Deep Dive: Exploring the Exhibits

Updated: Dec 3, 2020

Betsy Ross Miniature Toy Sewing Machine

This is a Betsy Ross miniature toy sewing machine, light green and made of cast iron. The sewing plate on the machine is a reflective silver color. On one side of the machine there is a hand cranked wheel that is still in working condition. There are four intact suction cups at the bottom of the machine in order to keep it firmly in place while in use. There is a raised design on both sides of the machine.

On the front of the machine, the manufacturer is named. Enclosed in a raised rectangle, the raised letters state the following: BETSY ROSS PAT. PEND


This mark is located on the arm of the machine.

This machine is hand-cranked, but there were also electric versions of this machine. These electric versions came in carrying cases which kept the electric mechanisms out of view. These electric machines were popular products in the 1950s and 1960s, and they were made by a company in New Jersey known as Gibraltar. At the time, these machines were sold for $19.95.

The hand cranked ones, however, originated a bit earlier than their electric counterparts. In 1949 these machines were advertised as being suitable for kids as young as 6 and adults as old as 60. These machines were sold for $6.95 from the Betsy Ross Sewing Machine Corporation located in Chicago, IL.

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