Confiscated Sewing Machines (1917)

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Confiscated Sewing Machines

From: Sewing and Washing Machines and Pram Gazette September 1, 1917

Last month, Gamages, of Holborn, gave great publicity to an announcement of their having purchased 2,400 sewing machines "captured from the enemy," offering these at, relatively low prices. One of our friends was present at the sale by auction of these machines, which were taken from the S.S. "Tranquebar", which was seized by our Navy and taken into Newcastle when en route for S. America.

At the sale there were present several regular sewing machine firms, but none of them made purchases, Messrs. Gamage buying practically the whole consignment. Most of the machines were of the "Saxonial" type, the pre-war price of which was 21s., but they actually fetched 2 pounds each, and the 60 treadle machines, vibrating shuttle, one drawer, made by Clemens Muller, fetched from five to six pounds each although their former price was 58s.

NOTES. The S.S Tranquebar was a Danish East Asiatic Company ship. The Tranquebar was briefly in the news again in 1922 when the FBI boarded her in Galveston, Texas to interrogate two men in connection with the Carroll A. Deering mystery. This was a Marie Celeste-type incident in early 1921, when the American schooner Carroll A. Deering out of Rio de Janiero and bound for Norfolk, Virginia, was found washed ashore on Diamond Shoals, near Cape Hatteras, North Carolina with all her crew missing. The full story of this incident can be read here [1].