Vickers Ltd famous for armament production started producing sewing machines on a small scale during World War One at Hackney Wick, London employing interned German civilians who were paid the standard British wages for this type of work. The machines produced were improved versions of the Frister & Rossman Family V.S. and were available as hand or treadle machines and later an electric model was introduced.
At the end of World War One production was moved to the company's Crayford Works and continued until the early 1950's albeit with a break during World War Two. The machines where originally wholesaled through W. Pierssene and from around 1952 they were sold by British Sewing Machines Ltd.
British Sewing Machines Ltd was established in 1938 and a factory - the Cyfarthfa Works was erected in 1939 at Merthyr Tydfil, Wales to employ 600 mainly skilled workers which was part of the drive to regenerate the area. By 1940 the company was advertising for workers for important war work presumably in the production of armaments.
Whether this factory ever produced sewing machines is not clear but the company is known to have been operating until at least 1954 by which time over 250,000 sewing machines had been made principally for export. The company's Head Office was at Lombard Road, Morden Road, London SW19. The Managing Director was Reginald Graham V.C. and the General Manager was G. A. Lister.
Vickers Modele de Luxe: Serial No. C1-15065.
The Model de Luxe was introduced in 1919 and this machine was probably made around 1920.
The centre decal has a V inside a crown.
BSM: Serial No. 7/009021.
Made for British Sewing Machines Ltd, London by Vickers in the early 1950's, this model was also produced with a white, blue or yellow body. Early production examples carry the Vickers name as well as the B.S.M. logo.
This machine is in reasonable condition but has long since lost its cover, the machine was designed so it could be used as a treadle with holes in the base for the treadle belt to pass through. Over 32,000 of this model were produced.
The firm also produced an electrically operated rotary hook machine as well as an oscillating shuttle machine designated Type No. 3 A.