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Coombe Vibrating shuttle treadle sewing machine

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    Posted 2 months ago

    (2 items)

    I have purchased this beautiful Coombe Treadle Vibrating shuttle Sewing Machine from and estate auction.
    I have tried to Google some information about the machine and can’t find anything anywhere about it.
    The company or the year of manufacture. (I think it may be 1938)
    Serial number is 2896294.
    It has a large gold graphics, Coombe, KI.9 on the head as well as S and N letters
    I wonder if you could possibly assist me any information or lead would be gratefully appreciated?

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    1. Watchsearcher Watchsearcher, 2 months ago
      I would love to see the front side of the machine and cabinet….so could u add 1 more picture?
      Hopefully, the lady who knows everything about treadle machines will respond soon. :-)

      I’ve never heard of your machine, but would like to learn about it. Thanks for posting it.
      And welcome to CW!
    2. keramikos, 2 months ago
      OSK, I concur with Watchsearcher. :-)

      Please add a picture of the front of the machine. The front is where most of the really telling features (controls) are located.

      In case you don't know, you're looking at the front of the machine when the wheel-like thing is on the right-hand side.

      You're allowed up to four pictures per post, and you only have three right now.
    3. keramikos, 2 months ago
      A casual search for "KI.9 sewing machine" produced this:


      Antique Seidel and Naumann KI. 9 sewing machine


      The decals look the same. Either the Coombe name is a model name, or Seidel and Naumann engaged in a practice called "badging":

      That little shovel-shaped access panel on a pivot point on the front side is reminiscent of Singer's vibrating shuttle family of machines.

      About Seidel and Naumann:
    4. keramikos, 2 months ago
      I do think your machine is a Seidel and Naumann.

      However, we'd still like to see a picture of the front, because we're suckers for beautiful vintage sewing machines. :-)
    5. keramikos, 2 months ago
      Hi again, OSK.

      I took a look around to see whether there was any Seidel and Naumann database of sewing machine serial numbers, but no joy.

      I did find one site that promised such a thing (at peatix dot com), but it required you to click on something else, and it sure looks like malware, so stay away from it).

      What I did find at a reputable website is a Seidel and Naumann vibrating shuttle sewing machine with the same decals:


      Seidel & Naumann: Serial No. 2107675.

      Manufactured by 'Siedel and Naumann around 1905 and sold through the Company's London depot at 23 Moor Lane E.C.

      This Vibrating Shuttle machine has Egyptian style decals and Naumann on the arm.


      At the same website is this information about another S&N sewing machine:


      Seidel & Naumann: Serial No. 1761676.

      Believed to have been made by Seidel & Naumann but labeled for R. W. Righton of Evsham who's name can just be made out on the arm.


      So that supports the theory that Seidel and Naumann did make badged machines.

      All in all, I suspect that you have a badged Seidel and Naumann vibrating shuttle machine (modeled on a Singer vibrating shuttle machine) produced some time after 1905.
    6. OSK, 2 months ago
      Thank you so much! I am in Australia so sorry for the delay in replying.

      I don't know how to add another picture but going by the comments I have received I will have to say it a badged Seidel and Naumann.

      I will try to work out the year of manufacture.
    7. OSK, 2 months ago
      I have managed to download the picture of the front on the whole machine. Is it good enough?
      What would the letter KI.9 stand for and how rare is this machine?
      Thank you
    8. keramikos, 2 months ago
      OSK, You did great. Thank you! :-)

      Insofar as I can tell, "KI. 9" is the model number. I see scattered references out there to KI. 9, KI. 14., and even KI. 8 (more about that later).

      I found a website that has a couple of S&N sewing machines with serial numbers, and approximate dates of vintage that encompass yours:


      NAUMANN ca. 1920
      Serial #: 2.351.189
      Condition: Working
      With a look of early Singer 15k and the butterflies decals of the 28K



      NAUMANN KI 14 ca. 1925
      Serial #: 3.119.941
      Condition: Working
      This is a very nice example . Its mechanics is 15k based, with an original bobbin winder, and a stitch regulator and feed reversing handle..
      Serial number is into underside of the base. Rear plate is engraved.


