In The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, Mrs. Beaver has a sewing machine that she uses in her first appearance (emphasis mine).

The first thing that Lucy noticed as she went in was a kind of burring sound, and the first thing she saw was a kind-looking old she-beaver sitting in the corner with a thread in her mouth working busily at her sewing machine, as it was from it that the sound came.

Narnia isn't known for its factories producing machinery like this, and it seems pretty out of place with the general tech level of the land (aside from the lamppost, which I recall gets an explanation in The Magician's Nephew).

So where did Mrs. Beaver get a sewing machine?

  • 1
    Related: scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/141148/…
    – Buzz
    May 16, 2018 at 2:21
  • 1
    What specifically makes you think Narnia doesn't have a suitable technology level for sewing machines? The only thing I can think of that they definitely don't have that they should is gunpowder, and that's hardly conclusive. May 16, 2018 at 3:50
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    The next question is, was it a foot-pedal sewing machine, or was the Beavers' dam hydroelectric?
    – Kyralessa
    Nov 28, 2021 at 7:15

1 Answer 1


Towards the end of The Magician’s Nephew, the first king and queen turn out to be:

Frank, a London hansom cab driver, and his wife Helen.

They were transported from Edwardian London, so they would both have been familiar with 1900s technology, including mechanical sewing machines. (Especially the queen, who had been brought up in an era when women of her social class made clothes for their family members, or at least repaired or adjusted bought or hand-me-down clothes.) At some point the king and queen are going to need new clothes (especially since they didn’t get a chance to pack), and it makes sense that they would mention the convenient labour-saving device to help.

So who makes the sewing machines? The dwarfs are the most likely candidates (bold added):

“Carry him aside and lay him down,” said Aslan. “Now, Dwarfs! Show your smith-craft. Let me see you make two crowns for your King and Queen.”

More Dwarfs than you could dream of rushed forward to the Golden Tree. They had all its leaves stripped off, and some of its branches torn off too, before you could say Jack Robinson. And now the children could see that it did not merely look golden but was of real, soft gold. It had of course sprung from the place where the sovereigns had fallen out of Uncle Andrew’s pocket when he was turned upside down; just as the silver tree had grown up from the half-crowns. From nowhere, as it seemed, piles of dry brushwood for fuel, a little anvil, hammers, tongs, and bellows were produced. Next moment (how those Dwarfs loved their work) the fire was blazing, the bellows were roaring, the gold was melting, the hammers were clinking. Two Moles, whom Aslan had set to dig (which was what they liked best) earlier in the day, poured out a pile of precious stones at the Dwarfs’ feet. Under the clever fingers of the little smiths two crowns took shape—not ugly, heavy things like modern European crowns, but light, delicate, beautifully shaped circlets that you could really wear and look nicer by wearing. The King’s was set with rubies and the Queen’s with emeralds.

It’s reasonable to assume that the talented dwarfs just needed an overview from the king or queen to be able to work out a design. They may even have developed a small industry with the moles.

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