Tuesday, January 29, 2013

In The Land of Eatonia ---

Once upon a time in a land not so far, far away --((In Canada!))

There was a department store named Eatons.

Eaton's grew to become a retail and social institution in Canada, with stores across the country, buying offices across the globe, and a catalogue that was found in the homes of most Canadians.

Eaton’s purchased sewing machines manufactured by the National Sewing Machine Company, and had them badged with their own brand, Eatonia!

Where is this leading?

Well, Yesterday --- did you really think I could just go in that mall and pick up the quilt and walk out with it THAT FAST?!  If so, you should know me better by now!

Let’s just say it was you ---and you found yourself wandering.  And you spied this box:

antiquemall 103

Heavy Green hand crafted ((probably)) box.

And this tag was on it:

antiquemall 067
Would YOU lift the lid?

antiquemall 104

Oh! Goodness!

antiquemall 068
At the time, I’d never HEARD of this brand (And it was hard to read with that danged light in front of the name  ----but for $30, I was going to take a chance on it.

Before you buy any machine ---check a couple of things especially if it is a machine brand you are not sure that parts will be available for.  Are the slide plates there? Yes.  Is the shuttle inside?  Yes!

Upon getting my treasure home I removed the machine from the box to give it a closer look ---

antiquemall 106

Pulley driven friction motor.  Jerry-rigged with a spring and a green wire.  Not so attractive!

I also noticed that the pulley tire was FLAT on one side…probably because it had been sitting against the balance wheel for all of eternity since this thing had been sewn on last.  My first desire was to turn this cutie pie onto a hand crank machine.  I thought I could simply purchase a hand crank mechanism and away I’d go.  But not so easy.  The reproduction handcranks fit singers ---of which this is NOT ONE.  It’s a National, so the mounting places and screw holes are all in the wrong place.

Still, DH and I worked to remove the old motor ---the wiring was suspect anyway, and a plan emerged.  Of course, it meant that one of my other machines would become a temporary organ ((motor)) donor….

eatonia 009

Here she is!

eatonia 010

A close look at her bobbin tension --- the top thread doesn’t really show on the fabric I was using…..pretty good!

eatonia 011

Spartan motor mounted from behind.  My broken fuscia featherweight was a donor for the screw that mounted the motor to the side of the machine.  She keeps on giving too!

eatonia 007
This was before cleaning last night…there is some gunk yet to be gone here – but this is the serial number. 3199907  I’m hoping to find more about her age today.  My guess is somewhere in the 1930s ---and that is guessing by the wiring to the old motor.  But we will see!

She sounds like a tank when she runs.  The base is hollow, so it echoes something fierce beneath her. I might see if I can do some simple strip piecing on her tonight for Quilt-Cam ---are you up for it? 9pm Eastern!


Valerie said...

Ha ha ha ha! Don't you just love mystery boxes in thrift shops and antique malls. Great find!

Chatty Kathy said...

My parents took me to Eaton's on a trip across Canada from Niagara Falls and down through Detroit in 1964. I still have a beautiful brushed silver maple leaf (their "logo) that I purchased. Your post today brought back lovely remembrances of that trip. Never know where you're headed, Bonnie, but you always seem to bring something new to the discussion. Have a great day. Love your "find"......

Deb Pozzo said...

Wow talk about a FlashBack.... Eaton's is so long ago but loved those catalogues... especially at Christmas time. Thanks for the memory jogging and for all you do for those of us in the Quilting world living "Your Quilting Life" vicariously through your posts

quiltyVal said...

Wow, is that great, I just love it! See you tonight on QuiltCam!

pattiespea said...

Oh Yes, that little cutie would come home with me! (even if I would have to hide it away for a while)Hubby thinks I have too many machines now. I gave 2 away 2 months ago because 2 people actually needed them.They had been given to me and I repaired them , at no cost to me, that makes it ok to pass it on.

Allison in Plano said...

Oh Bonnie!! This is JUST too fun. I was about to log off and get to quilting and here is your latest vintage sewing machine find!!! You are a great story teller . . . she's a beauty. Just look at that cool "hollow" footed base. She looks to be a 3/4 head? May be a 1/4 like the Featherweight? Great tension . . . now that you've conquered shuttles and long bobbins I can see how this was a no brainer to bring home. Hurray for your Spartan and pink FW for living on with donor parts. Awwwww, and you topped it off with a green spool pin doily. Are you out now? Do I need to send more? Ooooooooh . . . happy dance hugs for finding machines in the flesh and not messing with shipping. Can't wipe the smile from my face!!

pattiespea said...

did you crochet the "thingy" that you have underneath your thread spool>

JustPam said...

You are such a bad influence on me!!! I have been doing a good job not collecting any more vintage machines, then I see another one of yours and the bug hits again! Oh my. This is a neat old machine. I want to go scrounging again to find some more machines. I have run out of room. I have multiples of some that I need to sell before it is even feasible to add to the herd.