      So, assuming (yeah, I know) that Seidel and Naumann numbered all of their sewing machines consecutively regardless of model, yours should have been produced some time between 1920 and 1925.

      I found somebody on eBay selling a Seidel and Nauman KI. 8 sewing machine complete with manual:

      The picture of the manual's cover indicates that it's for both the KI. 8 and KI. 9 models. Even if it is in Dutch, I would think this thing is a treasure.

      You might want to contact the seller, and see if you can persuade them to make a soft copy of the manual for you. Translating it from Dutch to English shouldn't be too painful.

      As to how rare your machine is, I couldn't really say.

      Now that you know a bit more about it, searching the Internet for siblings and cousins should be a bit easier.

      Here is my collection of vintage sewing machine links (it's a work in progress):

      However, it's a lot to sift through, and there isn't anything specific in there about Seidel and Naumann sewing machines, so don't hesitate to ask here in another comment if you have more questions.

      Good luck. :-)
    9. OSK, 2 months ago
      Hi keramikos,
      Thank you so much for taking the time to assist me. From knowing absolutely nothing about the machine to now knowing a great deal of the history behind the makers and the actual machine.
      Kindest regards.
    10. keramikos, 2 months ago
      OSK, You are very welcome. :-)

      Thank you for bringing your Seidel & Naumann sewing machine here for all of us to enjoy, and for me to feed my information tooth. };-)

      Most of the vintage sewing machines posted here are Singers which are largely so well-documented that they present little challenge. Others were made by manufacturers not nearly as well-documented, and the research trail peters out all too soon.

      Yours was kind of like Baby Bear's porridge: just right.

      Before I forget again (!), here is the ISMACS biography of Bruno Naumann which has some tidbits not found in Alex Askaroff's article (at sewalot dot com) about Seidel and Naumann:

      And here is a piece about S&N optional extras:

      Take it easy. :-)
    11. OSK, 2 months ago
      Hi Again, I guess the only question left is who or what was "Coombe".
      Were they a department store?
      It is quite prominent on the machine and on the side legs of the treadle frame
    12. keramikos, 2 months ago
      OSK, I don't know, really.

      The problem with vintage badged sewing machine names is that they can be anything the customer desires, and what the customer desires is not necessarily the name of their business.

      Here's a list of names used on various vintage sewing machines to give you an idea (and this list isn't comprehensive, obviously, if only because Coombe isn't in it):

      I also checked Grace Rogers Cooper's seminal work "The Sewing Machine: Its Invention and Development," and it isn't in there, either:

      It could have been a department store that decided "Coombe" sounded classy, because of the abbey:

      FYI, I did find two other references to a Coombe sewing machine. One was a past auction listing, which I figure is yours. The other reference gave no detail, other than a serial number:


      Jun 12, 2021

      Coombe machine 350587H I think..pretty old


      So sorry, I just don't know. The answer is probably out there somewhere, but I haven't tripped on it yet.
    13. OSK, 2 months ago
      Hi keramikos,
      You have been priceless to say the least.
      As I mentioned earlier I have come from knowing nothing at all to having such a clear picture and history of this lovely machine thank to you.
      Kind regards,
    14. keramikos, 2 months ago
      OSK, You're welcome again. :-)

      I was intrigued by your mention of the Coombe name also appearing on the treadle stand legs.

      I can't see it in your current pictures, so I suspect that the name is on that arched piece? It it cast in the metal, or painted/stenciled?

      I couldn't find another S&N treadle stand that looked exactly the name, although I did find a few S&N treadle stands that had the maker's initial in the middle:

      "N" for Naumann:

      "S" for Seidel (I suspect there was a double benefit here of flattering venture capital partner Seidel, and imitating Singer):

      Here's one that not only has the "N" in the middle, but the Naumann name spelled out in the arch on the leg:

      Back to Coombe: it's possible that the customer wanted to evoke the village of Castle Coombe in the Cotswold:

      As to that one person who claimed to have a Coombe sewing machine with a serial number of "350587H": they could have misread/misinterpreted/mistranscribed a number on their machine -- or whoever commissioned the manufacture of sewing machines with the Coombe name may have contracted with a different maker before or after Seidle & Naumann.

