How Many, and When?
Production figures for the early years are a little vague, but it is estimated that by 1863, when the factory was turning out 700 a month, 20,000 machines had been produced.
First available figures are for 1867 when 14,000 machines were produced. This total steadily increased until 1872 - the year in which women and children were barred from working in coal mines in Britain - when over 35,000 left the production line.
Something strange happened in 1873, for production crumbled to less than 16,000, and similar drops were recorded by other sewing-machine manufacturers. Perhaps one of our American readers could fill us in on this.
Approximate dating of early machines can be made from the following table compiled by the Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC.
|Serial Number||Year||Serial Number||Year|
Copyright Graham Forsdyke ISMACS