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By Alex I Askaroff

 

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                Alex I Askaroff

Alex has spent a lifetime in the sewing industry and is considered one of the foremost experts of pioneering machines and their inventors. He has written extensively for trade magazines, radio, television, books and publications world wide.

See Alex Askaroff on Youtube

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8-NVWFkm0sA&list=UL

 

Most of us know the name Singer but few are aware of his amazing life story, his rags to riches journey from a little runaway to one of the richest men of his age. The story of Isaac Merritt Singer will blow your mind, his wives and lovers his castles and palaces all built on the back of one of the greatest inventions of the 19th century. For the first time the most complete story of a forgotten giant is brought to you by Alex Askaroff.

 
 

 

New Home

The early trademark of the New Home Company. The sprinting greyhound

Johnson, Clark & Co

Established in 1860 as Johnson & Clark the company, through various buyouts and takeovers, became New Home and eventually Janome. For over 150 years they have been producing sewing machines.


"I will have a New Home or a divorce. Take your choice Sir!"

The company was originally founded as Johnson & Clark of Orange, Massachusetts. Initially producing the Gold Medal Sewing Machine. They also made the Bartlett Sewing Machines using various patents from other sewing machine manufacturers. See my Dolly Varden Page for more on Home Sewing Machines.


The early Gold Medal sewing machines were stunning little chain stitch models and sold very well. Gold Medal Octagon sewing machines were cheaper than their main competitors but that came at a price, for instance they did not bother plating their bare metal, they just polished it. The problem was that it rusted easily so not many survive in this condition today. I bought this beauty from Graham Forsdyke, founder member of ISMACS in the early 1990's and it is now part of my Sewalot Collection.


Some early patent dates on the Johnson & Clark sewing machines. Many of these patents pre date Johnson & Clark as they were using patents under license from other earlier manufacturers.


The Home Companion sewing machine circa 1890-1910

 

For a time New Home had a manufactory in London, England and well as America though I have never seen a Victorian British made New Home, Johnson & Clark.

The company became New Home around 1881-2. In 1927 the New Home Company merged with The Free Sewing Machine Company and in 1953 merged again with the National Sewing Machine Company. In 1957 the giant Janome Corporation took over the American New Home Sewing Machine Co and continued using their name.

 

Loads has been written about New Home and Janome so I thought I would pick a couple of goodies for you to see. It is well worth popping onto my Dolly Varden Page as it is a great blog on Johnson & Clark and their best machine by far, the Home Shuttle Sewing Machine and Improved Dolly Varden Sewing Machine.

1880


Here is an rare Home sewing machine the forerunner of millions of machines made by New Home and Janome.

you might like to see a Victorian advertising fan made by the company around 1890.

The fan depicts a jealous onlooker who is consumed with envy at what the other girl has had made on her fabulous New Home machine. The girl behind may be the same girl transformed? That has to be some sort of sewing machine!

A little far-fetched but a great picture all the same. I feel sorry for the little girl behind so the advertising may have backfired a little.


New Home sewing machine fan, part of the Alex Askaroff , Sewalot, Collection.

The New Home Sewing Machine Company of Orange Massachusetts had their export office on 17th Street, New York and later premises on 4th Avenue and Union Square. They had sales premises in nearly every major town in America.

 


Many of the New Home models had different numbers such as the four or six but in fact were identical machines with slightly different furniture.

 


The New Home New Ideal sewing machine circa 1890

Johnson & Clark was renamed in 1882 to become New Home. They had already been selling a New Home sewing machine. Their motto was light running like a greyhound.

If you look at this 1950's oil can you can just see the greyhound between the New.....Home.

New Home was absorbed by the Japanese Janome Corporation in the 1950ís although the New Home name still continues to decorate some of their models.

The light-running New Home, King-of-All

Simple, Durable, Handsome, sounds like me!

The Little Worker by New Home Sewing Machines

Much has been written about the New Home Sewing Machine Co that made the Little Worker. Let's look at my favourite New Home machine the superb Little Worker model itself.


The Little Worker Sewing Machine of 1911

The Little Worker was patented on April 4th 1911 with a slight improvement in February of 1912. The machine was produced by the New Home Sewing Machine Company of Orange Massachusetts. They had their export office on 17th Street, New York and later premises on 4th Avenue and Union Square.