      That's the slightly exasperating thing about vintage sewing machine badge names. };-)
    15. OSK, 2 months ago
      Hi keramikos,
      I have updated the pictures for you to look at more clearly. Coombe is a stencil on both legs.
      I see a well just underneath the N but can't for the life of me work out what that could possible be used for?

      To the left of the well i see a bar which i am assuming was intended as a foot rest.
      What do you think?
    16. keramikos, 2 months ago
      Hi OSK. :-)

      Thanks, it wasn't necessary for me to see a picture of the stenciled Coombe name (you telling me that it was stenciled instead of cast would have been sufficient), but that picture of the little well is great.

      I initially thought it might be a pin dish, which to my mind would have been a good idea.

      I don't know if you've looked at a lot of vintage sewing machines, but what you'll see on the narrowest part of the horizontal arm of many of them is something informally termed "pin rash."

      A lot of sewing machine operators would wrap fabric around that part of the horizontal arm, and use it as a kind of ersatz pin cushion. Except there really wasn't much cushion in a couple of layers of fabric, and almost inevitably the finish on the machine would get scratched.

      It seems like it might be a holder for maintenance fluids, e.g.:

      S&N did make an optional foot rest. It's advertised on that ISMACS page with the optional extras for four shillings), but the drawing isn't really clear enough to make it out. This is what it looks like for real (from that same page at the victoriansweatshop dot com forum):

      As to the little bar/peg on your treadle that might be a foot rest or part thereof, I don't know. It looks like it's part of the leg casting, and not an attachment, but it's only on one side.

      It actually looks to me like a great way to bark your shin. };-)

      'Tis a puzzlement.
    17. OSK, 2 months ago
      Hi keramikos,
      I tested the oil can that came with the machine and it fits just nicely in the well.

      The footrest is far enough away to avoid any shin damage but I do agree its a protrusion that could cause injury if not careful.

      Great detective work!!
    18. keramikos, 2 months ago
      OSK, Yeah, an oil can holder. };-) A pin dish was just silly wishful thinking on my part.

      In truth, that wouldn't be all that good of a location for a fixed pin dish. A better location would be somewhere on top of the horizontal arm, but I don't think I've ever seen a vintage sewing machine with that feature.

      In looking around some more, I've found two S&N treadles that have that little nub on the left-hand-leg, so it's not a leftover casting sprue. It served some kind of purpose. The treadles I found with that nub seem to be of circa 1930 vintage, so it would seem to be a change from earlier S&N treadles.

      Unfortunately, for one of the ones I found, the only surviving images is a Google Preview, so I'm sorry about the gobbledy-gook link on that one.

      On one of the others, I edited out a lot of line feeds out of the text excerpt so that it wouldn't be a mile long:


      This vintage Naumann treadle sewing machine comes with a cast iron table.
      Naumann Schwingschiffchen-Nähmaschine K 9. Nearly Antique ;-)
      It comes with 6 spools and original key and shuttle (see photograph).
      The two handy drawers have brass handles and the machine tucks away into a compartment under the top when not in use.
      I have used this machine to sew 15 years ago and it did work back then.
      The lid that makes the machine disappear is meant to make the table longer, unfortunately one of the hooks is broken off but the table is quite long as it is (does not affect the machine when stowed away as display item).
      The machine has rollers at one end so can be moved short distances by one person.
      The table surface is in very reasonable condition for the age of the machine, see images.
      The fly wheel has a working belt if you chose to use the machine to sew with.
      The top is oak and the base cast iron.
      It measures approximately 92cms wide, 44cms deep and 78cms high. This item is heavy, about 11kg.
      This item is for collection only from Castleford West Yorkshire.

