For information about the history of Bradbury's Family V.S. click on the title above.

All material copyright David G. Best 2002 - 2016 All Rights Reserved.

 Early Bradbury's Family v.s.

Bradbury's Family V.S.

An early Family V.S. with attractive flower decals and the Company's Trade Mark on the bed of the machine.
This version of the Bradbury Family V.S. was a development of the Bradbury Soeze but the needle head was redesigned with the tension discs mounted on its side and an additional inspection plate.

This machine was probably made in 1906 and is both cosmetically and mechanically different from the later Family V.S. machine examples of which are shown below. Consequently the manuals for each version are significantly different.

This machine was kindly donated to our collection by Andre Ravary.

Threading & Oiling of Family V.S. c1906
(early version)

 bradbury's family v.s.

Bradbury's Family V.S.

An early Mark 2 version of the Bradbury Family (Vibrating Shuttle) machine, probably made around 1907. This model Family V.S. was not just cosmetically different from the earlier version but was mechanically different being developed from the Company's Medium V.S. machine.

It has the very attractive flower decals with the picture of the Duke of Wellington on the shoulder below the stitch length lever.

There is no accessory compartment in the base and the machine has a Coffin case with a metal handle at either end. The Family V.S was also produced as a treadle with various types of cabinet work including a drop head parlour cabinet (See Below).

Threading & Oiling of Family V.S. Machine c1907 onwards Revised Model

 Coffin Case
 bradbury's family v.s.

Bradbury's Family V.S.

A later Mark 2 version of the Bradbury Family (Vibrating Shuttle) machine, probably made around 1911. It doesn't carry the company's name or Trade Mark, instead on the arm it has "Made Specially for Sansom Speed & Co. Wareham". This was an Ironmongers which operated for many years from premises on South Street in this Dorsetshire town however by 1915 the firm had become Sansom & Co.

An accessory compartment is provided in the base and the machine has a Coffin case with a metal handle at either end.

 Bradbury's Family V.S.

Bradbury's Family V.S.

An example of the Bradbury Family machine in a drop head cabinet, probably made around 1913. The Green & Orange 'Celtic Knot' decals are worn through much use, the arm was particularly affected as it was used to lift the machine out of its recess as there was no automatic lift mechanism.

The beautiful four drawer Walnut cabinet is in excellent condition, note the four small brass drawer knobs.

 Drophead Cabinet closed
 Drophead Cabinet open
 Bradbury's Family V.S.

Bradbury's Family V.S.
A well worn Bradbury's Family V.S. bearing the agent's decal for C. H. Sands, 1 Westgate, Grantham. The Bradbury company appear to have mainly labelled machines for its agents and required them to purchase as few as six machines.

Charles H. Sands started business in 1895 at the Westgate premises as an Ironmonger later he sold and hired bicycles as well as sewing machines. After World War 1 he had agencies for Bradbury, Jones and Hexagon sewing machines.

 C. H. Sands
 Bradburys Family V.S.

The machine has an attractive coffin or gothic case with metal handles. We assume that the customer would specify the type of case to be supplied with their particular machine.

An unusual feature of this machine is the waxed card drip tray instead of one formed from steel plate. This is an indication that the machine was made in mid 1915 when steel was in extremely short supply but before Great Britain went to full Industrial Mobilisation which would see the Ministry of Munitions directing companies what to manufacture.

 bradbury's family v.s.

Bradbury's Family V.S.

A later V.S. model with the accessory compartment in the base and a bentwood case. This was our very first Bradbury and was the catalyst for our research into the Company.

 bradbury's family v.s.

Bradbury's Family V.S.

Another example of the Family V.S., though in better condition. The bentwood case has a metal handle at either end. The Family V.S was also produced as a treadle with various types of cabinet work including a drop head parlour cabinet (See Above).

 Bentwood Case
 bradbury's family v.s.

Bradbury's Family V.S.

