Sewing Machine Research
ISMACS International
International Sewing Machine Collectors' Society

Value for Money

Graham Forsdyke
Issue 60

ONE ADVANTAGE of settling on a successful design early on is that factory tooling need not be re-designed and expensive development work is kept to a minimum.

Another not-so-obvious saving is in the handbook department.

With a long-lasting machine run, the instruction book could go on and on without expensive revisions with new wood cuts and typesettings. Willcox & Gibbs is always the company that comes to mind when long-lived production designs are talked of, with its automatic model going virtually unchanged from its inception in 18?? almost until the company's demise in 19??. And the company made the most of its handbook.

Although undated, one book in my archives points out on the second page that this model features different threading and those customers more used to the earlier glass-tensioner machine should pay special note to the thread run on the new machine.

Although the booklet is not dated, one would be excused from thinking that it must have been produced shortly after the change to the automatic model.

Not so. An insert pasted onto the price page points out the need for an increase of 10 per cent on all hand machines and 20 per cent on the treadle machines.

The increase was not meant to be a permanent advance and the company had a very good excuse, for the date of the increase puts the stuck-in label at 1916, right in the middle of the First World War.

How's that for getting value for money out of the printer? GF