Friday, January 4, 2013

Wheeler & Wilson Sewing Machine

Photos taken inside the Hobart Historical Society museum. Today, in honor of our close examination of the stitching on those sunbonnets we recently looked at, I present to you a Wheeler & Wilson sewing machine. (It's merely an association of ideas. I am not suggesting that this sewing machine made either sunbonnet.)

The museum gives no date for this machine. A quick search on the internet turns up a site that has everything you ever wanted to know about Wheeler & Wilson. From there, I gather that this model, No. 8, would probably date to the late 1870s or early 1880s. I must admit that until I came across this one, I never heard of Wheeler & Wilson.

I hope that this first photo, showing other items for a sense of scale, gives you an idea of how small this machine is compared to modern ones.

Sewing machine
(Click on images to enlarge)

Wheeler & Wilson

Sewing machine closeup

This decorative drawer pull on the cabinet caught my eye.

Sewing machine cabinet closeup

Some of these old machines are housed in exquisitely beautiful cabinets — which makes sense, since the modest middle-class homes in which the ladies of the house did their own sewing would probably not have the space for a separate sewing room. The sewing machine would be part of the furniture in a parlor or spare bedroom, and expected to be attractive as well as useful.

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