Wednesday, 19 February 2020

Helvetia Electric sewing machine (1960s)

Here we have a fairly late Helvetia sewing machine. Fiddlebase tells me “Helvetia” was a Swiss manufacturer in Luzern from 1895 to 1966 also connected to the development of the Dutch Fridor machines. This machine seems to have been manufactured a little before 1966. It is a very nice reciprocating shuttle machine. The colour is very similar to our Fridor.

Tuesday, 21 January 2020

Several Peeps in Jeeps

 We went to see this local museum. The museum shows how our area was affected by operation Market garden.  ( 
It is a very small museum, but inside we saw some interesting displays, vehicles and relics found in the area. It was also staged as a stop in the route of a convoy of historic military vehicles. Sadly the convoy didn't arrive as advertised, but there were several Willys Jeeps  and an enthusiastic group of re-enactors camped in the cold park outside. 

A little Key project

 Here we have a pretty old box. Maybe made around 1850. There was no key with it, so we couldn't see the contents. I imagined the lock wouldn't very complicated, so I took a bit of copper brake pipe and soldered a simple "bit"onto the pipe.
 Then I filed the bit down until it fitted the lock. As soon as I could turn the "key" the box opened.
Inside I found a "feather" cut from very thin paper.  After I found the key worked I decided to add a "Bow" (handle) by soldering a 1954 copper cent to the pipe.

Singer Toy Sewing machine (1960s)

 This machine is a little outside the scope of our usual sewing machine collection as it is a toy machine and it is mostly plastic. But it is such a nice representative of the Sixties toy machines that it deserves a place here. It comes complete with a little case, a cheerful manual and a plastic foot control. Yes, it is electric! Batteries not included.
 Even though it is small it is a full sewing machine
 The manual gives charming projects for the young seamstress.
 Yes it is firmly positioned as a girl's toy. 
 I found the transparent shuttle very interesting. Mechanically it works much like the old Singer 12 machine. Very different from the usual toy machines.

Wednesday, 27 November 2019

Autumn clean up

 You have not seem many posts on this blog for a while. But we have been busy helping our friends moving cars and junk from their shed. This very early Austin 1800 "Balanza" was moved to a new home.
 Old engines were moved.
 Even the CJ5 hauled my spare engine to our shed.
 I think this could be a nice engine display some time.
Meanwhile the days are getting shorter and colder. Time to get the MGB GT out for those nice winter days.
But before that we had a nice drive in the roadster, just before winter storage. 

More clearing the shed: this rear section went to the scrap man. 

The last useful (Maxi) parts were taken away in style in an Austin Maxi.

Mini 100 HLE 1984

 Here we have another family heirloom. This is a Mini 1000 HLE, bought new in 1984 and still in the family and running great! Now it is our turn to take care of this little gem.
Feels right at home with the Sevens. Though this is a later Mini, the first Minis were of course called "Mini Seven".

Thursday, 21 November 2019

Husqvarna Combina 3010

This is a rather more modern machine than most of the machines in our collection. This one was bought new probably around 1967 and now we have inherited this family heirloom. That means we know where it came from and who used it, so it deserves a special place in the collection. 
 It comes with a full set of documents, but the warranty certificate details were not recorded, so we can't trace the exact selling date. 
 The machine is complete with lots of accessories, including an oil can. This machine can make various stitches and zig-zags. Here's is a link to a video about this model if you want to see a demonstration.
 It was bought locally and never left the town of Nijmegen until today.
 It is a free arm machine with an additional table.
 Though we don't have the exact date of manufacture, the 5-67 might mean the document was printed in 1967.
The accessories box folds under the foot
And when all the hard work is done you can pack the machine in this neat case. 

Monday, 11 November 2019

Singer 15 NL-K "Nostalgia" series Sewing machine

 This is another interesting find. I didn't find it myself but received it as a kind donation to the ever expanding Sewing machine display. The machine design is very much like a Singer 15 should be, but it looks brand new and extremely shiny.
 There are differences that might point to the possibility of this one being a "Clone" The paint is indeed very shiny and the gold of the "RAF" decorations has a more yellow sheen than the Singer decorations of the old machines. 
Checking on shows that this machine was actually manufactured in the Singer factory Taiwan in the Seventies as a "Nostalgia"series.
 The decorations look pretty, though it is more of a yellow paint.
 They look more "printed" too.
There is even a "Bentwood" case, though the wood is more a more simple ply rather than a veneer.
 The metal parts have modern chrome that is very light and you can see scratches under the chrome. 
 The mechanical parts also show that these machines are not as well made as the original machines. But like a good Singer everything works flawlessly, though a little more noisily.
 These "Singer" branded accessories look very convincing. 
 "Singer" branding under the bed.
 All these variations make it another worthy addition to the collection. There's just one important question to solve now: Should it be kept with the Singers or should we regard it as a "clone"?