Davis Mysteries

Given that I am not an expert on this field but just an enthusiast, who try to knowledge a bit more about the sequence of the sewing machines history. 

Mystery 1:

The Lost Patents


On early Davis sewing machines, one of the slide-plate to access the shuttle underneath, is engraved with few patents's dates, but 3 of them appear to not exist  at  the least  not  in the Job Anthony Davis name and or anyway related to the Company.


1 ............... MAY  7, 1854

2 ............... FEB 26, 1856

3 ............... APR 15, 1867




For the first patent, because I wasn't sure about the right day, I searched all patents that have been issued in May 1854. Not one Letters Patent was issued for the 7th, 17th or 27th of May 1854. (Design's dates?)

However, in May 1854, 12 Specifications for Letters Patent were issued.

By clicking on the aforementioned date, you can see the American patents for that year. Looking for those patents issued in May, it is interesting to note that the Singer patent US 10.974, although it does not correspond to the exact date, could explain why the "The Combination" so called, composed of the Singer, Wheeler & Wilson and Grove & Baker companies, who shared royalties in common on certain patents, claimed that the Davis was an infringement and only by January 1869 the Davis Sewing Machine Company settled the action brought against them, paying to them 40 cents on early Davis machine manufactured.

Although the inventor (I.M. Singer) doesn't mention a walking foot or a vertical feed, this patent appear to be an early  development of a walking foot or vertical feed or anyway a new method of feeding the cloth.

For the second lost patent I did exactly the same. In February 1856 only four patents for sewing machines were issued.

Two of them were issued on the right date but not in J. A. Davis's name. Let's see them.

US 14.322................................Feb. 26, 1856
US 14.322................................Feb. 26, 1856
US Patent 14.324......................Feb. 26, 1856
US Patent 14.324......................Feb. 26, 1856


The third and last patent, trouble again.

Apr 15,  1867

not patents for this date and unable to locate patent US 63.778

To get to the point I ask myself why Job Anthony Davis or the Company wanted or needed those three patents engraved on their machines?


to be continued....more patents are lost!



Mystery 2:

The vibrating shuttle's development

"Vibrating Shuttle System"

sequential american patents


US 7.776                                Allen  B.  Wilson             November 12, 1850


US 11.934                               Daniel  Harris               November 14, 1854



RE345                                    Allen  B.  Wilson               January 22, 1856

RE414                                     Allen  B.  Wilson              December 9, 1856


US 27.208                                 Job  A.  Davis                February 21, 1860


US 174.703                             Porter & Baker                     Mach 14, 1876


An improved version of the White S.M. Co., vibrating shuttle sewing machine, was introduced in 1883.

Robert Whitehill development came only in 1885He designed a new machine around it which Singer bought and popularized.  US 326.821 

It's surprising to me that it was never mentioned the connection of Charles Morey, Job A. Davis and Daniel Harris (Dorcas Sewing Machine) with the vibrating shuttle machines. Although the paternity of the vibrating shuttle machine is attributed to Mr. Allen B. Wilson, what about the British patent GB 12.752 issued to Morey in August 30,1849 or February 28, 1850? 

Where am I wrong?


Patent Models Index

Guide to the Collections of the

National Museum of America History

Smithsonian Institution

Volume 1: Listings by

Patent Number and Invention

Volume 2: Listings by

Inventor and Residence of Inventor

by  Barbara Suit Janssen