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Vintage sewing machines


DPNM
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I've come across a couple and I'd like to know if anyone on the forum is somewhat familiar with them. I have no experience with them at all. It is something I want to learn how to do though. 

I have a Singer that, IIRC, is from 1925. I'll have to look at the serial number again to verify. I just got a Pfaff model 130 made in 1954. This is the one I plan to use although I will try to get them both to function as they should. I need to clean them up and oil them. I need a belt and a foot pedal for the Singer and so far as I know now, a cord for the Pfaff.  I have not done anything to them yet.

Singer:
694090895_singer01001.thumb.jpg.0a3efb7b6bdc52677aff97e5d43c11fa.jpg

This is it's case:
singer02.thumb.jpg.c74fc78dc0de1d67bc33067fbce9b95b.jpg

Pfaff 130:
pfaff01.thumb.jpg.6d805e3a0c891fc183eff6ecc03b4b9e.jpg

Edited by DPNM
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Cool old machines. My mudder had a Singer about the age of your Pfaff 130 that folded down into a table...apparently like your Pfaff does.

I didn't keep it when she died, as I figgered it would be too light to do upholstery and tops.

Kinda wish I had now.

Edited by Ace-Garageguy
TYPO
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A few years ago my wife had an old Singer somewhat newer than yours Jim. Interesting how the person who gave it to her got it. He is a friend of our daughters and works in the film industry. It was a prop in a  well known movie but I don't remember which one.

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17 minutes ago, Ace-Garageguy said:

Cool old machines. My mudder had a Singer about the age of your Pfaff 130 that folded down into a table...apparently like your Pfaff does.

I didn't keep it when she died, as I figgered it would be too light to do upholstery and tops.

Kinda wish I had now.

Too bad you let it go Bill. To my knowledge the Singer was not designed to sew heavy fabrics. 

The Pfaff is. It will sew regular material, heavier material like leather and denim and you can embroider with it. Those are the reasons I want to get it working. And it is a table model. Knee off/on.

 

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30 minutes ago, TransAmMike said:

A few years ago my wife had an old Singer somewhat newer than yours Jim. Interesting how the person who gave it to her got it. He is a friend of our daughters and works in the film industry. It was a prop in a  well known movie but I don't remember which one.

Cool story Mike. If you recall the movie let me know.

And from the sounds of it, your wife doesn't have it any longer?

Edited by DPNM
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As a child I remember visiting my Grandparents and having my Grandmother teach me how to use her sewing machine. The power was provided by your feet that rested on a metal plate that would rock back and forth. You could go as fast or slow as you wanted. She had this since she was a very young woman and never felt a need for anything better.  My oldest Aunt had the machine after my Grandparents past and after she died, I always wondered what happened to it. 

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15 hours ago, DPNM said:

Cool story Mike. If you recall the movie let me know.

And from the sounds of it, your wife doesn't have it any longer?

We still have it and it has the cabinet too but all in pieces. Will probably never get put together and restored. I will check with my daughter what film it was.

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4 hours ago, espo said:

As a child I remember visiting my Grandparents and having my Grandmother teach me how to use her sewing machine. The power was provided by your feet that rested on a metal plate that would rock back and forth. You could go as fast or slow as you wanted. She had this since she was a very young woman and never felt a need for anything better.  My oldest Aunt had the machine after my Grandparents past and after she died, I always wondered what happened to it. 

That is cool that you were being taught how to use it David. Nice you spent time with your grandmother so she could teach you. 

That would have been a treadle machine. It was the standard of the day before the advent of the electric motor.

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4 hours ago, TransAmMike said:

We still have it and it has the cabinet too but all in pieces. Will probably never get put together and restored. I will check with my daughter what film it was.

Sorry to hear that Mike. I'd have liked to have seen a pic of it.

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I'm not really "into" vintage sewing machines but I do have a couple. I have two from my grandmothers.

The older came from my Dad's mom and is a Singer Model 66 "red eye" which started life as a foot treadle powered machine in 1911 and was converted to electric probably in the 1930s. My grandmother was born in the 1920s so it was older than she was. It needs work to get it going but has good bones, mostly just missing a few parts. She passed in 2003 and my Dad gave it to us since my wife likes to sew, but it has just been decoration since it doesn't work and my wife had a working sewing machine.  

737023629_Model661.jpg.37eaee86a411740a8e1d8d0893a799b8.jpg

 

 The other is newer being a Model 500A Slant-O-Matic or "Rocketeer" (got to love the 1960s names) and was bought new by my grandmother (mom's mom) in the early 1960s. My grandmother took her sewing very seriously and this was a very high end sewing machine for its time capable of taking Bakelite disks to sew fancy stitch patterns. She was always upgrading and this one was passed on to my mom in the early 1970s when my grandmother bought the next latest and greatest machine. I was a little kid at that time and this is the exact machine I learned to sew with (I'm not very good but can do simple stuff).

I inherited it a couple years ago when my mother passed. It hadn't been used in years, because she didn't sew much later in life. I took it to a local sewing machine repair when I got it because it wasn't running right.  They sorted it out for about $100, mostly it just needed some deep cleaning and adjustment nothing was broken. My wife now has two very nice modern commercial grade machines so this is mine to play with.

 

1061293524_Singer500.jpg.dca17c2a5bf40df9937174f7f209d1a6.jpg

 

 

If you do Facebook there are some vintage Singer groups where you can get some good information.

 

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2 hours ago, webestang said:

Very cool. I'm not into sewing machines but I do collect typewriters, radios, cameras, VHS tapes, 8mm/16mm movie cameras/projectors. 

I have an old radio from 1934, an older record player I would guess may be from the 1950s although I have not researched it yet and and some other vintage pieces. An old typewriter would be cool.
 

