For information about the history of Bradbury's Soeze click on the title above.
All material copyright David G. Best 2002 - 2010 All Rights Reserved.
The earliest version of the Soeze (sew easy) probably made in August 1898. It has very attractive decals of leaves with small pink flowers. The face plate is jappaned and has the same decal pattern. The company Trade Mark - the Duke of Wellington is on the shoulder of the machine.
Note the leaf tension arrangement on the top of the arm and the single spool pin. The machine was available with either a nickel plated or as in this case a jappaned balance wheel. There is no accessory compartment in the base an omission which was never rectified.
The machine has a bentwood case with the company Trade Mark on the front.
We believe this version of the Soeze was only available as a hand crank.
A slightly later version of the Soeze made in late 1898 or early 1899. It has the same decals as the machine above however the faceplate is nickel plated and a second spool pin has been provided on top of the arm.
This is an example of the second version of the Soeze made in 1899. The casting of the arm and needle head have been changed with the leaf tension being replaced by tension discs located on face plate. The spool pins have also been repositioned and the needle plate is now rectangular and extends to the end of the bed. The fittings for the bentwood case are similar to those of the earlier machine.
The decals are the same as the earlier version including the name Soeze on the arm. After less than 2000 machines the Company changed the decal pattern to the red & gold style shown below.
A few years later this floral pattern was reused on a batch of machines but with the name "Westerian" on the arm in place of Soeze.
Made in 1902 this is another example of the second version of the Soeze but with the more common red and gold decals. The name Bradbury's "Soeze" is on the arm and the Company's Trade Mark appears on the bed of the machine.
Although the head of this machine is heavily worn and the woodwork has been poorly refinished it is a rare example of the treadle version of the Soeze. Note in particular the complicated design of the stand and how the treadplate is connected to the stand.
Made in 1903 this is another example of the second version of the Soeze, this time as a hand machine. Note how the bed stands proud of the woodwork and the prescence of a belt guard when compared with the example below.
A late model of the Bradbury Soeze manufactured around 1905. On this version the castings have been changed slightly and the raised platforms for the spool pins have been deleted as has the belt guard.
The wooden base has been simplified and the peg & socket hinges mean the machine is now inset into the base. No accessory compartment has been provided and although it has a bentwood case the fixings are different to the earlier models.
This model was also available as a treadle with various types of cabinet work.
The elegant case with it's single metal handle was the standard case for the hand cranked Soeze and remained unchanged throughout the production of the machine although the company did alter the style of lock (before reverting back to the original style) as well as the manner in which the case attached to the base.
Another late model Bradbury Soeze manufactured in 1905. The only change to the above machine is the lock keep which is now round. The decals are the somewhat worse for wear. Interestingly the earlier floral pattern decal was reused on a batch of this version with the name "Westerian" on the arm in place of Bradbury's "Soeze".
Bradbury's Family V.S.
Although designated the Family V.S. this machines heritage is unmistakable - it is to all intents and purposes a modified Soeze probably made in 1906. The most notable change is to the needle head which has been redesigned and has the tension discs mounted on its side with an extra inspection cover.
The decals however are of a completely different design with the exception of those on the hand crank which on this example are the same as those on the Soeze. On later examples of this variant the hand crank decals do match the machine.
This version of the Family V.S. was made both as a hand crank and a drop head treadle model.
This machine was kindly donated to our collection by Andre Ravary.
See Also The FAMILY V.S.
Threading & Oiling of Bradbury's Soeze (late model)
Bradbury's Family V.S. (early model)
INDEX of BRADBURY PHOTOGRAPHS
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