Goodman and I were browsing our favorite local antique store yesterday, actually looking over a treadle cabinet that I was considering for my hand-crank 1915 machine, when another browser walked up and began talking about the old portable Singer his mother and grandmother had used years ago. We listened and found out he had inherited it, and that it was stored in the CRAWL SPACE of his house. Argh, a damp, dusty, buggy crawl space in no place to store a sewing machine, but on with the story. He said he had no family members that sewed, but he wanted it to go to someone who'd use it and appreciate it and then offered it to us for only $35. He knew its worth full-well, but his emotional attachment to the machine and wanting it to be used seemed to be his guide for selling it to us. We finished browsing the store and met him later at his house to pick it up. I didn't get a chance to try it out first - he didn't know us from Adam's house cat so he brought it out to the driveway, we paid him and left with it.
Here's a look at how the case looked before cleaning:
At first the wheel wouldn't turn at all (usually a sign that the motor is frozen some way or other) so Goodman sprayed a silicone lubricant into the grease openings on the motor casing and let it set until the motor was saturated. It took a few hours of waiting, but the motor turns and is working smoothly now. This is an after cleaning photo... it was covered in grime when we got it.
|Grease holes are the silver upright cylinders on either end of the motor casing.
While Goodman was busy with the motor I looked the machine up on the Singer site and found that it is a 1928 Model 99-13 portable. It's really too heavy to be carrying around at about 30 pounds, but that's how they billed it back then. It was a 3/4 sized version of their Model 66. Here are some ad plates that the Singer Company used to advertise this machine back in the early 1920s. (Click the pics to see them better.)
Someone at the Singer Company must have been a birder. Love. that.
Here's our new girl all cleaned up but not quite ready to sew. The tension needs adjusting, but that should be done soon.
The finish is in pretty good shape except for a 1-inch spot on a corner of the base that is a bit rusty, thanks to that "crawl space", no doubt. Not a big worry though.
Several attachments, 6 bobbins and the original manual were in the cubbyhole in the base. Love the gold trim on old Singers. The Singer Co. even named each set of decals for their machines. This set is called "Filigree."
A 1915 Hand-Crank Portable Model 15 and a 1953 Model 301a .
In my search to identify some attachments I found this clever gif depicting the interlocking twist that keeps us sewists in stitches. Brilliant.
What's for dinner - a copycat version of Red Lobster's clam chowder and cheese toast. Lip-smackin' good, it was. Wishing y'all a wonderful week.