WHEELER & WILSON No. 3 & 4
Light & Medium Manufacturing and Family Use
From 1860 c. To 1879-80 c.
Wheeler & Wilson No. 3 machine is the true precursor of the modern lock-stitch sewing machine, since it incorporates the rotating hook principle and four motion feed invented by Allen B Wilson (1824-1888). Although Wilson patented his inventions in 1851 and 1854 respectively, the first sewing machine was not made until 1866(?). In this machine the under thread is contained in a disc bobbin which fits loosely in a ring-shaped holder. Interlocking of the two threads occurs when the loops of the needle thread are caught and extended by the revolving hook and passed under the bobbin. The presser-foot has an inset glass plate which allows the seamstress to observe the seam at the point of stitching. The machine was treadle driven.
By 1894, the W&W Nos. 5, 7, 8 and 10 were no longer made, so customers would have been offered the No.1 (curved needle) and the New No. 4 for shirt manufacture; No.6 and No.11 to special order with the No.10 buttonhole version. All basic work could be covered by the No.9 and versions of the No.12.
by John Langdon (ISMACS)