1866 c. - 1885 c.

The W. G. Wilson Company was originally based in Cleveland.

By 1870 Wilson had offices in Cleveland, Ohio; Boston, Massachusetts or St. Louis, Missouri.

In 1875 the company moved to Chicago.

By 1877 they had offices in New York, New Orleans, Chicago and a temporary office in Manchester (England).

Machines were sold on easy terms of payment and delivered, free of charge, at any Railroad Depot in the United States where they had no Agents. At the Centennial Exposition of 1876 Wilson received the Grand Prize Medal and Diploma. "Three Wilson Machines will do as much work in one day as four other machines", allegedly.

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In 1866, Thomas Howard White moved from Orange (Massachusetts), to Cleveland, (Ohio), taking with him a few of his best mechanics and there founded the White Manufacturing Company. 

Until 1876 the White Mfg. Co. new factory in Cleveland, built sewing machine heads for William G. Wilson, until that company purchased the existing patterns, templates, special equipment and established an independent plant in Chicago.


(New) Buckeye sewing machine of about 1875. The Buckeye machine was one of several manufactured by W. G. Wilson of Cleveland, Ohio. It was licensed under Johnson’s extended patent of April 18, 1867. Although it was small and hand turned, it used two threads and a shuttle to form a lockstitch. The machine was sufficiently popular for Wilson to introduce an improved model in the early 1870s, which he called the New Buckeye. W. G. Wilson continued to manufacture sewing machines until about the mid-eighties, although the Buckeye machines were discontinued in the seventies.

(Photo courtesy of The Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village, Dearborn, Michigan.)
(Photo courtesy of The Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village, Dearborn, Michigan.)

Wilson sewing machine, late 1860s to early 1870s. In addition to the Buckeye, W. G. Wilson manufactured several other styles of sewing machines. This one, a combination of the varying styles of the earlier pillar machine has even duplicated the general style of the spool holder patented by Folsom. The pillar is not striated, but the machine does repeat the claw feet of the Atwater and Monitor machines.


Wilson machines are usually marked “Wilson Sewing Mach. Manuf’g Co. Cleveland, Ohio, Ketchum’s Patent April 28, 1863”. The latter name and/or patent date are found on many of the machines of this general construction. The patent is that issued to Stephen C. Ketchum for his method of converting rotary motion into reciprocal motion. 








US 62.986   March 19, 1867
US 62.986 March 19, 1867

Henry F. Willson of Fort Wayne, Indiana, Assignor to  W. G. Wilson of Cleveland, Ohio.








US 158.876                          Ruel  W. Whitney

Lock for drawers

Assignor to Wilson Sewing Machine Company (Chicago, Illinois)

January 19, 1875

Reissued in

February 12, 1878                 US RE 8.079






US D 10.764                       George  S.  Darling

Design for Sewing Machine Bracket Arm

Assignor to Wilson Sewing Machine Company, Chicago, Illinois.

August 6, 1878


GB 4.465                       Alexander Melville  Clark

Sewing Machine

of Chancery lane, in the county of Middlesex, Patent Agent, has given the like notice in respect of the invention of improvements in sewing machines. A communication to him from abroad by the Wilson Sewing Machine Co. (Incorporated) of Chicago, in the county of Cook, State of Illinois, United States of America. Recorded.

November 5, 1878


US RE 8.079                         Ruel  W. Whitney

Lock for drawers

Assignor to Wilson Sewing Machine Company (Chicago, Illinois)

February 12, 1878

Specification forming part of Letters Patent

January 19, 1875          US 158.876









Machines Made

Star Shuttle 1867 - 1868

Buckeye 1870

Buckeye Under-Feed 1871

The Wilson 1871 - 1883

Wilson Manufacturing machines No's 10 & 12 1874

New Wilson Oscillating Shuttle 1883