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 agenoria c1870

Agenoria Serial No. 6909.

Made by The Franklin Sewing Machine Company, Franklin Works, Park Road, Birmingham.

Following the dissolution of the partnership of Cole, Maxfield & Co., Park Road, Birmingham which had been formed by Richard Wood, Arthur Maxfield and Isaac Cole the Franklin Sewing Machine Co. was established in March 1868 by Arthur Maxfield, Isaac Cole and Charles Fowkes. This partnership lasted until November 1872 when it dissolved through effuxion of time with the three partners going their separate ways.

Arthur Maxfield established another firm - A. Maxfield & Co., New Street Works, 71 & 72 Spencer Street, Birmingham where an improved version of the Agenoria which had a fast & loose balance wheel was produced. In 1877 it is believed that A. Maxfield & Co. was taken over by the Royal Sewing Machine Co. Ltd.

Isaac Cole moved to Edinburgh forming Cole & Co and in 1873 Maxfield & Co. entered into an agreement to supply Agenoria machines to this firm and some Maxfield machines have Cole & Co. stamped on the stitch plate. Isaac Cole was made bankrupt in 1880.

Charles Fowkes continued to produce sewing machines at the Franklin Works until c1874 under the name Charles Fowkes & Co. using the crossed needles and bobbin Trade Mark of the old Franklin Sewing Machine Co.

It is believed the Franklin Works were then purchased by Joseph Harris in c1874 who renamed them the Imperial Works and produced Agenoria machines under the name the Imperial Sewing Machine Co. which he had formed with John Judson in April 1873. The machines were retailed through Harris's premises at Oriel House, 41 Bull Lane, Birmingham. By April 1878 the Royal Sewing Machine Co. Ltd. was advertising that it had purchased the business of Joseph Harris.

This machine was probably produced c1870 and has the name Agenoria on the arm. 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 (we think!) which appears centrally just beneath the machines name.
Engraved on the cloth plate is the company trade mark which represents a bobbin with crossed needles with "The Franklin Co." round it. The machine stands on a wooden base.

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

 Franklin needlebar cover

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