"More Frocks for Less Money"

Bebarfald's catalogue cover printed in 1927


In the 1920s the Sydney based department store Bebarfald was (arguably) making the finest sewing machine cabinets in Australia. Most of the "heads" (the actual sewing machines) were imported from Europe and the USA, probably partly unassembled and unbranded to reduce the import duties and allow for easier application of the store's signature "Blue-Bird" decal, although Bebarfald's also imported Vickers machines from Britain and sold them as Bebarfald Vickers in their signature bureau cabinets.

The same manual was supplied for both of these similar but different machines.

Pfaff is a German brand you are probably familiar with, but Minerva were Czechoslovakian. I can't be 100% sure that Minerva made the machine in the foreground, but the evidence seems to point in that direction. The "bullnose" light fitting attatched to the pictured Minerva appears to have been manufactured and fitted to the machines in Sydney by Bebarfald. The manual shows the Pfaff 11 fitted with the light.

This central bobbin machine from the early 1930s has been positively identified as a Minerva


Models manufactured by the National Sewing Machine Company in the USA circa 1930s


Cyndy Kitt Productions items are also available from
Anne Bonny's Locker