JaNae said...

I remember a lot of Saturdays going to the big city and going shopping in Eatons. And pouring over the Catalogs from them too.

SweetAmbrosia said...

GLORY!!!! Bonnie 'done did it agin!" ROFL. You can not be let loose in a place that just might have a sewing machine that needs rescuing. BUT in all cases, your special brand of TLC turns a sad case into a working beauty.

But let's talk gunk! I think in the gunkdom department, she just might out do Dinah. Can't wait to see your magic on this little lady.

Smiles and giggles

SubeeSews said...

I worked for Eaton Corporation which is a world wide company. I am wondering if they originated in Canada years ago???
They have always been an acquiring type company. They bought Dana where I had worked for 20+ years.
Too cool that you are a sewing machine tech now!!!
ps I should send you my sewing machine head that you admired when you were in my home. Lots of colored bird emblems in good shape. She is a treadle head Singer..missing bobbin case/foot but has the slide covers. Very heavy. Will have to talk to DH about this donation.

YankeeQuilter said...

I may have bought it just for the box!

Mary Burn said...

Bonnie, you are an inspiration to all of us. I noticed on one of your comments that they wanted to know if you crocheted the green doily underneath the thread. I am a tatter and it looks like a tatted doily. I have got to go out and look at some antique stores and see if I can come up with some great deals like yours.
Thanks for all your postings -- enjoy reading your blog.

Mary Ellen said...

You are TOO amazing! And now I and DH are off to see about the Singer 66 or 99 that belonged to another Mary Adams once upon a time.

Sue Monsey said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nancy James said...

What machines do you have? Any 301A's?

Missy Shay said...

Damascus Annie on Treadleon dates Nationals, she could probably help you with dating it.

Muddling Through said...

What a beautiful little machine! I don't blame you a bit, I'd have bought it, too!

Sarah Martin said...

Hi Bonnie, I think that is a White VS, badged by Eaton's...
That said, you know how the early White machines ran the opposite to Singer and others, as in the handwheel turns clockwise (away from you) The way that original motor was set up turns the wheel the correct direction. Now you have that belt on there, I think it may be running backwards. I have been trying it out in my head, it's starting to hurt. lol Is it running backwards now?

Janice said...

It makes my heart sing when I see you rescue these babies because I know they'll be in a home where they'll be loved and you will allow them to come out and play not just gather dust.

It makes me so sad to go into a quilt shop or a home and see a featherweight or other machine sitting way up on a shelf as a display. I can almost hear her crying amid all that fabric "what did I do wrong, why won't she sew with me?"

I sew on my MIL's FW (have 2 other machines) but she's my bff.

Diane said...

Cute machine...but here's what I like the most -- the little green doily under the spool!!! LOL That is SO cute and vintagey looking. That is just the best!

See you later for the Quilt Cam!

Wendy Ouellette said...

I have an old Eatonia that belonged to my Father In Law...he did all his mending on it...circa ??? probably close to yours...I can't read the metal plate with the #'s on it. It is a plate that says National. I know my FIL used it probably 15 years ago...I really have not even tried it to se eif it works. I actually considered tossing it, but just didn't have the heart. I could send you a pic if you like...I was thrilled to see you post about it...I thought I must be the only person left in the world with an Eatonia sewing machine!

Lakegaldonna said...

Wow Bonnie, you are amazing. What a find. Hope to catch you on the cam tonight.

sew lucky said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
sew lucky said...

Sewing machine from Eaton’s catalogue, 1909.


Stephanie Newman said...

Oooh Etonia looks very Art Nouveau to me in her decals and form. Nice find and a great rescue!
Its so nice to keep these lovely old machines out of landfill. She would have been a lovely decorator piece even if she could not have been returned to working order.
I think many of us could not have resisted the call of that green box!

joycita said...

Bonnie, I suspect that thrift store owners across the country ship their sewing machines to your neighborhood -- just so you will find, buy and use them. Let the antiques live on!

hispatchwork said...

watching quilt cam in my sewing room next to my sewing machine while making thread catchers for retreat in feb.

Lucy said...

OOh my this is awesome!

quiltfool said...

I also have a branded National for Scarbrough's dept store in San Antonio. Enjoy! She is a lovely machine. Lane

Sandi said...

I loved shopping at the Eaton's stores growing up, they used to be such a wonderful store. The company was started by Timothy Eaton and was all across Canada. Maybe she should be a he called Timothy?

Judy MacLeod said...

WOW! What timing! I found one of these on the weekend sans box and one of the plates (the front one), and paid $20 for it. Serial # is 3112457. I'm hoping to find a replacement plate for it and bobbins, and a power cord - it was also missing that BUT had the neatest foot pedal shaped like a foot!
Also on mine in gold lettering is Made in U.S.A.

turnkey1@bellnet.ca said...