124 - Charles GRIMME & Isidore NASCH

Isidor NASCH of Berlin was one of the inventors of the so-called “two-needle button-hole sewing machine with rotary needle bar”. 

Carl GRIMME a manufacturer in Braunschweig together with Isidor NASCH developed the “single needle button-hole sewing machine” which they patented in Braunschweig and in Great Britain and France [1], for example.

On 1 July 1870 GRIMME and NASCH applied for a brevet d’importation in Luxembourg under the title of:

Perfectionnements aux machines à coudre pour faire les boutonnières et les surjets à l’aide d’une seule aiguille

The corresponding British patent explains:

The basis of this invention is a common shuttle sewing machine where the motion of the needle is altered while the shuttle operates in the usual manner. While the stuff is being equally moved by the feed bar, alternate motion is imparted to the needle, so that it passes once through the stuff and the second time close beside it, but the shuttle passes each time through the loop formed by the needle

Experts François EYDT, architecte and STAUDT-MEYER, mécanicien, in their report to the Chambre de commerce, described the prior art machines for making button holes and concluded:

… la transformation de la couture simple à celle pour la couture à surjets se fait par cette machine d'une manière rapide et d’aucune complication. 

Nous pensons donc qu'un brevet d’invention et d'importation pour la durée de 15 ans pour cette combinaison nouvelle de mouvement donné à une seule aiguille pour faire le surjet et les boutonnières pourra être accordé.

The Chambre de commerce wrote to the Government:

Notre assemblée adopte les conclusions de ce rapport pour l’octroi de ce brevet mais elle exprime le désir que la durée du privilège soit limitée à cinq ans. [3]

The Government followed the duration limitation proposed by the Chambre de commerce and  granted the patent on 17 August 1870 for 5 years (as opposed to the 15 years requested by the inventors).

In 1871 Carl GRIMME formed a company with A. NATALIS under the name of GRIMME, NATALIS & Co which in 1892 bought the rights to manufacture pinwheel calculating machines and gradually moved away from manufacturing sewing machines. In 1927 the company was renamed Brunsviga Maschinenwerke AG and the latter company was eventually absorbed in 1959 into the Olympia Werke A.G. [2]


[1] GB patent No 413/1870, FR patent No 89,743

[2] Fiddlebase (sewing machine database)

[3] This is the first time that the Chambre de commerce proposed to limit the duration of a patent without any justification; during the 1870s more such recommendations were issued by the Chambre de commerce