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Sewing Machine, Melber

From the Collection of City of Moorabbin Historical Society operating the Box Cottage Museum Joyce Park Jasper Road Ormond Victoria

Description
'Melber'Treadle Sewing Machine that was owned by Mary Box, nee Kloster/ Closter. It was bought in 1909, and it is a good example of its kind. This type of sewing machine was widely used in many homes, in an era when hand-made clothes were the “norm.”, and clothes were mended, or ‘re-made’ into another garment. The Box Cottage Museum has both the Receipt, and Guarantee for the sewing machine.
Size
H 84cm, L 94cm, W 44cm
Object Registration
00004
Keywords
dendys special survey, treadle sewing machine, box cottage, mary kloster, alonzo box, melber, wertheim hugo, wertheim sewing machine manufacturer, richmond melbourne victoria,
Historical information
Melber sewing machines were first sold in Australia in the late 1870s. The 'Box Cottage' Melber Treadle Sewing Machine was owned by Mary Box, nee Kloster / Closter, wife of Alonzo Box , the nephew of William and Elizabeth Box who purchased 'Box Cottage' in 1865 from a pioneer settler The machine was bought in 1909, and is a good example of its kind. This type of sewing machine was widely used in many homes, in an era when hand-made clothes were the “norm.”, and clothes were mended, or ‘re-made’ into another garment. The cottage has both the Receipt, cat 00004.1 and Guarantee, cat 00004.2, for the sewing machine.
This machine was possibly built by Wertheim Pty Ltd
Hugo Wertheim (1854 – 1919) arrived in Melbourne in 1875. He became a successful agent for sewing machines manufactured by his father’s cousin Joseph Wertheim in Frankfurt, Germany. Hugo married Joseph’s daughter Sophie Emilie and they settled in Richmond Melbourne Australia. Hugo made many trips back to the main factory in Germany and, with extensive advertising, established a thriving business for sewing machines, bicycles, pianos under various ‘brand names’ - Wertheim, Electra, Planet, Griffin, Hapsburg. It has been said that Dame Nellie Melba preferred a Wertheim piano for her performances. In 1908 Hugo opened a large piano factory in Bendigo St Richmond, Victoria and his son Herbert maintained the business until 1935

The sewing machine was donated in 1985 by, a descendant of the Box family. The machine is complete, and in good condition.

When Made
Early 20th Century
Made By
Melber Sewing Machines Pty Ltd (Sewing Machine Manufacturer)
Significance
William and Elizabeth Box purchased 'Box Cottage' in 1865 from a pioneer settler who had bought part of the land noted in Dendy's Special Survey 1841 Brighton. They raised their family there and established a market garden to supply produce to the population of Melbourne. Their nephew Alonzo married Mary Kloster/ Closter in 1918 and she brought with her this 'Melber' sewing machine that she used to provide clothing for the family.
Inscriptions & Markings
'MELBER' stamped on sewing machine.
Last updated
3 Mar 2017 at 10:12AM