stumbling into 1924

two days before my birthday i went for a short bike ride into town to the local antique shop. our small town has a good half dozen antique shops, but one in particular is right on the main street and seemed the most accessible despite its only being open for five hours a week, saturdays from 12 to 5.

my goal was to scout out a nicely shaped pitcher and basin for washing (more on that later), and to vaguely look for a treadle sewing machine. i've been thinking very seriously about buying a sewing machine for some months now, and ultimately decided that if i were going to spend money on a good one, it might as well meet my needs sustainably as well - so i stopped looking at newfangled plug-in machines on the internet and started biking by the local antique shops, trying to figure out when the hell they were actually open.

the shop i went into had a wonderful assortment - of course it had jewelry and ornate dishware and rather showy items, as all such shops must... but it also had the useful things that i fall for instantly, like hand crank coffee grinders, old dairy churns, nice old pots and crockery, pitchers and basins (too expensive for me right now, though), and even planers and other hand tools. as i meandered through the shop, eyes straying upward and down, in and around old furniture and behind leaning canvases, my hand rested on the edge of two small drawers. my eyes strayed over a china set resting on a doily resting on some type of cabinet-table, and then down to a basket of fake flowers resting on... a metal foot pedal.

holy crap! i was touching a treadle sewing machine! what a surprise that was. sitting right in front of me, in all its glory. the wood was slightly blemished here and there, but overall the machine was still in working condition (minus a belt, which i was told was relatively easy to acquire). and so, for my birthday, i put a $20 deposit on a $100 treadle sewing machine.

now, one week and a day later, i have pooled my birthday monies, revisited the shop, asked a few quick questions of the kindly woman who runs the shop and found a leather belt for the thing, and paid and brought it home. it sits now in my office, a thing of the past bringing such a different feeling to this room that it makes my insides rather fluttery.

i searched around the internet tonight and found that what i have got is a singer model 66 (often called 'red eye' due to the two red ovals on the arm), made in 1924 in elizabeth, new jersey as part of a run of 35,000 such machines. wow. 1924, huh? that's older than my grandparents. what do you think?


Natalie said…
Thats a hot sewing machine you have there. Let us know how it runs, please?
fullfreezer said…
Oh, I am so jealous!!! I have wanted one of those for years. And $100!! What a deal. Congrats and happy birthday!
Barbara said…
I finally found what I have! I was given this machine today by a quilt guild friend who had 2 of them. However, the cabinet is missing the two drawers on either side, so it was hard to be sure what I was seeing on the Internet. It's also missing the needle plate and belt, but like you I think I can find those easily. The drawers might present another problem. However, I'm not complaining, it was free and it's nostalgically like one my grandmother used to make clothes for me when I was little, I won't say how long ago. :)