The Martrenchard Barnfind Collection was discovered by Jan Pulles himself in 2014. It is an incredibly original barn find in the South of France of an extensive collection of unique old shoe and leather stitching machines from 1890s/1930. An old collector, Mr Borgas, had amassed an extraordinary collection over many years. After his death, his son-in-law, in consultation with Borgas’widow, put this unique collection up for sale on the internet. There were already several contacts to Australia, America and Switzerland when Jan Pulles discovered this collection and expressed interest in buying several of these machines. All the machines were still fully working and deployable, Mr Borgas had made it his life’s work to continue full maintenance and restoration and deployability in addition to collecting.
We are therefore very proud to show you part of this barnfind collection. Several machines are on live display in our showrooms in Waalwijk (NL).
Among them are some very exclusive machines of which only a few still exist in the whole world. Jan Pulles has also been able to acquire various machines and tools from former craftsmen such as from the local Bergmans collection. These are tools exclusively used by Waalwijk and Langstraat craftsmen from those years.
Jan Pulles sees this collection as his mission to preserve and honour this cultural heritage.
Drosnner (FR), heavy stitching machine for boots and saddles. Built in the late 1800s. A unique and beautiful machine from the French leather industry, used for stitching boots and saddles. A colossus of a machine, made entirely of cast iron and impossible to lift! Has a separate mechanism that allowed one to stitch in hard-to-reach places. Rare machine in the field, partly due to its robustness and horizontally rotating shuttle. In fantastic condition.
Large shoemaking machine - builder unknown (F). Year of construction +-1900. In France, the colour red is more common on old stitching machines. In Germany, red machines are virtually unknown. The barge of this machine has similar features to the large Koch-Adlers. Unfortunately, only the beautiful column of this machine has survived. The beautiful drawings have faded due to a long stay underground. As this machine has been wrapped in oiled skins and hidden underground during the 2nd World War, when the Germans took over Paris.
The J.A.M. was one of the first shoe-stitching machines. Here a specimen original from the steam shoe factory of Schijndel Waalwijk from the late 1800s. This machine revolutionised local industry at the time! After all, until 1860 shoes and bags were still made entirely by hand, and now suddenly this step-stitching machine appeared. The machine was relatively cheap to buy. But there was particularly strong resistance at first from local artisans, who smugly chanted, "who ever heard it, who ever saw it, stitching shoes on a sewing machine? " But it did happen. One stitching machine produced as much output and with even better quality than 20 stitchers at a time. Especially between 1865 and 1875, many shoe manufacturers switched to this machine.
Lyman Reed Blake (1835-1883) was an American inventor who, among other things, developed this sewing machine to sew the soles to the shoe. Blake started in the shoemakers' business at a very young age and later went to work in the design department of the Isaac Singer Corporation. There, he was responsible for setting up sewing machines in shoe factories. Around 1856, he spent all his time inventing new machines that could speed up the process of shoemaking. On 6 July 1858, Blake received a patent from the US government for this sewing machine that sewed soles to the upper part of shoes. This provided machine processing that eliminated the need for heavy manual labour and greatly accelerated the production process, allowing shoes to be manufactured at low cost.
The 'Blake' is an 1898 sewing and stitching machine made of cast iron and metal produced by the British United Shoe Machine Company. It is the 1st machine that mechanically enabled the upper of the shoe to be fitted to the sole. This made the presence of a qualified operator at the machine no longer necessary and revolutionised home shoe and leather workers. With its shape, weight and its dimensions, the Blake is at once an imposing and heavy but also an exceptional and beautiful machine. (H : 1660 mm; - L : 995 mm - D : 710 mm - Weight : 20850 g) The Blake machine sewed an average of 250 pairs of shoes a day and operated on a system of drives. A similar machine to this one can also still be found in the Museum of London. In the rest of the world, this machine is untraceable today.
Pedersen SD 28 - Junker & Ruh - Karlsruhe (D). Hand Sohlendoppler or 'capper'. Built in 1930. This machine was used in small shoemakeries for soldering shoes or repairing heavier leather goods.
Sohlendoppler with blade section - Gritzner-Durlach (D). Year built +-1910. This Sohlendoppler or 'capper' is still used for soldering shoes. This one also has a reamer section for thinning the seam and a space for a burner to keep the pitch thin during sewing.
The ATLAS Vitesse (Strassbourg 1988) is a heavy-duty stitching machine for shoes and leather. Here you can see a rare machine from a shoe and leather goods factory near Paris. This machine is capable of stitching heavy leather. A unique specimen, originally with a barge and a brush mechanism that keeps the needle clean. Very exceptional machine and technique.
The Adler 30-1 (D) with serial number 9751 and year of construction 1860-1914 was the most ideal machine for the shoe and leather industry. Therefore this machine was very widely used in the boot and bag industry (D), especially because of its very long forearm. It was also used in the saddle industry. The machine is still in optimal condition.
Old Universal Sattler- Cylinder from Kochs Adler - (Bielefeld -D +/- 1900). The manufacturing company of this machine was renamed Adler-Durkopp and is still active for the leather industry after all these years. The machine here is very heavy and very rare. We call her 'The Beast'. Used in shoe industry and saddle tacking. This is a real eye-catcher! With lots of original decor and lacquer, a retractable worktop extension and authentic accessories. And... it still stitches well! A unique machine never seen before by other collectors at home or abroad. Can not be found on the internet either!
A rebooking machine from The British United Shoe Machinery Co Ltd with year of manufacture +/- 1910-1930. With this machine the leather is bent over and cut to make curves and corners, e.g. in the upper leather of shoes or bags. After this, the upper is better attached to the sole.
Lufkin - Boston Massachussets (USA) Rebooking machine with patent lettering. Patent date 23.04.1878. Year built +-1890. This machine can fold over and incise leather to make nice, tight seams. Used in upper shoe production.
This machine was mainly used in the glove industry to book and stitch hems. The machine dates from around1940. Brand unknown.
This heavy-thread stitching machine was used in saddlery in the early 1900s. This unique machine with cast iron upper and lower frame comes from a French saddlery. The machine functions stepwise. The wheel of the machine has very beautiful letters forged into it, giving this machine a real Parisian allure.
This shoe lapping machine dates from around 1930 and comes from the company Rud. Ley Machinenfabrik AG, Amstadt iin Thurhen (D) . Erste deutsche Schuhpflockmaschinenfabrik. The uniqueness of this machine is, that the original matching number is on the machine and a shoe from that era is still mounted on the machine.
Here you can see a hand tool that was mainly used to cut straps and belts by hand. Appropriately, Jan Pulles used this tool to hand-cut his first belts himself in 1972 in the attic at his parents' home.
Saddle leather sewing machine, builder unknown. Year of construction +-1900. This machine is easy transportable. A saddler or shoemaker could take the machine to customers and screw it to a table on the spot. He would then make repairs or adjustments.
This patented machine dates from 1880/1910 and was produced by Willcox and Gibbs sewing machines in Rock Bridge Country. The machine was intended for stitching difficult corners of leather bags and boots . The machine was used in a French factory for leather goods