This company was formed in 1902 to undertake the manufacture of the stitching machine, since introduced into most of the factories in this country. The new works were built and equipped with machine tools soon afterwards, and progress has been steady but increasing ever since. The policy of the board of directors, which includes some of the most prominent men in the industry, has been to steadily build up the business and add to the set of machines offered to the trade new and original devices for every operation in the manufacture of a shoe, so that at the present time the list of machines is a long one, and manufacturers will find everything for the making and finishing rooms included in the latest catalogue issued by the company. Special experience obtained in the gun and allied trades of Birmingham has been brought to bear on the building up of the plant of machinery used in the production of the machines at Rushden, and it can be confidently stated that, in one of the best equipped shops in the country, nothing is wanting to ensure that every part turned out is interchangeable, and that, as a whole, the workmanship in the machines manufactured shall be of the highest possible class. The result of this policy, pursued during the last ten years, has been that the machines supplied to manufacturers have earned for themselves an excellent reputation for reliability, and the greatly increasing demand is necessitating an increase in the plant at Rushden to cope with it, and we understand this is now being undertaken. Agencies have been established in all the principal shoe centres, and we anticipate a great increase in the firm’s business in the near future. Amongst the new productions marketed during the last year are the following:-
“National” Welt and Turn Sewer for sewing in welts and turn sewing also.
“National” Automatic Rounder This machine is built on an entirely different principle to others and contains many good points. The operation of rounding is as follows:- The shoe comes to the machine with the sole on, secured by the cementing process under the sole layer. The welt, which has previously been beaten out flat, is in close contact with the sole, which is larger than the finished sole will be, and the welt also wider, so that something is left of each to be trimmed off by the rounder. The operator holds the shoe with the sole in a vertical position (away from him), and with the gauge of the machine resting upon the last close to the welt. Upon starting by means of the right-hand treadle, the horizontally moving edge knife makes a horizontal cut, and while still in the work another knife immediately below it moves laterally to the right hand end cuts a channel in the sole for stitching. When this has been done, the edge knife, the block against it cuts, and the channel knives move to the left and feed the work along ready for another cut of the edge knife. The machine, therefore, would, if no vertical movement of the gauge resting upon the last was made, cut an edge and channel the sole true with the last round the whole edge of the shoe.
Sole Layer Is used for attaching soles to shoes prepared by having the welts trimmed and beaten out covered with rubber solution, while the loose soles are also solutioned.
“National” Outsole Stitcher (Lockstitch) This is an entirly new design produced for the purpose of competing with other high-speed stitching machines. It operates at five hundred revolutions per minute. The looper thread hook and all other important motions are enclosed in an oil bath, and moreover are of specially light design to allow of an increase in speed of one third, as compared with any other machine, except the above mentioned. It contains about one-fourth of the moving parts of some other machines, and is essentially practical in all details, and will appeal to the operator as being handy and having all necessary adjustments, quickly made and simple.
Automatic Leveller On this machine the shoe bottom is rolled and levelled after the stitching has been done and the channel has been closed. A gun-metal wheel, curved to fit the side in the forepart, is caused to move over the whole of the surface and force down any small projections.
“National” Slugger This is an entirely new machine for attaching the heel top-piece by means of wire cut off a coil and driven in round the edge of the top-piece. The machine consists primarily of a wire-feed mechanism delivering the wire in predetermined lengths to a cutting shear, from which it is passed to a driving apparatus. The shoe, which may be on or off the last is supported in one case upon a jack and in the other upon a post or horn. Loose heels are also slugged upon it.
Stitch Separator This machine operates upon the welt of the shoes and carries a blade, which makes a mark corresponding to each stitch and so sets up the stitch and relieves the plain surface of the welt.
High-speed Screwer This machine is designed to insert screwed fastenings instead of nails in the soles of shoes. It uses a brass or steel wire having a two start thread rolled upon it, this wire being screwed into the leather at the correct pitch.
