MIDDLETOWN CONNECTICUT

Victor Sewing Machine Co.

Tool Makers of
Middletown, Connecticut

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Tools Made: Micrometers and drill chucks.

Working Dates: 1864-83. Incorporated 1864. Name changed from Finkle and Lyon Manufacturing Company to Victor Sewing Machine Company 1872. Decertified 1905. Ref. 64 Page 538.

The factory was located on Hamblin and Williams Streets west of the W & B Douglas Pump works.   Map N.

Officers in 1874:

Frank D. Sloat, President.

H. S. White, Vice-President.

L. D. Blake, Secretary.

Geo. M. Pratt, Superintendent.

Patents issued or assigned to this company other than Pratt. See Ref.24 for more Middletown patents.
Name				Pat. No	Item					Issue Date
Johnson, Albert W.		109414		Sewing machine shuttle		11/22/1870
Robertson, James		248507		Machinery belt device		10/18/1881
Andrus, Marshall D		258346		Sewing machine shuttle		5/23/1882
Victor16.jpg (90854 bytes)
George M.Pratt

 

      George M. Pratt was born 8 Feb. 1829 in Ludlow, Mass and died 30 July 1908 in Middletown. He moved to Middletown, CT  approximately 1845 and worked in the Aston pistol factory in Rockfall. He worked as a contractor for various gun manufacturers. In the mid 1860s he became the Superintendent of the Finkle & Lyon Mfg. Co. This became the Victor Sewing Machine Co in 1872. He was the superintendent of the VSM Co until it went out of business in 1883. He then returned to  contracting with various arms manufacturers. In 1886 went into the coal business for 22+ years. See Table 1 below for all patents awarded to him.

     He married Elizabeth Tidgewell (daughter of James Tidgewell, tool maker) of Middletown in 1850 . He is listed in the Middletown, CT. census as a gunsmith in 1850, machinist in 1860, superintendent sewing machine shop in 1870, working in sewing machine shop in 1880 and as a coal dealer in 1900. The sewing machine companies in Middletown were Finkle & Lyon Sewing Machine Co. ca. 1859 - 1867, Finkle & Lyon Mfg. Co. 1867 - ca. 1872. They were succeed by the Victor Sewing Machine Co. 1872 - 1883.3 The shop was located in the town portion of Middletown. An 1877 map show the factory located on Hamblin Street, west of W&B Douglas Mfg. Co.

     Below is a chuck patented by Pratt and made by this company. I received pictures from a gentleman in Wales, Great Britain.  Patent number 164,032, Improvement in Chucks for Metal drills, issued 1 June 1875. The patent feature is the operation of the levers operating the clutches.

 

victor3.jpg (22487 bytes)         victor4.jpg (11785 bytes)

 

Marked

THE VICTOR PAT'D JUNE 1, 1875

Victor S. M. Co. / Middletown Conn. U.S.A.

     Pratt was issued patent #202,866 on Mar. 23, 1878 for a improved micrometer, assigned to the Victor Sewing Machine Company. The patent features are related to the hardened tip and the construction of the frame.  In 1883 the micrometer business including patent rights were sold to Brown & Sharpe, Providence, RI. Frank Spaulding, the head of the micrometer department also moved.

 

   Victor2.jpg (16698 bytes)         Victor1.jpg (20567 bytes)

Marked "Victor S. M. Co. / Middletown Conn. U.S.A.".   

   

       Below is the Pratt Parallel Dividers, patent number 336,868. There is no mark on this tool. It was manufactured by the J. Stevens Arms & Tool Co.

Chicopee Falls, Mass. It came with a long arm, pump center, needle point and pencil holder. The patent features are related to the of adjusting the adjustable leg.

Victor5.jpg (13555 bytes)   Victor6.jpg (17440 bytes)

  

Close-up of the micrometer adjustment mechanism. 
Below is the smaller version with the patent date of Feb 23, 1886. Pictures 
provided by Kyle Dandeneau

 

Victor14.jpg (2351436 bytes)       Victor15.jpg (441581 bytes)

 

  Patents awarded to Pratt.

Table 1.

Name Number Issue Date Assigned To
Sewing Machine Feed 89,501

1869-04-27

Finkle & Lyon Mfg. Co.
Sewing Machine Thread Control 98409

1869-12-28

Finkle & Lyon Mfg. Co.
Sewing Machine Shuttle 111,678 1871-02-07 Not Assigned

Sewing Machine Needle Bar

126,488

1872-05-07

Finkle & Lyon Mfg. Co.

Metal Drill Chuck

164,032 1875-01-06 Not Assigned

Sewing Machine

185,962 1877-01-02 Not Assigned

Micrometer Gage

202,866 1878-04-23 Victor Sewing Machine Co.

Sewing Machine Clutch

209,712 1878-11-05 Not Assigned

Feed & Shuttle Mechanism

226,550 1880-04-13 Victor Sewing Machine Co.

Oil Cup Holder

249,091 1881-11-01 Victor Sewing Machine Co.

Sewing Machine

254,779

1882-03-07

Not Assigned

Burglar Alarm

327,4027

1883-03-13

Not Assigned

Dividers

336,868 1886-02-23 Not Assigned
    	
1874 Map of the Victor Sewing Machine Co.
Victor11.jpg (18895 bytes)
			
    The 2 pictures below are from an 1881 letter from the Victor Sewing Machine Company. 
The top picture is from the envelope and the bottom from the letter.
Victor120001.jpg (118639 bytes)

 

Victor13.jpg (197004 bytes)
The medallion below is from a Victor Sewing Machine. Approximately 1 1/2 inches in diameter.

 

Victor17.jpg (141372 bytes)

 

Below is an ad from the 1875-76 Middletown City Directory.
Victor7.jpg (105340 bytes)

 

Victor18.jpg (25998 bytes)
1875 AD.
References:  1, 3, 7, 14, 19, 24,25, 27, 28,64, 85.    Back Home

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