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Challenge sewing machine

Challenge Serial No. 15660.

Made by the Imperial Sewing Machine Co., Franklin Works, Park Road, Soho, Birmingham.

In April 1873 Joseph Harris and John Judson had formed a partnership to manufacture sewing machines trading as the Imperial Sewing Machine Co. quite when the company went into production is not known but it would seem to have been around 1874.

It would appear that this machine was made between 1874 and 1877. It is in very good condition with a little wear to the decals. The machine is mounted on a very heavy cast iron base. The Company name and address is stamped on the cloth plate along with the serial number on the base of the machine there is a decal with a coat of arms and the words "The Imperial S M Co's Challenge". The machine used Harris & Judsons improved shuttle mechanism and stitch length regulator which was patented in March 1874. The needle bar cover is embossed with a knight in armour with sword over one shoulder and gauntlet on the ground. It is a tradition that Knights challenge each other to single combat by throwing down the gauntlet.

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