• Red Nichols, Holstorian

Post 3: Sam Myres and his stitching machines

Updated: Jun 15

"Lease, Campbell Bosworth Machinery Co. to S.D. Myres, 31 May 1919, S.D. Myres Papers. This machine rented for four dollars a month plus a royalty of two cents for each one thousand stitches made by the machine, such royalties to amount to at least twelve dollars, the equivalent of six thousand stitches, in each calendar year".

That from Sandra Myres' book about Sam Myres and some letters exchanged between Sam and the Randall Machinery Co., tell me that it was the Randall that was involved in the fire, not the Campbell. FYI, Campbells are painted blue and were available only for lease, and came with the stitch counters. As I recall JB bought his way out of the leases on his Campbells. Randalls are painted black and were only purchased outright.

Big deal, right? Well, within days of the fire at the beginning of May 1919, Randall offered a new machine to Sam for U$550 -- which at the beginning of 1920 was exactly the price of a new Model T that by the end of that year had dropped to U$350.

Instead by the end of of May Sam chose to lease the Campbell; and the two companies were different and in different states. 99% of the parts of the two machines are interchangeable, and also with the Landis that usually is blue also. .

Hidden amongst the info in these papers, then, is info that is missing from Sandra's book: the fire was in May 1919 but what day? So, early or late in the month? The letter from Randall to Sam, about replacing the machine urgently, is dated 03 March and responding to an urgent telegram from him; so the fire was that day or the one before. Enough delay in exchanging the letters occurred that in the meantime Sam wrote to them about rebuilding it and other machinery, too.

These bobbins are many times larger than the bobbins in the big machines we use nowadays and that is important with the large threads used. To compensate the modern machines wind the fresh bobbin by the operation of the machine while sewing and changing them is v quick and without tools. They also sew in reverse which the old machines don't. This allows me to take fresh approaches to assembling a holster .

Mine has pneumatics attached and electrics to them; so that piston below the Ferdco name throws the reversing lever upwards into position with the touch of an electric foot switch. The presser foot lifts and falls with another electric switch or another, depending. Electronic motor is speed adjustable, I have it set at medium but of course like a car's gas pedal the operator's foot can ask for one careful stitch at a time when needed.

Cheers, Red Nichols


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