From to the turn of the century, the style of the Willcox and Gibbs sewing machine changed very little fig. It was the most popular and the most reliable of the many chainstitch machines. In addition to the basic mechanical patents, Gibbs also patented the design of the sewing-machine head in In the specifications, he described it as an open ring set on a base or pedestal. The lower part of the open section supported the cloth plate. The design of the head, intentionally or not, formed a perfect letter G, the initial of the inventor.
Answer, Ignore everything but the first two digits Add this to Method B. Divide your serial number in our instance A by 8, Ignore the numbers after the decimal point and then add the first two numbers to The date for the our machine becomes Take the middle date from the two methods, and Approximate year of manufacture for the above machine becomes around Just a few years from correct.
By using method B we can date this machine toallowing for a period of time between manufacture and sale method B shows a perfect outcome. No1 New release Amazon News Flash! All my latest books are now available on Amazon in all formats. Hailsham, UK.
Unfortunately after just a few weeks into service in the cavalry he contracted typhoid and then pneumonia and was sent home to recover. After recovering James bought up his old home and acres surrounding it in Rockbridge County and rejoined the Confederate Army, this time as a lieutenant in the Ordinance Department.
In Virginia Valley he oversaw the manufacture of Saltpetre, but as the war spread to his valley, his home, and his works were laid waste by the Union Army. James and his men escaped and on 5 June they fought as a unit in the battle of Piedmont in Augusta County.
Here he once again came up against his old foe Major General David Hunter, the very same man who had laid waste to his Saltpetre Works and his home. The battle was a disaster for the Confederates. The Confederate leader, Brigadier General William "Grumble" Jones was killed in a charge during the engagement and the Confederates were routed with appalling casualties, which only came to an end with a spirited rearguard action by the retreating Confederates near the Village of New Hope.
As the war finally came to a close, James Gibbs was a ruined man, his Confederate uniform was in tatters and his home a wasteland. All he owned was his burnt land and the clothes he was standing in.
He borrowed fresh clothes and money and made his way to New York to see if there was anything left of his sewing machine business that he could sell to feed his family.
James and Catherine had four girls at the time. James made his way through the hustle and bustle of New York City to his old premises at Broadway.
Dating willcox & gibbs sewing machines
To his astonishment the business was still there and more amazing still, open! He walked in only to be greeted by startled James and Charles Willcox who both had assumed he had been killed in the war. A huge fortune in During the war they had made and sold over 60, machines! No sooner had James settled in the best hotel in town, men took him to the finest tailors in New York and had him clothed and bathed and they all dined together as old friends.
Willcox & Gibbs Chain Stitch Sewing Machines
His partners had cleverly salted away his money under different names and accounts, as if it had become public knowledge that the money was for a Confederate, it would have immediately been confiscated. James wired money to Catherine for her and the girls.
The worst of times were at last over and the slow recovery of one man and one nation started. This may have been a wise decision because of his Confederate roots, which were still being persecuted.
Even so when James Gibbs went to get his patents extended as everyone was doing because of the loss of profits during the warhis was refused because as the court put it, He had engaged in rebellion, and thus his patents were invalid.
However the firm engaged in such a forceful attack that by the patents were extended for "the good of all and the world.
It all ended up in Supreme Court Chambers with judge Lawrence presiding. It appears that it was an aggressive take over bid to which Sharpe and Willcox sought an injunction on the grounds that the purchasing of the shares had not proceeded 'clearly or correctly'. James Gibbs continued to live quietly with his wife, under the radar, building a beautiful house on his old wasted farmlands with money earned from his sewing machines.Serviced Antique Willcox & Gibbs W&G Treadle Chain Stitch Hand Crank Sewing Machine A730137
As he aged he pottered around in his purpose built workshops inventing and patenting dozens of new sewing machine ideas and even bicycles.
His new home was called 'Raphine' Hall after his old friend that that started it all, the needle. In Raphine Station was opened by the railroad on his land.
James Gibbs retired in after his wife fell ill, she never fully recovered and the following year in Catherine Gibbs died of typhoid Fever. Heartbroken James struggled on until in They never had any children. The end of an era Insuffering from prolonged bouts of illness and paralysis, James Edward Allen Gibbs, one of the pioneers of the sewing machine industry died. He was James had lived a full and amazing life, one of adventure and invention.
He will always be remembered as the young man who saw a simple drawing of a sewing machine and went on to invent not only a unique and beautiful sewing machine but to see it through from beginning to end, to conquer every difficulty thrown in his path and pull through.
One of the true Sewing Machine Kings. I hope you liked my research. What do you think of it so far? To work out a n approximate date of for the A series only for machines with the letter A, Automatic, before the number try this formula. This is by no means perfect but does work in many cases.
Ignore the A and remove from your number.
Divide the number you have left by Then add the first two digits of the number you have to This should give you an approximate year of manufacture. If your number comes out below 1, for example.
Take the number aboveignore the A,minus from it. Divide by Answer, Ignore everything but the first two digits Add this to Approximate year of manufacture Thanks Courtney. Divide the serial number by 8, and then add By averaging the two dates in the middle, using both methods, you may get close to your manufacturing date. Although there were literally hundreds of different chain stitch models they were all very similar.
No one has yet come up with why it had this base? This however does not explain the uniformity of the scallops, unless all the damage occurred in the same places each time!
How many, and When? Dating the Willcox and Gibbs Sewing Machine. Dating Willcox & Gibbs Sewing Machines Main Index Dating W&G chain stitch machines is not an exact art but this is a close as we are going to get. Serial number dating of Willcox and Gibbs Sewing Machines.
