Wot, no sewing machine?

Looking at the pictures on the right, I can almost hear you say - "funny-looking sewing machine."

The object is, in fact, a typewriter, together with its accompanying patent drawing. A surprisingly large number of dedicated sewing machine collectors are also enthusiasts in the field of typewriters. Let's face it, the 1880s "plunger" operated model featured here is enough to make any self - respecting collector of mechanical antiques break out in a cold sweat!
The pioneering days of the typewriter were a little later than those of the sewing machine, so we could say that an 1880s typewriter is the equivalent of an 1860s sewing machine.
Many early sewing machine manufacturers branched out into other mechanical fields, such as velocipedes (cycles) etc., a few ventured into the typewriter market.
In the USA, the Domestic Company also manufactured "Williams" typewriters.
A number of German manufacturers successfully produced clones of both sewing machines and typewriters. Guhl & Harbeck - who had such tremendous success with their little chain stitch model, the "Original Express" - produced a typewriter whose base castings closely resembled those of its best-selling sewing machine. But today, their typewriter is a scarce item, so we can assume it did not share parity of success.
So can we expect to stumble across the tempting item in the photo? - very unlikely, I'm afraid - this one resides in the British Science Museum.
So who actually made it? UK-based Frederick Nesfield Cookson, no less....

Dec 2000

Superb craftsmanship on this 1880s machine.
(photo courtesy M.Adler)

UK patent from 1885.

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