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Child's sewing machine
Title : Child's sewing machine Child's sewing machine
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Place Of Creation : [Bavaria]
Date of creation : 190-?
Format : Toy
Dimensions : 170 mm
Contributor : State Library of South Australia
Catalogue record
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Description :

A working sewing machine labelled 'D.R.G.M. No. 205579', with box labelled 'Hand-Nahmaschine No.5'.

The sewing machine was available for home use by the 1860s but it was not until the late 19th century that toy sewing machines were available for children. Until then the dedicated sewer of dolls clothes would have made them by hand, unless she could persuade her mother to sew them on her machine.

From the numbers of toy sewing machines existing in museums it would appear they were a popular toy. These early machines were capable of real sewing and it was possible also to purchase specially sized cotton reels for their use. Many of the machines, despite their relatively small size, were quite heavy; some were intended to be clamped to a table.

By the mid-20th century toy sewing machines were battery operated, but still capable of sewing real stitches. Later this functionality would disappear, and the machine became simply a toy.

Coverage year : 190-?
Further reading :

Jewell, Brian. Antique sewing machines, Tunbridge Wells, Kent: Costello; Cincinnati, Ohio: Distributed in the USA by, Seven Hills Books, 1985

King, Constance Eileen. The encyclopedia of toys, Adelaide: Rigby, 1978

Opie, Iona. The treasures of childhood: books, toys and games from the Opie collection, London: Pavilion, 1989

Internet links :
Powerhouse Museum: Collection Search for 'Toy sewing machine'
Exhibitions and events :



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