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Thread: Amasa Howe Model A#1 - Elias Howe's brothers machine

  1. #1
    Super Member SteveH's Avatar
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    Amasa Howe Model A#1 - Elias Howe's brothers machine

    Many folks here know that Elias Howe is credited with inventing the sewing machine.

    What most folks do not know is that Elias only made two physical (2) sewing machines (that we are aware of) between 1846 (the year of the invention) and 1866 when he officially joined the Howe Machine Company.

    The Howe Machine company was started in 1965 and run by the Stockwell brothers who had married two of Elias's daughters. Legally Elias could not manufacture sewing machines for 10 years after the "Combine" was created in 1856. Historians believe he had a LOT to do with the Stockwell brothers company prior to 1866 when he officially joined, but there was no paper trail to prove it.

    The reason that the company was called the "Howe Machine Company" was because in 1854 Asama Howe (Elias's older brother) had established the company "Howe Sewing Machine Company" and even though Elias took his brother to court, Amasa won and was able to retain the name. For this and many other reasons the two brothers had quite a falling out that does not appear to have healed by the timer Elias dies in 1867.

    Ok, so the reason for this story is because yesterday I received my very first AB Howe machine.

    The quality of this machine is SO FAR above the quality of the Stockwell Howe machines....

    The records for the AB Howe company for after the civil war are lost so we can only say for certain that this machine was made after 1863 (last patent date) and before 1868 (the next patent date that I am aware of that would be marked)

    I purchased this from my friend on that big auction site so it is already cleaned up. Now to find an appropriate treadle to go under it.....

    Front
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    Back
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    Face
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  2. #2
    Super Member SteveH's Avatar
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    Back Slide with serial number
    Name:  20150120_163958.jpg
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    Front slide with patent dates
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    And yes, it came with its shuttle and bobbin!!
    Name:  AB Howe #3.jpg
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  3. #3
    Super Member ThayerRags's Avatar
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    Nice one!

    CD in Oklahoma
    "I sew, I sew, so it's off to work I go!!!"
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  4. #4
    Super Member Rodney's Avatar
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    Very nice Steve!
    Rodney
    "Neglect to oil the machine will shorten its life and cause you

    trouble and annoyance" Quote from Singer Model 99 Manual

  5. #5
    Super Member SteveH's Avatar
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    my favorite features so far are:

    The TWO presser foot levers, one in the back just lifts the foot about 1/4" for normal turning, and the big one in the front is for changing out the feet. when you pull it down it turns the presser bar itself 90deg to the left so you can access the foot easier!!!

    The spool weight

  6. #6
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    Steve,

    If I ever get near California I'm gonna make a special side trip to see your collection. You've got me wanting an old humpty back sewing machine.

    Joe
    I love the old iron and wood machines. They're solid and reliable.
    Founder of IAAA - I Am An Anachronism .

  7. #7
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    Cool you finally got an AB

    I have never gotten a hold of the people having the one I told you about, they do have the stand and part of the top. not sure of the model a b c it seems like the Howe is bigger and no tension on top of that ?? it's been years since I've seen it.. and it was stuffed under a work bench outside

    then nice one was in the house LOLO.

    pretty interesting when you start digging into all the legal garbage that took place over these SM's way back when eh? and we talk about world affairs today LOLOL

  8. #8
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    The swing-away lever for the presser foot is all too cool.

  9. #9
    Super Member Stitchnripper's Avatar
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    My gosh, that is a beautiful machine!!!!
    Alyce

  10. #10
    Super Member SteveH's Avatar
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    here is a detail of the bed artwork
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    The under-bed stitch length adjustment
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    ..and this was on the back of every AB Howe machine "I Serve - I Tire Not"
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  11. #11
    Super Member Kathy T.'s Avatar
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    Such an interesting story - thanks for including it with the pictures.

  12. #12
    Super Member Jeanette Frantz's Avatar
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    Steve, congratulations on another cool machine!

    Jeanette

  13. #13
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    That is an interesting machine. But where is the place to connect the treadle? With no fly wheel, is the connection under the arm?
    Mavita - Square dancer and One Room School Teacher

  14. #14
    Super Member SteveH's Avatar
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    if you look to the left in the second picture on my first post you can see part of the pulley wheel that is connected directly to the driveline.

    here is a better shot (for some reason I did not take shots form that end yet... odd)
    Name:  AB Howe #10.jpg
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  15. #15
    Super Member Mrs. SewNSew's Avatar
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    I am in awe. That is a seriously cool machine. Also I am just amazed at how clean your guys can get these machines. I love my latest addition but she is a filthy p.i.g. It takes a lot of dedication to scrub away the old grime and make a machine shine like that!
    Christy
    Starting the year out fresh

  16. #16
    Super Member Rodney's Avatar
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    That is a beautiful machine. I'm impressed that the lady survived all these years. I like the drive arrangement on it too with everything underneath.
    Did the treadle have anything to make it go only one way? I'm just wondering if it was a little trickier to start because there's no hand wheel to make it spin the right way.
    Rodney
    "Neglect to oil the machine will shorten its life and cause you

    trouble and annoyance" Quote from Singer Model 99 Manual

  17. #17
    Super Member manicmike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveH View Post
    if you look to the left in the second picture on my first post you can see part of the pulley wheel that is connected directly to the driveline.

    here is a better shot (for some reason I did not take shots form that end yet... odd)
    Steve, ISMACS featured the Howe Bros in the Dec 2014 edition and mentioned this machine. Didn't think I'd ever see one (not that I am now, since it's half a world away). Have you sewn with it? Does it have a unique needle or can you modify an existing one?
    Singers: model 12 MOP (1885) Improved Family (1886) 29k58 (1939) 44K11 (1921) 96k41 (1947) 103K (1950) 2 x 201K23 206k11 (1950) 222k (1959) 320k2(1959) 331K4 (1964) 451K145 (1960)
    Pfaff:360 (1959) Necchi Supernova Julia http://tailororfailure.blogspot.com

  18. #18
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    That is just beautiful.Beautiful!

  19. #19
    Super Member SteveH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by manicmike View Post
    Steve, ISMACS featured the Howe Bros in the Dec 2014 edition and mentioned this machine. Didn't think I'd ever see one (not that I am now, since it's half a world away). Have you sewn with it? Does it have a unique needle or can you modify an existing one?
    These are the 4 Stockwell brothers Howe machines I have
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    L-R model C, model B, model A 2nd ver., model A 1st ver.
    Name:  Howe Comparison 2.jpg
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  20. #20
    Super Member jbj137's Avatar
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    ***
    *** Nice machine - Congratulations.
    ***
    J J (jbj137)

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    G = girl R =raised I = in T = the S = South

  21. #21
    Super Member ThayerRags's Avatar
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    Wow. Good collection!

    CD in Oklahoma
    "I sew, I sew, so it's off to work I go!!!"
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  22. #22
    Super Member Caroline S's Avatar
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    Wonderful collection Steve.
    Sweet Caroline

  23. #23
    Member Mr Clenet's Avatar
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    My Amasa Howe..

    Name:  1863_ABHowe085.jpg
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    They are beautiful machines Steve, here a photo of mine, Ser # 45704

  24. #24
    Super Member SteveH's Avatar
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    fantastic! The quality difference between the two brothers companies is painfully apparent.

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