All material copyright David G. Best 2002 - 2016 All Rights Reserved.
Bradbury's Medium V.S. machine was introduced in February 1905 after almost a years development work. Early Medium V.S. machines have a primitive looking bobbin winder and the early hand versions do not have an accessory compartment in the base.
The Family V.S. was introduced slightly later (c1906) and the early Family V.S. was to all intents and purposes a late model Soeze machine with a revised casting to the needlebar area.
So similar were these two machines that rather than produce a completely new manual for the Family V.S. the Company simply made minor changes where necessary to the Soeze manual!
The very early Family V.S machines (shown above) had the stitch length lever set low down on the side of the pillar, the Soeze style bobbin winder and the rectangular needle-plate which extended to the end of the bed. An additional inspection plate was provided at the end of the arm and the tension discs were on the side of the arm instead of on the face-plate as found on the Soeze. Some of these improvements are not shown on the illustration.
Within a year the Family V.S. machine was completely redesigned with significant mechanical changes. Externally a completely new shape casting for the head was produced (shown left), the stitch length lever was set higher on the pillar, the bobbin winder was redesigned and the slide plates were wider. The base still lacked the accessory compartment seen on later machines.
Both Family and Medium machines were made as Hand Cranks and Treadles, originally there were separate manuals but when the redesigned Family V.S. was introduced a common manual for both machines was issued which was based largely on the Medium manual. There are at least two main versions of this common manual, the earlier version has an illustration of a Medium treadle on the front and comes with a pale blue or pale green cover. A later version has a Medium hand crank on the cover and was specifically for the hand machine - although the contents of both manuals are largely the same. The later version shows the bobbin winder and shuttle as being slightly different.
The Treadle stand has Bradbury cast into the cross brace. There were one, three and five drawer versions as well as a drop head which could be fitted with a hand crank mechanism. Both the Medium & Family V.S. machines were sold as 'combinations' so the machine could be removed from the treadle base and used as a hand crank on its own although it appears the Medium combination was dropped by March 1912. These 'combinations' were available with a variety of cabinet work.
The drawers of earlier machines have tear drop pulls, later ones have small brass knobs. The Family V.S. hand crank came either with a bentwood case or a coffin case. The Medium appears to have only been available with a coffin case.
The same design of Decals appears to have been used on both machines, originally this was pink and blue flowers with green foliage. This was superseded by a Celtic Knot style design of green and orange.
INDEX of BRADBURY SEWING MACHINES
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