An Early Prima Donna
Harry Berzack has recently added an early Whight & Mann Prima Donna machine to his collection. Whight & Mann were an English manufacturer in Ipswich, Suffolk which featured in an article in ISMACS News #80. The Prima Donna was its small domestic machine during the 1870s and, as usual, cost four guineas (￡4.20) for the hand version.
The machine which has surfaced has the serial number 136, suggesting it is a very early version. It carries no name or manufacturing marks. Its most unusual feature is that, instead of a lion’s paw support for the cloth-plate it has a cast support in the form of a scroll. It is clearly not a repair or an addition so, why did Whight & Mann change it for the lion’s paw on later machines? We will never know!
国厂精品114福利电影Another early feature is the ends of the brass shuttle cover plates being merely bent down rather than carefully formed to match the profile of the rim of the cloth-plate. There are other minor differences suggesting that the design was evolving in its early days.
国厂精品114福利电影Where was this machine found? In the rural mid-west of America. The next puzzle is to work out how it got there from the factory in rural East Anglia. (MG)