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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.

 

 

 

 

Chas Raymond
 &
 James Weir

Sewing Machines
Out Now! Amazon No 1 New Release Nov 2020

By
Alex Askaroff

Sewing Machine Pioneers series

Charles Raymond and James Galloway Weir, were two of the fascinating early Sewing Machine Pioneers. Both became phenomenally wealthy, on different continents, from the same sewing machine! Their business flare and innovation was centered around one of the most sought after and collected 19th Century sewing machines. Once friends, the bitter business rivals did battle along the high streets of Europe, as each tried to dominate their trade. 

Here, for the first time, is the extraordinary story of these two pioneers, brought to you by world renowned author Alex Askaroff. Alex is the writer of the hugely popular Sewing Machine Pioneer Series. He has had Seven No1 New releases on Amazon and is considered one of the foremost experts in his field.

Out Now! Amazon No 1 New Release Nov 2020

Alex I 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.

Sewalot & Alex Askaroff  present an early sewing machine, pre American Civil War. - YouTube

This is a link to an early Raymond Walking Foot machine with a clever automatic tension device made in Brattleboro.

 

James Galloway Weir
The 55 shilling dream machine

J G Weir 1839-1911

To E B Donovan from Lady Clermont 1877

James Weir
Agent for first-class hand sewing machines
2 Carlisle Street, Soho Square, London.
'All machines repaired & regulated'


The Raymond Sewing Machine Company Trademark was a wild Beaver.

The Lady's hand chain stitch sewing machine,
The prettiest, most compact and best finished machine made.
Extra speed, superior finish, holes for oiling.
Price £4, 0s, 0d. Terms available.
Apply to James Weir, 2 Carlisle Street, Soho, London West.


Agents
William B Moore
51 Grafton Street
Dublin


W B Moore had a premises in Grafton Street Dublin and another in Cork which I have not tracked down yet. I do like the way they finished the plain spring plate with scroll work and VR stamp (probably a nod to Queen Victoria).

P. Frank
11 Mount Pleasant
Liverpool

Beware all counterfeits...


Another first on the Internet the Raymond-Nettleton patent of 1857. The ideas went into production but not the beautifully cast and ornate design.

Patent 17049
Assignors to Henry E Fickett, Glenn's Falls, New York. To all whom it may concern. Be it known that we, Willford H Nettleton and Charles Raymond, both of Bristol in the county of Hartford and the State of Connecticut, have invented, made and applied to use certain new and useful improvements in sewing machines. April 14, 1857 Patent 17049.

Although the machines Weir imported from Raymond were Canadian, they were pretty much identical to the bestselling New England American models of the time and so Weir also called his model the American Hand Machine and New American Hand Machine, made in Canada.

  Highbury Sewing Machine Co
73-75 Holloway Road North, London.
Agents for Raymond sewing machines

The Raymond Lock-stitch sewing machine


The Chas Raymond sewing machine of 1861. Note the reel of thread under the sewing machine. This was a lock-stitch machine. I have never seen one so it may not have gone into production. Patent No 32785. I was so excited when I discovered this patent. Train spotters have nothing on me!

James G Weir was know as Galloway Weir in Parliament probably to accentuate his Scottish roots

6/07/1839- 18/05/1911

Weir Sewing Machine Values

Raymond Sewing Machine Values

Out Now! Amazon No 1 New Release Nov 2020

Weir/Raymond machines vary in value but they always fetch good prices. I have seen nice models go for over $1500. The machines can only get older and rarer. Remember condition is everything a car in a scrap yard is only scrap whatever it cost new!

OUT NOW!

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! Alex's books are now all available to download or buy as paperback on Amazon worldwide.

       "This may just be the best book I've ever read."
 J Vincent Horam

                             

"My five grandchildren are reading this book aloud to each other from my Kindle every Sunday.
The characterization is great; both heart-warming and funny, and the story never lags.
 I enjoyed not only the story, but watching my grandchildren's delight in hearing it.
 The illustrations are the best I've seen in a very long time.
Anne Lancaster USA


 If this isn't the perfect book it's close to it!
I'm on my third run though already.
 Love it, love it, love it.
F. Watson USA

The way it's written you can just imagine walking beside him seeing the things he does.
Definitely look forward to reading more of his adventures.
Amazon FIVE STAR review

News Flash! Alex's books are now all available to download or buy as paperback on Amazon worldwide.

 

 

James G Weir was know as Galloway Weir in Parliament probably to accentuate his Scottish roots

6/07/1839- 18/05/1911

Weir Sewing Machine Values

Raymond Sewing Machine Values

Weir/Raymond machines vary in value but they always fetch good prices. I have seen nice models go for over $1500. The machines can only get older and rarer. Remember condition is everything a car in a scrap yard is only scrap whatever it cost new! I go into far more detail on Weir sewing machine values in my book.

OUT NOW!

