William A. Mack & Co.

1861 - 1869

Norwalk, Ohio



1869 - 1924

Norwalk, Ohio


"as subsidiary of the White S. M. Co."

1924 - 1930's


A short biographical sketch of Frank Mack

Frank Mack was a native of New York but went to Ohio at an early age, making his home there until his death. At the age of 17 he was teaching school to obtain funds with which to continue his education at Baldwin University, at Berea, Ohio.

In 1862 he enlisted in the 42nd Ohio Volunteers, then commanded by General Garfield. At the expiration of his term of enlistment he re-enlisted, in the 96th Ohio Infantry and served under Grant and Sherman at Memphis, Vicksburg and other memorable battle fields, until the close of the war. Returning home in the Fall of 1865 Frank Mack resumed his old occupation of school teaching, until he entered the sewing machine business.

In 1866 Frank Mark joined the William A. Mack & Co..

In 1867 became the General selling Agent for the company.

In 1872 he joined his brother, Miles Mack, in the firm of Mack Brothers, at Akron, Ohio.


From 1861  William A. Mack and N. S. Perkins started manufacturing sewing machine and/or parts for sewing machine, in Norwalk, Ohio.

In 1863 William A. Mack of Seville, Ohio, obtained patent US 38.592 issued on May 19, 1863, for a sewing machine which was an early example of a Vibrating Shuttle Machine.

In 1866, William A. Mack of the firm Wm. A. Mack & Co., was building the Domestic sewing machine in Norwalk, Ohio, when brother Frank Mack joined the company selling sewing machines from a wagon.

In 1869, the Domestic Sewing Machine Company was formed and continued to produce machines in Norwalk, Ohio

Domestic was one of the premier manufacturer of vibrating shuttle sewing machines from the 1860s through 1880s, at a time when Singer only manufactured reciprocating shuttle models for domestic use. 

The machine was a vibrating shuttle model which possessed a high arm, leaf tension and large sized bed. The stitch length adjuster was located in the back of the machine behind the arm. It appears to have been placed in this rather unusual position so that it would not be accidentally rotated by the operator. 

The Domestic was apparently the design by which other VS machines were judged for the simple fact that many of the Norwalk, Ohio, company’s competitors copied their machine. These included The Brattleboro Sewing Machine Co. and The Williams Sewing Machine Co. who manufactured sewing machines which were almost exactly like the Domestic V.S. design. Other manufacturers such as A. B. Howe and even Singer eventually adopted the high arm concept for their models. 

In 1875 the Domestic SM Co. incorporated the Grover & Baker Co..

In 1884 William A. Mack and his brother Frank Mack, helding the vice-president position, with-drew from Domestic Sewing Machine Company, to start the Standard Sewing Machine Company. Probably the company was sold to James Blake who relocated the factory and office in Newark, New Jersey. Principal Office in New York.

In 1884 a light running machine manufactured by the Domestic Sewing Machine Company, New York, for whom Messrs. Gordon & Gotch are the London agents. The " Reliable " is a good hand-machine made by this Company.

In 1884 at The Indian Exhibition for Sewing Machines, the Domestic Sewing Machine Company obtained three Certificates and Bronze Medal for a lock-stitch sewing machine.                             From Indian Daily News, February 26, 1884

In the late 1880s or early 1890s, the company introduced the New Domestic. It was similar to its predecessor except that it had a more modern, disc type tension mechanism and the stitch length knob was located on the front of the machine (as was the case with most every other brand of sewing machine). 

With the growing popularity of Singer’s Model 27 vibrating shuttle sewing machine, the aging Domestic model was eventually phased out of production and replaced with a copy of the Singer Model 27. This Domestic copy, apparently known as the King model, was almost an exact copy of the Singer machine with the exception of a slightly smaller bedplate.

In 1892 Messrs. Swepson & Richards have taken over the wholesale agency for the Domestic Sewing Machines, previously held by Gordon & Gotch and will carry on the business at the old address of the agency, in Bride Street, London.

In 1894 the company head office was re-located in New York.

In 1904  the death of James Blake, reported as the founder of the Domestic Sewing Machine Co.

In the mid-1910s, Domestic replaced Davis as the supplier of the Minnesota line of sewing machines for Sears, Roebuck, & Co. This was probably due to the fact that Domestic produced the Singer-compatible Model 27 class machine which would sell much better than the Davis-made machines.

In the late 1910s, they introduced the Franklin, a high-arm copy of the Singer Model 27. 

In 1924 the Domestic company was purchased by the White Sewing Machine Company and became a subsidiary of the White Company. As a subsidiary of White, the Domestic Company apparently continued to manufacture sewing machines from the Domestic product line, somewhat independent of White.

The Domestic division eventually disappeared during the Great Depression of the 1930s and became merely a brand name for the White company.

From The Encyclopedia of Antique Sewing Machines, 3rd Edition









Reliable or  Domestic B
Reliable or Domestic B