      The Naumann Class 9 was built from 1930 by the Sewing Machine Factory Seidel & Naumann in Dresden
      It is a rock solid marine shuttle sewing machine, here even the standard needles of Class 705 used.
      It has a decor reminiscent of the Art Nouveau style.
      Their mechanics are mature and robust, they still run "like butter" today.
      To emphasise would be the adjustable presser foot pressure and the very nice automatic "Fadenmirführung"
      (it automatically winds the thread across the whole bobbin) at the winding device.
      Commercially available size 705 sewing machine needles.
      Does straight stitch.No zigzag stitch.

      Info from



      I am selling a vintage Naumann treadle sewing machine and cast iron table. It is called the 'Naumann vibrating shuttle sewing machine'. According to the original receipt which was found in the drawer, the machine was originally purchased from Selfridge & Co Oxford Street in 1930. It comes with a tinned selection of tools, spools and parts (see photograph) and has the original instruction booklet. The two handy drawers have brass handles and the machine tucks away into a compartment under the top when not in use. I have never used this machine so don't know how or if it works but the treadle moves the belt so it is likely to function if it was given a good clean up and service. However, the table on its own is very decorative and could be used as it is. The top is oak and the base cast iron. It measures approximately 92cms wide, 44cms deep and 78cms high. This item is for collection only from Kent.


      A persuasive point has been made in one of the numerous forums I visited that the "KI" lettering on these S&N machines (e.g., "KI. 9," "KI. 14") is more likely to be "Kl.," as in Klasse.

      That is very likely true:


      Kl. Klasse class


      I hate to suggest that you get yet another account, but you might want to join one of the dedicated vintage sewing machine forums to get more suggestions about that metal nub on the left-hand leg of your treadle (not to mention the Coombe badge name).

      I'm not really a vintage sewing machine expert; I'm just an old Internet surfer.

      Whoops, out of time at the moment.
    19. Watchsearcher Watchsearcher, 2 months ago
      Such great info has been provided already so let me say right up front what I’m going to toss out here is only my speculation.

      Regarding the iron protrusion on the left side:
      If I were a lady of that particular time sitting at that machine, I would be wearing a long skirt, probably full at the bottom.
      On the right side, there’s the skirt guard to keep my skirt out of the wheel.
      The left side needs something to keep the hem of my skirt out of the ‘joint’ of the treadle…..that little iron protrusion might serve the purpose of keeping my skirt hiked up enough to keep the hem out of the way, but it’s also keeping me modest. Without the little protrusion, I might have to hike my skirt tail up to my knees…..horrors!!

      I hope you get a definite answer from some patent or owners’ manual…..whenever you do, please let us know….till then, I’m voting for ‘skirt guard’.
    20. keramikos, 2 months ago
      Watchsearcher, Hey, speculate away. :-)

      Although the information I've dug up about this machine thus far suggests that it's 1920-1925 vintage, that's not necessarily set in stone.

      Even if it is 1920s vintage, that wouldn't eliminate the possibility that S&N was putting a safety feature on their treadles to accommodate long and/or full skirted users.

      The 1920s might have been known as the decade of the short shift-wearing flappers, but while the flappers were out and about flapping, their more conservatively-dressed mothers and grandmothers were back home sewing. };-)
    21. keramikos, 2 months ago
      That German website cited by one of the eBay S&N vendors has quite a treasure trove of S&N sewing machines, complete with extensive pictures, including of serial numbers:

      The first one, called a D4 looks like some kind of Singer model 15 inspired machine, with a serial number of "2461634" and an estimated vintage of 1912.

      The second one is a Kl. 9 with a serial number of 3363029, and a vintage of circa 1930.

      Here's the money quote, translated from the German via Google Translate:

      The Naumann class 9 was built by the Seidel & Naumann sewing machine factory in Dresden from 1930 and, in addition to the class 8 series, is a successor to the E and L series used.

      The page runs right up to a Kl. 170, with a serial number of 5202481, and a vintage of late 1950s:

      (Below excerpt translated via Google Translate)

      The zigzag sewing machine "Naumann Kl. 170" is a machine for industrial production that was built in Dresden in the late 1950s.

