Maxfield & Co was formed by Arthur Maxfield in Birmingham in late 1872 with a factory at 71 & 72 Spencer Street, Birmingham this became known as the Agenoria Works (c1873).

The machine produced was an improved version of the Agenoria (previously made by the Franklin Co) but wuth a fast & loose balance wheel. (patented 20th Aug 1870).
In February 1873 a particularly ornate version of this machine with silver clothplate engraved with the Prince of Wales feathers as well as the company's George & Dragon trade mark was supplied to HRH the Princess of Wales.

These two devices became subject to a court case in March 1875 brought by Newton Wilson who used similar ones on his England's Queen and Queen Bess machines. The Court however ruled in favour of Maxfield & Co. and the George & Dragon Trade Mark continued to be used on all Agenoria machines produced by Maxfield & Co.

In addition to the George & Dragon trade mark Maxfield & Co's machines had "Agenoria" on the arm, this was changed to Maxfield in December 1875.

Serial numbers on Maxfield & Co's Agenoria commenced at c10,000 and finish just short of 28,000 so the total production of the company's Agenoria machine was some 18,000 machines over a five year period.
There are some indications that the company also produced a single thread (chain stitch) machine in 1873 and the company was offering the Queen of Liliput on a stand in 1875. The design of the "Lilliputian" was registered on 23 Oct 1873.

On 26th November 1877 Maxfield & Co's manufacturing equipment was sold off and Arthur Maxfield was adjudicated bankrupt on the same day.

At various times various other companies also produced Agenoria machines: Cole, Maxfield & Co, The Franklin Sewing Machine Co AKA Franklin Co., Charles Fowke & Co, Imperial Sewing Machine Co, Thomas Norton & Co, Joseph Harris & Co, and The Royal Sewing Machine Co.

See my published article on the history of the Agenoria sewing machine HERE

A-Z of British
The Agenoria Sewing Machine
Bradbury & Co.
Busy Bee
Sewing Machine Co.
The Franklin
Sewing Machine Co.
Gresham & Craven
Sewing Machine Co.
Hopkinson Bros
Howe Machine Co.
Sewing Machine Co
Sewing Machine Co.
Jones & Co.
Kimball & Morton
Maxfield & Co
Moldacot Pocket
Sewing Machine Co.
Newton Wilson & Co.
The Royal
Sewing Machine Co.
Sellers & Co.
Shepherd, Rothwell
& Hough
Sewing Machine Co.
Smith, Starley & Co.
Tailor Bird
Sewing Machine Co.
W. F. Thomas & Co.
Universal Sewing Machines Ltd
Varley & Co.
Vickers Ltd.
Edward Ward
James Weir
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 agenoria c1873

Agenoria Serial No. 13710.

This example of the Agenoria was made by Maxfield & Co in late 1873 or early 1874 and like all Agenoria machines (irrespective of maker) the brass needlebar cover has a representation of the deity Agenoria - Goddess of Industry & Silence seated next to a prone Lion.

There is also a Registered Design lozenge for 24th February 1869 granted to the Franklin Sewing Machine Co. which appears centrally just beneath the machines name.

Maxfield needlebar cover

Engraved on the cloth plate is the Maxfield company trade mark of George and the Dragon with the patent date 20 August 1870 beneath, this refers to Maxfields patent for the fast & loose balance wheel and is repeated on the pull knob on the balance wheel

 Maxfield pull
 Maxfield clothplate

Most prominantly displayed on the cloth plate is the name of Cole & Co and the firms "eye & serprent" trade mark.

Isaac Cole had been a partner in Cole, Maxfield & Co as well as the Franklin Sewing Machine Co and moved to Edinburgh in late 1872 forming the firm of Cole & Co. which supplied Maxfield & Co's Agenoria machines both on a retail and wholesale basis.

The firm initally had premises at Malvern House, South Charlotte Street. Later the firm had premises at 4 Charlotte Street and for a time 7 Clerk Street Edinburgh.

In fact Isaac Cole may also have been a partner in Maxfield & Co as in some advertisements he claimed to be the inventor, patentee & manufacturer with a factory at Birmingham.

Isaac Cole started proceedings to become insolvent in December 1876 at which time he was operating from 104 Princes' Street, Edinburgh.

 Registered Design

On the base the machine bears the Registered Design lozenge for 13th February 1869 which was actually granted to the Franklin Sewing Machine Co.

13 = Day
H = Year
G = Month

The case handle also carries an incredibly small registered design lozenge on the top face which is then repeated underneath.

 Registered Design Handle
 Registered Design Handle
 Registered Design back Handle
Maxfield Case

While the case needs some minor restoration it is very well made and the handle is beautifully finished, the front drops down and there is a small drawer. On one end the flame from a candle has scorched the wood.

Maxfield Attachments
Maxfield Attachments

There are a number of accessories which are made in brass, one of these carries the trade mark for the Franklin Sewing Machine Co.