Late 19th century sewing machine, hand operated and in working order.
It is operated with a shuttle bobbin. It is made of metal, probably iron and is very heavy to handle. The base is supported by four claw feet. The machine is very ornately decorated with gold gilt work on a black background. It has an oval illustration in the centre, which is a still life of flowers. There is a white porcelain handle on the turning wheel.
"A sewing machine is a textile machine used to stitch fabric, cards and other material together with thread. Sewing machines were invented during the first Industrial Revolution to decrease the amount of manual sewing work performed in clothing companies. Since the invention of the first working sewing machine, generally considered to have been the work of Englishman Thomas Saint in 1790,the sewing machine has vastly improved the efficiency and productivity of fabric, clothing and needle industries."
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Courtesy of Waikato Museum Te Whare Taonga o Waikato