This section covers the how, where, when and what of the Company's manufacturing, from the start in 1899 in the kitchen of William and Rebecca through to the heyday of the Company when it was producing almost 100,000 gloves a week across many factories in the UK and Belgium. It shows the courage involved in trying new and innovative methods of production, new equipment and the pioneering spirit that was a constant for more than sixty years of manufacturing.
AT A GLANCE
HOW IT ALL STARTED
WEIR 55s SEWING MACHINE
In 1899 Rebecca bought this machine to start making gloves to supplement William’s income.
It is a WEIR 55s machine and she probably bought it second hand. The machine was first made in 1867 in America by Charles Raymond and retailed in London by James Galloway Weir. In 1872 Weir patented a number of improvements including a redesigned bobbin holder and helical gears which made the machine quieter.
It was called the 55s because it sold for fifty five shillings (£2.75) How interesting it would be if we knew how much Rebecca paid for it at a time when William was earning twenty eight shillings (£1.40) a week.
Many thanks to John Stuart of ISMACS International - The International Sewing Machine Collectors’ Society in the USA who has been a tremendous help in identifying this machine and also machines in the following photographs
This story will continue to expand, so keep an eye on the page and find out more as more information is added. Discover how the company developed its own fabric and produced it in the UK a world first and how 200,000 buttons were used on the Company's gloves in 1924.