      I tend to trust the writer on this one, because the name is "I. Naumann." };-)

      So to refigure, rejigger, and recapitulate: your machine is likely a circa 1930 vintage badged vibrating shuttle Seidel & Naumann sewing machine.

      Still dunno about that Coombe badge name or that little nub on the treadle. >8-0
    22. Watchsearcher Watchsearcher, 2 months ago
      OSK needs to conduct an experiment if she can come up with the right attire: a gathered skirt, full at the bottom and hem line about a foot or so from the floor. Don said skirt, sit at the machine as if to sew and see where the skirt falls in relation to the treadle. Experiment to see if the skirt tail can be kind of piled up on the iron protrusion to keep it away from the feet…..then make a full report here of her findings. ;^)
    23. OSK, 2 months ago
      Thank you all for you very helpful advise.
      I do think that the nub might be to keep the dresses back in the day away from the treadle area .
      Just need to find the origins of Coombe but that seem more elusive.
    24. keramikos, 2 months ago
      Watchsearcher, While the idea of somebody testing out your skirt guard theory is good, why do I suspect that you're also having a bit of fun, not really with OSK, but with Collectors Weekly Show &Tell in general? };-)

      OSK, I've assumed from the outset that you're male, because you put a name in the post description that I normally associated with males.

      Watchsearcher and I are both female, but we've both had online experiences in which the people with whom we're interacting assume that we're male. It's usually not a problem, but it is somewhat of an odd assumption, given the demographics of the human species. };-)
    25. keramikos, 2 months ago
      Returning to the subject of treadles: I discovered this interesting tidbit in the Google Book version of "The British Trade Journal" Volume 42, Page 41 (Benn Brothers, 1904):



      How marked are the advances in the design and construction of sewing machines can be seen in glancing through the illustrated catalogue just issued by Seidel & Naumann of 23 Moor Lane Fore Street London EC. The firm enjoys a most extensive business in this line and informs us that during the last thirty six years it has sold nearly two million machines its output last year being 80,000 sewing machines and about 40,000 cycles upon which about 3,000 workmen are employed. A considerable number of their machines are sold in the United Kingdom but thousands are exported every year to all parts of the world which may be inferred from the statement that their instruction books for the use of sewing machines are printed in twenty seven different languages. A leading line for the export markets is their No 9 special hand machine here illustrated [Fig 4] which is provided with various improvements, Among these is a neat receptacle to hold loose shuttle bobbins and this is supplied free of charge with every family machine. The bobbins when wound ready for use can be placed in this receptacle and not only kept clean but prevented from becoming entangled. The covers of these special machines are of solid American walnut the corners are dovetailed and the tops neatly inlaid with fancy woodwork. Another improvement consists in a patent pin cushion for the table of their treadle machines an interesting and practicable feature which every housewife will appreciate. It is fixed to the surface of the table by a nickel plated hinge and is brought into use by raising the lid. By closing the lid the pin cushion falls into the proper aperture prepared to receive it. Yet another improvement is the patent foot rest used on the firm's treadle machines which we learn is particularly recommended by the medical profession. For many years now the firm have done an extensive and increasing trade in their oscillating and vibrating shuttle sewing machines which are arranged for use by hand or treadle. One of the most important points in their machines is silence in running which specially recommends them for the use of dressmakers and for manufacturing purposes.


      Actually, there were a lot of interesting tidbits in there, so let me pull out separately the one that really caught my eye:


      Another improvement consists in a patent pin cushion for the table of their treadle machines an interesting and practicable feature which every housewife will appreciate. It is fixed to the surface of the table by a nickel plated hinge and is brought into use by raising the lid. By closing the lid the pin cushion falls into the proper aperture prepared to receive it.


      Nice, but if it wasn't anywhere near the business end of the sewing machine (the needle), why do I suspect that sewing machine operators might have continued to wrap cloth around the horizontal arm? };-)

      Still, I would like to see that particular feature in operation.
    26. Watchsearcher Watchsearcher, 2 months ago
      Keramikos, I was totally serious about the skirt experiment! It’s something I would do myself, given the need to figure the protrusion out.

