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page 184 --- Thomson's Corsets, New Home Sewing Machine Company

updated 23 September 2018
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George C. Batcheller & Co., manufacturer
Bridgeport CT and Newark NJ
reverse of card above from Digital Commonwealth
New to the Collection in December, 2017:

The Corset and Underwear Review
v.18 p.127 Ja 1922 via Google Books

In the Columbia University Library collection, a bill contains a sketch of the factory in Bridgeport CT:

Sometime shortly before his death in 1915, George C. Batcheller used some of the profits from his corset business to buy the Betsy Ross House--or what was supposed to be the Ross House--and give it to a preservation society in Philadelphia. YouTube offers us a tour:

"Virtual tour of the Betsy Ross home in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Includes audio commentary much like the tour guide would be telling you if taking the tour in person."

There is some doubt, however, that what was purchased was actually the Ross House, which was probably demolished. Speculation is that what exists today is actually the house next door to the Ross House site. A photo from the early 20th century shows the Ross House wedged between two 19th century commercial structures. Apparently the best that can be said is that George C. Batcheller purchased the only surviving 18th century structure in the area.

"The Betsy Ross story is the most tenacious piece of fiction involving the flag. There simply is no credible historical evidence — letters, diaries, newspaper accounts, bills of sale — that Ross (then known as Elizabeth Claypoole) either made or had a hand in designing the American flag before it made its debut in 1777. 
"The story cropped up in 1870, almost 100 years after the first flag was supposedly sewn, when William Canby, Ross’s grandson, told the Historical Society of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia that his grandmother made the flag at George Washington’s behest. Canby’s sole evidence: affidavits from family members. The iconic 1893 painting of Ross sitting in her Philadelphia parlor with the sun beaming down on the flag in her lap is a scene invented by Charles H. Weisgerber, the artist and entrepreneur who profited from the Betsy Ross legend. 
"While Ross did make flags in Philadelphia in the late 1770s, it is all but certain that the story about her creating the American flag is a myth. 
"As President Woodrow Wilson, who presided over the first official national Flag Day on June 14, 1916, is said to have replied when asked his thoughts on the story: 'Would that it were true.'"  
So it appears that historians have concluded that not only did Betsy Ross not make the first flag, but that she never lived in the Betsy Ross House, either. Is the whole story hogwash? Hard to believe, isn't it?! For more information on this topic, Wikipedia is a good start, though you'll probably want to check out Wikipedia's sources for yourself. Who cares about this story and why? Historic Philadelphia may provide some answers.
see page 190 for additional information on
the New Home Sewing Machine Co.

Contrast what the  headquarters of the Home Sewing Machine Company looked like in the early 20th century with a current photo:

detail from an old postcard

Google street view (2014) of Home Sewing Machine HQ
with some modifications using Picasa, Main St. in foreground

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