Royal Sewing Machine Company Oddity
By Martin Gregory
ISMACS News #102
Lee King, an Australian member, has an interesting badged version of the Royal S. M. Co. 'serpentine' arm machine usually seen as the "Windsor" or the "South Kensington". Lee's machine has been badged for the American Wheeler & Wilson Company, one of the giants in the market.
Wheeler & Wilson were one of the first American manufacturers to open a London office in the 1850s. They had a large London showroom in Queen Victoria Street. However, their curved needle machine, although excellent and popular as a treadle machine, was very cumbersome to use in its hand form.
The British market was always dominated by hand machines and, until the hand version of the Wheeler & Wilson No. 8 machine appeared here around 1880, the company lacked a cheap hand machine in its line-up. Lee's machine suggests that they filled the gap by buying in badged machines from the Royal S. M. Co.
Thanks to Lee for bringing this to our notice and providing the pictures.