The Ideal Sewing Machine Co. Ltd was established c1919 to produce machines made under Leslie Salter's patent of 1910.
The factory at the Sandycombe Works, Kew Gardens, London was purchased in 1922 and the company had offices at 66 Broad Street Avenue, London. Production of the machine appears to have commenced in 1921 with limited numbers of machines being availale by May of that year. The company appointed agents throughout Great Britain and these tended to be large Department Stores where demonstrations of the machine would be given.
The machine was nickel plated and weighed just 7.5 lbs. It produced a chain-stitch and featured a walking foot cloth feed. Two versions of the Ideal were produced identified with a letter "A" or letter "B" cast into the base of the machine. The machines do not carry a serial number and it is not known how many of each version were made nor if the two versions were produced concurrently or consecutively.
In late 1922 the company had introduced a rotary lockstitch machine - the Ismak which it advertised as "a revolution in sewing machine" its styling was certainly revolutionary but by early 1924 it was being heavily discounted and The Ideal Sewing Machine Co. went into liquidation in 1925.
Ideal "A" With exposed needle bar, the spool pin is located horizontally on the rear of the arm and is a push fit - Willcox & Gibbs style. Note how rough some of the castings are in particular, the gear cover and balance wheel.
Completely Nickel-plated the machine has a painted sheet steel domed cover with the Company's Trade Mark on the front. The case is held in place by three prongs which protrude from the wooden base and which align with holes and a hasp on the case.
Follow this link to a FREE copy of the Ideal "A" Manual kindly supplied by Paul Verney
Ideal "B" At a glance the "A" and "B" machines appear identical however the "B" version featured a face plate with Ideal stamped diagonally across it and the spool pin was fixed in place at the rear of the machine.
Both versions have Ideal Pat UK 30264 stamped on the bed but the "B" version has British Manufacture. There were some minor differences to the mechanism between the "A" and "B" versions.
The Ismak Lock-Stitch sewing machine was introduced in 1923 and was based on Wheeler and Wilson's rotary hook. The bobbin and bobbin case are identical to those of the Wheeler & Wilson No. 9.
The machine appears to have been something of a flop with machines being sold off cheaply in early 1924 and its failure possibly contributed to the demise of the Ideal Sewing Machine Co.
This example is in excellent condition having been restored by Paul Verney. It is stamped ISMAK Lockstitch on the clothplate along with the patent number 30844/22.
The wooden block lifts out of the recess to reveal the bobbin case.
The bobbin winder is mounted at the top of the pillar and when required it is simply pressed onto the balance wheel which can be disconnected for bobbin winding. The casting of these parts is quite rough.
The handle folds flat for transport and the machine has a simple oblong carrying box.