    Little Worker sewing machine body

Founded in 1860 as the Gold Medal Sewing Machine Co it was renamed in 1882 to become New Home. That's the third time I have written that just to see if you are paying attention. Their motto,light running like a greyhound, was almost true as the New Home machines were light and smooth but did not need dog food or walking or picking up their mess, just the occasional drop of oil.

Little Worker Sewing Machine patents

This oil was furnished from several sources including the poor old whale which was hunted all over the world for lamp oil and sewing machine oil.

 

New Home was absorbed by the Japanese Janome Corporation in the 1950ís although the New Home name still continues to decorate some of their models.

New Home was one of the most successful sewing machine companies of the 19th and 20th centuries and produced many different models.

 

The Little Worker was an ideal machine, small light and practical. New Home even made the needles for it which was very unusual. They were marketed as small practical as well as being portable and appealed to adults and children alike.

 

 

Most machines of this size were chain stitch models but this baby was a proper lock stitch with a vibrating shuttle.

The machine is the same size as the Mother's Helper model and the New Home Midget which was later available as electric. The machine was also called the Knickerbocker.

 

To add to the confusion New Home would happily put any name on the machine if you ordered enough of them so large department stores could call them what they liked.

They used to advertise their machine as having no rival! The small machine that produced large results.

In 1914 London, England, the Little Worker was sold by the premier Gammages store in Holborn for the huge sum of one guinea or 21 shillings.That does not sound much but the average weekly wage was around that sum. Work that out in today's value. Now you know why it was so well made, it cost a lot of money 100 years ago.


Little Worker Sewing Machine

The Little Worker Sewing Machine turns up regularly and are very popular with collectors the world over and was sold under several different names such as the Mothers Helper Sewing Machine and the Midget Sewing Machine.

 

Mothers Helper Sewing Machine and the Midget Sewing Machine, both Little Worker models. The Midget was even sold as electric later on in its life. Patented in 1911 & 1912

 

 


Mothers Helper Sewing Machine                                                                                                                                                                                                    

The machine appeals to collectors of toys and full size machines. Values have been rising steadily on these beauties so grab one if you can.

 

1910 advert for the New Home, San Francisco Office 204 Pacific Building.


If you wish to secure the best sewing machine see the New Home. The quality and workmanship are unquestionable.

New Home was one of the most successful sewing machine companies of the 19th and 20th centuries and produced many different models. Even today New Home, now Janome, make a range of machines from basic to mind boggling computers which do an amazing variety of work. Janome now lead the way in first class computer and standard sewing machines. No I don't sell them!

 

 
  Well that's it, short and sweet on this page. I do hope you enjoyed my work. I love to hear from people so drop me a line: alexsussex@aol.com

 

 

Books by Alex Askaroff

Most of us know the name Singer but few are aware of his amazing life story, his rags to riches journey from a little runaway to one of the richest men of his age. The story of Isaac Merritt Singer will blow your mind, his wives and lovers his castles and palaces all built on the back of one of the greatest inventions of the 19th century. For the first time the most complete story of a forgotten giant is brought to you by Alex Askaroff.

News Flash!

Both my latest books, Sussex Born and Bred, and Corner of the Kingdom
 are now available instantly on Kindle and iPad. Books by Alex Askaroff

      

Fancy a good read: Ena Wilf  & The One-Armed Machinist

A brilliant slice of 1940's life: Spies & Spitfires


Alex's stories are now available to keep. Click on the picture for more information.

See me on Youtube

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8-NVWFkm0sA&list=UL

Hi Alex
I Enjoyed your page! My Family on my Father's Side sold New Home Sewing Machines, around the turn of the century up to WW1 era.

 
My Grandfather would go to fairs, carnivals, and other open events, and demonstrate the machines, by doing fancy free motion embroidery with a treadle machine, no less! 
 
Neb, Walnut Creek, USA


Free motion embroidery sewn by hand and with a New Home Treadle circa 1914

 

Ena, Wilf and the one-armed Machinist

Don't you just love this scene.

 

 

 

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