Aubineau & Bouriquet

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Henri Aubineau and Léonard Bouriquet


By Rijnko Fekkes

One of the firms which made a respectable contribution in the 1860´s to the development of the French sewing machine industry was the Paris firm with the nice sounding name Aubineau et Bouriquet, formed by Henri Aubineau and Léonard Bouriquet.

They already took out a patent nr. 45817 on 5.7.1860, for improvements in sewing machines. Later followed by patent nr. 66592 on 15.3.1865, with additional certificate on 31.1.1866 and nr. 78459 on 13.11.1867, for improvements and an additional hook system.

By 1860 they were located at Vinaigriers 28 and 1861 at Vinaigriers 53. They moved to Rue Albouy 9 in 1866 and Rue Albouy 19 in 1868, where they stayed the rest of the time. They attended some exhibitions :

Exposition universelle de Paris in 1867, where the received a bronze medal.

Exposition internationale d’economie domestique in 1869 at Amsterdam, where they were awarded with a silver medal.

In an advertisement from 1870 they show a medal honorable from the 1865 International Bordeaux exhibition, but I could not find them on the list of exhibitors, so I cannot confirm this.

Without the connection to an American sewing machine company they were able to produce a wide range of sewing machines in a rather short time. In the first advertisement I have found in the Almanach du commerce for the year 1862, there were sewing machines with one or two threads and shuttle sewing machines on offer. During the exhibition in Paris 1867 they already could present 16 varied sewing machines for all kind of purposes. Most of them for professional use like for tailors, hatters, saddlers, shoemakers, manufacturers of corsets, wallets, gloves, caps, umbrella´s, necklases, dresses, confection, military equipment, for embroidery and buttonholes. Special attention that year received some various shoemaker sewing machines, invented by them, which were made with steam power for the first time and were installed and exposed in the workshops for shoes of Massez et Appert at Châlons-sur-Marne.

Depots of them could be found all over France and abroad ( Italy, Spain, Belgium, Netherlands, Algeria).

The sewing machine industry in France grew rapidly. In an exhibition catalogue from 1865 I found the following statement: “ Cette industrie croit et embellit sans cesse; on ne peut que s’en réjouir “ ( This industry grows and beautifies non-stop, which is only enjoyable ).

The trademark of Aubineau et Bouriquet was a messing oval plate with in the center a small oval surrounded by 9 stars within it the letters “ A.B “. On top the text “ A L’Union Francaise ” and two hands holding a shutlle. On the bottom “ machines a coudre, déposé “

In 1868 they had to deal with a lawsuit from Mr. Willcox claiming they and another manufacturer Martougen were illegally using the registered G shape form of Willcox & Gibbs, which was part of the W & G trademark, according to him. The Cour de Paris however rejected the claim by verdict from 23.3.1870.

Possibly for legal or financial reasons Henri and Léonard officially formed a “ Société “ and a collective name “Aubineau et Bouriquet”, for “ manufacturing sewing machines and other mechanical articles at Rue Albouy 19, during ten years, with a capital of 200.000 francs “. Acte was signed 13.11.1875 and registered 29.11.1875.

By 1877 something happened to the Société. Advertisements only showed the name “ Bouriquet, L “. So Henri Aubineau for some reason had left the business. Léonard Bouriquet continued the firm on his own. He advertised, like he did with Henri, with a new big sewing machine for stitching tarpaulins and other large pieces of fabric for covering objects, by lock- or chainstitch. Also special machines for couture and for making umbrella´s.

He went to the Exposition universelle et internationale at Paris in 1878, where he exposed, according to the catalogue, ” a sewing machine with twenty four needles sewing a chainstitch with two threads “. He was awarded with a silver medal. In this year he took out a patent together with Le Chevallier nr. 123.122, dated 11.3.1878, for a shuttle sewing machine.

Probably Léonard had to struggle selling his machines due to the heavy competion from foreign imports, like many other French manufacturers experienced at that time. In the same year 1878 he had to give up. He however still kept active in the sewing machine industry and inventing things for it, as I found a patent of him nr. 191114, dated 9.6.1888 for shoe clips and nr. 198508, dated 25.5.1889, for a sewing machine with three threads.

