The exhibitors were Biesolt & Locke from Meissen, Germany, who showed some 20 Singer look-a-like machines, and an interesting-sounding Cinderella where the handle was fitted to the front of the machine rather than at the side.
Domestic showed its range of family machines and Howe showed its new F model.
Pfaff machines were exhibited in England for the first time, and received an enthusiastic mention from the Gazette’s reporter.
The Vertical-Feed Sewing Machine Company was said to have had one of the best positions in the display and White’s Peerless attracted the writer’s attention “as a good specimen of sewing mechanism”. The Automatic Machine Syndicate of Walbrook exhibited its Unicum buttonhole machine.
The Gazette had nothing but derogatory remarks to make about the cheap end of the market, even discounting the manufacturers from its list of exhibitors.
“We are forced to the conclusion that cheap machines have no future before them. Certainly they are sold at such low prices as do not allow dealers to sell them on the hire-purchase system.
“The cheap manufacturers do not appear to know that it costs more to sell a machine than to make one, and that the prices they sell their goods at render a permanent business next to impossible.” But the Westminster Aquarium exhibition did give several of these manufacturers an opportunity to show their goods to the public.
Among those noted by the Gazette was the Dorman at 15 shillings, the Tottie, a chain-stitch model which sold at 3s 6d, the Stuart made of Victorian silver at 21 shillings. Hugo Sommerville of Long Lane, London, showed three small machines: the Flora which sold at 10s 6d, the Dorothy at twice as much and the Victoria at 31s 6d.
The article ended: “Several well-known travelers spent the exhibition fortnight in London, thereby giving the dealers a short respite. One of these …. said that his hope of meeting at the Aquarium a large number of visitors from the provinces was not realized. He estimated the number of dealers visiting the exhibition at between 12 and 14”.