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! Alex's books are now all available to download or buy as paperback on Amazon worldwide.

       "This may just be the best book I've ever read."
 J Vincent Horam

                             

"My five grandchildren are reading this book aloud to each other from my Kindle every Sunday.
The characterization is great; both heart-warming and funny, and the story never lags.
 I enjoyed not only the story, but watching my grandchildren's delight in hearing it.
 The illustrations are the best I've seen in a very long time.
Anne Lancaster USA


 If this isn't the perfect book it's close to it!
I'm on my third run though already.
 Love it, love it, love it.
F. Watson USA

The way it's written you can just imagine walking beside him seeing the things he does.
Definitely look forward to reading more of his adventures.
Amazon FIVE STAR review

News Flash! Alex's books are now all available to download or buy as paperback on Amazon worldwide.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


The Globe Sewing Machine 1864-86. Typical of the New England Weir Raymond models

V H Seeling
Paris

 

'La Favorite Des Dames'
Machine A Coudre Raymond
La Canadienne
H Vigneron
70 Boulevard Sebastopol
Paris

 

Compagnie Francaise des machines a coudre Vigneron


Seeling's of Paris, later H Vigneron, made this  supa-rare cast base and possibly the entire machines for James Weir at a later date.

 

 
The improved patented thread tensioner on later Weir machines It was called Weir's patented Intermedial Tension.

Whight & Mann
Suppliers of the
Raymond 'Little Darling'

The same year Weir launched the Zephyr (£4.4s) and the Argus sewing machines. He now had a formidable range but it was his little 55 shilling dream machine that still sold like hot cakes.

The 55 shilling Raymond Weir

 

*****

It was a time of great change in the World. Let me tell you a little about the period.

America was still rebuilding after its bloody civil war but, union and expansion was explosive.

Queen Victoria sat on her throne at her Palace in London as the most powerful leader our planet had ever known. Her dominions stretched to the Four Corners of the Earth and she ruled two thirds of the Globe. In truth the sun never set upon her empire. 

The last great Indian war was started in America by the Red Indian Shaman, Paiute, whose ghost dance would free them from the Paleface. In December 1890 it ended with their terrible destruction at Wounded Knee Creek. 

On a more positive note Aspirin (what a relief!) was discovered and so were the first x-rays. The independent Labour party was founded and Britain took control of Hong Kong only to have to give it back a 100 years later.

In New Zealand women were allowed to vote, the first nation to do so. So who thought of that great idea! Only kidding girls.

Eiffel built his famous tower in the centre of Paris, and later used his technique to make a frame for Bartholdi's Statue of Liberty modelled on Singers French wife, Isabella, a French actress considered one of the most beautiful women in Europe at the time.

Doesn't it always amaze you how these old men with money attract such beautiful women, true love of course!

The AC electric motor was invented and Gillette found out how to make a razor that did not cut you to ribbons. 

George Bernard Shaw was beginning his novels such as Antony & Cleopatra and Pygmalion at the same time as the zip was invented.

Oscar Wilde was putting the finishing touches to his work, the importance of being earnest while staying at the Savoy Hotel owned by my Great Grandfathers new wife, Helen D'Oyle Carte.

And finally Edison was sorting out how to put moving pictures onto a screen. Watching paper pictures skip round inspired many, especially popular was what the maid saw through the keyhole!

No Weir was genuine without his bed-stamp, notice the later cross-cut gears for smoothness.

The Illustrated London Almanac 1871

Patronised by Queen Victoria
The improved & patented Weir sewing machine
 One months free trial!
Now with improved mesh gears. Still only 55's.
Beware inferior imitations, for they are numerous!

 

Weir Zephyr lock stitch sewing machine

The virtually unknown Weir Zephyr lock stitch sewing machine

 

 

Machines ready for shipment to the colonies
complete with written guarantees at one hours notice.
J G Weir, 2 Carlisle Street, Soho Square, London.

Weir Improvements


Silent spiral cut-gears on the later Weir, smoother, better wearing and quieter.

A woodcut of the super rare Weir Victoria very similar to the Taylor Twisted Loop but supplied by William Jackson of London. 

 

The last machine, a super-rare but plain Weir Argus Lockstitch I have just one in my Sewalot Collection. £4,4s, treadle base 30s more.

And here is the real thing a super rare Weir Improved Argus in stunning condition. Weir imported most of his machines and the most likely maker of this beauty is the German company Bottcher of Berlin.

*****

This is a bit off topic but connected with Weir's Argus. The American Sewing Machine Company was  founded by E.Todd in 1863. They were trading out of Ludgate Square in London and imported models from all over the world. I have seen there badge on Canadian, American, German and Swedish machines. The Husqvarna Freja was a Todd-American Sewing Machine Co import. Stories go that they had strong ties with the Southern Confederacy during the American Civil war and stamped the seven stars on there machine plates as support for the Confederate States, just a story. 

