who's got the oldest singer sewing machine on here??

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who's got the oldest singer sewing machine on here??

Postby safronsue » Mon Dec 03, 2012 8:01 pm

I've just looked up the serial number of my long bobbin (http://www.singerco.com/support/machine-serial-numbers)..... it was made in 1896. I love this machine so much and use it regularly. it was bought for me for my 20th birthday for 20 quid. how old is yours and what's its story?
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Re: who's got the oldest singer sewing machine on here??

Postby Ellendra » Mon Dec 03, 2012 9:15 pm

Not sure how old mine is. My great-grandfather bought it used in the 1930's as a present for my great-grandmother. It's been passed around a few times. When I was a teenager I was trying to sew a halloween costume and got really frustrated with the plastic high-tech sewing machine I had borrowed, when mom pointed out that the "work table" I was using was actually a sewing machine itself. I tried it and fell in love. It only did 1 kind of stitch, but it did it very very well, and even if the tension was set wrong it still didn't tangle every few inches like the other one did.

I used that machine for 17 years. 2 years ago it developed a timing issue and I haven't been able to afford to get it fixed, but I still have it. And because the table it's built into is just the right height, I use that for the newer machine my folks bought me so I could try and built a sewing business. Took a month of comparing but they found one that was all metal and didn't have a computer built into it, and they negotiated a year of free mending and hemming from me in exchange :)

Still, If I could get the old one fixed, I'd rather be using it, at least for the straight stitches.
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Re: who's got the oldest singer sewing machine on here??

Postby marshlander » Tue Dec 04, 2012 2:09 am

Mine's only a youngster circa 1990 but I love it. Have never used a lot of the fancy stitches of course and it came with lots of weird feet for heaven knows what.
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Re: who's got the oldest singer sewing machine on here??

Postby safronsue » Tue Dec 04, 2012 5:58 am

it's the simplicity that is lovely i agree Ellendra and that means it should be easy, and cheap, to fix when the time is right for you. did you find the serial number on it? on mine it is stamped on a plate next to the bobbin winder. lovely to hear your machines story, not ended yet either.
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Re: who's got the oldest singer sewing machine on here??

Postby contadina » Tue Dec 04, 2012 9:19 am

Ellendra wrote:It only did 1 kind of stitch, but it did it very very well, and even if the tension was set wrong it still didn't tangle every few inches like the other one did.


I think that's the real beauty of old Singers. I'm almost willing for my modern machine to reach it's planned obsolescence so I can trade it in for an old Singer. I've had my Janone repaired a couple of times but will have to put up with it's annoying habit of snagging stitches for a while longer.
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Re: who's got the oldest singer sewing machine on here??

Postby yvette » Tue Dec 04, 2012 11:08 am

I've can't trump 1896 - mine is from the 1930s, I think, one of the classic black cast-iron singers with gold decoration and a wooden base with a little extension table that clips onto the side. I love it - I find it deals with my thick hand-made felt much better than my modern machine (which tends to be a bit stroppy in the face of a challenge). I got it for my 21st birthday. I've always loved it for its beauty as well as its utility - and I love to wonder about what it has been used for in the past. I imagine a bride's trousseau, household items for a first home, childrens clothes, mending and re-modelling..... And its still going strong.
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Re: who's got the oldest singer sewing machine on here??

Postby Stonehead » Tue Dec 04, 2012 11:20 pm

Mine's a treadle 15K70 (Central Bobbin) for industrial use. It still has the original instruction manual, a needle threader with instruction manual, a pressed steel box with a vast array of attachments (the box is velvet lined, has clips for each attachment and has Singer stamped into it), an ivory bobbin box, a box of No.600 adamantine pins (thrippence), a box of Wonder medium mantle hooks and eyes (sixpence) and numerous wooden reels of cotton and silk thread. The attachments include a binder, quilter, foot hemmer, adjustable hemmer, under braider, ruffler, shirring plate for the ruffler, tuckmarker, edge guide, edge stitcher, darning foot, feed dog, tie hemmer, chiffon hemmer, screwdriver and more. It can be used on everything from silk and lace to canvas. There are also several ancient,yellowed cellophane packets of needles that have never been opened. (I use more recent ones instead of opening the old ones.)
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Re: who's got the oldest singer sewing machine on here??

Postby safronsue » Wed Dec 05, 2012 6:02 am

What treasure Stonehead. How did it come into your hands?
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Re: who's got the oldest singer sewing machine on here??

Postby Stonehead » Thu Dec 06, 2012 3:49 pm

safronsue wrote:What treasure Stonehead. How did it come into your hands?


An elderly lady gave it to me. Her mother was a seamstress prior to WW2 and earned the price of it by doing a huge amount of piecework. She then started her own dressmaking business. Eventually, the Singer was passed to the daughter who used it until the arthritis in her hands became too bad. And then it passed on to me.
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Re: who's got the oldest singer sewing machine on here??

Postby yvette » Thu Dec 06, 2012 9:20 pm

I think I have some of those attachments - though mine didn't have a manual so I had to send off for a modern facsimile of the manual to find out what they all did! Some of them look like instruments of torture!
How lovely to know the history of yours, as well as to have all those original accessories.
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Re: who's got the oldest singer sewing machine on here??

Postby safronsue » Fri Dec 07, 2012 6:00 am

Doing a bit of research into their availability and there are loads of them at really low prices and in fabulous condition on ebay. Mine is pretty roughed up and i am coveting one with attachments and things to fiddle about with. I'm going to see what is around in the town here as they are around.
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Re: who's got the oldest singer sewing machine on here??

Postby sleepyowl » Fri Dec 07, 2012 11:41 am

My other half's great aunt's have an old treadle sewing machine that is a singer which they still use, though not sure how old it is but it very much appeals to the steam punk side of me
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Re: who's got the oldest singer sewing machine on here??

Postby safronsue » Fri Dec 07, 2012 11:52 am

sleepyowl wrote: very much appeals to the steam punk side of me

don't know about that genre! intriguing!
check out the machine's serial number on the link above if you are interested in dating it owlie.
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Re: who's got the oldest singer sewing machine on here??

Postby MuddyWitch » Thu Dec 13, 2012 10:32 pm

I collect sewing machines...I have several from the late 19th century, both hand wound & treadle, of various makes, but my oldest 'Singer' is 1902.

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Re: who's got the oldest singer sewing machine on here??

Postby safronsue » Fri Dec 14, 2012 7:56 am

just out of interest muddywitch, as you have a few makes, which is your favourite?
I popped into the local old boy's shop which refurbishes and sells new and old, he had a few brand new retro hand winders, similar in look to singers with decals on them and all, made in china. not for me but interesting that there must be a market for off grid sewers. i'm after a foot treadler and he didn't have a singer one but gypsies apparently bring them in rescued from dumps. :(
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