Monday, July 26, 2010

Who Bought the Sewing Machine?

Five generations ago, my family purchased a new and modern Singer sewing machine. The machine still sits on its handsome table, fitted with skinny drawers. Some drawers contain parts, but no manual survived. In 2010, we weren't sure exactly how old it was or which great-great-great aunt had hemmed the most stitches from pumping its treadle powered base. So the search began.

Between 1887 and 1891, Singer improved and further refined their newest invention, calling it the No. 2 Vibrating Shuttle Sewing Machine. The vibrating bobbin was also known as a boat or bullet shuttle.

The style was altered slightly about 1891 to change out the fiddle base to a rectangular base. These models later came to be known as 27 and 28 after 1891 and in the 20th century they were put into production again as models 127 and 128.

The serial number gave us some clue, but several online resources for tracking serial numbers provided contradictory information. Back to the books again and comparison shopping of documented late 19th century machines.

The exciting results: our Singer was made in late 1891 and is in its original condition.
The best news: it still works.

Singer timeline
Dating sewing machines
Vibrating shuttle

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Love That Tartan

When the Macdonald boys were captured on oil in their various tartans, it was around the year 1749.

A century later, Isaac Singer started making sewing machines in 1851 in America. I. M. Singer & Co. opened its first overseas factory in Glasgow in 1867.

In a recent research adventure trying to date a beautiful antique Singer Sewing machine in the family, I came across this delightful antique tartan covered needle case from Singer's.

I just had to share it with you.

Thanks for your patience, it's good to be back at 973.