What is the age of my Vickers sewing machine? (Date, Value, and History) Update 05/2022

Written words are not always accurate. As much as we would like to assume that what we read on the internet is accurate, this is not always, or even usually, the case. There appears to have been a lot of erroneous information concerning Vickers published throughout the years, making it difficult to distinguish fact from fiction.

What is the age of my Vickers sewing machine? The Vickers Company was founded in Britain and existed long before it began producing sewing machines. The first Vickers sewing machine was built in 1914, but production was halted due to World War I. Vickers’ original products were also used to create armaments and other items for the war effort, therefore production was halted.

Continue reading this article to learn more about the Vickers sewing machine and the firm that created it. It provides you with the information you need to date your old Vickers and determine whether or not it is valuable. It only takes a few minutes to catch up on the latest news on this vintage sewing machine.

When Were Vickers Sewing Machines Made?

Vickers was an armament firm that also made a variety of other products. It was continually looking to diversify, and between 1828 and 1914, it was involved in a variety of products. Because of the company’s approach, switching to sewing machines was not considered unusual.

How Old Is My Vickers Sewing Machine? (History, Value, Date)

The onset of the First World War put an end to the production of sewing machines, and it wasn’t until after the war that the company resumed production. As one of their biggest competitors, Frister & Rossmann, slowly fell out of business after the war, they enjoyed a very favorable open market.

Vickers continued to manufacture sewing machines until they were again suspended, this time by World War II. Sewing machines were no longer manufactured in 1939. After the war, the story takes a similar path, with sewing machine competitors releasing cheaper versions than Vickers. They are known to have produced a few machines in the late 1940s and 1950s.

According to legend, production ceased in 1954.

Vickers Sewing Machines History

Vickers was created in 1828 by Edward Vickers and his father-in-law George Naylor, who was able to take over the company and rename it Naylor Vickers and Company thanks to the latter’s railway investments. Vickers has been recognized by several various corporate names throughout its history, and this transition began a trend for name changes.

Vickers’ two sons joined the company, which was situated in Sheffield, England, and it became public. In 1867, the firm was renamed Vickers, Sons & Company. Vickers then purchased The Barrow Shipbuilding Company in 1897, taking control of the subsidiary Maxim Nordenfelt Guns & Ammunition Company.

It would be another 17 years before they produced their first sewing machine. Vickers, Limited was the company’s new name in 1911. The Vickers corporation was bought by Rolls Royce plc in 1999, and the habit of changing names continued throughout its existence. Vickers lost its independence in that year.

How to Date a Vickers Sewing Machine

The stickers Vickers used on its models are perhaps the best way to date a Vickers sewing machine. The first decal series was applied on the machines shortly after World War I ended. Throughout the years, the decal series grew to a total of seven. Unfortunately, the dates were not provided by the manufacturer or recorded by anyone after the initial decal.

Vickers sewing machines were badged with the moniker BSM, or British Sewing Machine, and were distributed by E. Harris. You can also search by model name, as the company produced a variety of models during its brief existence as a sewing machine maker.

Throughout the 7 decal series, the Vicker VS was the most popular model, with the Modele de Luxe coming in third. The decal on the Vicker 7000, the 7th decal series, was not centered.

Old Vickers Sewing Machine Serial Numbers

Because this is a British-made machine, don’t expect it to follow American sewing machine manufacturing laws. While the different Vickers sewing machines had serial numbers, decals were used for a lot of the manufacturing dates. The first decals covered the years 1917 to 1918, when German prisoners of captivity produced 504 sewing machines.

Vickers Modele De Luxe Antique Sewing Machine Vintage Sewing | Etsy India

The Whiteleys Universal model used the serial number 84859, while the third decal release used the serial number series C1-24220. The Vickers Modele deluxe model was part of the third decal series, and its serial numbers began and finished with C1-15065.

There does not appear to be a consistent record for all of Vickers’ serial numbers. One reason for this could be the company’s disinterest in developing sewing machines after 1940, as well as the pauses caused by the two world wars.

The serial numbers can be found on the decals, badges, or the sewing machine’s base. Another area to search is the underside of the sewing machines. They must be visible since the truck driver stole one when loading the equipment for delivery one day. When the figures didn’t add up, they discovered the machine in the truck’s cab.

Antique Vickers Sewing Machine Value

On this subject, there is some good news and some terrible news. The bad news is that many vintage Vickers sewing machines aren’t particularly valuable. Many of them are on sale for under $50 at this link.