      If I read that last info correctly though, the medical profession recommended the patented footrest for the treadle machines… my experiment is a moot subject, sadly.

      Maybe lifting the left leg to position the foot on the footrest would give certain muscles a break. I don’t see any such consideration for the right foot though….I would just alternate feet if making those little movements became exhausting. ;^)

      OSK, I assumed you are female…. so you don’t have to don the skirt and conduct my experiment if it’s too much trouble and you don’t own any such garment….my apologies!!

      My grandmother wrapped the arm of her treadle machine and used the cloth as a handy place to quickly stash pins she removed as the needle approached them in the seam line. That cloth was not her primary pin cushion though….she had the red “tomato” with the “strawberry” needle sharpener as her regular pin cushion.

    27. OSK, 2 months ago
      Thank you for all you help:)
    28. keramikos, 2 months ago
      OSK, I'm still chasing that treadle nub, but information about it elusive.

      I've tried searching espacenet dot com (European patents) for S&N/N treadles, but nothing really useful thus far.

      I did find a picture of a Naumann treadle with a similar feature:

      Notice that the little nub on this one is supported. Unfortunately, the original Italian listing is gone. :-(
    29. keramikos, 2 months ago
      I did finally find a free online copy of manual for a Naumann vibrating shuttle machine. Unfortunately, it's in Estonian. };-)

      A quick test of the text at the listing shows that Google Translate seems to handle Estonian quite well:

      Tutorials for the new Naumann machine
      Dresden) Naumann (sewing machine company
      technical specifications

      Seidel & Naumann
      Date of publication:
      Estonian National Library

      978-9949-794-39-3 (pdf)

      manuals for sewing machines Naumann (sewing machine company, Dresden)

      However, the font in the manual itself looks a bit like German Fraktur, so I don't know how well that would translate. Still, the pictures are good.
    30. OSK, 2 months ago
      Thank you for your trouble in trying to solve the nub mystery:)
      I managed to get in touch with the seller on ebay you mentioned and he is going to scan the book and email it to me . A very nice chap!
      As far as the nub goes i have no idea.
    31. keramikos, 2 months ago
      OSK, That is such good news about the eBay seller. :-)

      Yeah, what a nice person.

      Not only does that manual seem like a better fit for your machine from a technical standpoint, but the font looks quite plain, and as such, it will be easy to OCR scan and translate.

    32. OSK, 2 months ago
      Hi keramikos,
      Yes a very considerate person indeed.

      Hopefully I receive the email Tuesday and see what the manual brings.

      I will get to the mystery nub's use eventually:)

    33. keramikos, 2 months ago
      OSK, If you need a hand converting/translating the manual, let me know. :-)
    34. OSK, 2 months ago
      Hi keramikos,
      funny you should mention that as i have been trying to convert the PDF will no luck on my part.
      Yes I will need a hand.
    35. keramikos, 2 months ago
      OSK, Yeah, there might be a better way, but for me, it's usually a multi-step process.

      It involves converting the PDF to individual JPG files, cutting the JPGs up to get image files with just the text, running the latter through an OCR reader, and then finally running the output of those through a translator.

      If you're really a glutton for punishment, you can then assemble a new PDF with the translated text and drawings.

      Rube Goldberg, eat your heart out. };-)

      If you care to share, you can email me a copy of the PDF, and I'll see what I can do with it. My email address is in my CW profile.
    36. keramikos, 2 months ago
      OSK, Then again, maybe I've been a glutton for punishment. Google Translate will do PDFs:

      I just tried it with that Estonian manual, and it's a bit sketchy in places, but I'm impressed that it could do anything with it given the font.

      Here's an excerpt:


      1+ Driving rain.
      The conversion strap can be inserted into the groove of the upper wheel, then inserted pass both ends through the holes in the table and place it around the bottom, inside the groove. This strap must always be tight; if he should pass the time wäga. go to the loose, then cut this section shorter and pause again with the hook heaste. If the belt is not too tight, the machine will be heavy go to the loose, then cut this section shorter and pause again with the hook heaste.
      If the belt is not too tight, the machine will be heavy.


