1881 LONDON EXHIBITION
THE SINGER MANUFACTURING COMPANY. Foster Lane, Cheapside, E.C.
This firm, who occupied a good position near the Islington entrance, made one of the most interesting exhibits in the show. We first noticed their button-hole machine. In working this machine the garment is held firmly and securely in its place by means of an improved steel clamp fitted with expanding jaws, operated on by means of a steel eccentric. The hole is cut by an improved contrivance in form of a hammer, having the knife or cutter fixed in the head, and fitted with a limb passing through the bed of the machine, and connecting, by means of a hook, to a horizontal shaft beneath the table, the shaft being furnished with a cam for raising the cutting brass to meet the knife on its down stroke. The shaft is also furnished with two iron handles, firmly fitted to it ; by griping the handles firmly and raising them four inches, the hammer descends with great force, and perforates the garment. The looper, or under needle, is also very much improved, it being jointed to the lever so as to enable the operator to thread up the more quickly and readily. This machine was admired by hundreds of interested visitors, and pronounced by them to be a masterpiece of mechanical ingenuity and skill in point of finish, &c. They also exhibited the new arm machine, suitable for the leather trade, more especially for the making and repairing of boots and shoes, Gladstone bags, &c. This machine is another specimen of mechanical ingenuity and skill in its highest perfection viz., simplicity of construction, evenly balanced working parts, combined with elegance and durability. The shuttle spool is round, and about the size of a sixpence. The shuttle is constructed on the self-acting principle, the tension being regulated by means of a small screw on the upper side or surface, thereby enabling the operator to adjust it without taking it out of the machine. It has a long arm with a very small end, the needle hole being planted very near the edge. The needle plate is held firmly in its place by means of a spring pin or bolt, operated on by the thumb of the worker. Another important feature is the needle bar action. The top, or needle bar, lever is operated on by means of a cam, firmly fixed to the horizontal shaft, and supported between two check plates just in front of the cam ; consequently the action is uniform throughout, having no stroke or loose play to mar the beauty of the stitch, which is simply perfection. The cam is also furnished with two speed grooves—fast and slow. The needle bar is extra stout and well supported. The shuttle lever is operated on by means of a cam and rock lever fitted inside the arm of the machine. The machine works well, no matter in what direction the goods are made to travel, either to, from, to the right or left of the operator. Their oscillating spool machine was also exhibited. It is the simplest and lightest running machine in the market. The general action throughout is oscillating; the freedom and ease in working of this machine is truly remarkable, I,500 stitches per minute can le readily given cut without undue exertion on the part of the operator. The adjustment of thread, both top and bottom, is on the self-threading principle, thereby effecting a great saving in time. There are two sizes of this machine, family and medium, the former for the manufacture of light goods, the medium, fitted with roll-presser, for leather ; both sizes have special positive takes up, and form a pretty pearl-like stitch. Another machine exhibited was the Singer fancy or embroidery stitch machine, which is a very remarkable novelty. This machine is designed to form eight different stitches by simply removing a cam and replacing it by another ; it is very useful in ornamenting children's goods, smoking caps, &c., and by a judicious blending of coloured silk a very pretty and novel effect may be produced. This machine had a host of admirers. Their small arm machine, family size, which they showed, is designed to supply shirt, cap, underwear manufactures and others, is simple in construction, strong in its various parts, and is what is known as a top feed machine. Amongst their exhibits was their new medium braiding machine. The special feature in this machine is a clutch action, fitted with two levers beneath the table, operated on by the knees of the worker ; a slight pressure to the left stops the feed with the needle in the goods, thereby enabling the operator to turn sharp angles without removing her hands from the work. This machine is designed for the use of mantle and juvenile suit manufacturers. A machine for producing an imitation cord on silk, cloth, felt, &c., was exhibited for the use of manufacturers of mantles, costumes, skirts, &c. This machine has been in great demand, especially in London, in the above branches, and has been highly successful. We cannot speak too highly of their special patented self-acting spool winder. This very ingenious device is simply perfection, the cotton passing from the spool through a self-threading guide or eyelet, the bobbin put in its place, and the cotton secured with two or three turns round a thumb. The machine is then started, and the cotton is evenly laid on by means of a travelling tension, the coils being kept in uniform position by means of a presser plate; when the spool contains sufficient cotton the winder throws itself out of gear and stops. These spools are more evenly wound than reels of cotton, and contain 60 yards of No. 50 cotton. The last thing we noticed was their self-threading shuttle. In this patented improvement the holes drilled in former shuttles are entirely done away with. It is fitted on the inner side with a spring or guide, and the shuttle so shaped as to enable the operator to lay the cotton in its place instantly, even in the darkest of work rooms. Also on their stand was a frilling and pleating attachment. This is worked by means of a ratchet and spring pawl operating on a cam, and taking its action from the upper part of the needle-bar, and easily fixed in position by the lower face-plate screw, it is made adjustable so as to produce pleating of various widths ; it works well, and can be highly recommended.