American Button-Hole Overseaming & Sewing Machine Co.

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American Button-Hole Overseaming & Sewing Machine Co.

The roots of the company go back to 1863. It became a corporation in Jan. 1886; the State of PA shows that's when they filed their articles of Inc. Their main works were in Philadelphia, Pa., with the main office at 20th Street and Washington Ave., a large foundry in Toledo, Ohio and a woodwork factory in Chicago, Ill.

They also registered as a corp. in Ohio in 1894 and it was cancelled by the tax dept. in 1902. By 1898 the American Sewing Machine Company of Philadelphia was making shells for the American Government and still devoting part of the works to the manufacture of cycles and sewing machines.

American

American No. 7

Courtesy of Claire Sherwell

This is George Rominger's February 15, 1881 patent drawing for the company's device for imparting a combined vertical and longitudinal reciprocating movement to any desired parts of machinery.

The American No. 7 uses a strange combination of a wide sweeping vibrating shuttle mechanism using a boat shuttle with a round bobbin. As shown, the price of a replacement was over twice that of the more modern American No. 9 that used a conventional vibrating shuttle.


Courtesy of Barb

From the late 1880s or early 1890s. The machine has a five drawer Eastlake cabinet with Gothic cover (often referred to as a coffin top these days, although the correct phrase is Gothic). There is a number of 126027 on the spool pin. Patents on the machine and attachments all date from the 1880s. The take-up thread on the faceplate moves in an arc and the upper tension is adjusted with the screw on the faceplate (i.e. there is no top leaf tension). The machine uses a strange combination of a wide sweeping vibrating shuttle mechanism using a boat shuttle with a round bobbin!

The machine's slide plate has the following patent dates:

NOV 26,1872

MAY 27,1873

MAR 30,1880

FEB 15,1881

MAY 21,1881

DEC 20,1881

APR 18,1882

REISSUED

MAY 2,1882


The American No. 7 was introduced in 1882. The American Sewing Machine company had a reputation for being progressive and with the new, stylish features of the No. 7 the public was apparently not disappointed. "Once adjusted, always there" was said to be a motto that could be applied! When the machine was first marketed American had difficulty keeping up with demand for the No. 7. Their main works were in Philadelphia, Pa., with the main office at 20th Street and Washington Ave., a large foundry in Toledo, Ohio and a woodwork factory in Chicago, Ill. The factory was to be enlarged to cope with demand.

By 1885 the company was also marketing their new buttonhole machine.

In 1886 American placed their new nickel trimmed sets of woodwork on the market. The drawer supports were of cast metal, nickel plated and polished. They were individually attached to the stand, so that two, four or six could be attached as the customer wished. Drawers were of solid black walnut, highly finished with panels finished in French veneers.

The No. 7 has a large head with a great deal of space under the arm, good penetrative power and a simple mechanism:

Self threading at all parts - including the shuttle

Needle is self-setting, requiring no work to set it, nor screwdriver to fix it

Shuttle of cast steel, hardened, and it can be threaded and inserted in place. The tension device is readily adjustable and easily removed for cleaning.

Feed is positive; requiring no spring, is strong and durable, and its height is easily regulated by an eccentric

Stitch regulator is unique. A dial plate indicates the number of stitches the machine is making to the inch, and by means of a crank and plunger the length of stitch can be instantly changed, even while the machine is in full operation.

Bobbin carries much thread.

Shuttle lever and feed lever both work on a central stud, and are balanced, allowing a high speed without strain to the parts Presser bar is steadied by a long steel guide, hardened, which keeps the presser foot steady.

Attachments are easily attached and the machine may be oiled without turning over the head of the machine.

George Rehfuss and company history

Discussion topic


Courtesy of Tina K

Numbers on the spool pin - 300 on the top half and 33276 on the bottom. The machine uses an unusual combination of a wide sweeping vibrating shuttle mechanism using a boat shuttle with a round bobbin. This machine has a top leaf tension. The shuttle is the later shuttle from 1885, as shown in this album.


Serial 62706 ?)

Courtesy of Billie

The machine is in a five drawer treadle cabinet. It has a plain metal face plate, usually indicating a late machine, instead of a japanned one, yet the serial number is early, unless a digit is missing. The face plate also does have a take up lever that moves in an arc. It has a top tension.

The American No. 7 was introduced in 1882.

Courtesy of Mary T

Presented by the agent in Missouri at 917 Olive Street, St. Louis. American's unusual bobbin and shuttle arrangement features as part of the design in the number 7.