Sewing Machine Research
ISMACS International
International Sewing Machine Collectors' Society

It's all in an ad

We know we keep persisting, asking for anyone with Bradbury price-lists, literature or adverts to get in touch, but this sort of information is invaluable to our research.

1894 Bradbury Sewing Machine Advertisement

A classic example is this advert which we found on Although there are no illustrations of machines, it could easily be overlooked. Nonetheless, it contains some interesting pieces of information. We were aware that Bradbury's No. 6 machine had been in production prior to 1903 but we had no idea just how much earlier.

This advert dates to August 1894 and, as it refers to "The New No. 6 Machine", so it seems that production may well have started in that year.

Another interesting piece of information is the offer of a discounted Wellington hand machine. I wonder how many readers took advantage of the offer of a sewing machine for 50 shillings (£2.50 in today's money) and how many of those machines exist in our collections today.

What it also shows is sales of the Wellington were in decline. The next year it was offered by the world famous Harrods store for just £2.

The number of Depots operated by the Company is also helpful, as is the "B" with the lady in the top loop. Bradbury used this "B" as a form of branding, it appeared in some of the Company's adverts, price-lists, on accessory boxes and even in the window glass of its York depot!

There were however minor changes, the machine illustrated in the bottom loop changed from an early Wellington, to the later model shown here, to a Soeze. The lady's dress and hairstyle (and probably the lady) changed as well, all of which can help us put dates to undated material.

That is all from just one advert - so go on dig out that Bradbury information you've been meaning to send us and post it to D. G. Best, 21 Edgehill Drive, Newark, NOTTS NG24 2GP. Remember we'll even reimburse you for reasonable copying & postage charges (UK mainland only).