bobbin. A bobbin that is too tight or too loose can cause a myriad of different problems.

#3: Check The Machine’s Hygiene

If the above two steps doesn’t correct the problem, then your machine might be a bit dirty. Yes, I know. You thought you have been keeping up on minor maintenance, but sometimes due to the amount of work you have been doing on the machine it gets a little dirtier than usual and you need to clean it up a bit.

#4: Do You Have A Broken Part?

Okay, you have re-threading your machine, checked the bobbin and cleaned your sewing machine, but it still isn’t working correctly. If that is the case, then you might want to check for broken parts such as a broken bobbin or a bent needle.

#5: Am I Using The Wrong Thread Or Needle?

Sometimes the problem with your machine is that you are using the type of thread or needle. Always be sure that you are using the right needle and thread for the material and the project you are working on to avoid these problems. You should also check that you aren’t using two different types of thread. One time I was working on a project and started having problems, so I checked the thread and realized that the spool and the bobbin had different types of thread.

Check these five points and see if they are causing your frustration. Whenever I see complaints in sewing machine reviews about a particular machine, it is usually one of the five points that is causing the problem. Correcting them can really save you a lot of peace of mind.

JYL-G3020R1

Buying Fabric For Your Sewing Machine-JYL-G3020R Computerized pattern sewing machine,for your private custom service

You have researched and bought the best sewing machine. You have assembled all of the tools you need and have learned some techniques. Now all you have to do is sit down and sew. Then all of a sudden it hits you. You have spent all of this time buying the right machine, the right thread and the best thread, but you know little to nothing about what type of fabric to use.

To make things even worse, If you walk into a fabric store without any knowledge about fabric, then it can be an overwhelming experience. You are faced with rows and rows of different types of material. And usually the sales person in charge has as little information to offer you on the subject. This can turn what you thought would be a pleasant day buying fabric into some sort of a nightmare. That’s alright because I am going to give you a quick and dirty guide to buying fabric. Here are the basics of what you need to know about fabric.

Okay, let’s start with the basics. When you walk into a fabric store, all of the different fabrics are arranged in bolts. Bolts is a term for fabric that is either rolled or folded. These bolts are then arranged according to the type of fabric they have. Craft fabric is usually in one part of the store and household fabric is in another part. Don’t worry, these areas are usually adequately marked so you can find what you need to find quickly and easily.

There is one quick note I need to add about fabric stores really quickly however, before we move on. Please keep in mind that not all fabric stores offer a general selection of merchandise. Some stores specialize in specific fabric types. Just something to think about while you are choosing a store.

Some of the fabrics you are likely to find in the store include:

Cotton: This fabric will usually shrink when washed, so be sure to buy cotton that has been pre-washed. This material is good for aprons and other household projects.

Canvas And Denim: These materials are not only heavier than cottons, but are also a lot sturdier. These are great for projects that need a higher level of durability such as totes or items that are going to be used outside.

Flannel: This material is most often used for things such as pajamas or baby clothing. It is soft and comfortable, but be advised that it will usually shrink after it’s washed the first few times.

Jersey Knits: This material is like T-shirt material. It is often used for various apparel items. Just keep in mind that since this material stretches, it might be harder to sew.

This isn’t an exhaustive list but it does cover the basics. I do have one last tip before I go, however. Before committing to buying fabric, be sure to read sewing machine reviews to see which machine works best with each material.

JYL-G2010

Sewing Hacks-Part Two- JYL-G2010-Computerized pattern sewing machine,Your Ultimate choice!

In my last article on the best sewing machine hacks, I gave you some advice that would help you get started on those projects you have avoided doing on your sewing machine. Now I am going to give you some of the best sewing hacks. There are some that can be used while you are using your machine, but most of these hacks are for those of you who have to sew by hand.

Pin And Needle Order

Do you spend a lot of time trying to keep track of all your pins and needles? If you do, then I have a simple trick for you. Just toss a little magnet into a bowl and when you are done with your pins, then just toss them into the bowl too. The magnet will keep them all together and ready for work.

