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In the late 1870s there was a vogue for running stitch sewing machines, used mainly, I believe, to add trimmings to dresses, etc.
Leader in the field was the Heberling Company. But as the manufacturers pointed out, they had many imitators, including, it would seem, the Englishman William Herbert. Even Singer produced a Heberling-style machine.
Herbert and William Hillman were both employees at the Newton Wilson sewing machine works but later left to form their own company with Herbert as the moneyman and Hillman providing the engineering expertise. Hilman later went on to produce the Hillman range of cars, eventually absorbed into the Rootes Group.
For more on this machine, see here:  https://tinyurl.com/yb7arz5z

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