The Modele de Luxe, which was selling for over $200, and a cast-iron model, which was selling for $300+, were the only exceptions to the lot seen on that website. Prices on eBay appear to be comparable, with a handful of de luxes selling for over $300 and a regular model selling for just under $200.

There’s also one for under $50, so make sure your sewing machine is in good working order. Check to see if it works and if it comes with a cabinet or cast iron table to determine if it’s worth anything. The value of something is determined by how much others are willing to pay for it, so set your pricing a little higher than usual and be prepared to bargain.

Finding a Vintage Vickers Sewing Machine for Sale

The ancient Vicker sewing machines appear to be in high demand. Not only does the site we linked to above sell a variety of models, but they’re also marketed all over the internet. eBay is yet another place to look for a vintage Vickers, and the list of sellers doesn’t end there.

You can also check your local thrift stores, antique shops, and vintage sewing machine repair companies to see if any Vickers are lying around collecting dust. Other sources, such as Craigslist, local classified ads, friends and their families, or your own family, may be discovered with a little initiative.

Because Vickers was a British corporation and the sewing machines were manufactured there, your greatest option for finding one antique would be in the United Kingdom, followed by Europe. It’s unclear how many were delivered to North America or whether they were ever popular there.

Vickers Sewing Machine Manual

eBay had a few outdated manuals for sale, as usual. We didn’t count how many there were in total, but you might find the one you’re looking for there. Then try this link, which is a British company that sells sewing machine instructions, repair, and replacement components.

They might be able to refer you to other businesses that have old manuals they’d like to get rid of. The cost is 7.95 BP at that particular company. If you need a manual for your Vickers 7000 sewing machine, go here to download one for free.

Additionally, look for sewing machine repair businesses, antique dealers, Craigslist, and other classified advertisements. You never know what will appear or when it will appear. Finally, there’s this link, but we’re not sure if it’s the same firm as the other British firm we mentioned. They both have the identical manuals, however this option is less expensive.

Determining the Age of an Old Sewing Machine? | ThriftyFun

The Vickers Sewing Machine Table

A lovely wood platform was standard on many Vickers models, which extended well beyond the sewing machine itself. They could be regarded the sewing machine table or not. Those wood bases gave the machine a nice, premium appearance.

A beautiful Vickers with a cast-iron framework and table is still selling for over $300 today. The tables were well-made and simple to use, with one cabinet ensuring that there was enough room for your legs.

There appear to be a limited number of these sewing machines with tables, such as the one we saw with the cabinet, which was produced for the British Sewing Machine Company and supplied by E. Harris. If the table is in good condition and has been carefully cared for, these sewing machine models should have a higher value.

Vickers vs Singer Sewing Machine

Vickers sewing machines were not, despite appearances, clones of Singer models imitated by other businesses. There is a rumor that a Vickers distributor obtained some design plans from Frister & Rossmann, Vickers’ primary competitor at the time, but nothing has been confirmed on that front.

Because it could stitch in reverse before Singer, the Vickers 7000 was not a clone of the Singer model 28. The Vickers VS sewing machines are in the same boat. Before Singer updated his machines to do the same, they could stitch in reverse as well.

In a head-to-head comparison, Vickers’ machines may have been superior to Singers’, although this assessment is subjective and dependent on the quality of each machine. Your personal experience with vintage equipment will influence your decision.

How to Thread a Vickers Sewing Machine

The diagram for this article is for the Vickers 7000, which can be accessed at the earlier mentioned link for the free 7000 manual.

  • Step 1: Place the spool of thread on its holder after ensuring the presser bar is raised. After that, pull the thread through the eyelet directly after the spool holder.
  • Step 2: Thread the thread between the tension discs and under the hook of the check spring, working from right to left.
  • Step 3: After that, draw the thread down towards the thread lifter and through it, then behind the hooks.
  • Step 4: Pass the thread through the eye of the needle, working from right to left. Then, to begin sewing, draw roughly 2 to 3 inches of thread through the eye.

Final Thoughts

Despite the fact that it was a British sewing machine built by a business that was not a sewing machine expert, it appeared to be a useful instrument for home sewers. Vickers sewing machines were well-made and had a user-friendly design that made sewing at home much easier.

Unfortunately, after WWII, the company discontinued producing sewing machines. The competition was too fierce, and Vickers was unable to lower the price to keep up. They did attempt to make their machines in bright colors in order to increase sales. Only select models have worth in these obsolete devices.

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