Seat Trimmer This machine is used for rounding up the seat of the shoe where the heel is to be presently attached. The shoe is presented to it sole downward, the shoe resting on a horizontally mounted feed wheel. At the outside edge of this feed wheel, nearest the edge to be cut, is fitted a ring forming one member of a pair of cutters. This ring may be turned round as blunted. Working in conjunction with this is a knife with cylindrical outer surface clamped to a lever pivoted in a horizontal plane at right angles to the feed wheel axis. The knife is given a “four-motion” movement. It descends until its edge just passes the ring before mentioned, cutting the leather, moves to the left to feed, taking forward the work (with the co-operation of the feed wheel), rises and moves to the right preparatory to another cut. The work is held down by means of an edge gauge, and the p osition of this gauge determines the width of the finished edge, the gauge working against the last at all times.
Heel Builder This machine carries a mould shaped internally to correspond with the outside of the heel and into this mould the “lifts” or cut out leather pieces are assembled by the operator, whilst the mould is in its initial position. Behind the mould is a vertical shaft bearing a pad shaped to fit the mould. This can be brought down by a treadle after the mould has been filled with the lifts. The action of the treadle first of all swings the mould into a position facing the operator, and also swings the pad, bringing the pad directly over the mould, and further depression of the treadle forces the pad into the mould, compressing to some degree the leather lifts. For nailing the lifts together, a nailing die is provided, consisting of a steel block perforated with a number of holes, in which work “drivers”, which are pins fitting these holes and adapted to be forced up into the holes by a ram below them, in its turn operated by a crank on the driving shaft of the machine.
Rapid Lasting Machine This machine is used for “wiping” over the upper leather at the toe and heel seat, when the upper has been drafted over insole on last. The shoe on the last is held by means of the post supporting the heel end, which post carries a pin inserted in the thimble hole of the last. The toe end is carried on a felt pad or support upon another vertical bar, and as the post first referred to is carried upon the slide operated by the large hand wheel shown, the shoe can be firmly held in position by being forcibly pushed on to the toe pad, the heel portion of the last being prevented from giving under pressure of the chain and leather strap shown in contact with the upper. The shoe being firmly held, a handle is operated, and this causes two plates cut to the shape of the heel seat to move forward and at the same time to approach each other, so that the upper leather standing up around the seat is wiped over ready for tacking. While the plates hold the upper down a hand tacker is used to drive tacks into the upper and fasten it to insole. This having been done at the seat, the material at the toe is next dealt with in the same way. In this case, however, it is not desirable to tack the upper to the insole, as it has to be sewn to it eventually. A tape is, therefore, employed, which is brought round the toe, and in the form of a closed loop attached to a rocking arm, it being simply hooked to it.
Welt Feather Edge and Sole Skiver The purpose for which this machine was designed is that of bevelling the edge of the welt after it is beaten up, in the waist of the shoe. In operating, the shoe is held bottom up and welt resting upon a plate, which is set up at the correct angle to give the bevel required. The cut is taken by a revolving toothed cutter moving at a high speed.
The machines supplied for lasting and other purposes by the Moenus Machine Co., of Frankfurt-a-Main, for which concern the Rotary Co. act as sole agents as far as shoe machinery is concerned, have proved themselves thoroughly well adapted for the English market, and the turnover has in consquence been very large.
The “Regina” pulling-over machine is now at work in very many of the most important factories in Great Britain, and has earned a first-class reputation for itself on every grade of work. It is rapid and produces a perfectly pulled-over shoe. In a factory making highest-grade welted, it is being used on shoes retailed at 38s to £2 per pair, while it is also at work doing 800 pairs per day of the cheapest class of slippers.
The lasters made by the Moenus Co. are excellent machines, well constructed and with every up-to-date feature.
Other important machines supplied by this firm through the Standard Rotary Co. are pounding-up machines, loose nailers, seam trimmers, etc., etc.