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.

4 comments:

Josiane said...

It's really sad that the idea of making things that are at once functional, pretty, and made to last has been confined to the margins nowadays.

I love the colour you've chosen for your blouse; it goes really nicely with the skirt's print. They make a beautiful set.

Deb Pelham said...

I have a treadle sewing machine that is identical to the one pictured here. It is in fabulous shape with exception of the decals being rubbed off on the top. I have the Sphink decals as well. The model # is JA066522. One website said that was 1924. I was unable to get a manual though. Is there anywhere anyone can suggest i try?
I love having this machine. Its like a new toy!

Robert said...

I just received varification that I own a 127-3 Singer treadle sewing machine.
How I acquired it is rather unique.
When my parents, who live in Des Moines, IA retired, they purchased a summer home in Morrison, Onterio. There home was located on Lake Eleanor which fed into Lake of the Woods. The property had an out building and when my mother was going through some of the items left by the previous owner the sewing machine was discovered.
My mother is a wonderful seamstress and the machine was promptly cleaned up and brought into the house. Mom used it to do mending while she and dad were the owners of the house.
Upon selling the home, a few years ago, I asked if the machine could be brought to my home in the states. The new owners of the home agreeded to keep it until transportation was arranged to bring it to Des Moines, IA. It took approximately three years after selling the property for the machine to reach my home.
I don't sew but I do use it as a sideboard in my dinning room
I have a wonderful Canadian made conversation piece and many, many wonderful memories of the Canadian people I came to know.

Maurine Morris

grandmagrandpa said...

Grandma gifted me her prize sewing machine.It is a Singer Egyptian Sphinx Treadle Machine (still in use)-Serial# G4382190. I believe manufactured 1909-1924 Elizabeth NJ, US. Grandma bought it new from Sears? in 19--? Maybe from her Mom?
Could you please verify correct age of machine to Ellen - tootiesurprise@gmail.com - Thank You. My Grandson is doing a school project-source analysis, etc.