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Back in the 1860s the Royal Sewing Machine Company of Birmingham, like many other fledgling businesses, simply copied other machines in a bid to get a foothold in the market.
Few of these early models still survive, but here’s a remarkable exception – a Royal machine clearly owing a lot to the Wheeler & Wilson design which is still with us today in remarkable condition, thanks to the fact that it was built into a box effectively converting the head from a treadle into a usable hand-crank model.
At the time, Wheeler & Wilson machines in the USA were treadle operated but in Europe, where properties were generally smaller, hand-cranks were more popular.
Please check out the remarkable condition – the machine really looks as if it has never been used. The box is original, of course, and in the drawer is a wonderful complete set of attachments, hand-crank, oil can and even a packet with a couple of spare needles. Notice, too, that on the end of the bobbin shaft is mounted a small carborundum wheel for sharpening needles – an original Wheeler & Wilson fitment at the time. The stone wheel would be removed, and the shame shaft used for bobbin winding, of course.
More about the Royal Company can be found here: https://tinyurl.com/y6vuu77h
And I found a fascinating insight into the family history behind the machine here: https://tinyurl.com/yar6wxc9

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British Machines

Royal Wheeler and Wilson