Sunday, September 23, 2018

Defiance Hand Crank Sewing Machine - year 1906

Defiance Hand Crank Sewing Machine, manufactured by New Home in Orange, Mass. USA

I purchased it on and received it September 2018, in time to celebrate National Sewing Machine month.  This machine came from Leicester, England.

distributed by W.J. Harris, London.  Defiance Serial Number 2621960, Style A made in 1906

On top--is the leaf tension spring (regulates upper thread tension).  The thread travels from the spool through the groove in the leaf tension spring.  Tightening the thumb screw puts pressure on the thread restricting or loosening the upper thread tension.

3/4 Size Machine - bed is 6.75" by 11.5"

When I buy a sewing machine from England through, directly after winning the bid I send message to the seller how I want to have it packaged to ensure it ships without damage.

Most sellers appreciate having the packaging protocol information.  I try, try, try, to put forth this information without hurting the feelings of the seller.  In the end I promise to submit a very nice written review, noting how well they packaged the machine to its safe voyage.
  • Put machine and its wood base inside a large plastic bag and securely wrap with packing tape.
  • Install hood onto the machine, then wrap the entire unit in bubble wrap and secure with tape.
  • Place machine into a sturdy box lined with Styrofoam peanuts or panels (bottom, sides, top of the box), restricting movement of the machine entirely.
  • Place first box into a second box and snug with twisted newspaper packing.  Secure box with packing tape.
As you can see--my Defiance machine was packed extremely well by the seller.  Bravo.  I submitted a quality plus review of this seller.  

During the auction bidding process on Ebay, I contact the seller with questions about dimensions, especially about the harp space and I am learning lots of new things about these old hand crank machines.  Definitely I want to know if the machine has its bobbin case or shuttle inside the machine if it is not shown in the seller's auction photos.  

There will always be sellers who don't have a clue regarding my questions, or where to look for dimensions, parts, or bits I want to know more about.   Each time I message back and forth with the seller, I thank them for their patience answering my questions.

Cleaning and oiling takes me several days to complete.

Removing the front end plate is one of the first places I look to clean and oil moving parts.


  1. Hello Linda, What a lesson here in packing delicate items to ship, and in dealing diplomatically with sellers. And of course it pays off.

    The Defiance, with its elaborate decals and British serial number plate, is another triumph for you, and another treat for us to look at.

  2. Jim, you write so eloquently. I admire you. Thank you for sending this splendid note. The Defiance is one of those machines you look at it once, then return to take in more.

    They are petite and effortless to use. Where as treadle machines I find are quite a leg workout. I'm still working on my treadling technique and need more practice. A hand crank is so much easier to use.

    My husband Jon took one look at this machine and declared, "Defiance? Well, that has you name on it!" The hand crank sewing machines are efficient, and lovely to listen to them sew---tink, a-tink, a-tink, a-tink. Like a metronome set to music.