The business was taken over in 1878 by V. et V.R PICOU. They officially formed a firm by acte dated 27.8.1878. At first they were advertising with the heading “ L.Bouriquet , successeurs ingenieurs V. et V.R. Picou “. They mainly offered industrial sewing machines for couture, umbrella’s, corsets, shoe’s, ties, canvas bags and cylindrical work, Willcox & Gibbs and Reimann system machines, but also sewing machines for family- and workshop use. Soon they changed the heading with the full Aubineau et Bouriquet name, which was well known and respected to the people. Alas this did not help much and they already ended the business in 1880. Dissolution of the firm took place on 19/20.9.1880.

Late 1880 advertisements showed a new owner : Aubineau et Bouriquet, FELIX, JACOB, successeur, who was specialized in manufacturing sewing machines for producing umbrellas and for caps and other headdresses. He also offered system Reimann machines for fine lingerie. Felix could keep up his business until 1889 when new successors turned up: JUSTIN LANDRY ET GABRIEL BEYROUX, engineers.

J.Landry et G.Beyroux mainly had the same sewing machine offer as Picou and Felix had advertised. They also did repairs and mounted motors on al kind of sewing machine systems. In 1907 a special industrial machine was offered “ La Sauterelle “, for stitching dessins, which was the centerpiece of their sewing machine range and in their advertisements over many years. Around 1894 they also were producing motorcars and around 1900 bicycles.

I was surprised to find an American patent taken out by J.Landry & G.F.Beyroux together with E.Klotz, for a sewing machine to sew tubular articles, no. 562084, dated 16.6.1896. The accompanying drawing showed a machine looking like the old Aubineau et Bouriquet patentdrawing from 1865, just with some alterations. I was even more surprised when I discovered that Justin Landry & G.Beyroux had been selling the old ornated 1865 model still in the 1890’s. In the Nonet collection at Bordeaux is this 1865 Aubineau et Bouriquet model on display with slideplates die stamped with the Justin Landry & G.Beyroux name and with the A.B. messing trademark.

There were some more patents concerning sewing machines taken out by J.Landry et G.Beyroux:

Nr. 202582, 14.12.1889, for a sewing machine system with multiple needles

Nr. 223269, 27.7.1892 (together with Société Klotz jeune), for an improved system for sewing tubular pieces on one side.

Nr. 225735, 17.11.1892, for a sewing machine system with a rotating shuttle for stitching by hand or automatically.

Nr. 330813, 1.1.1903, for a sewing machine with rotating hook and a supporting pendulum.

By 1906 G.Beyroux was elected president of the “ Syndicat du commerce de la machine a coudre de France “ ( Trade union of the French sewing machine ), which position he held well into the 1920’s. Around 1924 he changed position and became secretary of the “Chambre syndicale des constructeurs de machines a coudre” ( Union chamber of sewing machine manufacturers ).

Landry and Beyroux were working on sewing machines together until 1913, just before the first world war. By 1913 Landry had left and Beyroux continued the business on his own.

After the war I found an advertisement published in 1921, which showed that G.Beyroux still was running the business on Rue Albouy 19. Beyroux used the same advertisement as was published before the war with the Aubineau & Bouriquet heading and with his name as successor only. He kept this unchanged in the following years. A separate advertisement was published and kept all the time where G.Beyroux presented himself as general agent of Davis sewing machines. I think the main activity became selling Davis sewing machines then. Also the “ La Sauterelle “ industrial sewing machine was still on offer.

By 19.3.1935 in the “Chambre Syndicale des fabricants et négociants en machines a coudre “ ( Union chamber for sewing machine manufacturers and dealers), a Mr. PARISSOT declared he was the successor of G.Beyroux and asked to be admitted as member of the Chambre. He was unanimously admitted. Alas I could not find any advertisement or publication from him as successor.

So the history of Aubineau et Bouriquet and their successors at Rue Albouy 19 ends here. It is nice the names of pioneers in the French sewing machine industry Aubineau and Bouriquet could be known for a very long time to the French people thanks to the advertisements over many years from their successors.

One can say the Aubineau et Bouriquet machine with her ornated design, is a beautiful and solid sewing machine and an asset for a sewing machine collection.

RF. 24-11-2021