*****

Now back to the relevance of all this and the Argus sewing machine

Some experts say that the Weir Argus was a German import from Bottcher in Berlin. However the similarity to the American New Home models of the same period is startling, especially New Homeís Nelson model.

We know he was importing from America and to top it all if I look closely on my model, in the right light, underneath the gold, you can just see the name Nelson across the machine! I bought my Argus from a dress shop where it was on display. It took a month of bargaining for them to let me have it but my persistence eventually paid off. 

It is the only Weir Argus sewing machines to have surfaced so far! Although I know of a couple of Todd-Nelson's which are obviously from the same manufacturer.

German or American it is impressive. Where is my time machine when I need it!

 

 

A stunning treadle Weir. Makes me dribble just looking at it!


This is an actual Weir treadle, one of three models, still very rare but not quite so nice. her fathers plot in

  Sewing Machine Manufacturer to Her most gracious Majesty the Queen.
It was the pinnacle for the Weir machines.

James G Weir was know as Galloway Weir in Parliament probably to accentuate his Scottish roots

6/07/1839- 18/05/1911

Weir Sewing Machine Values

Raymond Sewing Machine Values

Weir/Raymond machines vary in value but they always fetch good prices. I have seen nice models go for over $1500. The machines can only get older and rarer. Remember condition is everything a car in a scrap yard is only scrap whatever it cost new!

OUT NOW!

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! Alex's books are now all available to download or buy as paperback on Amazon worldwide.

       "This may just be the best book I've ever read."
 J Vincent Horam

                             

"My five grandchildren are reading this book aloud to each other from my Kindle every Sunday.
The characterization is great; both heart-warming and funny, and the story never lags.
 I enjoyed not only the story, but watching my grandchildren's delight in hearing it.
 The illustrations are the best I've seen in a very long time.
Anne Lancaster USA


 If this isn't the perfect book it's close to it!
I'm on my third run though already.
 Love it, love it, love it.
F. Watson USA

The way it's written you can just imagine walking beside him seeing the things he does.
Definitely look forward to reading more of his adventures.
Amazon FIVE STAR review

News Flash! Alex's books are now all available to download or buy as paperback on Amazon worldwide.

Please do let me know what you  thought of my efforts: alexsussex@aol.com

Main Sewalot site index: Index

       Fancy a great read and it's true? The emerald ring

 
Please ask before copying alexsussex@aol.com

Many moons ago I bumped into the wife of Andrew McLaren Winterborn (J G Weir's grandson). I had the pleasure to visit Frances Winterborn who had called me out to service her sewing machine in St Leonards, East Sussex. In her living room was an oil painting of a grand old man that looked so familiar. I kept staring at it but could not fathom why it felt like I should know him. When I asked who it was I was amazed to be confronted with one sewing histories giants, none other than James Weir himself. I promptly got my camera from the car to take a picture of the oil painting.

My name is Mandie Raymond, and my husband and I were recently in an antique store near our home in Clarkston, Michigan, and ran across a "New Raymond" sewing machine. Obviously with the tie to my husbands last name, we jumped to buy this machine. Thanks to the help of your site, we were able to learn the history behind the machine, and place a guesstimated age on the machine of 1895.  Thanks for your time and effort that you have put into this site. Have a Great Day!

Mandie Raymond

Hi

I enjoyed your site. P Frank of Liverpool was my great-grandfather. I was named after him!
We don't have much family history but apparently they were very rich and then they lost the lot somehow.

Anyway, thanks for the interesting site,
Cheers
Peter Frank

Hi Alex
This is just a note to thank you for your research into Raymond Sewing Machines. I thank you for elucidating the history of this wonderful piece, and I am now inspired to work on it anew.
Lee

Alex,
Thank You for Your very informative article on the web site regarding the Raymond Sewing machine.

I just rec'd my Great Grandmothers machine, which for some reason i always thought was a Singer.  I googled and found Your site and discovered it was actually a Raymond,.

My Great Grandmother bought it from a Door to Door salesman when she lived on the farm up near Listowel, Ontario in 1903.

Again, Thank You for You research and information, i found it a very interesting read.

Best Regards,
Dave

 

Hello Alex,

Our researcher just came across your article on Charles Raymond. Itís timely for us because, as the historical cemetery in Guelph, his monument is within our grounds. It is a magnificent family lot with a fence around it, as was the style in those days. We are gathering information on the family and the lot in an attempt to preserve the fence. Some suggestion has been made to have it removed. We are putting information together on the family to ensure the historical value of the lot is recognized, even if it is in bad condition, We believe it would be worth fund raising to preserve it. In the photo, it actually doesnít look too bad, but we will not repair unless it is in the same format as originally used when the fence was made, and that makes it a little more difficult. Thought you might like to know that your interesting article is being put to use.


Ceska Brennan
Memorial Designer & Officiant
Woodlawn Memorial Park
Guelph,