Sewing Machine Research
ISMACS International
International Sewing Machine Collectors' Society

Collecting Needle Cases

(Text taken from ISMACS News, Issue 60)

The Boye Rotary Needle, Shuttle and Bobbin Case

click the above picturefor a full-sized image

Boye rotary needle and shuttle cases are now getting very popular with collectors.

The cases which at one time could be found in every hardware store  were first introduced in 1906 by the then already 36-year-old company.

Idea behind the dispenser was to end the  mystery behind over 20,000 different brand names that appeared on the market.

This vast number of different brands was produced by only 15 manufacturers who would badge-engineer machines so that large  retailers and mail-order companies could appear to have an exclusive line.

But it also meant that the customer had to go back to the original machine supplier for the simplest spare including even needles.

Boye did his homework and reasoned that only fifteen shuttles were needed to cover the 20,000 machines. So he produced the rotary dispenser and soon had them installed in  thousands of hardware stores all across America In 1910 the dispenser with 144 tubes of needles, 24 shuttles and 72 bobbins  sold to the trade for $61.96. Spare tubes of four needles each were available at $11 per 100.