So how do old sewing machines fit into the rusty collection? I would say there are several reasons. The first reason is that I knew I needed to do some repairs on the old cars I would need a sewing machine for. When I started to look for a sewing machine I realised I would need an old sewing machine for the work I intended to do. Researching old sewing machines revealed a whole universe of machines, manufacturers and history. And best of all: they were mechanical marvels and very affordable too. Here's a selection.
The Chinese Cobbler machine
This is the odd one we got earlier: You wouldn't believe that this contraption is a new "Cobbler" sewing machine we bought only a few years ago. It is a Chinese version of a "Patent Elastique" or "Claes patcher" leather sewing machine. Though it looks very crude it sews right through thick leather. I used it to sew the canvas roof for the Wolseley Ten.
The Ward Arm & Platform Sewing machine
Jones & Co. Serpentine or Swan neck
This old lady was probably manufactured around 1892. It is obvious why this is called a "Serpentine"or "Swan neck"machine.
Elna Grasshopper electric free arm machine. It is so much smaller and lighter than the old cast iron machines. I understand it must be the first electric lightweight free arm household machine. This one was built in 1946 according to the serial number.
The Tailor bird
The Singer sewing machines
Ca 1894 Singer 28k Vibrating shuttle machine. Probably one of the most copied machines in the world.
1925 Singer 127K Vibrating shuttle machine. Spot the differences to the 28k.
Classic Ca. 1910 Singer 15D Treadle. Made in Germany. Another design that was copied by many manufacturers all over the world.
Here you can see the difference in size!
The Essex Miniature Sewing machine
Essex Engineering Works. The design was based on the Singer 20 model.
The German sewing machines
The first of the old sewing machines I bought locally is this Gritzner made by Pfaff. Beginners luck in the best possible way. This machine was hardly used, so it sews like new.
This Seidel & Naumann is also a vibrating shuttle machine.
This is a more conventional but extremely strong Pfaff 60. A modern shape for 1955. It is not an electric machine, but there is an electric sewing light. Came with all the accessories, booklet and even the original bill of sale dated 1955.
"Primatic LP" treadle machine, manufactured by Haid und Neu in Germany. It was also sold under the name of "Harris".
Of course we found another Gazelle after the first. This one is a rather nice vibrating shuttle machine.
The Japanese Sewing machines
This must close to the original copy of the Singer 15. The tensioner is still ath the left of the machine and the body shape is very close. Don't let the Germanic name fool you. It's built in Japan by Toyota, Brother or one of the other Japanese factories.
This Einer must be our heaviest machine. You can see how the Singer clone evolved into a much larger and elaborate machine. They even included zig zag features. Even though the machines were cheaper than the Singers and Pfaffs, they were good quality and sewed well.
Very much like a car Badge.
Impala, another name used for a car. Metallic two tone paint and "speedometer" take the classic car theme to a new level.