American Sewing Machines in Scotland
The following compliment to American sewing machines, (nearly all of which have been illustrated in our columns) is taken from the “Glasgow Chronicle “ :
"A machine of American invention has been introduced into this country by William Darling, of Glasgow, (at whose manufactory numerous examples of it are now in operation) which carries the mechanical principle into a fresh department of human labor-namely, that of common hand sewing. The patent sewing machine promises to produce a revolution in the business of the seamstress as great as the power loom eﬀected in that of the weaver. This is, in truth, a moderate statement, for the capabilities of the machine have not yet been fully tested and it is impossible to say how far its inﬂuence on the labor market may yet extend. By the hand the machine may be driven at the rate of 500 stitches per minute, by the foot at nearly twice that rate. Nor must it be supposed that the work executed at this extraordinary rapid rate is loose, irregular slop sort of work. On the contrary, it is strong, close, sewing, beautifully regular, such as it would require a very firm and well practised hand to equal. Now, after all that has been said about American reaping machines, what will be said about this new American sewing machine, which seems likely to do still more towards facilitating indoor labor than the larger invention towards abridging the work of the field ? We do not wish to exaggerate the probabilities of the case, but it must be remembered that the invention has so far passed the period of probation that it is in very extensive operation in America, that such trial as it has had in this country has been extremely successful and that already its inventors are improving on it and adapting it still more carefully and completely to its end. Looking at it when at work, it is impossible to resist the conclusion that it is destined completely to supersede all ordinary plain hand-sewing and that sewing, as an occupation for either men or women, tailors or seamstresses, is gone for ever."
Scientific American (August 1853)
The American Sewing Machines noticed in the "Glasgow Chronicle" and other papers in Scotland, as attracting considerable attention, extracts of which were inserted in the Scientific American two weeks since, are understood to be the machines made by Grover, Baker & Co., of this city.
GB 426 William Darling, of Glasgow, in the County of Lanark, North Britain, Iron Merchant, for an invention for improvements in the manufacture of malleable iron and other metals.
Letters Patent sealed February 18, 1853
In January 1853 Mr. William Spackman of Belfast, introduced a sewing machines into England and it is worked by D.W. Hayden of the United States of America, one of the proprietors of The Lancashire Sewing Machine Company.
In April 27, 1853, Mr. William Frederick Thomas of London, took out a patent (GB 1.026/1853). Mr. William Frederick Thomas, son of Mr. William Thomas, the owner of the Howe Patent and a man of great ingenuity, saw the means of applying this motion in another and a very different manner to an equally new and distinct form of the sewing machine.
In May 1853 Mr. William Spackman exhibited the sewing machine at the Irish Industrial Exhibition. (Singer or Singer system)
The agents Messrs. Nicoll, the extensive clothiers of Regent Street, exhibited the last day of the Dublin Exhibition, to Her Majesty and Prince, coats entirely completed by the sewing machine (the buttons and buttons-holes alone excepted). (Grover, Baker & Co. system)
By June 1853, Mr. William Darling of 94 South Bridge Street, Edinburgh, was appointed by the Patentees to sell their sewing machines in Scotland. (Grover, Baker & Co.)
In July and August 1853, The LANCASHIRE SEWING MACHINE was exhibited in use and explained daily at the ROYAL POLYTECHNIC INSTITUTION.
From September 20, 1853, The Lancashire Sewing Machine Company are supplying the Public with their Patent Sewing Machines. Charles T. Judkins Agent for the Company.
