A Continental Sewing Machine Warehouse

Of  late years a great amount of enterprise has been manifested in the manufacture of sewing machines on the continent and large factories have been built for their production in Berlin, Dresden Durlach, Brunswick, Saint-Urbain, Frankfort, Magdebourg, Vienna, Paris, &c. Perhaps one of the largest is that of Messrs. Frister & Rossmann, at Berlin, which produces 250,000 machines per year. This manufactory is represented in London by Hermann Loog (Limited), a well-known firm, whose establishment in London Wall we visited the other day. The premises of Hermann Loog (Limited), as will be known to our London readers, are of a palatial character, occupying three newly-built warehouses at 126, 127 and 128 London Wall. The premises consist of four stories, each of the floors, together with the basements, being very spacious and divided into three, four, or five compartments, every one of which presents a busy aspect. The sewing machines on the premises are of various descriptions, made in France or Germany and with parts quite new to us, but they were chiefly made on the Singer or the Wheeler & Wilson principle. We give an illustration of one of them.



We first entered the show rooms, which are, handsomely furnished and carpeted, and are attractive for their large mirrors and mahogany fittings, counters, &c. Here we found rows of sewing machines made in Germany, France and Belgium and several ladies who are engaged in various capacities connected with the sale of these continental machines. The firm, however, is not a retail one, the machines being daily dispatched to dealers all over the country and to the agents or branches of the firm, both in the metropolis and throughout the United Kingdom. In the second show room are arranged numbers of embroidery machines, knitting machines, organs, cabinet organettes and perambulators.



Much space is occupied on the same floor with the storing of a sewing machine attachment called " The Duplex Tucker," for which this house is obtaining great celebrity. This tucker, which we saw in operation, supplies a general and long-felt want, and may be described as the newest thing out. Mr. Hermann Loog is the patentee for England and the continent. It makes tucks without the trouble of first creasing down the folds, or having them tacked, as is the case with thick or soft materials. All ladies know that much time is required in carefully measuring , creasing down , and tacking the tucks to be made , before they can be sewn , but as will be seen by our illustration this tucker obviates all this preparation. The bars A. B. are varied in width as required, and it is surprising how much time is saved by this simple attachment, the retail price of which at the agents is 4s.



Upon the same floor as the No. 2 show room are perambulators and  bassinettes. Connected with them we also observed a new attachment of great merit, viz. , the introduction of a brake by which the vehicle can be set at rest in a moment. We have often read of  accidents occurring through perambulators running off  when left alone by the nurse or attendant, but with a brake this cannot occur. The brake is very simple, it cannot get out of order, and nothing extra is charged for it.

Adjoining is the correspondence room, in which are two Remington type writers. Two gentlemen are always engaged in this room, and we were informed that they can do as much work as four ordinary correspondents. Of course in an establishment like this where there is a daily large amount of correspondence, and in more languages than one, correspondence is heavy.

Next to the correspondence room is one fitted with large iron safes and pigeon holes. System is everything in a large London warehouse, where it is necessary to put the hand on any letter or document of the past seven or ten years. Facing these rooms is the counting-house, which is divided into two parts — wholesale and retail. Every branch establishment for retail business of the firm has separate books, of which duplicate books are kept in London Wall, so that it is known every week what is going on in each branch. This is a busy compartment, and near to it is the manager's private office or room. On the same floor, but extending into another building, is Mr. Hermann Loog's room, handsomelv fitted up and arranged with much taste.



On the ground floor are compartments for fitting up machines, and also stores for various parts of machines. These machines have been before the English public for nearly a score of years, and the many improvements, which Frister & Rossmann , the manufacturers are never behind in introducing , are too well known to require special comment.

We give here an illustration of one of  these improvements, namely, the patent winder, which, together with the ingenius loose wheel arrangement, these manufacturers were the first to bring out.



In going through one of the workshops we were shown  a capital new invention for driving tricycles. It has just been patented by Mr. Loog , and is entirely different to the primitive hand-driving chain seen on all tricycles. It is very simple, existing in moveable links. As will be known to all tricyclists , to their sorrow, when the chain of their vehicle breaks, which it is liable to do so by the dust getting into its parts and acting like emery powder in grinding it away, the vehicle has to be wheeled home, which is often a great disaster, when such an occurrence takes place miles from home and in the dark. But a catastrophe of this kind cannot occur with Mr. Loog's newly patented chain, because the rider can carry a couple of links in his pocket, and repair the damage in a moment without tools. The form is a double trunnion, each link being complete in itself without rivets, rollers, or other additions. The chain cannot come to pieces or get dislocated, as each link can only be unhinged at a right angle, which is a position unattainable without the hand of the rider. Another advantage is, it weighs half less than the old chain with rollers and rivets, and in addition to this, it is easily cleaned, as it takes to pieces link by link like unthreading a row of beads. This chain will speedily come into universal use.

Upon the same floor as the fitting room is the packing warehouse, fitted with cranes and lifts, and also entering desks. In the lower basement we noticed quite a continental idea, viz. : a stove which heats all the upper floors and compartments. The stove is only small, and  burns coke and dust of coal, yet it heats three warehouses. Such a process saves a deal of dust and dirt upstairs, and economises fuel. Only continental men seem to understand this process of heating rooms.




In connection with our visit to the firm of  Hermann  Loog  (Limited), we heard that another new machine was on hand. We were not allowed to see it, but by the kindness of  Mr. Loog  we were shown the stitching upon a piece of thin card. From what we saw of  this we are inclined to say that a fourth class of sewing machine is about to be introduced. Those already in the market are chain-stitch, lock-stitch, and embroidering machines, but this we now speak of will be a double lock-stitch. The remarkable character of the stitch is that every one is knotted. The ordinary lock-stitch is a twist of the thread, and after it is disengaged (as when a thin card is sown), you can untwist the cotton and separate it entirely. This, however, cannot be done with this new double lock-stitch machine. We tried, but found every stitch with a firm knot. We believe the patent is already secured, and hope soon to describe the machine more fully.



March 1885



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