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By Alex I Askaroff

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Willcox & Gibbs Sewing Machines
'Beyond Comparison'




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.





Willcox & Gibbs


the classic W&G machine circa 1890




  Willcox & Gibbs

The Willcox & Gibbs chain stitch machines are one of the most collected sewing machines of all time. Some say the sewing machine represents the finest piece of '19th Century' precision engineering in the world. This is hard to argue with, seeing that so many are still working on a daily basis 150 years later.

Let me tell you what I have learnt over the last four decades about this amazing machine and the men who built it. Oiling points, parts names, needles, models, and Willcox & Gibbs serial numbers are all included.


The book is now available on Amazon all around the world as in instant download ON ANY portable device with the free Kindle reading App. Also as a paperback. GO TO YOUR LOCAL AMAZON TO ORDER.


E-book cover

Willcox & Gibbs Beyond Comparison by Alex Askaroff

Paperback cover


Hi Alex,
I read your article on the W&G company with interest. My great, great grandfather was William Wonnacott, President of the Wilcox and Gibbs Sewing machine company. William was English and based in London. I know very little of his life story but I am aware from the gold pens that he was awarded that he worked for the company for an amazing 82 years! It’s not quite a world record unfortunately.
Many thanks,


Hi Alex , my name is Joanne

 I have been browsing your fabulous guide on the Wilcox and Gibbs chainstitch sewing machine. I bought mine for 100 pounds. It sews fabulous and going from your diagrams I was able to thread it and sew first time. I did the dating off your guide and my machine is dated 1883. It has been invaluable and think it's fabulous I really do.
Joanne Oldham England


Mr. Askaroff,
I just read your superbly researched article on the Willcox & Gibbs sewing machines.
I have just started my second history blog, Rockbridge Memory, in which I will publish articles about people and events in that region that interest me.
All the best,
Patrick Sullivan

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.


I was very impressed with the information you have assembled on the Willcox & Gibbs. Thank you.


I recall the use of chain stitch sewing machines used at State Farm Insurance (here in Monroe, La) to sew new pages to existing client folder pages. When needed, the page was removed by clipping the “unravel” end of the chain stitch and zipping it out. When pages were added to the folder, they were simply stitched back. The real advantage was no staples and staple clutter.
I recall seeing this being done in the 1963-63 era.
Warmest regards,
David Furr

Hi Alex,
I’ve really enjoyed reading your book about Willcox & Gibbs. I share your obvious passion for the industry.  I’ve been in the business since I was an early teen when my father worked for Sunbrand (a Division of Willcox & Gibbs) in the sewing machine business.  So the W&G symbol will always shine a bright light in my warehouse and offices where me and 4 of my 5 brothers and sisters are still pounding out machines, parts & supplies for the U.S. apparel industry every day. 
I have recently heard that a German fellow bought the Willcox & Gibbs name.  Gird Lesmeister, (spelling maybe out) owns Pfaff USA.

Best Regards,
Randy Collier
Collier Equipment Co.

I have a W&G machine I live near Raphine in Rockbridge Co and had no idea Mr. Gibbs was from here. We are steeped in the Civil War in these parts.  On September 11 there is going to be a re-enactment and the troops will be marching from this area to Lexington.  Our little Brownsburg Museum has a terrific exhibit on the war in Rockbridge.

Thank you so much for your great research on Gibbs. 

Jeanne Alexander

Hi Alex,
Henry Sharpe, the retired director of Brown & Sharpe, has hired me to write a book about his family’s former company. In researching the early days of the company I came across your work. What a story Gibbs is!
Thanks for putting that together. Take care,
Gerald “Ged” Carbone


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