The German sewing machine industry got off to something of a slow start compared with that in America and Britain. One of the first companies to be founded was that of Clems Muller who established a factory in Dresden in 1855. However it was not long before hundreds of sewing machine manufacturers sprung up. These firms tended to copy the early American designs of Wheeler & Wilson and Singer. However as the industry in Germany developed so to did the variety of machines that were produced.

German companies sometimes seem to have copied each others designs exactly, whilst this is possible what may also have happened is in order to meet demand, larger companies may have subcontracted production to smaller companies who then being tooled up could produce further machines for themselves.

Many German manufacturers produced the same design machine with only minimal changes over long time periods, this particularly occurred with Cast base machines which were produced until at least the First World War.

German sewing machines were often denigrated, particularly by the British as being poor quality, infact the machines were as good, if not better, than those produced by British firms and what's more they were cheaper! German machines were imported into Britain in enormous quantities with many of the main German manufacturers had offices in London, the best known of which was probably Frister & Rossmann.

Shown on the following pages are a variety of German produced machines some are from known manufacturers, but many others were specifically made to be exported and labeled for importers and retailers. Identifying the actual manufacturer of such badged machines is extremely difficult.


If you come across a period advertisement, price list etc (dated or not) this may provide further information which would help enhance the accuracy of this site and it would be helpful if you could let us have a copy.


We are seeking additional machines to preserve, especially early cast base or unusually shaped ones not currently represented in the collection. Please click here to see the list of machines we are particularly looking for.


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Room 1
Room 2
Room 3
L. O. Dietrich
Frister and
Natalis & Co.
Hengstenberg & Co.
Mundlos & Co.
Adam Opel
Georg Pfaff
Seidel and
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