Sewing Machine Research
ISMACS International
International Sewing Machine Collectors' Society

Poem

by Graham Forsdyke
ISMACS News
Issue No. 31

I SOMETIMES get the impression that when sales were slack, the managers of the various sewing-machine companies gathered the staff together in the canteens, gave them writing materials and instructed them to compose odes to the glory of the firms' products.

After all, how else can we explain the plethora of poems that emanated from the various factories?

Here's one that came from White in 1884:

Our hero was an artisan
Who toiled from morn till e'en
Until, one day, he met a man
Who sold the White Machine.

This man the best of clothes he wore,
And held a lofty mien;
Ten thousand he had sold, and more,
Light-running White machines.

Then straightway went this artisan
To all his friends of means,
But found, as soon as he'd began,
They all had White Machines.

Undaunted still, he boldly planned --
His eyes bore darksome gleams.
He said, "I'll seek some foreign land,
That ain't got White Machines."

"'Tis a most visionary plan,"
Said all -- "tho' well he means --
To be a missionary man
And sell the White Machines."

But steadfast was this artisan,
And wiry, spry, and lean;
So off he went, his only plan
To sell the White Machine.

He travelled long and very far,
He braved the widest scenes,
From Labrador to Zanzibar
He took his White Machines.

He never flinched, tho' oft assailed,
Nor sought his life to screen
When savage men attacked, nor failed
To sell a White Machine.

In many lanes he showed his wares,
In towns and valleys green,
And taught folks how to "sow their tares"
By using White's Machine.

He went among the Esquimaux,
And rode with puppy teams;
They wanted him for King, because
Of his wondrous White Machines.

He trod the storied land of Greece,
And 'mongst Egypt's fallahin;
He once "patched up a little peace"
By using White's Machine.

In India and Afghanistan
The Republic Argentine,
Australia, Java and Hindostan
He sold the White Machine.

Among them all a wondrous change
This artisan has wrought,
And yet it is not very strange,
For White Machines they bought.

The Hottentot now sports a hat,
The Indian Brave is seen
In pantaloons and red cravat
Made on a White Machine.

The Turk now wears a coat and vest;
In gorgeous garbs are seen
The heathen "John," and all the rest
Who bought the White Machine.

The artisan still wanders wide
(Ten years here intervene)'
The people run from every side
To buy his White Machine.