Domestic/King Model Comparison

It is commonly thought that Domestic made the Franklin, Minnesota A and Minnesota H for Sears up until 1924 when White puchased Domestic. I believe that King made these models from the beginning, as well as the Minnesota X. There is evidence to back up this theory on this page and in discussions on the Victorian Sweatshop forum here and here.

The following photos and chart are presented to show the models known to be made by Domestic and King in the 1910s and early 1920s. The Franklin is frequently referred to as a Singer 27 clone, so I am including a Singer 27 in the chart for comparison.

In 1911, when the Franklin appeared in the Sears catalog, Domestic was making the Domestic D. In 1913, when the updated Minnesota debuted, they were also making the Domestic Rotary. Both were fiddlebase machines with old fashioned designs. King was making their VS model which is virtually identical to a Singer 27. When Sears decided to put a Singer 27 clone in the catalog, it seems clear that King, the company they essentially owned and was already making a Singer 27 clone, would be the obvious choice to manufacture the Franklin and subsequent Minnesota models.

VS Model SN (Year) Front Back Face Inside Face Wheel Under Top Foot/Feed dogs Shuttle carrier Shuttle
Domestic D 2036103 (1909-1915)
Singer 27 H142473 (1906)
King 141856
Franklin 172473 (1911+)
Minnesota X 36120 (1912-13)
Minnesota A (Photos courtesy Jo Mercer) 293279 (pre-1921)
Vibrator 620830 (1915+)
Minnesota A 402248 (1920+)
New Willard 201758 (1920+)
Minnesota H 13614 (1920+)
Lessing 439817 (1920+)

Note: Lessing normally has a back inspection plate labeled "King Sewing Machine Company" as in the last photo, courtesy of Martha Wickham.

Summary of features from photos above:

Rotary Model SN (Year) Front Back Face Inside Face Wheel Under Foot/Feed dogs Hook Area Bobbin Case In Bobbin & Case
Domestic Rotary Type 1 778676D
Domestic Rotary Type 2 1245723
King Rotary 1200920K
Economy Rotary (Standard) ** 172473
Domestic Rotary Type 3

** Economy Rotary is included for comparison because it has the same patent dates on its slide plate as the King Rotary and Domestic Rotary Type 2.