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My other Classic / Vintage Obsession... Sewing Machines.

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My other Classic / Vintage Obsession... Sewing Machines.

Old 01-05-15, 07:48 PM
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Originally Posted by rootboy
Since you took this thread slightly off-topic, Wineslob, I'll help you along.
Here's one of mine. A Jim Payne model 205. 8 1/2 feet.


Very nice, though they tend to be a bit out of my range. I haven't paid more than $75 for any bamboo I've picked up.
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Old 01-05-15, 11:02 PM
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I had no idea I might be posting here, but- a friend of mine got something called 'The Elgin' as a gift.

Its an old sewing machine, cast body, hand painted. Looks a lot like this, in fact nearly identical:

https://4.bp.blogspot.com/_SifEWOh97I...00/Elgin+1.JPG

So- it has no belt- can it be powered by a motor? I think its a tradmill type.
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Old 01-06-15, 06:25 AM
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It has a belt, see the brown thing on the wheel? Probably treadle type. Might be retrofitted with a motor.
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Old 01-12-15, 09:37 AM
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The "hand painting" is really decals.....beautiful decals. I think many of the early motor driven ones used a motor and a small belt over the same drive pulley on the sewing machine. Very simply retrofit for areas of the country that were electrified. You could by the machine new with a electric motor drive or buy a retrofit kit. The Singer design is still manufactured in some 3rd world countries with a treadle drive.

In Haiti two years ago I saw a tailor in a town square who had retrofitted a modern, mostly plastic, sewing machine with a drive pulley and treadle. Wish now I had ask him if I could have taken picture of him working.

Last edited by Len S; 01-12-15 at 09:41 AM.
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Old 01-15-15, 11:18 AM
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Here is a Singer treadle still in use. Pictures are from Mirebalais, Haiti. Tailor shop is in the town square.

Len S


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Old 01-22-15, 11:11 PM
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My Amish Singer... a model 328 that was made to run as an electric or treadle although not at the same time since it only has one belt track.



I disconnected the wiring and motor control for the electric but kept the light wired up.

Last edited by Sixty Fiver; 02-02-15 at 03:58 AM.
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Old 01-23-15, 01:22 AM
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Being obsessed with mechanical tools has caused me to bring home several vintage sewing machines. My favorite was a pfaff 130 from 1949. I had all the original paperwork with it as well. Only problem with my collecting is that I have run out of room. I made a trade a month or two ago giving up a 71 chrome paramount and a couple hundred bucks for a masi, a merckx, and a colnago. To keep the wife from being unhappy, I took the pfaff, a singer, and one other sewing machine to the Hopechest thrift shop. So I guess the point that I'm getting to here on bike forums is I choose bikes over sewing machines, it's funny how threads like this come up and resonate with "sew" many of us!
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Old 01-28-15, 04:31 AM
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My apologies if this picture has already been posted.

A shop on Newbury St. Boston:

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Old 02-01-15, 07:31 AM
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Originally Posted by autoteacher
My apologies if this picture has already been posted.

A shop on Newbury St. Boston:

My wife thinks I am crazy, but I have spent over an hour just walking back and forth in front of that storefront admiring the machines.

Aaron
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Old 02-01-15, 07:36 AM
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Wow. Not that I get up to Boston much but, what shop/stop is that?
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Old 02-01-15, 08:27 AM
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Originally Posted by wahoonc
My wife thinks I am crazy, but I have spent over an hour just walking back and forth in front of that storefront admiring the machines.

Aaron
Aaron,

I'm glad you like it.

Marc
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Old 02-01-15, 08:28 AM
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Originally Posted by rootboy
Wow. Not that I get up to Boston much but, what shop/stop is that?

I don't know the name but I'll find out. My niece worked on Newbury St. for a number of years.

Marc
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Old 02-01-15, 12:33 PM
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Originally Posted by rootboy
Wow. Not that I get up to Boston much but, what shop/stop is that?

All Saints Spitalfields
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Old 02-01-15, 02:13 PM
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Originally Posted by rootboy
Since you took this thread slightly off-topic, Wineslob, I'll help you along.
Here's one of mine. A Jim Payne model 205. 8 1/2 feet.

That cork doesn't look like it has seen much stream time. Nice! Fished a Leonard 8' 5wt. for a while. My favorite rod was a Dickerson taper that I built up.
Bamboo rod making was my obsession before bicycles. Ever notice how a Hardy/Orvis CFO sounds like a Suntour freewheel?

-D
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Old 02-01-15, 05:19 PM
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Great thread Sixty Fiver! I'm not really into sewing machines, but like you I appreciate old, well designed, durable machinery. Got a Singer treadle table some years ago and thought about using it as a table, and then found a Series 15 left on the curb. It was rusted and jammed, but intact. Put it on the treadle, cleaned it with WD-40 and oiled it, it runs OK now. Serial number says it's from 1923.
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Old 02-01-15, 06:25 PM
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Came to this thread a bit late, but want to add that I have enjoyed restoring/repairing old sewing machines as well. Started with my wife's Elna Supermatic in an attempt to recondition for sailmaking (related to my other hobby) it was not quite up to the task so I picked up a Pfaff 130 for a reasonable price and was able to make a full set of sails for my yawl project. I have added a 1917 Singer 66 and a Pfaff 230 and am always looking for other bargains.

