Saturday, March 2, 2013

Card: Domestic Sewing Machine and J.A. Altland of Farmers

This is a colorful Victorian trade card (copyrighted in 1886) for Domestic Sewing Machine. Two good websites I found for information on that company are the International Sewing Machine Collectors' Society and Sewalot. Here are some tidbits culled from those sites:

  • The company was established in 1861, although it was not officially called the Domestic Sewing Machine Company until 1869.
  • William A. Mack was the company's founder and produced its first machine.
  • The company produced 10,000 machines in 1871 and skyrocketed from there.
  • During its height, Domestic also made typewriters and sewing machines for Williams & Co. of New York.
  • It had its headquarters on the corner of Broadway and 14th Street in Manhattan. This was one of several offices. The primary factory was in Newark, New Jersey, and there was also a sprawling factory at 16 Exchange Place in lower Manhattan. (See a picture of that factory about halfway down this Sewalot page.)
  • It remained independent until 1924, when it became a subsidiary of the White Sewing Machine Company.

The most interesting part of this card, however, is the faint stamp on the back.

For those of you who don't want to squint, I believe the stamp reads:


Farmers (without the apostrophe) is an unincorporated village along U.S. Route 30/Lincoln Highway in western York County. It's roughly four miles east of Abbottstown.

I found another reference to J.A. Altland in the "Report of the Auditor General on the Finances of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for the Year Ending November 1896." In that report, J. A. Altland & Co. of Davidsburg, York County, is listed as paying taxes on the sale of fertilizers.

Does anyone else know more about J.A. Altland? Is he connected with the famous Altland House in Abbottstown?

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