A sleeping beauty

1893 Singer Sewing Machine
Black and Gold paint The Singer Manufacturing Co
Close up of 1893 Singer badge below stitch length adjuster
Underneath of Singer vibrating shuttle mechanism from 1893
Winding a long bobbin on Singer 1893 hand crank machine
Bullet shaped long bobbin shuttle case
Samples with vintage 1893 Singer machine showing number plate

A stately old lady has come to stay with me. 120 years young if I read her number correctly (love that Singer list these on their site). She was £3 in a local auction. £3! The first photo is how she came out of her original case, complete just a bit dirty.

She's been waiting in the wings a month or so now so that I had time to read and watch some of the many resources generously shared online and learn a little of her mysteries. All I've had to do is a little cleaning and oiling this weekend, adjust the tension and now she's trundling away happily making stitches. Just forward, nothing fancy you understand but if I'm still here at 120 I doubt I'll still be making stitches! Somehow she's both baffling and simple. So many great resources online are helping me get her stitching like she should be - she's a long bobbin or vibrating shuttle or whatever the correct terminology is. The bobbin sits in a bullet shaped case. I'd never realised that bobbins were ever this shape.

I swear I can actually feel my pulse slow when I turn the handle on this beautiful creature from a different age. Cleaning and polishing away over the weekend I imagined what it must have felt like to take this home from the shop, shiny and new. Waves of nostalgia though it's for someone else's past,  electric machines were what featured in my childhood. I wonder how many hands have turned that smooth handle, worn away the gold paint. What things has she sewn and when was the last time she was used? She was very dusty but relatively clean and rust free, running even without oiling. Her wooden case is pretty banged up but there was still thread on her bobbin and a sharp needle in place. I feel an odd sort of privilege to wake her up and stitch with her. I wonder what we'll make together.


Sea said…
I use* to know someone with one of these with a trea*le...it was a beautiful machine. (BTW..my 4th letter of the alphabet is not working on my keypa*)
Unknown said…
She's a real beauty. I'm sure you'll have lots of fun getting to know her, and I'm certain you'll make beautiful things with her too. Can't believe you got her for £3. xx
Lynne said…
What a beautiful find, a real treasure.
Rose Red said…
Oh wow! She is beautiful, such good condition! What a treasure! I doubt my (approx) 7 yo sewing machine will still be around in 113 years. What fun you two will have together!
Caffeine Girl said…
That is a thing of beauty. And for so little money! I am amazed that she works; we don't make things to last like that any more, do we?
Katie said…
£3!?! Thats amazing. What a beautiful thing to own!

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