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page 45 -- Weed Sewing Machine Co., W.F. Brainard & Co., S.K. Montgomery

updated 2 July 2016
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Selected from a Google Search for Hartford Sewing Machines, this quote gives the viewer some great background on the sociological aspects of scrapbooking:

In the Rochester Directory (via Google Books), an ad touts the superior qualities of a Hartford Sewing Machine:

A familiar stag makes an appearance in this Hartford Sewing Machine ad in Outing via Google:
How a sewing machine works (above)

People bought sewing machines just after the Civil War the way folks bought Apple iPhones in the early 21st century. In the blink of an eye, they were everywhere. Here's a few stats for you from Google Books:

Over the years, Weed Sewing Machine Company diversified and merged as illustrated in this chart (Google Books):

Through its connection with the Pope Mfg. Co., the Weed Sewing Machine Company got in on the ground floor of the auto industry. Here's a piece of that story from Google Books and Monopoly on Wheels...:

Scanned from page 53 of my personal copy (also available free online) of the following reference comes this engraving of the Weed Company factory in Hartford CT:

Here's a YouTube video that explains how the Weed sewing machine factory eventually came to manufacture bicycles:

Wikipedia has a fine article on the life and manufacturing adventures of Col. Albert Augustus Pope and the Virtual Steam Car Museum has done extensive research on Pope steam-powered Toledo models to come up with and excellent online exhibit.

According to a brief article appearing in Scientific American v.8 no.19 13 May 1899 p.304-5 the Pope electric auto could be charged in 3 hours on ordinary 110 house current. The range achieved by each charge was approximately 25 miles and

Hard to imagine going just 8 miles per hour or being satisfied with 12. Seems to me I have read somewhere, however, (warning: unsourced reference!) that it was a popular belief at this time that humans might suffer some sort of fatal malady if they ventured forth in a conveyance at more than 25 miles per hour.

For those curious to see what the 1904 Columbia Electric Car looked like, here's the Wikimedia Commons photo of the one on display in the Smithsonian Institution:


Interested in vintage sewing machines and their trade cards?

Well, then it's time you were introduced to ISMACS and their excellent summary of the subject:

Sewing Machine Research

19th-Century Sewing Machine Trade Cards

by D.A. Brumleve

"After four-color lithography became available in the mid-1870s, trade cards took on a more significant role in advertising. The color enhanced the cards' decorative value -- and increased the likelihood that a Victorian woman would hold on to them. During the last two decades of the 19th Century, trade cards were enormously popular among dealers and the public alike. Most cards found today date to that time period."


Another card for the Brainard Co. appears on page 59 of the Earl J. Arnold Advertising Card Collection. At the time of the 1880 census, W.F. Brainard was 31 years old and married to Mary E.

Do you know anything about S.K. Montgomery? If so, please comment below or email me. Thanks!

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Sunni Phillips said…
I’m volunteering at Melrose mansion in Natchez, Mississippi and there is a Weed sewing machine included in the artifacts. I decided to google it and after reading a few postings, I came across yours. Because of you, I am now much better informed about the machine and its background. Thank you so much.

Sunni Phillips
An unrepentant history nerd