Antique Sewing Machine Resource - Domestic Sewing Machines

RETURN TO MAIN


HISTORY OF THE COMPANY


The Domestic Sewing Machine Company was founded in 1864 in Norwalk, Ohio, by William A. Mack & Co. and N. S. Perkins. In 1869, the Domestic Sewing Machine Company was incorporated and continued to produce machines in Norwalk, Ohio.

Domestic was one of the premier manufacturer of vibrating shuttle sewing machines from the 1870s through 1880s-- at a time when Singer only manufactured reciprocating shuttle models for domestic use.

The machine was a vibrating shuttle model which possessed a high arm, leaf tension, and large sized bed. The stitch length adjuster was located in the back of the machine behind the arm. It appears to have been placed in this rather unusual position so that it would not be accidentally rotated by the operator.

The Domestic was apparently the design by which other VS machines were judged for the simple fact that many of the Norwalk, Ohio, companyís competitors copied their machine. These included The Brattleboro Sewing Machine Co. and The Williams Sewing Machine Co. who manufactured sewing machines which were almost exactly like the Domestic V.S. design. Other manufacturers such as A.B. Howe and even Singer eventually adopted the high arm concept for their models.

In the late 1880s or early 1890s, the company introduced the New Domestic. It was similar to its predecessor except that it had a more modern, disc type tension mechanism and the stitch length knob was located on the front of the machine (as was the case with most every other brand of sewing machine).

With the growing popularity of Singerís Model 27 vibrating shuttle sewing machine, the aging Domestic model was eventually phased out of production and replaced with a copy of the Singer Model 27. This Domestic copy, apparently known as the King model, was almost an exact copy of the Singer machine with the exception of a slightly smaller bedplate.

In the mid-1910s, Domestic replaced Davis as the supplier of the Minnesota line of sewing machines for Sears, Roebuck, & Co. This was probably due to the fact that Domestic produced the Singer-compatible Model 27 class machine which would sell much better than the Davis-made machines. In the late 1910s, they introduced the Franklin, a high-arm copy of the Singer Model 27.

The Domestic company was purchased by the White Sewing Machine Company in 1924, and became a subsidiary of the White Company. As a subsidiary of White, the Domestic Company apparently continued to manufacture sewing machines from the Domestic product line, somewhat independent of White. The Domestic division eventually disappeared during the Great Depression of the 1930s and became merely a brand name for the White company.

--From The Encyclopedia of Antique Sewing Machines, 3rd Edition

Mack Patent Classes (1860s-1890s)

Domestic No. 3 Family (Trade card illustration courtesy of JodisPC)
Illustration of a woman sewing on a Domestic machine (Other side of the trade card, Couresy of JodisPC)
Domestic "fiddle-bed" Sewing Machine (Photo courtesy of G. Bethel)


Domestic King Class (1900s-1920s)

Domestic Portable Vibrating Shuttle sewing machine (Photo courtesy of G. Bethel)
Minnesota New Model A sewing machine, circa 1914 model
Minnesota Model A sewing machine, circa 1919 model


Domestic Franklin Class (1910s-1920s)

Girl sewing on a Domestic Sewing Machine
Franklin sewing machine, circa 1919 model
Franklin sewing machine IDENTICAL to Singer Model 27 (Photo courtesy of G. Bethel)


Domestic Rotary Class (1910s-1920s)

Domestic rotary sewing machine head
Domestic electric rotary in cabinet
Underside of machine showing electrical connections
Mechanism of the Domestic Model 69 machine
Tension of the Domestic rotary machine


Domestic Model "New A" Class (1920s-1930s)

Minnesota New Model A (Photo)
Minnesota New Model A, different angle (Photo)
Another photo of the portable Minnesota New Model A (Photo)
High-angle shot of the Minnesota New Model A (Photo)


Copyright © 1996-2001 by Charles Law (Webmaster)

1