Royal Sewing Machine Company

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The Royal Sewing Machine Company

Herbert Road, Smallheath, Birmingham

The company was established in 1860.

The Royal company used William Shakespeare as a logo, although they spelled the name of their model sewing machine model of the same name "Shakespear".

Royal Machines

The Royal

Courtesy of Claire Sherwell

This machine makes the lock-stitch with a revolving hook; is very rapid and silent in action. The Royal Sewing Machine Company have obtained great notoriety for this machine.

The Times C

Courtesy of Claire Sherwell

The "Times" (here with C on the bed) was the most expensive model from Royal in the 1870s, selling for £7, described:

"The "Times" New Lock-Stitch treadle sewing machine is suitable for sewing fine work of all sorts, such as underclothing, shirts, collars, dressmaking, etc., and is equally adapted for light and heavy tailoring and boot work. It is quiet, easily managed, and can with confidence be recommended as pre-eminently suited for a larger variety of purposes than any other treadle machine yet constructed."


Courtesy of Claire Sherwell

In the 1870s The Shakespear was for sale for £4 4s, the same price as The Windsor and far cheaper than The Royal or The Times (both treadle machines).

"The Shakespear Shuttle Lock Stitch Machine requires no screwing or fixing to table. It is known to occupy the foremost position in the market as a durable, simple, and effective Lock-Stitch Hand Machine, and can be instantly affixed and worked with Treadle without the slightest trouble."

Courtesy of Kelly Pakes

Serial #19757

Although the machine features William Shakespeare on the faceplace, the spelling of the name is different. Video.

The Royal

Courtesy of Rijnko Fekkes

Serial #146915


Serial Number 146910

Courtesy of Ludger Halbur


The Avon was previously known as The Challenge.

Originally sold by W G Williams of Ipswich.

At the time this machine was sold (1870s), The Royal Sewing Machine Company was also selling The Shakespear, The Royal, The "Times", The Milton and the Eugenie. The "Times" was the most expensive model. The company was established in 1860.


Serial Number 6536

Courtesy of Ludger Halbur

This is an early model with early style of bobbin winder and wire thread guide at the top of the faceplate.

In the 1870s The Windsor shuttle lock stitch machine, ornamented with gold and complete with tools was sold for £4 4s.

The machine was recommended for its strength, simplicity and the length, under the arm, for all general purpose sewing.

The Parkinson

Courtesy of Claire Sherwell

The South Kensington

Courtesy of Claire Sherwell

Sold with the name of 'The South Kensington' by Charles Todd of Fulham Road with the Albert Memorial as logo on a green background in the centre of the decal.