Est. Oct.1861 - 1869 (Liquidation)

In October 1861 the European Sewing Machine Co. was established  by  James Starley and Josiah Turner to import and market sewing machines from America .

The works were initially in Little Park Street, later  in King Street, Cheylesmore of Coventry , a larger factory , where the "European", "Godiva", "Express" and "Swiftsure" sewing machines were made.

They rented part of the premises of a Mr. John Newark, on the site later occupied by the Swift works.

They produced the "European" sewing machine, designed to stitch round the edges of cuffs or the bottoms of trouser legs after they were made up. This machine was made at home in the evenings. Josiah Turner took great interest in Starley's work and often visited him at home.



1862 September. Advert. European Sewing Machines Co. to S. C. Salisbury's patent from Wilson and Neville of Cheapside, London.

European Sewing Machine Co.




72 George Square, Coventry

Glasgow Morning Journal - 27 April 1865
Glasgow Morning Journal - 27 April 1865



July 19, 1869
July 19, 1869
August 17, 1869
August 17, 1869

1870 James Starley left the Coventry Machinists Co.  and, in conjunction with William Hillman, started on his own account in St. John's St., Coventry to make sewing machines. He was joined in business by William Borthwick Smith as Smith, Starley and Co. at St. Agnes Lane, Hales St. (from where they later moved to Ariel Works, Spon Street).