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1 hour ago, Aaronw said:

I'm not really "into" vintage sewing machines but I do have a couple. I have two from my grandmothers.

The older came from my Dad's mom and is a Singer Model 66 "red eye" which started life as a foot treadle powered machine in 1911 and was converted to electric probably in the 1930s. My grandmother was born in the 1920s so it was older than she was. It needs work to get it going but has good bones, mostly just missing a few parts. She passed in 2003 and my Dad gave it to us since my wife likes to sew, but it has just been decoration since it doesn't work and my wife had a working sewing machine.  

737023629_Model661.jpg.37eaee86a411740a8e1d8d0893a799b8.jpg

 

 The other is newer being a Model 500A Slant-O-Matic or "Rocketeer" (got to love the 1960s names) and was bought new by my grandmother (mom's mom) in the early 1960s. My grandmother took her sewing very seriously and this was a very high end sewing machine for its time capable of taking Bakelite disks to sew fancy stitch patterns. She was always upgrading and this one was passed on to my mom in the early 1970s when my grandmother bought the next latest and greatest machine. I was a little kid at that time and this is the exact machine I learned to sew with (I'm not very good but can do simple stuff).

I inherited it a couple years ago when my mother passed. It hadn't been used in years, because she didn't sew much later in life. I took it to a local sewing machine repair when I got it because it wasn't running right.  They sorted it out for about $100, mostly it just needed some deep cleaning and adjustment nothing was broken. My wife now has two very nice modern commercial grade machines so this is mine to play with.

 

1061293524_Singer500.jpg.dca17c2a5bf40df9937174f7f209d1a6.jpg

 

 

If you do Facebook there are some vintage Singer groups where you can get some good information.

 

The Slant-O-Matic is stunning! Well worth the cost to repair IMO Aaron. That includes how nice the cabinet looks even if it wasn't part of the resto..

The Singer is a beautiful piece also. I love scroll work and the gold leaf they put on these just makes them that much more outstanding, at least to me. And you can see where it was held to raise and lower it.

It's a great back story too.

I'm not "into" them either as far as finding more goes. I'm happy with the two I have. I just would like to get them both working as they should and learn how to use them.

And, I'm not on FB. Thank you for the info though.

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3 hours ago, DPNM said:

I have an old radio from 1934, an older record player I would guess may be from the 1950s although I have not researched it yet and and some other vintage pieces. An old typewriter would be cool.
 

I have, I think 14 typewriters. I just found another at a thrift shop this last Wednesday for $25 bucks, a Remington Quiet-riter. 

This is the one I currently use, a Smith Corona Super Sterling I found for $15.

 2xAoXte.jpg

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19 hours ago, webestang said:

I have, I think 14 typewriters. I just found another at a thrift shop this last Wednesday for $25 bucks, a Remington Quiet-riter. 

This is the one I currently use, a Smith Corona Super Sterling I found for $15.

 2xAoXte.jpg

Nice looking typewrite Scott. And I'm sure it types great. 

What  is your oldest one?

I'll start looking for one just to have. My son would use it. I'd like to find one from the '30s, 40s or 50s for myself Various things I have span these years. A thrift store is a good place to look. I had found a vintage Singer cabinet model years ago at a church sale. The lady begged me to take it for $7.00. I did. I do not have it any longer though.

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1 hour ago, DPNM said:

What  is your oldest one?

 I have a Smith Corona from the late 40's and that Remington I just pick up came out in the early 50's. I also have a few Royals from the 50's but most of the lot I have is from the 60's like the Smith in my photo. 

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When I was a kid, my parents had one like this. Not sure where they got it, but by then it didn't work very well. I don't recall what happened to it. Even in the late 1960s, nobody in the area could work on these things or was interested in keeping them in tip-top shape. It probably wound up in the dump.

 

image.png.94c8d219f0d88ed1c4737e6e02971b5b.png

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And I take it you've been there Scott1?! Seems like it would be a cool place to look around. Sort of a museum with items for sale. It's great there is a place that still does that. 

The younger generation starting at 40 year old's is a wide margin. But if kids are buying them it may explain why they aren't into modeling LOL. They would have something to do with their hands though.

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On 1/27/2022 at 2:38 PM, DPNM said:

The Slant-O-Matic is stunning! Well worth the cost to repair IMO Aaron. That includes how nice the cabinet looks even if it wasn't part of the resto..

The Singer is a beautiful piece also. I love scroll work and the gold leaf they put on these just makes them that much more outstanding, at least to me. And you can see where it was held to raise and lower it.

It's a great back story too.

I'm not "into" them either as far as finding more goes. I'm happy with the two I have. I just would like to get them both working as they should and learn how to use them.

And, I'm not on FB. Thank you for the info though.

 

I don't know anything about Pfaff, but from what I've been told most of the old metal sewing machines are very hard to kill, and parts are still fairly available. Sewing machines were expensive and expected to be a lifetime purchase. One person told me the old sewing machines are like a Swiss watch if Swiss watches were built like an anvil. 😄  I've been assured that if a person is at all mechanically inclined DIY restoration is not super difficult. Small parts but pretty simple.

The other advice I got was if a repair shop immediately tries to steer you into a new machine, walk away. A shop that will do good work on an old machine will want to repair the old machine.

You should be able to find owners and service manuals online, and ebay is a good source for printed manuals and parts.  

 

I've kind of gone down a rabbit hole of fixing up old things, this is my latest, a watchmakers lathe made some time between 1890 and 1914.

 1671531764_Lathe2.jpg.ac59b9c584d9fe34890ff813ec25e3c8.jpg

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  • DPNM changed the title to Vintage sewing machines

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