Monday, August 12, 2013

2 Vintage Sewing Machines

old singer sewing machine2 old New home sewing machine 1
These machines have been in my family since the early 1900's. My grandmother passed away a couple of months before I was born in 1948. My grandfather passed away in 1966, at the age of 85 when I was a senior in high school.
Yesterday, as I explored the dark, hot, dusty attic in my grandparents home,  I came across 2 old treadle sewing machines- A New Home and a Singer that I had forgotten where there. I was able to turn the wheels and move the needles up and down on both machines. The sewing tables and machines were  very dirty and looked to be in rough shape, but I couldn't tell how much due to how dirty they were. The unheated, damp and dusty area where the uncovered machines were stored for many, many years obviously took their toll.
I remembered seeing the machines when I was a kid in the attic. The New Home machine has a covered  wooden box over the machine head  which had lots of old bird  or bat droppings on it. The New Home had a drawer with some items in it that I placed on top of the Singer table, the Singer was just the machine and table.  The iron legs/treadle are in good condition on both machines other than being slighty rusty and dirty. The machines would need a good cleaning to see what the decals look like, but not sure how much paint is under all the dirt. I thought that they might be beyond hope of salvaging, but recently I joined a group on Facebook- Vintage Sewing Machines, and everyone has been very helpful giving me suggestions on how to clean/restore and how to find model numbers. It was also suggested I get more info at treadle on a site that is dedicated to info on all aspects of repair/care of treadle an other sewing machines.
If any of my readers have old sewing machines do you have any opinions and best way to clean them up? I don't want to lose any of the decals. I have never tried to clean or repair a sewing machine, but I am thinking of trying to see what can be done to salvage these 2 vintage hidden treasures. If nothing else, I love the iron legs and if cleaned up could use the treadles for display since they were family owned.
Forgive the photo's as some aren't that clear. I only had the light from my camera and phone's camera flash as the attic has no electricity.
The first  photos are of the New Home treadle sewing machine.
old new home sewing machine box coverNew Home wooden  sewing machine cover (unfortunately birds or bats choose to leaving droppings all over it)
old New home sewing machine 1under the bird/bat dropping wooden cover was this New Home machine. From info on Facebook...The New Home Model A-1 was made between the 1870's and 1880's, according to Charles Law. The A-1 has square corners, the later A-2 has rounded ones. Also, the earliest Model A's have a low mounted bobbin winder.

old sewing machine New Home drawer w toolsdrawer from New Home sewing table
old new home sewing machine treadle w namelegs and treadle..New Home
old New home sewing machine treadletreadle..New Home

The rest are the photos of the vintage Singer.
I was told this is probably a Singer 12 manufactured in the1870's. If it is a 12 than 1879,  a  fiddle-base (fancy shaped). I was also told that the little crank near the wheel is a bobbin winder.
old singer sewing machine2
old singer sewing machinevintage Singer.   The drawer on the machine is from the New Home. The top/wood table is buckled a bit in a few areas. :-(
old singer sewing machine name plate2Singer emblem on front of machine
old singer sewing machine wheel    Singer wheel
     old singer sewing machine foot treadle   treadle on the Singer
I can't wait to see what is under all the dirt, grime, and rust. I know it will involve lots of elbow grease and TLC. There was also an old dress form that my aunt gave me many years, but I never took it home.


Barbara said...

Wow, Elaine, these are special! I have an old machine, a Singer, but it came to me clean. I leave the others to give you tips. Just want to say I think you should do whatever it takes, not necessarily to sew with them, just to appreciate and look at them. Btw, I love Cape Cod too, or I used to! Haven't been there in 50 years since our honeymoon! Seems like yesterday.

Joanne Huffman said...

These are both so cool! Good luck with refurbishing them.