Did you Know About the The Venus Family Sewing Machine?



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The Venus Family Sewing Machine

The first sewing machine factory in Canada was established at Hamilton in 1860-61 by Richard Mott Wanzer who, during the late 1850s, seems to have had a small sewing machine shop in Buffalo, New York, which manufactured Singer machines. For some unknown reason he left this business and shortly thereafter settled in Hamilton to begin anew. It took a week to turn out his first machine. During the next thirty years, however, R.M. Wanzer and Company grew to be the largest and most successful of all Ontario’s sewing machine manufacturers.

As with most other industries, sewing machine factories tended to be situated either close to shipping centres along Lake Ontario or connected to the lake by the railroad. Ontario’s sewing machine factories were scattered in a variety of locations, including Belleville, Perth, Toronto, St. Catharines, Hamilton, and Guelph, and although each of these towns or cities was capable of sustaining a certain portion of the industry, Hamilton and Guelph ultimately became the two major centres for sewing machine manufacturing

J.M. Miller and Company

The history of the J.M. Miller and Company, a small establishment located in Perth, is sketchy and virtually nothing is known about the manufacture except that it was in operation between 1872 and 1875. The company was also known as the Perth Sewing Machine Company and the Venus Sewing Machine Company.




J.M. Miller and Company manufactured a lock-stitch machine called the Venus and it was certainly deserving of the name since the Venus was probably the most ornate and attractive sewing machine manufactured in Ontario. Every cast piece is not only delicately hand-painted with roses and leaves, but is decorative in shape as well. The Venus has a number of unusual features. Instead of a solid base or arm support on the right, there is a flat, shapely, cast section which hides the gears. The spooler spindle is situated high up on this “arm” and even it is shapely and ornate. The Venus also has a special thread guide which releases the thread when the needle goes down and holds the thread tight when the needle is raised. This feature replaces the more commonly used take-up lever.



Canadian Science and Technology Artifact–Artifact no.1973.0537.001 Model VENUS Manufacturer PERTH SEWING MACHINE CO.Manufacturer Location Perth, Ontario, Canada Manufactured Date Between 1872 – 1875


Have you seen the Godey’s Lady’s Book Volume 101 July To December 1880–Fashions

Click here


Related reading:

Gypsies Tramps and Thieves

A Story of Sewing Past

Were You the King of King’s Castle in Carleton Place? Linda’s Mailbag

How to Make a Vintage Apron- Aitkenhead Photo Collection

Singer Sewing Machines and Scandals

One Village? One Sewing Needle!


by Perth Sewing Machine Company (Ont.) –-Toronto Public Library
Year/Format: 1872, Book , 1 folded leaf ([4] p.) :
Canadian Trade Catalogue Collection : CTCC
Commercial catalogs–Ontario–Perth.
Perth Sewing Machine Company (Ont.)–Catalogs.
Sewing machines–Catalogs.
1 copy  Reference only – not holdable
No summary currently available.
Show/hide reviews and other info
Publication information: Perth, Ont. : Perth Courier Steam Press Print, 1872.
Language: English
Record ID: 2622105
Format: Regular Print Book
Date acquired: July 28, 2010
More creator details: manufactured by Perth Sewing Machine Company, Perth, Ont.
Corporate Author: Perth Sewing Machine Company (Ont.)


Come and visit the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page– what’s there? Cool old photos–and lots of things interesting to read.

Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in Hometown News

About lindaseccaspina

Before she laid her fingers to a keyboard, Linda was a fashion designer, and then owned the eclectic store Flash Cadilac and Savannah Devilles in Ottawa on Rideau Street from 1976-1996. She also did clothing for various media and worked on “You Can’t do that on Television”. After writing for years about things that she cared about or pissed her off on American media she finally found her calling. She is a weekly columnist for the Sherbrooke Record and documents history every single day and has over 6500 blogs about Lanark County and Ottawa and an enormous weekly readership. Linda has published six books and is in her 4th year as a town councillor for Carleton Place. She believes in community and promoting business owners because she believes she can, so she does.

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