The usual stuff was in there…old thread, old bobbins, some rusty, some good – needles ---some snaps. A broken seam ripper. A needle threader.
And two folded pieces of paper.
Two receipts from previous servicings, complete with name, address, phone number and dates!
A quick search of the name on the invoice let me know that Mrs. Elise Connally lived in this house (approximate ---according to google maps) in Atlanta, Georgia
Once I had a name and an address, it was easy to search for an obituary.
She was born in 1922 and passed from this life on Jan 24, 2004.
We know that she lived at this address at LEAST since 1978 up until the time of her passing.
From her obituary, I also learned that her maiden name was Turnipseed.
If she had indeed had this machine since it was new in the 1950’s ---it went a good long time in between servicings, or I think that there would be more receipts! She cared enough to save THESE receipts...it goes with the thought that if there were others, they would be here too.
Invoice dated April, 1978
In 1978 a full servicing and replacement of the check spring that caused the top thread to not pick up the bobbin thread cost $19.77
I absolutely love that every step taken in the course of fixing the machine was listed plain as day on the invoice.
Invoice dated March 30th, 1994
Evidently she had sewn enough that she needed a new needle plate! Perhaps there was a burr ---and her tension had to be repaired again. This time the service cost her $47.31. The price had more than doubled in 16 years. Of course the price of the needle plate itself was a big chunk of that.
Was this the last time the machine had been professionally serviced? I looked at the headers of both receipts and they were done at the same place – Home Sewing Center. I tried to look them up online,but I couldn’t find them – maybe they were bought out or the name was changed?
This sticker was evidently placed on the machine at the last tune-up:
You can see where I tried to peel a corner and get it OFF of there – but it is very securely STUCK. And after discovering what I have about Elise, I think I’ll keep it there.
Dear Elise ---
I hope you would be pleased that I have rescued your beloved Household sewing machine! If only she could talk and tell me of the things you sewed on her. These machines were built to last a lifetime, and you put 50 years worth of sewing into her. Only two receipts in that period of time? Sounds like a swell running machine to me!
She will have a good home here with me --- sewing quilts for at least another 30 years if I have anything to say about it!