Although this machine doesn't carry the Duke of Wellington Trade Mark it is without doubt a Bradbury Family V.S.
The centre decal shows it was retailed by E. Hancock, 15 Curzon Street, Derby who chose the name "Victoria" for this machine. The shop was known as Hancock's and was advertising the Victoria sewing machine in 1921 and Vibrating Shuttle machines in 1923. From information we have on the Bradbury database this machine would date to 1922.

By this date the head casting had been changed to provide a raised platform for the second spool pin.
The machine has a bentwood case.

Further research has confirmed that Elijah Hancock sold domestic appliances from 15 Curzon Street c1912 - c1929. Prior to that in 1899 he is listed as a Perambulator Dealer trading from 127 Normanton Road, Derby and in 1895 as a Grocer with premises at 122 Boyer Street, Derby. He does not appear in the 1891 trade directory.
If anyone has any further information relating to Elijah Hancock we'd be interested to hear from them.

 Bradbury's Family V.S.

Bradbury's Family V.S.

Although not in perfect condition this is a very special Bradbury as we know it was completed at the Wellington Works on 20th October 1922. It has all the usual features of the late model Family machine. It came complete with manual, inspection card and box of attachments.

Before any Bradbury sewing machine left the factory its adjustment was carefully checked and the worker responsible initialled and dated a card. This was sent with the machine to the selling Agent but before delivery to the customer the Agent checked the machine again. If the machine was satisfactory the card was removed and disposed of, if there were any faults the card was returned to the factory. Either way this card should not have survived! Interestingly the initials on this card - W.G. are the same as those on a Company receipt dating to March 1918.

 Inspection Card
Bradbury  Manual 1922

The machine has its original manual which has finally confirmed our long held belief that the Bradbury Company changed its telephone number to 1608. The manual also had a supplementary insert providing guidance on how to use redesigned attachments.

 bradbury's family v.s.

Bradbury's Family V.S.

Three quarter view of the Bradbury Family V.S. the design of which remained largely unchanged from around 1907 until production ended.

The design of the bobbin winder goes back to the the Wellington and Family Transverse shuttle machines of the 1880's. However shortly after this machine was produced the company introduced a completely different design (see below).

 Bradbury's V.S. Old style bobbin winder
 bradbury's family v.s.

Bradbury's Family V.S.

At first glance this appears to be a standard Bradbury's Family V.S. however it has a new design of bobbin winder similar to that used on the Jones C.S. with a heart shaped cam.

A special bracket was produced to mount the new winder and a new design of belt guard was fitted.

 Bradbury's  V.S. new style bobbin winder

From the Bradbury database we know that less than 700 Family V.S. machines were produced with the new style bobbin winder in late 1922 and early 1923 however the Company then reverted back to the original style.

The new winder was also fitted to Bradbury's Medium V.S. and the company used a mix of old and new winders on its Medium V.S. machines right up until it ceased production.

 bradbury's family v.s. case

The Bradbury company used both coffin and bentwood covers throughout its production of Family V.S. hand machines.

This bentwood case has a faint stamp mark on the inside for Venesta which was one of the largest importers of quality birch plywood in Great Britain.

The Venesta company was founded in 1898 with a factory at Millwall and later another in Silvertown, London. As well as selling plywood and plywood products the company went on to produce metal foil.

 bradbury's family v.s.

Bradbury's Family V.S. Serial No. unknown.

An unusual Bradbury V.S. which has at some point been refurbished, sadly the Serial Number has been ground off, replacement decals added and the base and cover have been replaced with none original items. Although it still bears the company's Duke of Wellington Trade Mark it is unlikely that this work was carried out at the Bradbury factory.

INDEX of BRADBURY PHOTOGRAPHS
Click on a Caption

LETTER H
HOWE PRINCIPLE
WELLINGTON A1 REPAIRING LETTER 'S'
FAMILY No. 1
LETTER 'S'
MEDIUM No. 2
HIGH ARM
FAMILY
ROTARY SHUTTLE
No. 2/B2
SOEZE MEDIUM V.S. FAMILY V.S. No. 6 SPOOL
MACHINE
JONES C.S.
BADGED
BRADBURY

Bradbury and Co. Chronological History

Bradbury Introduction

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