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Vickers Ltd

The former Frister & Rossmann London agent, Pierssene, orchestrated the commencement of sales of Vickers sewing machines, from his premises in Fore Street where he had previously sold Frister & Rossmann machines. See Turning Vickers Guns into Sewing Machines and Instruction Manual

Vickers Machines

Vickers VS (First Decals)

Following a NeedleBar survey of Vickers sewing machines this machine surfaced.

It is one of the very first Vickers sewing machines to have been manufactured, numbering only 508, and was almost certainly manufactured during 1917/8 by German internees who were being held in England and worked for Vickers, the armaments manufacturers.

The model was available for demonstration at the London store of Harrods, where orders were being taken and it sold for £4 in 1917.

The design is based on the design of a Frister & Rossmann VS for which Pierssene was London agent prior to WWI. In 1914 Vickers had erected a factory to build Vickers sewing machines, but the outbreak of war meant that it was turned over to war work.

The machine uses a standard 15x1 needle. They are not copies of the Singer 28, unlike Singer vibrating shuttle machines, Vickers/BSM machines are able to sew in reverse.

Vickers VS (Second Decals)

Vickers Modele De Luxe VS (Third Decals)

Serial Number C1-24220

Courtesy of John Snell.

Vickers VS (Fourth Decals)

Courtesy of Margie

This design is transitional between the de Luxe and simpler British made style. The machine is the first to show up in a new batch of serial numbers.

Vickers VS (Fifth Decals)

Improved Model. Vibrating shuttle, reversible feed, shuttle ejector, one movement tension release, stitch regulator, automatic winder, thread cutter, complete set of accessories, walnut cover. Base is grooved and fitted with pin cushion and 12" measure and mounted on rubber castors. British made.

Price would have been around the £5 12 mark, that was slightly under the price of a Jones CS and a Vesta VSIII was more expensive at over £6 (so much for cheap German machines!).

Vickers VS Sixth Decals)

Vickers 7000 VS (Seventh Decals)

No centre decal. The machine is now known as the Vickers 7000. Available also in a deep cream/yellow. They are not copies of the Singer 28, unlike Singer vibrating shuttle machines, Vickers/BSM machines are able to sew in reverse.

Badged Vickers Machines

BSM (British Sewing Machines)

This machine was sold by British Sewing Machines and distributed by E. Harris. Also available in blue, grey and yellow.


Whiteleys Universal

Serial Number 84859

Sold by the Bayswater department store (famous for Eliza Doolittle, Hitler and Princess Diana!).

Vickers Threading

Taken from the large Instruction Chart for the 'new' Vickers Sewing Machine.

Vickers Cabinets

circa 1928

Hand Machine

Price when new £5 2 6 - Grooved base for convenience when lifting. In two handsome types of Oak... highly polished or wax finish with convenient receptacle for tools and attachments, and a neath cover which can be locked. Can also be obtained in Mahogany or Walnut at a small extra cost.

Treadle Machine

Price when new £6 13 6 - Guaranteed for five years. Useful drawer for storing the set of free "Vickers" Attachments. Extra large dress-guard, convenient little lever so that if children should play with the treadle when the machine is closed, the sewing mechanism is not operated. The standard cabinet work is oak, either wax-finished or highly polished. Small additional charge is made for any of the following variations from the stock design. Wooden frame instead of iron. Extending table top. Four drawer instead of two. Mahogany or Walnut.

Hand and Treadle Machine

Price when new £7 14 6 - Convenient "Vickers" grooved base to give easy finger-grip. If so desired, may be fitted for electric sewing. Wooden frame instead of iron, or extended table top, can be made at a small additional cost. Belt connected for ordinary treadle sewing, with belt disconnected it forms a portable Hand Machine, so that the machine can be used in any room in the house. Drop Head Treadle Model 'A' - Price £8 7 6 - Perfectly flat table top when machine is closed. Standard cabinet work is oak, either wax finished or highly polished.

Drop Head Hand and Treadle Machine Model 'B'

Price £9 19 6 - A combination of Hand and Treadle Machine and the Drop-Head Machine. Perfectly flat table top, no raised centre panel to make an awkward ledge on the table top. The surface is perfectly flat and can be used as an extra table. With the driving belt disconnected the head can be lifted out complete with its base, to form a portable hand machine, with its own cover. See also Combination Handcrank/Treadles.

Drawing Room Cabinet Machine

Price £15 15 0 - It looks like a beautiful little sideboard or gramophone cabinet, nothing whatever to suggest a sewing machine when closed. The "Jacobean" Model can be had in oak, either antique or highly polished; the "Sheraton" and "Hepplewhite" models can be had in mahogany or walnut. If desired a hand attachment can be fixed to the balance wheel for use as an alternative to the treadle when required. As with all other models, the "Vickers" Drawing Room Cabinet brings with it all necessary tools and a complete set of attachments for all kinds of fancy sewing.

Drop-Head Hand Machine Model 'C'

Price - To the many needlewomen who, having learnt to sew on a hand-machine - prefer to continue using a hand machine, this "Vickers" model will be a delight. It solves, in the neatest and most practical manner, the two chief problem attendant upon the hand sewing machine i.e. 1) Where to put it when not in use. 2) How to get a comfortably low sewing position.

The "Vickers" Model C Drop Head

is just like an artistic small side-table - with a perfectly flat top - when not in use. A touch of the finger raises the centre flap of the table-top, and the machine is raised for sewing in one simple movement. The height of the table has been studied to give the easiest sewing position - both at needle-base and hand-wheel.

Vickers Advertisement


from Old Gippstown, Moe, Victoria, Australia.