ART and SCIENCE
At Mr. William Darling’s sewing end outfitting establishment, we had an opportunity yesterday of witnessing in operation a number of the new patent sewing machines of Messrs, Grover, Barker and Co., of Boston, U. S., brought over by Mr. Darling. These machines are certainly wonderful triumphs of mechanism and on the whole combine with the greatest simplicity the elements of the highest ingenuity. On a small japanned open platform of about 15 inches long, by about 8 or 10 inches wide, having a fly-wheel and crank attached at one end which drive a shaft with spiral gearing or motions underneath, stands a frame, having a thread bobbin displayed upon it, the thread from which is applied by means of a vertical or punching needle passing down into an aperture in the japanned platform. The most peculiar parts of the mechanism are concealed underneath the platform. Here a circular, or rather semicircular needle (making perfect revolutions, however,) is at work. The seam to be performed is pushed along the platform, underneath the punching needle, which perforates It, carrying down the thread, whilst the circular needle carries another thread from a concealed bobbin completely round it, both In its descent and ascent, thus forming a peculiar loop, which raises on the under part of the seam a uniform ridge, the upper part exhibiting simply a succession of stitches. If the reader is aware of the nature of the loop called drummer’s plat. It is exactly what is formed by the operation of this sewing machine; the proof which Is that catching hold of the extremities of the threads and pulling them, the loops or sewing, like the drummer’s plat, may be run down with the same rapidity with which they have been looped together. It must not be supposed, however, that this affects In any degree the strength of the sewing, which by regulating screws can made as wide or as close as may be desired. The only wonder is that so large a needle as that which perforates tbe cloth, make so small puncture as to be invisible. On mentioning this to Mr. Darling, he showed us, however, that the spiral screws employed to retain a firm hold of the cloth sewed, press upon and obliterate the punctures, the needle, on descending, merely pushing the threads of the fabric aside. This machine performs the work of fifteen pair of hands. With the hand alone it will execute upwards of 100 stitches per minute and with the foot or pedal motion, communicated by means of a belt to the fly-wheel, the same as in the turning lathe, it will perform twice that number. It is, indeed, astonishing to witness the celerity with which at Mr. William Darling’ establishment the numerous straight, curved, or other seams required in making Jean Stays are run through.
What is more remarkable, it is equally adapted for stitching leather boots and shoes and for saddlery, as for textile fabrics and indeed, it was the fact of seeing a large number of the machines at work in the production of boots and shoes at Boston, that induced Mr. Darling to bring over the article and endeavour to make it in this country, another amongst numerous proofs we are constantly receiving of immense benefits which all departments might expect to derive from properly organised international exhibitions of inventions and products.
Edinburgh News, June 11, 1853
So why Judkins was so upset is now clear !
Mr. William Darling was not selling Judkins' machines.
WILLIAM DARLING'S BANKRUPTCY
THE EDINBURGH GAZETTE
The Estates of William Darling, Merchant, South Bridge Street, Edinburgh, were sequestrated on the 31st August 1853. The first deliverance is dated 31st August 1853. The Lord Ordinary officiating on the Bills has appointee Alexander Weir Robertson, Accountant, Edinburgh, as Interim Factor and has granted Warrant of Protection to the said William Darling against Arrest or Imprisonment for Civil Debt, until the meeting of the Creditors for the election of a Trustee. The meeting to elect a Trustee, or Trustees in succession and Commissioners, is to be held within Dowells & Lyon's Sale-Rooms, George Street, Edinburgh, on Monday the 12th day of September 1853, at two o'clock afternoon. At this meeting a composition may be offered and to entitle Creditors to the first dividend, their oaths and grounds of debt must be lodged on or before the 31st day of December 1853.
All future Advertisements relating to this sequestration will be published in the Edinburgh Gazette alone.
James P. Falkner, S. S. C., Agent, Chambers, 8, Bank Street, Edinburgh
Stonehaven, August 31,1853
SEQUESTRATION of WILLIAM DARLING
Merchant, South Bridge Street, Edinburgh
James Cowan, of the Firm of Cowan & Co., Wholesale Stationers, Edinburgh, has been elected Trustee on the estate and James Durham, Papermaker, Edinburgh, George Waterston, Stationer there and James Murdoch, Writer there, have been elected Commissioners. The examination of the Bankrupt will take place in the Sheriff-Clerk's Office, County Buildings, Lawnmarket, Edinburgh, on Thursday the 29th day of September current, at 12 o'clock noon. The Creditors will meet in the Chambers of James P. Falkner, 8. S. C., 8, Bank Street, Edinburgh, on Friday the 7th day of October next, at 12 o'clock noon.
Jas. Cowan, Trustee. Edinburgh,
NOTICE TO THE CREDITORS
The Trustee on the sequestrated Estate of William Darling, Merchant. South Bridge Street, Edinburgh, hereby calls a meeting of the Creditors to be held in the Chambers of William White Millar, Solicitor, 8, Bank Street, Edinburgh, on Thursday the 21st day of September current, at one o'clock afternoon, to receive an offer of composition from the Bankrupt and give directions to the Trustee as to future proceedings in the sequestration.
James Cowan, Trustee. 17, Prince's Street, Edinburgh,
September 9, 1854