I am interested in Demorest sewing machines because they were manufactured in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, near where I grew up. I never heard of them until I began collecting treadle sewing machines, and find it surprising how few seem to be available in northeastern Pennsylvania considering they were made here. When I started searching for information about Demorest sewing machines I did not find much available, so I did some research. I created this page to share the information I gathered. Corrections and additional information are welcome. Please email me with "Demorest Info" in the subject line if you can add to the knowledge base about these lovely sewing machines.
Demorest sewing machines were manufactured by the Demorest Fashion and Sewing Machine Company, later called the Demorest Manufacturing Company. It was also referred to as the Demorest Sewing Machine Company in advertisements. The Demorest name came from Madame Demorest of Madame Demorest's Reliable Patterns, the Demorest Emporium of Fashions, and Demorest Monthly Magazines fame.
Demorest sewing machines were produced in Williamsport, PA from 1889 through approximately 1907. The New York Sewing Machine Company was possibly the forerunner to the Demorest Fashion and Sewing Machine Company. Some sources say that early Demorest machines were made in Plattsburgh, New York before manufacturing moved to Williamsport, PA. I am seeking information about the connection between Demorest Sewing Machine Company and the New York Sewing Machine Company and the Williams Sewing Machine Company. New York SMCo and Williams SMCo shared the same factory in Plattsburgh, but so far I have found no documentation placing Demorest in Plattsburgh except Grace Rogers Cooper's book and info on Needlebar which appears to have been based on that book. If anybody can provide documentation of pre-1889 Demorest manufacturing in Plattsburgh or elsewhere, I would be very pleased to receive it.
I am very interested in seeing pictures of other Demorest and New York sewing machines and especially in obtaining serial numbers and dates from receipts and warranties. Please email me with "Demorest Info" in the subject line if you have information to share.
There is no information available about what the company called the various models, so I am designating them Type 1, Type 2 and Type 3. I do not have many examples of each model to go by, but this information is gathered from the ones I have.
Demorest also made badged sewing machines.
This section is under construction
I don't know! I cannot appraise your machine for you, so please don't email and ask me to. Value depends on condition, location,
what accessories it has, the current collector market, etc.
I can tell you that they rarely show up on eBay and when they do they
do not sell for high prices, if they sell at all. I see them listed in Craigslist for months without selling.
Despite not being particularly common, they are not in demand by collectors.
My observation in my area is that they sell for about the same amount as the common Singer treadles of the same
era. Treadle prices vary significantly in different areas of the US, so I suggest you research local sales (not ads, actual
completed sales) to estimate value. As an example, I live in northeastern PA and I have one of each of the three models and I got them for
free, $75 and $75.
SN 8956, courtesy
of Wolfegang's Collectibles.
More pictures of SN8956.
1890 No. 3 machine, SN 30294, courtesy
of Wolfegang's Collectibles.
More pictures of SN 30294.
Circa mid 1890s machine in The Lycoming Museum.
SN not visible.
More pictures of Lycoming Museum machine.
SN 109155, Circa early 1900s machine in the
The Thomas T. Taber Museum of the
Lycoming County Historical Society, Williamsport, PA.
It has beautiful gold rose decals on the wooden cabinet.
More pictures of this machine.
Page created 11-19-06, updated 11-22-06, updated 3-15-2021, updated 12-9-2021