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By Alex I Askaroff

 

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Pfaff Sewing Machines

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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 worldwide.

 

Over the last two decades Alex has been painstakingly building this website to encourage enthusiasts around around the Globe.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

See Alex Askaroff on Youtube

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


Eva Klaus had a model K Pfaff

 

Pfaff, Kaiserslautern, Germany

 

 Main Index 

 

Pfaff Sewing Machine Factory

 

 

 
 

 

I am still building up my research for Pfaff and will bring you the history of this amazing company presently. Below is a picture of the Pfaff fiddlebase New Family machine of 1888. Guaranteed for a lifetime. That can't be bad!

George Michael Pfaff
1823-1893

 

Pfaff sewing machines are brilliant and have been built on years of specialist skills. Although today Pfaff sewing machines are made all over the world the business started in Germany way back in 1862.

The original company was formed by Georg Michael Pfaff. G M Pfaff was a skilled engineer making and repairing all sorts of fine mechanical instruments before turning his skills to the manufacture of sewing machines.

The legend tells that he was an award winning instrument maker, starting his apprenticeship in Mannheim in 1835. By 1840 he had learnt enough to start making his own instruments but as a young man he had itchy feet and went walkabout around Europe. He seems to have paid for his travels partly with family money and partly using his skills along the way from Germany to Italy and everywhere in-between even stopping in London to win an award or two for his fine pieces.

However back home in Kaiserslautern in 1848 he opened his own workshops. It was while he was working on instruments that he bought a sewing machine to make leather cases for his instruments. After it failed he repaired it and then decided to build something bigger, stronger and better. Using his skills and copying many of the best selling machines of the period such as Howe and Singer, he built his own sewing machine.

There is no doubt that Georg was looking at the ever expanding explosion of sewing machines and thought he would have a bit of that pie. Using much of the Howe system, under licence from the American company, he started to construct his first sewing machine and the foundry around it for mass production.

By 1862 he had formed G M Pfaff and in 1863, with a great publicity fanfare, he sold his first sewing machine to a local boot maker, Jacob Peter. Sewing machine manufacturing had arrived in Kaiserslautern.

Guaranteed for life!

Pfaff, Kaiserslautern, Germany.

 

Pfaff toy sewing machine modelled on the Singer 20 toy sewing machine.

Over the next few years he slowly expanded his factory and by 1867, with over 20 employees, he could hand build over 100 sewing machines every year at his Mozart Street foundry. The rest as they say is history. By 1875 they were manufacturing over 1,200 machines a year and by 1882 they had built over 50,000 machines and by 1910 over 1,000,000 machines. Actually they say that the millionth machine was partly decorated in pure gold and donated to a museum.

 
The Pfaff Model R Sewing Machine 1902-1908. This model, from 1905, is courtesy of Rob Andre Stevens.

Pfaff sewing machines went on to conquer the world and employ countless thousands of workers, retailers and agents.

Today there is still a wonderful assortment of Pfaff badged sewing machines from the simple starter machine to the most complex industrial and embroidery machines.

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This is the Pfaff model 50 circa 1925-1955. It is a copy of the Singer 15 mechanism and was sold as hand, treadle or electric.

 Main Index to hundreds of sewing machines 

Pfaff model B sewing machine circa 1900, also known as the High Arm, see Singer 48k. Initially Pfaff used letters for their sewing machine models but in 1906 Pfaff began to change from letters to numbers and most letter models were faded out, discontinued or replaced with basic numbers.

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!

Sussex Born and Bred, and Corner of the Kingdom
 are now available instantly on Kindle and iPad.

      

 

 

Well that's it, I do hope you enjoyed my work. I have spent a lifetime collecting, researching and writing these pages and I love to hear from people so drop me a line and let me know what you thought: alexsussex@aol.com.

Also if you have any information to add I would love to put it on my site.

Alex's Book: Tales from the Coast

 

 

Fancy a funny 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.

 

 Skylark Country

 

 

 

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CONTACT: alexsussex@aol.com  Copyright   

As a new collector I have found your site has increased my knowledge in a short time to a degree that I couldn't have imagined.
Thank you again for all the useful information you give freely to us.
Kind regards
Brenda P