To date 8 different accordion style needle case designs have been uncovered and verified. All of the items on this page meet all of the criteria to qualify as an Avery style needle case. The patents or design registrations for all of these have been located.
Five of these needle cases are variations included in a patent registered to J. W. Lewis of Birmingham in 1867 and are considered the oldest Avery style needle cases. This patent only covers the general design and mechanical components of the needle case not the detailed decoration that is stamped on the exterior. These are some of the needle cases that Lewis licensed to other companies so they could put their name on his design. As a result, the detailed decoration for these occasionally appears to be based on what the licensee wanted to have stamped on the case, often something that represented their company.
July 1871 advertisement for 'The Gem' in Perry & Co's Monthly Illustrated Price Current
Additional photographs, patent/design representations, variations and other detailed information can be found about each needle case by selecting the item from the photo gallery below. Or this same information can be accessed by selecting the name from the alphabetic list on the right. All dimensions are in centimeters. Some of the photos we have included on the individual needle case pages came from eBay and are not the best quality. If you have better photos that you would be willing to share with us, please contact us.