Essex Mk1 Miniature Sewing Machine

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Essex Mk1 Miniature Sewing Machine

Essex Miniature Sewing Machine, front cover.jpg Essex Miniature Sewing Machine (Mk1), instruction leaflet front cover (i)
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Arch Two , Area 11
Play Kitchen (display)

1946 - 1956

A crimson and chrome Essex Miniature Sewing Machine (Mk1) made by Essex Engineering (Wanstead) Ltd. from 1946-1956. The sewing machine was donated by Sharon Mersh in August 2017. Due to display space limitations, the sewing machine is on display without its carry-box, which is safely in storage.

Essex Miniature Sewing Machine (Mk1)

The machine comes with a carry box with hinged lid and two catches, and a work surface that slides onto the chromed sewing bed. It also comes with a slightly plain metal clamp for fixing to to a tabletop.

Essex Miniature Sewing Machine, company illustration

This example was donated to the museum in 2017, and is hoped to go on display around ~September 2017.


Based on the Singer 20, this original Essex Miniature Sewing Machine was reckoned to be a good little machine, with honest, exposed, "mechanical" styling. However, with the popularity of modern 1950s streamlining in consumer products, the company then decided to produce a "Mk2" version with a smoothed futuristic (for the mid-fifties) silver-coloured "fairing" enclosing the machinery.

After the Mk2, and after having produced a total of 150,000 sewing machines, the company seems to have decided to quit making consumer products while they were ahead, and go back to concentrating on their original core business of making coin slot mechanisms.

External links

company history
the mk2: