My favourite sewing machine
Anyway, I put a post on Facebook about it at the time, but now I figure I might as well include it here, since I've already put up some stuff on the treadle machine.
This is my favourite, bestest machine, partly because it's so good, and partly because of how I got it. I went to an auction out in Osnabruck Center in June 2014. It wasn't an auction held at a farm, which is what I enjoy most, but it was at an auction hall. I went there because there was a nice Victorian rocking chair that looked very similar to one we'd had in my mother's house. I got the chair, but I stayed to the end of the auction just for the fun of it.
By the end of a country auction, usually the best stuff has already sold, and much of the crowd has left, but you do find odds and ends that can be useful. This little sewing machine cabinet came up, and nobody wanted to bid on it. I'd just peeked under the lid to see there was a Singer machine there, but nothing more. As it was clear that no one wanted this machine, I felt pity for it, knowing that it would probably end up thrown into a mass lot of junk at the end and would probably end up going to the scrap metal dealers, so I bid $1.00 and got it on the spot.
I stuffed it into the van with the rocking chair and a few other things I'd picked up and headed home. The next day I pulled it out and took a closer look at it. Althought the cabinet was scratched on top and the wood had been sunned, it was in pretty good shape. The machine, too, looked nice, with no broken or missing parts. It had a serial number and model number: 201K.
When I went online to see what I could find out about it, I was stunned to read that the 201 was Singer's absolutely top-of-the-line home sewing machine from the time it was introduced, in 1928, until it was discontinued in 1963. (The "K" in the model number means that it was built in Kilbowie, Scotland.) This machine came close to industrial quality, and when it first came out it cost the equivalent of a car today! Singer pioneered the monthly payment system for this machine, so people could buy it and earn money doing home tailoring while paying it off.
My machine is a later model, from about 1956, I think. They'd modernized the design somewhat in the late 1950s, and introduced the beige colour, in addition to the original black. Also, it was no longer made entirely of iron, it had some aluminum in it, but it's still very heavy.
It was in great shape, I plugged it in and the motor just roared. Since I'd gotten it for so little, I decided to take it to the Sewing Machine Hospital to get it professionally cleaned and tuned up. So now it runs like a champion, and I've sewn a good number of garments on it already. It only does straight stitch, and I have another machine to do zigzag if I need it, but honestly, I just prefer using this one for everything, it's so enjoyable to operate.
Labels: beautiful machines