Posts Tagged ‘Wheeler & Wilson’


That Sewing Machine War

   Posted by: admin    in Webster City

The Fort Dodge Messenger: June 29, 1903

That Sewing Machine War

Situation in Webster City Assumes a New Phase

Seven Wheeler-Wilson Agents, Arrested for Selling Goods Without a License, Jump the Town.

The sewing machine war in Webster City has assumed a new phase. Seven agents of the Wheeler-Wilson company who were arrested Monday evening, charged with selling goods without a license, jumped the town Friday evening.

The Freeman-Tribune has the following:

The wholesale arresting of the agents came out of the merry sewing machine war which has been going on in this city for three weeks between the representatives of the Singer and the Wheeler & Wilson companies. The Wheeler & Wilson men were arrested as they had no established agency here and hence were liable for the license. They were brought before Mayor Edwards Monday evening for a hearing. At their rquest the case was postponed until Wednesday evening. The matter of placing them under bonds until that time came up, but as the mayor had no blank forms at hand he allowed them to go on their own recognizance.

When the hour for the trial came, the agents failed to put in an appearance. The officers waited on them but they did not show up. As they were in the city yesterday afternoon they cannot have gotten very far away. Warrants have been issued for them and the city officers will make an attempt to have them served. It is the intent of the mayor to have the agents brought back to the city for trial and punishment, both for the breaking of the city ordinances and for jumping the city when they had been given their liberty on their own cognizance.

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Sewing Machine War is Spreading

   Posted by: admin    in Business, Webster City

The Fort Dodge Messenger: June 23, 1903

Sewing Machine War is Spreading

Singer and Wheeler-Wilson Companies Now in Fierce Competition in Webster City.

Methods are Too Strenuous

Warrants for Arrest of Seven Over Officious Agents Have Been Sworn Out and Placed in Hands of Webster City Police.

The Singer-Wheeler-Wilson sewing machine war, which raged with violence in this city some time ago, has spread to Webster City, where arrest seems likely to follow the strenuous efforts of some of the sewing machine agents. Warrants for the arrest of seven of these ubiquitous gentlemen were issued on Monday.

The agents for whom warrants have been issued are all from Boone.

The Webster City Freeman Tribune gives the following particulars:

The sewing machine agents who have been flooding the city with the Singer and Wheeler & Wilson machines for the past ten days, will run up against some trouble this afternoon if the program of the city police force is carried out. Warrants have been issued for seven of them upon the charge of selling their goods about the city without a license.

Since the advent of these representatives of two rival companies in the city life among sewing machine agents seems to have become peculiarly strenuous. Their modus operandi has been to leave a machine at a home whether it was needed or not, provided only that the housewife would give it a trial. Things went along smoothly until competition began to grew fierce between the two companies when each started in on a crusade of making sales on almost any kind of a basis.

It was when this stage of the business was reached that the agents left a machine at the home of W.J. Biernatzki. They removed his old machine which they were to take as part payment on the new one should it prove satisfactory. The machine was not just what was wanted, so Mr. Biernatzki says, and he made a demand on the agents for a return of the old machine and a removing of the new.

Through some misunderstanding or other the agents refused to do this, in consequence of which Mr. Biernatzki informed on them and the warrants are now made out for their arrest and will probably be served this evening. The agents all hail from Boone, instead of Fort Dodge, as mentioned Saturday.

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