Charles Raymond New England - Chain stitch sewing machine

Charles Raymond New England, Nettleton Raymond New England, chain stitch sewing machine.

Famous Canadian sewing machine manufacturer, Charles Raymond of Guelph, wasn’t originally Canadian.  In fact, when Charles crossed the border, it was a checkmate played on those who sought to shut him down.  First, while Raymond was partners with inventor Wilford H Nettleton for their Nettleton Raymond New England machine.  Again,  once Charles had his own New England design.  Not alone, Charles Raymond and other smaller sewing enterprises were, in fact, under legal pressure.  The sewing patent combine was intent to put small sewing machine companies, in effect, into a grave.  In the Nettleton Raymond New England case, this was despite legally held sewing machine patents.

In retrospect, Raymond’s career seemingly catapulted with the timing of the US Civil war and his move North.  A fractured American manufacturing industry focused on the war effort, opened doors and opportunities for many Canadian companies.  Sewing machines had only a short history at this point, however, this was just beginning.  The New England sewing machine style, justifiably, became popular and attractive at its low price point.  Other opportunists, short on ingenuity or otherwise skill to improve the present designs, copied them.  

Chalres Raymond New England

Charles Raymond New England – copies and clones

The Charles Raymond New England undoubtedly was cloned.  After all, new tech, like sewing machines, has always attracted infringement.  So were firearms and pharmaceuticals to, name others.  Patent law did, however, provide a level of protection.  Elias Howe, for example, owned the patent to all sewing machines in the 1850s; cleaning up infringers kept his lawyers busy.  The threat of legal action or actual legal action curtailed infringement only to a point.  Others found ways around the law and, many of those examples survive today.

While Charles Raymond had developed an established dealer network overseas, James Galloway Weir of the UK is most famous.  To Raymond’s benefit, James Weir was an importer of Raymond’s New England.  Weir relabeled the machine with his name and later cloned it, adding improvements.  There is much speculation about their arrangement.  However, this research project has uncovered facts you will find interesting.  Weir’s plans would come as no surprise to Charles Raymond as some seem to believe.

 

The goal of this research project

Raymond Sewing Machine Research Project aims to identify your Raymond sewing machine.  And, with education, hopefully, to clear up confusion and misinformation found on the internet, social media and, chat forums of today.  Specifically to Charles Raymond and the New England style sewing machine.  I have collected Raymond’s earliest examples, including in-particular his March 9, 1858 chain stitch.  Besides a personal collection, I’ve also collected photos, data, specifications, and records from many willing collectors.  As a result, I have closely identified Charles Raymond New England’s production history within the USA and then Canada.

In case you are unsure of what you have or have creeping doubts your New England sewing machine is a genuine Charles Raymond New England, please contact me.  Do you have a possible purchase opportunity but, you want to know for sure?  Please contact me as I am happy to evaluate your Charles Raymond New England. 

Vern.

Is this a Charles Raymond New England or not? Contact me for discussion.

Is this a Charles Raymond New England….yes or no? Contact me for discussion.

Charles Raymond New England
March 9, 1858 New England

Is this a Nettleton Raymond New England?  Contact me for discussion.

Was the New England sewing machine in the images below made in 1859 or 1885? Was it made in France or Canada? Many do not know but I can help you with that. Please contact me.

I can help you identify your sewing machine.

And now, I introduce you to Guelph’s local historian, Bonnie Durtnall.  I credit Bonnie for parts of my research as she’s never hesitated to help.  Her page has a wealth of history and I always learn each time I review her site.  Click to enter the page and enjoy Guelph’s labor history.

The Guelph Civic Museum Archive is vast and, there is also Raymond sewing machine collection to view. Consider visiting soon.