Sunday, January 30, 2011
Antique Treadle Singer Sewing Machine - 127
This is a Singer model 127-3 build in 1918 in St. Jean, Quebec. How do I know this? Most of the old Singers have serial numbers on them which you can look up on their website or you can do what I did which was to ask some fellow enthusiasts at any of the online group of vintage sewing machine collectors.
I downloaded a free manual from the Singer website. There are lots of sewing machine manuals out there on the internet, some free, some not. The one on the Singer site had much clearer pictures than the others. It's still not very easy to make out what the pictures are about, but if you squint hard enough some sort of magic eye effect happens.
So why did I get this sewing machine anyway. The house is lousy with antiques already (in a good way) what do I need this treadled powered monster for?
Although it is very pretty, I didn't get this sewing machine for it's looks. I want to sew on it. I have a perfectly good electric machine that even has a zig zag stitch. The treadle gives a greater feeling of interaction with the sewing machine. It works during power outages (although I jokingly thinking of adding a bicycle headlight to the drive wheel - you know the ones that only work when you are moving). There is a sense of being connected with the past by using such an old machine.
There is also the fact that it is SO old and it still works as well as it did the day it was made. I know it cannot make stitches in the shapes of smiley faces. But can you imagine 93 years later these plastic, electronic, computer driven machines still working?
My vintage Singer was manufactured before planned obsolescence. With the right attention, I suspect that it will keep on working for a hundred or more years to come.
That's why, I hate to say, my special find is not so special. There are literally hundreds for sale locally every year. Some of which are free some are priced at over a thousand dollars. The price is no indication of the condition. Although the free ones usually go before I have a chance to grab them up. If you are in the market for buying an antique or vintage sewing machine. Do you homework, keep an eye on the local Buy and Sell websites, and be patient.
As for the clothes in the photo: That's just me showing off my recent sewing adventures. No, not sewn using treadle power.
I still have to get to know the old gal, so I thought why not make a series of blog posts about getting acquainted with Singer 127.