Illinois

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Illinois Sewing Machine Company

18th Ave, corner 13th, Rockford, Ill.

Illinoislogo.jpg
Illfactory.jpg
The St John Sewing Machine Company was founded in 1870 and re-named Royal Sewing Machine Company in 1883. In December 1894 Gilbert Woodruff bought the company.

Woodruff was already President of the Rockford National Bank from its inception in 1871 until his death in 1903. From 1873 - 1875 he was Mayor of Rockford. He was also President of Forest City Furniture Company and Vice President of Fidelity Building Loan and Savings Association.

On May 14,1895 the company was incorporated as the Illinois Sewing Machine Company with a capital stock of $25,000. The stock was increased to $100,000 on February 17, 1898. On February 16, 1910 the company was incorporated as the Free Sewing Machine Company.

From that time the Illinois Sewing Machine Company became a subsidiary of Free and continued to trade under the Illinois name.

William C Free was the man who changed the fortunes of the company. He bought Illinois Sewing Machine Company in 1903, at which time it was running at a loss and said to be producing only eight machines a day. He introduced his own Free line of machines, but the New Royal name, originally manufactured by Illinois, continued to be marketed by Illinois and manufactured by Free.

The company's motto was New Royal is Chief.

The New Royal model SB (with round inspection plate to the front) bears the patent date of June 29, 1897 belonging to Daniel Gauld of Rockford, who worked for the Illinois Sewing Machine Co. The patent was for a mechanism for imparting the feeding movement to sewing machines with buffers to quieten their operation; and it consisted of buffers placed within the cam-slot against which the pin extending from the feed-bar comes in contact at the end of each movement.


To the left is the Old Style face plate (as used by 'Stiletto'), to the right is the newer style (as used by machines badged as Burdick and Edgemere).


New Royal

New Royal Model A

Serial #175835

Courtesy of Wes

This New Royal model bears the shoulder badge of the Illinois Sewing Machine Company, Chicago, Ill. The model became Free's Model H and uses a 20x1 needle, Free HH or Boye 24 with a Boye size 19 shuttle. With modifications, the model continued to be produced after New Home took over the company, as the New Royal Top Tension model K (different needle and bobbin), N and MO.

New Royal (Model K?) "Stiletto"

Serial #111950

Courtesy of Terry

This is a vibrating shuttle machine badged with the name Stiletto and the logo on the bed reads S S & M or S M & S or M S & S from the company selling the machine, possibly incorporating Stiletto. The patent date on the machine is of June 29, 1897 belonging to Daniel Gauld.

This is the old style New Royal model that became the re-designed model H and K (depending on size). The front shoulder inspection plate is plain rather than having Illinois's details. It has the old style face plate. Bed measures 7 1/8" x 15".

New Royal Model SB

Serial #S60193

Courtesy of Kevin

This seems to be a model SB; a side tension vibrating shuttle machine with round inspection plate ("arm shield"), a rectangular throat plate, indent to accommodate the bobbin winder and automatic tension release. The motto of the Illinois Sewing Machine Company was New Royal is Chief.

The machine bears the patent date of June 29, 1897 belonging to Daniel Gauld of Rockford, who worked for the Illinois Sewing Machine Co., as detailed above.

The New Royal model B (this is SB) appears to have been produced from around 1915.