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Senior Member
Posts: 1,002
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I have just published the information on the Singer Companies involvement with this exhibition. Items from this exhibit then went on to the 1886 Colonial and India Exhibition.

In the 1885 US consular's report issued for the prior period, they have received invitation for UK firms to enter the Cape Colony Exhibition and how under the precise requirements. Yes this is US getting UK information, but drawing attention to how to get in through other means. Here is the link for this document and the invitation for competition is on page 116/117.

There is a special decal set from 1885 done in gold. This is not done in error, but as a result of complying with the regulations to get into the Exhibition. There is only one way that Singer could have got in, and that is by using the method given by Mr. Levick (Cape colony sec of Exhibition) to Mr. J.W. Siler (esq) consul (US) paragraph 2 page 117 " You will notice under section b goods manufactured in England from products of the country may be exhibited; this rule is not intended to strictly apply to goods manufactured in England. They may be manufactured in any country, provided the raw material is the growth of the country."

Of all of the items used to manufacture the machines, gold is the only item from Cape Colony's raw materials that meets this criteria in the manufacture process without the plant being in Cape Colony.

The 1885 Exhibition awards and special acknowledgements can be found here Page 444 is very nice with awards for sewing machines of the manufactures present with the criteria met.

  John Stuart

Senior Member
Posts: 896
Reply with quote  #2 
Thank you for sharing these resources - some valuable history for me to pour over.  Especially interesting is the perspective of marketing activities in this time era and Singer's activities - such as the gold decals and why they were used.

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