Sunday, April 28, 2013

The Land of Orphan Machines!

Remember the island of misfit toys?

I think there must be a land where orphan machines go waiting to be adopted by someone who will love them.

I just spent some time flipping through some folders of photos of machines, and each of them I’m sure has a story to tell.

These are not ones that have been adopted by me, but I found them interesting enough to catch on digital-film :c)

Why is THIS a misfit?  Well someone didn’t know enough that this is the BACK side of the machine, they had the front side to the wall to display the BACK! LOL!

We find this all the time on Craigslist as well…..things like….MACHINE IN CABINET.  MACHINE WORKING.  But there is no picture of the machine, or description of the machine, just the cabinet.

I always get a huge chuckle out of those ads!

PA_April2013 100

Front of Machine. 
((Yes, I turned it around to display it better!))

I loved the decals.  Loved the faceplate….what I didn’t love?

PA_April2013 101

HOLY MOLY! $225.00!!

This machine is NOT rare, nor collectible other than the fact that it is what it is…..a 1950s singer clone made in Japan by the 1,000s.  I wouldn’t pay more than $65.00 for this machine.

People make the misake that because it is black and has decals, and is old and heavy that it is worth as much as a featherweight.  Nope.  Not so!

Then there was this one:

PA_April2013 103

Beautiful little 127…La Vincadora decals….it was also very high in price, and missing the knee bar that would make it run…see the little belly-button on the right hand side of the base?  That’s where the knee bar goes. The wiring was SCARY.  This machine is not worth $200.00 either.

PA_April2013 105

This Wilcox & Gibbs was a cutie pie!

It is a motorized chain stitch machine, and the wiring is very circumspect….but what I loved the most was the shoe shaped foot pedal!

PA_April2013 107


And the tag told the story:

PA_April2013 108

Well documented…but if I had one, I’d rather it be a treadle.

PA_April2013 110

Very pretty Standard in a cabinet.

PA_April2013 112

Gosh, I love these decals on the pillar! 
Doesn’t it look so Art-Deco?? Late teens, early 1920s I’m guessing.

PA_April2013 111

Very interesting bobbin arrangement here!

None of my machines have that finger deal that hold the bobbin case in place.

I hope someone will snatch this one up --- but to tell you the truth I don’t remember WHICH place I saw it!  But can you imagine all the house hold items and clothing this machine has seen in its day?

I  just can’t get enough of seeing these beauties.  They are works of art, and such a help to the women who owned them.  I’ve slowed WAY down on collecting, but that doesn’t stop my interest in seeing them, touching them, giving their hand wheels a gentle loving turn….and dreaming!


  1. I agree with you - these machines are works of art and I never get enough of looking at them. One day I'm hoping to find the right one for the right price, but for now I sew on my 1950's Singer and collect the toy machines.

  2. That Universal looks so much like my White that I use all the time. Mine is from 1957. It was a portable that my granddaddy built a table for. Wonder how old the Universal is?

  3. Thanks for sharing all this little beauties!

  4. They are all beauties.

  5. Hello Bonnie,

    Lovely collection of machines. The Universal is especially smart.

    It's nice seeing what you don't buy, especially the silly prices.

    I've got a Willcox and Gibbs like that, but it's a hand machine. I'd be scared witless by an ancient motor. Any motor, in fact.


  6. I don't have as many sewing machines as you have, but also do not have a home large enough to accommadate too many of them. I love treadle sewing machines. I look at them and am instantly taken back to my childhood. I can just see my 8 year old self sitting at the treadle machine sewing. It touches me so deep. I am thankful that I had a mother who loved to sew and passed it on to me. I have a treadle machine which I use quilt often.

  7. I was at a sew-in with a friend today. Her husband likes to go to the local scrap-metal yard to see what stuff people have turned it. The place will sell you the stuff for little more than its scrap value.

    The other day the DH found, and brought home, a sewing machine. My friend plugged it in and seems to run just fine.

    As for the W&G chain stitch machine, that's a treasure!

  8. Bonnie,
    I would SO love to go shopping with you sometime. . . Maybe in August before the Collaboration celebration . . .

  9. Wow, these are beauties. I wonder what motivates someone that obviously doesn't know anything about the machine to put such a high price on one to sell? I guess they hope some novice comes along and buys it. I knowyou are probably running out of placesto put all of these machines you have collected, so I understand your slowing down. Keep on sewing girl we are all with ya!

  10. I'm moving out of state this fall and my husband has been fussing (lovingly) about my addiction, has asked how we would fit all of the machines, treadles, cabinets etc in the uhaul, I told him we could sell the furniture. LOL I only have 10 machines, 2 of which are treadles, 3 in cabinets, 3 hand cranks and 2 modern. LOL, but he has 10 musical instruments so we are even!

  11. I love history and your photos and comments on antique sewing machines fascinates me! Thanks so much for sharing your knowledge in this area as well as your quilting skills.

  12. Years ago I gave $50 for an old singer sewing machine in cabinet to one of my clients. It was kind of a trade in for a drapery treatment. I felt stupid at the time for even giving her $50 and that machine was an end table in a bedroom for a while. I wasn't sewing or quilting at the time and so I finally got rid of it. Wish I still had it now.

  13. That Singer looks like the one I had from my Great Aunt Ethel, I loved that machine, even if it was a anchor in weight. Lost it in a move...:(!

  14. The thing about that Standard brand machine that almost made me buy one is the bobbin. Look at the length of the bobbin winder. It takes a very wide bobbin that theoretically will hold a ton of thread. I considered. I didn't fall. Be well. lane

  15. Great post...I wouldn't have known any of that...especially about the true value of the Singer clone in the first photo. I would have been the sucker who bought it, lol!


If you are commenting as "anonymous" please leave your name at the end of your comment.

Did you know that ad space on this blog provides for all of the free patterns and free mysteries and challenges at no cost to you? Without ads, this blog would not be possible.

Thank you for understanding the many hours that go into this blog 6 days a week, 52 weeks a year. :)