Wednesday, March 09, 2016

A work of art

I found this sewing machine at a thrift shop last year, and bought it just because it's so beautiful. The light comes on when it's plugged in, and it seems quite functional, but I haven't tried sewing on it - I just like to look at it.

The name on it is Arrow, model 620. As far as I've been able to discover, this is a post-war Japanese knockoff of a Singer machine. (Although the serial number on mine has a letter K before it, not J as was usual for Japanese-built machines, so I could be wrong about where it was built.) After the war, the Americans helped the Japanese switch over to peacetime manufacturing, and one of the things they started making was sewing machines.

These aren't really collectable as far as I know, but they have a good reputation. They're said to be solidly built workhorses, and when they were made they made a dent in Singer's market because they were a lot cheaper than the original Singers.

The names they went under vary. I've seen a picture of an identical machine (in PINK!) sold under the name Bel-Air. I think Arrow was the name used in Canada, Bel-Air was the USA, and there were probably others. I really like the looks of them - they were making them in cheerful colours, and they remind me of 1950s cars. I once saw a stunning royal blue one that I'm still kicking myself for not buying. (Though honestly, how many sewing machines should a person have?)

This one was $45 I think, with the cabinet, although that's pretty worn and needs to be stripped and refinished.



Blogger Tina said...

WOW! What a Mid-Century stunner!!! Talk about "industrial design"! This is completely fabulous. Great find, I think you got a bargain. :-)

1:57 pm  
Blogger Dr. Mabuse said...


6:27 pm  
Blogger Tina said...

Was trying to think what it reminded me of. It is this, the Triumph TR :

8:24 pm  
Blogger Dr. Mabuse said...

Ah, yes, very nice!

4:08 pm  

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