This late 19th century German lockstitch machine has its name "Simplex" embossed in the castings. The machine is also known by the name of "Volksnaehmaschine". Although of compact dimensions, it should be regarded as a small portable rather than a true miniature. The cloth plate is, however, of diminutive proportions and its shuttle capacity is very limited - being akin to that of the Pocket Moldacot. The machine's main motion is obtained through the use of two large lever arms, powered by a forward-facing crank. Other features include a spring-pressed take-up lever, which is pivoted on the overhanging arm.
The design was patented in 1891 by Max Harff and Ewald Bruecker, the latter being an engineer and inventor from Cologne. It was he who convinced Harff, a local entrepreneur and factory owner, to produce the machines at his Works.
With known extant examples in single figures, this slightly odd looking machine is highly sought after by today's dedicated enthusiasts.

April 2000

"Simplex" sewing machine
Patent drawing for "Simplex"

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