      I figure the Dutch manual with its simple font would work much better, huh? };-)
    37. OSK, 2 months ago
      Hi keramikos,
      Thank you for your kind offer.
      I have tried some of the translate sites with no luck. I tried to find you email address but couldn't see it.

      Its Ok I will persist and also ask my daughter to give it a go.

    38. keramikos, 2 months ago
      OSK, You have to click on "Read more" to see it:
    39. keramikos, 2 months ago
      FYI, I was experimenting with Google Translate's PDF feature:

      I used a screen capture of one of the pages of that Dutch manual:

      Then I converted the resulting image file to a PDF:

      However, it didn't like my little PDF, regardless of whether or not I removed the drawing from my image file, so it might have to be done using the Rube Goldberg method I described earlier.

      When I used an OCR reader on an image excerpt from the manual, and then ran Google Translate on the results, it seemed to work well, e.g.:

      6. Het opspoelen. De draad loopt van den garenklos door het achterste geteigaatie 1

      6. Wind it up. The thread runs from the spool of thread through the rear tip 1
    40. keramikos, 5 days ago
      An update. :-)

      I was contacted out of the blue by K. Newton who had seen this post while browsing the Internet, saw that the origins of the Coombe badge name were still unknown, and offered me an invaluable piece of information.

      It was in the form of a picture of a label on their own Coombe-badged Naumann sewing machine.

      Unlike the machine in this post, theirs was a Kl. 8, and a hand-crank portable; however, in addition to the Coombe name on the arm, there was a label on the base of the case, reading:

      W. G. Coombe
      Central Market Arcade

      That led me to the following discoveries:

      A person named W. G. Coombe had a shop in the City/Central Market Arcade of Adelaide, SA, Australia at least as far back as 1924:


      Thu 12 Jun 1924


      Growing Popularity The Arcade, entered from "Grote street and Victoria square, in the Market Block, is now becoming a most popular centre with keen shoppers.


      Mr. W. G. Coombe maintains a successful business in perambulators and sewing machines. By supplying goods direct from his own factory Mr. Coombe is able to dispense with usual middleman's profit.


      After he died, his estate ran into a bit of legal trouble:


      Wed 25 May 1932


      Liquidators of Willmott, Prisk & Co., a limited company in liquidation failed in the Local Court, Adelaide, yesterday, before Mr. L. H. Haslam. S.M. in a claim for £65 8/8 from Margaret C. Coombe. of Gilbert street, Adelaide, as the sole executrix of the late W. G. Coombe. of the City Arcade. Adelaide, who was originally cited as the defendant. It was set out by the company that
      by an agreement in writing dated August 22, 1926. Coombe agreed with Willmott, Prisk & Co. to the purchase of 324 sewing machines, in twelve shipments of 27 machines each, at a price totalling £250 9/3 for each of such shipments. By a letter dated March 9, 1929, the company proposed to increase the price of certain of the machines and Coombe agreed. It was denied on behalf of Coombe that by his conduct or otherwise, he had agreed to the payment of increased prices for the sewing machines in question. Mr. M. L. W. Bevan appeared for the company and Mr. B. J. Kearney for Mrs. Coombe.


      It seems likely that he died in 1931 and that his full name was Walter Gordon Coombe:


      Sat 2 Jul 1932

      COOMBE.—-In loving memory of our dear husband and father. Walter Gordon ("Jack"), who passed away on the 3rd July, 1931.

      Sweet are the memories that will never fade of the one we loved but could not save.

      —Inserted by his loving wife and son, M. and D. Coombe.


      If this is the same Walter Gordon Coombe, he died tragically young:


      Walter Gordon Coombe
      1887 - 1931
      Born in Bundaleer, South Australia, Australia in 1887


      Nevertheless, his seems to have been a family business that persisted at least until 1967:

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