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Salesman or Inventor with an early sewing machine

In Photographs > Cartes-De-Visite > Show & Tell and Sewing > Show & Tell.
Cartes-De-Visite293 of 308Boy With Huge BowtieCDV of New York man with birth defect
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Posted 7 years ago

(854 items)

This carte de visite (CDV) dates from the late 1860s- early 1870s and was photographed by J.P. Brown of Cambridge, Ohio.

The man is showing off a treadle sewing machine and has what appears to be a catalogue with the company logo on the table.

Any information on the machine is appreciated.

Reproduction of this image in any form is not authorized.



  1. scottvez scottvez, 7 years ago
    Any thoughts on the sewing machine in the photograph?
  2. solver solver, 7 years ago
    Scott, my perception is that the "book" isn't showing the logo, but a sample of embroidery, specifically a monogram. So, he could be showing this "new" feature of the machine, something as simple as the feeder, but impossible to tell.

    The photographer, J. P. Brown, was in Cambridge, Ohio, in 1887:

    Using that timeline and your dating of the CDV, I "very" quickly looked at patents. Here is a machine, patent filed 1898, that looks similar to the one in your photo. The earlier machines I saw weren't similar to the one in the photo (see wheel at end that is close to the cabinet):

    A sewing machine stand, patent filed 1886:

    Based on the above, I haven't helped you one bit. :-)

  3. scottvez scottvez, 7 years ago
    Thanks, solver.

    I am confident that the image is much earlier than the 1880s or 90s. The thin stock, straight corners, gold lining, and plain backmark are all consistent with the 1870s at the latest.

    I was hoping one of the "sewing machine" collectors would have a quick answer on the machine!

  4. Bernadette Bernadette, 6 years ago
    The machine looks like it could be a Davis Vertical Feed. They did have a machine sold as 'Browns' but I don't know if it's connected. The company was formed in 1868 at Watertown NY and moved to Dayton OH in 1890.
  5. scottvez scottvez, 6 years ago
    Thanks Bernadette, I appreciate your input.

    Was the Davis Vertical Feed from the early years of the company?

  6. Bernadette Bernadette, 5 years ago
    Sorry Scott I missed your comment from 2 years ago (duh) :) The Davis VF mechanism was patented by Job A. Davis in 1866 and they continued to produce it for many years, as late as WW1, but the one pictured is of the early shape.
  7. scottvez scottvez, 5 years ago
    Thanks for the confirmation bernadette!

    I was confident that this was from the first few years of the company.

  8. scottvez scottvez, 3 years ago
    Thanks for looking csd-- be sure to check out my other postings. I have numerous antique photograph postings on CW.

  9. scottvez scottvez, 3 years ago
    Thanks tom!


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