For example a simple change to the tension denoted another number. The incorporation of the new Willcox needlebar, another number. The grooved needle another.
First class agents sought for Jamaica and the West Indies. E Vernon, sewing machines supplied from our own houses. Below is the hat machine model Really very similar to the 64 but with a free-arm sleeve, different tensioner, threading and far larger feed to help the hats through.
A rare machine today since the decline in hat sales. Once all the main patents ran out manufacturers were entitled to copy the best idea on the market. These ran from 7 to 14 years maximum. I missed this one at auction and still kick myself.
Manufacturing moved to Belvedere Illinois where a huge factory grew employing hundreds of skilled workmen. They made a large range of machines supplying all the usual stores and outlets. He remained in charge until his death in though the company continued on for many years.
How Many, and When?
Some of them very rare today. The pre models had a glass tensioner models and are now extremely rare. Actually I prefer the early machines with the adjustable tension, oh, and they are worth a lot more. The most perfect regularity and beauty of any sewing machine. Gold medal winners Vienna Below is a picture from one in my collection. They rarely survive in this condition and it is worth looking at your normal machine and comparing the differences, there are many.
Civil War enthusiasts love this model as the stitch it makes is the real thing that men in uniform would have had there clothes made on. It is worth noting the differences. Some also came on deeper wooden bases. Now, with the average wage at under ten shillings a week in Britain this represented a sum of 12 weeks wages! What would that be today. Now you see why they are such good buys on Ebay.
Grab one while you can before they rocket again! You can understand why these beauties have survived, they were built with no expense spared and were little masterpieces of Victorian engineering. Today technology has marched on but you will never beat this model for sheer quality. Silver Street Glasgow Also Otto Carl Goltz who also had premises in Antwerp was a possible agent.
The James Gibbs sewing machine J ames Gibbs sewing machine. James did not only make the usual modelsthis is from an patent application. In New York the address becameWest 39th Street. Branch offices were all around the world. Belfast, 12 Dublin Street. Glasgow 80 West Nile Street. Leeds, New Briggate. Brussels, Rue Royale. Leicester, 94 High Street. Manchester, 83 Mosley Street.
Manchester, 16 Cross Street.
Dating willcox and gibbs sewing machines. At the age of 64 James married a girl from Augusta County called Margaret Craig. This method is repeated to form. The Willcox & Gibbs Sewing Machine Company was founded in by Gibbs , three dating between & relating to Charles Henry Willcox (son of. DATING WILLCOX & GIBBS - Fiddlebase . From to the turn of the century, the style of the Willcox and Gibbs sewing machine changed very little (fig. 39).
Nottingham, 25 Castle Gate. Paris, 20 Rue des Petits Champs. G Boom, Bristol. Parkinson, Bradford. Wheeler, Newbury. The y import ed castings from their foundry in the USA. With Beaver computer controlled machines the castings were machined and then built into industrial sewing machines. T he finished s e wing machines were sent to America and supplied to retailers around Europe.
The rest of the work was precision engineering for MOD and Seagull marine engines. At one point MEC-Willcox was the largest distributors for sewing machine parts in the world. They had come a long way from their roots in New York.
If you have more than one Willcox & Gibbs chain stitch sewing machine, we date information shown on the cloth plate exactly as shown on your machine. The Willcox and Gibbs Sewing Machine Co. (New York) was formed in by James Willcox and his son Charles, of Philadelphia and James E.A. Gibbs of. Wilcox & Gibbs Automatic Sewing Machine May May, Sewing Dating the Willcox and Gibbs Sewing Machine Treadle Sewing Machines.
Tricky little blighter to operate. They advertised relentlessly bombarding the public with their version of the chainstitch. Old Chain Stitch machines produce a stitch so deficient in principle that it can never be relied on.
The Seams produced by our machines has none of the defects mentioned. They produce a stitch so reliable, so perfectly effective and so under control that a child may manage our machines successfully.
And now for a little fact Leland, one of the men at the Bown e and Sharpe factory went on to devote the skills that he had learned on sewing machines to good use, forming the prestigious Cadillac Car Company. How about that for a cracker!
I have not tracked down the factory yet but the search is on! I need my cape, magnifying glass and pipe. It may have been a tax import dodge and just constructed in France. Thanks Dave. David was factory foreman for Willcox and Gibbs at their Poole factory in Dorset for several years.
They also made pulleys for the flatlock and also loopers for the overlock machines. The components were made to very close tolerances, typically the thickness of the loopers was tied down to 6 tenths of a thousandth of an inch over 4 components. As an example, a human hair is about 3 thousandth of an inch thick. The blade of a looper was about 32 thousandth of an inch thick and we had to hang a 7lb weight from the end and the looper must not take a permanent set or bend.
The Poole factory also made the rotating hook for the earlier machines. These were made from investment castings. This total steadily increased until - the year in which women and children were barred from working in coal mines in Britain - when over 35, left the production line. Something strange happened infor production crumbled to less than 16, and similar drops were recorded by other sewing-machine manufacturers.
Perhaps one of our American readers could fill us in on this. Approximate dating of early machines can be made from the following table compiled by the Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC. ISMACS is an organization totally independent of all sewing-machine manufacturers, past or present and is not affiliated with any of the companies mentioned in these pages. Reproduction or copy of this page, in any form, in part or in whole, is strictly prohibited, without prior, written permission.