Victor André

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Howe Dealership in France

August 1892

We deeply regret to record the death of Monsieur Victor André, the largest sewing machine dealer in France. He has been ill for some time past, but his end, at the age of 65, came rather suddenly. We had intended giving a portrait and sketch of this gentleman's career, but through an accident the block is not ready, so that we must hold over the matter until next month. M. André was in the trade some thirty years, first as agent for the Howe Company, in partnership with M. Fontaine, and latterly on his own account as agent for the Vertical Feed Company.

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In our August number we recorded with great regret the death of J. M. Victor André the leading French sewing machine dealer. We are now able through the kindness of our French contemporary to give a portrait of Monsieur André.

This gentleman was at one time in the shoe trade; so, too, was Mons. François Fontaine père (late of the Howe Machine Company), and in 1863, soon after sewing machines were first introduced into France, they entered into partnership under the style of André & Fontaine.

Just before the 1870 war the partnership was dissolved, M. Fontaine starting in business in Berlin on his own account as an importer of sewing machines.

Thus far the only machine dealt in by Mons. André was the Howe, of which he was sole importer, but in 1885, when the Howe had declined in popularity the late Victor André took up with the sale agency for the Davis or Vertical Feed machine. His success with this machine has been phenomenal, and many thousands have passed through his hands. Some three or four years ago M. André started the sale of bicycles, and with these also he was successful.

He was born in 1825, and was thus in his sixty-seventh year at his death, which occurred somewhat suddenly. M. André was twice married and leaves behind him two sons, M. Louis André and M. George André, who will continue the business at their father's old-established and extensive premises in the sewing machine quarter of Paris, 48, Boulevard Sébastopol.

M. Victor André was for many years a director of the original Howe Company, and was much respected for his sound common sense and sterling honesty. The legacy left to his sons is a brilliant reputation and an extensive business, and the Gazette sincerely hopes that the success of the latter may be long enjoyed and extended by the sons.