Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Said Goodbye--to My 1919 Singer 66

 I said goodbye to one of my sewing machines last week.  (Amazing, I know.)
 It is a Singer 66 Redhead (sometimes called "Redeye") from 1919.  Singer made literally millions of these machines each year for many, many years.
 It was an absolute mess when I bought it (for too much money). I always had the feeling that someone had intentionally messed up this machine--perhaps because the owner wanted to replace it with a newer electric model?
 I purchased it near the end of 2009 after months and months of searching for a treadle in working order or one I could get in working order.

 Once I got it cleaned up, it was very pretty.  However, it always had tension issues. Clearly someone had partially disassembled the tension and had not gotten it back together properly.
For several months it's been sitting beneath one of my other sewing machines because I removed it from it's treadle and put in a lovely old black Necchi BU.

Last weekend I stopped by Rocky Campos' shop at the Moriarty Flea Market because I was looking for another high shank darning foot for a Necchi BU.  We started talking, and I ended up coming home, getting the 66 as well as several other motors, foot controls, and lights that I had removed from various machines.  I was a bit sad to see it separated from the irons and cabinet which have been its home for nearly 100 years, but I'm not someone who collects old sewing machines just for the amusement of looking at them.  Rocky replaced the broken bottom plate on the foot control of my 1952 Singer Featherweight.  Before I left he said he was going to take the 66 home and put a motor on it.  So, this machine is off to new adventures so that it can be well and truly loved and used by some other sewist.  Still, it was with a touch of sadness that I said goodbye.  It felt a little like when I watch my daughter off to new adventures--excited for her to be trying new things and growing, but still knowing that some good things are behind us.

I'm sure there are many, many landfills across the nation that have consumed too many vintage machines--and I've seen way too many horrifying conversions of these machines into other novelties.  Whatever Rocky does with this machine, it will see more activity fulfilling the purpose for which it was created.  As long as it gets oil, use, and a little TLC, it will continue to sew for another hundred years, probably more!  I do so love vintage sewing machines!


Missy Shay said...

People do not understand how a seamstress can get so attached to a sewing machine, but we do.

Cheryl's Teapots2Quilting said...

I've passed on 2 treadles so far. I still miss them, but, I know that they are being used now. I can only sew on so many machines. Hopefully I'll be passing on another one soon. I just need to find a pitman to fit it.

DragonPoodle said...

Just sent my husband's grandmother's 66 Red Eye to the DD's to be used as an art object. Don't miss it a bit! It will be preserved for the future over there and the 66s are not much fun to treadle IMHO, even if the tension is working perfectly.

Anything that keeps them out of the landfills is a good thing. Well, maybe not conversion to a child's riding toy--can you imagine the broken bones if the tyke tips it over?

Pokey said...

It was beautiful, Dora. Good that you passed it to a person who will get it up and going, and being put to better use. You did make improvements on it, it's great you have that capability ~

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