I read through the five pages of posts quickly and didn't see any references to the bike industry beginnings in the US so let me throw in that in the late 1800s the sewing machine industry was one of the more advanced technologically and that is why Albert Pope, the founder of Columbia cycles, contracted with the Weed Sewing Machine Company to produce his first bikes.
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Old 02-02-15, 04:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Buglady
Oh, you have GOT to meet my mother. She lives in Lacombe and has more sewing machines than I do bicycles! Two of them are the twins of the ones in your first post - the Bernina is one I actually found in a thrift shop for $20 and brought to Mom for rescue, and the 1948 Singer belonged to her mother. She also has two other Berninas, an industrial Janome, two Elnas, at least three Singers including a Featherweight, and a modern Husqvarna that is in disgrace at the moment...

I sew, of course (I have a basic little Kenmore, 15 years old), but mostly I've been knitting the last few years. It allows quick production of warm stretchy clothes! Mom is a historic costumer and bead worker and has sewn professionally for 45 years.
I used to live in Lacombe and it would be very cool to meet your mom, if I haven't done so already.

That treadle project turned out beautifully and my daughter has started using it, it does not intimidate her like the electric machines although it is just as fast.



The other man cave... 4 sewing machines and a Singer serger I received for free. My 1976 Kenmore free arm machine is my favourite and these 70's Kenmores are some of the best machines ever made, Sears picked up the slack when Singer's quality took a dive in the early 70's and these Japanese machines are like Shimano Ultegra in their built quality.



Remade my wife's favourite bag last week... she really likes it for cycling.

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Old 02-02-15, 07:30 AM
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Originally Posted by autoteacher
All Saints Spitalfields
Thanks. Had to look that one up.

Weird stuff. Some of their models look like heroin addicts.
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Old 02-02-15, 07:32 AM
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Originally Posted by djkashuba
That cork doesn't look like it has seen much stream time. Nice! Fished a Leonard 8' 5wt. for a while. My favorite rod was a Dickerson taper that I built up.
Bamboo rod making was my obsession before bicycles. Ever notice how a Hardy/Orvis CFO sounds like a Suntour freewheel?

-D
That rod has been fished just once since I got it. It was re-finished by Dwight Lyons about 25 years ago. Before I obtained it. Guys of his caliber are not known to sand classic grips, but he may have cleaned it a bit. I certainly haven't had the opportunity to soil it much. And, since I moved here, fewer chances still.

Last edited by rootboy; 02-02-15 at 08:10 AM.
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Old 02-02-15, 10:12 AM
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Originally Posted by rootboy
Thanks. Had to look that one up.

Weird stuff. Some of their models look like heroin addicts.
Thers's a All Saints retail shop on Geary St. in San Francisco that had the same display (company must have bought every Singer they could find in every thrift shop in the world) but given the storefront it was narrow and vertical (up 2 stories) rather than this wide horizontal version. I imagine they must have had the same display in every shop they own wherever they sell, but I believe the SF shop has changed displays this year...maybe it's all heroin works for the 2015 Spring Collection
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Old 02-10-15, 05:53 PM
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There is a lot of overlap between sewing machine and early cycle companies, yes. When I was trying to look up old sewing machines in a European market, I had to go to a site that collected all the badges of early bike manufacturers to get any information at all about the names on the sewing machines! And a strange name on a French sewing machine turned out to be a motor company that made motorized cycles! Forum de la machine à coudre ancienne :: Forum général :: Gnôme et Rhône and put it through Google Translate for a grim story. I am thankful to be in the North American market now where there is plenty of records still left. And interesting post-WWII Japanese imported machines too. I like their look. I am learning to replace wires since I got to pick up a Singer 66 free but the wiring was terrible.
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Old 02-11-15, 10:27 PM
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My wife is a professional quilter as well as a c & v cyclist (1979 Raleigh Cameo, 1982 Bianchi Nuovo Racing) and my mom has been a quilter, seamstress, and sewing instructor for decades.
Currently the stable is an electrified 1910 Singer 66, a 1950s White Automatic Zig Zag deluxe, the shop workhorse 1970s Pfaff 1214, a modern Babylock serger, and a recent Gammill Classic Plus manual quilting machine with a 10-foot table.
We sold off two Singer 221 Featherweights recently- a 1947 model in good condition, and a properly serviced 1948 model that sewed very well.
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Old 03-17-15, 12:36 PM
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I always enjoy an occasional off-topic thread … Sixty-Fiver, have you come across this machine before? It's a Brother Charger 661 that I recently acquired, but I can't seem to find much info about it online other than an occasional mention. It's a tank (heavy), and seems to be in great working and cosmetic condition. I'm sure it's not unusual or valuable, but am wondering how old it might be … late 60's or early 70s?


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Old 03-17-15, 01:30 PM
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I want to learn how to sew bicycling caps. Traditional designs and materials.What would I need to look for in a sewing machine for this purpose?

Thanks.

-D
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Old 03-27-15, 01:11 PM
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My just completed (well almost. I need a bulb for the light) 1938 Franklin De Lux Rotary sewing machine. The machine was purchased for the case that I could not use. The sewing machine was binding real bad and not working so I placed it on my scrap pile. On a Sunday afternoon I decided to lay with it, got it working, adjusted the stitch controls cleaned lubed and cleaned some more. Stripped and finished the cabinet and 3 coats of Epiphanes (from my sailboat days). The machine works great! It's only worth $20 but it was fun rebuilding it.

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