A note on the Wheeler & Wilson D9 Clones
by Martin Gregory
ISMACS News 106
Like all the great designs, the Wheeler & Wilson D9 was widely copied and cloned. Some may even have been manufactured under licence. Whilst Singer kept the D9 in production as the Singer 9W for many years, several of the clones had an even longer life, still appearing in catalogues into the 1930s.
Many German manufacturers had a rotary hook machine in their range and this was usually a clone of the W&W machine.
Such manufacturers included: Ankerwerke (the Anker D), Böttcher (la Rapide), Gritzner (the Rotunda M), Frister & Rossmann (the Rotary A), Gühl & Harbeck (the Normannia), Knoch (the Rundschiff M), Koch (the Adler Nr. 12), Kohler (the Nr. 8), Phoenix (the Letter F)... and many more.
In England, two manufacturers certainly produced clones. Jones launched his 'Spool' machine in 1889, (English patent 15597 of October 4th, 1889).
This may well have been made with Wheeler & Wilson's blessing as it is modelled on a very early D9 with a cased bobbin retainer which looks borrowed from the No. 8. Later D9s had an axial spring finger to retain the bobbin and case, a much neater arrangement but I have not seen this improvement on Jones's copies.
Collier advertised a 'Spool' machine which was presumably made by Jones, who was supplying Collier with his CS vibrating shuttle machine at that time. Bradbury also advertised a 'Spool' machine in their range for several years.