Keeping Track Of Your Scissors

Want an easy way to keep your scissors handy all of the time? Then simply tie a cord to them and wear them around your neck. That way, your scissors are with you whether you are at your machine or heading off to trace a pattern.

Using Oversized Spools

Is your thread spool to big to fit into your machine? Well, then take it and place it in a coffee cup located next to your sewing machine.

Cutting Patterns Without Tape Or Pins

This trick is really simple and will save you loads of time. Instead of using pins or weights to hold down your pattern while you are cutting it, then use freezer paper. The freezer paper will stick to the fabric and you can easily cut it.

Sharpening Dull Scissors

Don’t want to mess with a scissor sharpener? Well, now you don’t have to. Just use them to cut sand paper of aluminum foil. After a few cuts they will be very, very sharp.

Easily Threading Needles

If you have problems threading your needle, then here is a trick you might want to try. Spray the end of the thread with hairspray. This will stiffen it up and allow it to easily pass through the needle’s eye.

Keeping Pins Sharp

Most people simply toss out there pins when they begin to dull. I don’t though. Instead, I use a piece of steel wool as my pin cushion. It keeps them nice and sharp—and as an added bonus—keeps them shiny as well. Try it and you’ll be amazed.

This concludes my list of some of the best sewing hacks I have found. As usual, most of these hacks were gathered together from sewing machine reviews, but some of them were also passed down to me by my mother and grandmother. Hopefully, they are tricks that you will not only use on a daily basis but ones that will improve the efficiency of your sewing time.

JYL-G1010

Sewing Hacks – Part One-JYL-G1010 Computerized pattern sewing machine,Your Ultimate Choice!

If you are like a lot of people, then you have just been using your best sewing machine for simple projects. Just for things like doing seams or stitching a hole. Which is fine of course, but you are really limiting the power of your machine. Perhaps you have been doing things this way because you aren’t sure if you can handle bigger jobs. Well, if that is the case, then I am going to show you some sewing hacks that will make those big scary projects look like child’s play. So if you are ready, then let’s begin.

Sewing Bulky Material

If you have ever been frustrated trying to sew bumpy fabric such as terry cloth, then take heart. I have a trick that will keep your presser foot moving forward at warp speed. All you have to do is place a plastic bag over the material. The sewing machine will sew right through it and you can keep the machine moving forward on a nice smooth surface.

Sewing In A Zipper

Sewing a zipper is often something dreaded by most people. That doesn’t have to be the case. You can install a zipper the easy way. Sew up your seam, put your zipper face down in the seam allowance and stitch it right in place. Now slice open the seam with your seam ripper and reveal the zipper. Voila!!

The Sure Fire Way To Sew With Metallic Thread

Having problems with that delicate decorative thread? Does it keep breaking as you are trying to sew? Well, if it does, then you can use this trick to fix it. Just use a roll of normal thread with your metallic thread. Thread them both through the eye and the normal thread will act as a support for the decorative thread.

Storing Bobbins

Are You looking for a better way to store your bobbins? Then why not use a toe separator. They will hold several bobbins securely in place and right at arms length.

Easy Way To Mark Your Seam Allowance

If you want to add a seam allowance to your project but don’t want to do a lot of measuring, then just use pencils to draw it. If you have a 5/8” seam, then tape three pencils together. If you have a 1/2” seam, then tape two pencils together. Then as you trace the edge of your pattern, you will get a perfect seam allowance each time.

Hopefully these sewing hacks will get you started on some of those tougher projects. I have gathered these tips and tricks together by pouring through countless sewing machine reviews and noting some of the best advice found in them. I have found these hacks to be very useful to me and I hope they will be useful to you as well.

nailing and sewing machine

The Art Of Needles And Tension–JYL-DF6050 Nailing And Sewing Machine,For Your Private Custom Service

I’ve had my sewing machine for almost two decades now. It was a present given to me by my Aunt Betty for my 19th birthday. When I first received it, I didn’t sew avidly and really didn’t think much of my aunt’s present. However, after I saw a lady on television sewing a tote topper, I decided to give it a try and immediately became hooked. From that point forward, I sewed everything I could get my hands on and used the machine almost all of the time.

I still have that machine and pretty much use it on a daily basis. I became really good at using it and have even contributed to several sewing machine reviews about this particular machine. I thought I had become pretty much an expert and could sew just about anything. However, I wasn’t always as well-versed in sewing machines as I am now. There was a bit of a learning curve, but the machine was pretty much trouble-free.

Now, that doesn’t mean that I haven’t had any problems with it at all. Actually, if I am going to be honest here, I think that I have had problems with the thread tangling or the needle breaking over the entire course of the eighteen years that I have been using it. But I thought it was just a part of sewing and had nothing to do with my ever-developing abilities. I couldn’t have been more wrong.

One day, I decided to take it to the best sewing machine shop I could find to see why I continued to have so many problems with it, and what the shop owner told me was an eye-opener. She told me that there was nothing wrong with the machine and that I just wasn’t operating it properly. She then proceeded to show me a few tips. After that, I haven’t had a single problem with needles breaking or the thread tangling.

These tips really has saved me a lot of frustration and that is why I have decided to share them with you today. After all, I figured I couldn’t be the only person on the planet that might need a little bit of a lesson on stitch length or properly using needles. I am sure that there are a lot of people who could use this sage advice. Of course, I am sure that veteran seamstresses will probably be bored senseless by the tips I am going to give here today, but I hope that all of the rest of you will learn something new today.

The first thing that I was taught was that I was using the wrong needles. I was using a Singer machine but was using a Brother sewing needle. That was the most obvious of my problems but it wasn’t the only one. I also had the wrong tension on the machine. The lady at the shop told me that once I had the tension set on my machine correctly, there usually wasn’t a reason to change it. She advised me to adjust the tension so that the stitches above and the ones below were of equal length. These two pieces of advice really helped me and I hope they help you out too.

sewing machine

Making Your Own Sewing Machine Patterns–JYL-G3020R Sewing Machine For Luggage Hand Bag,wallet stitching

Most of the best sewing machine patterns I have used have been ones that I have made myself. Sure, I could have bought pre-made patterns or even found free patterns online, but I actually like crafting my own. It indulges my inner artist and gives me a bit of a challenge. It is also extremely gratifying sewing your own unique article of clothing from scratch.

I understand however, that creating your own pattern from scratch can seem pretty intimidating. It was for me at first. But that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t give it a try. All you need is a little bit of time, a bit of patience and a plan on how to proceed. Now, I can’t help you with these first two things, but I can help you with the last part. Today I am going to teach you how to make your own pattern.

Before you begin making your own pattern however, you need to understand the basics of clothing construction. This is knowledge that can only be gained from first hand observation. Take some old pieces of clothing and take a good hard look at them. Deconstruct them if you have to. Just make sure that you understand how clothes are put together. You should also have a basic understanding of how your sewing machine handles certain fabrics. This knowledge can come from first hand experience or from reading sewing machine reviews.

Now that you understand clothing construction, it is time to start your first pattern. You should definitely start with something simple and I think I have the perfect project for you. It was one of the first projects I ever did too. It’s turning a plain man’s T-shirt into a onesie.

The first thing you need to do is to fold the onsie in half and place it on a piece of light cardboard material. Then trace the other half of the onsie. This will become your pattern. Be sure to allow for the seam, after all you don’t want it to be tight, and that should about do it. You have your pattern.

You can take this basic approach and apply it to just about anything. You can turn already made pieces of clothing and make them into something else. It is something that I have been doing for quite a long time now and it has never failed me. I’m sure it will work for you as well. Sure, you might have to practice a bit to get everything right and your first few articles of clothing might be a disaster, but if you put in the time and effort I am sure that you will be happy with the result.