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Thread: Musings from the Miller ...... antique machines are better.

  1. #1
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    Musings from the Miller ...... antique machines are better.

    I think most if not all of us here own vintage to antique sewing machines. I was poking around the forum and internet today it dawned on me just how durable these machines are.
    Those made around 50 to a hundred years plus ago were made to last a lifetime by companies with totally different attitudes than today. Those made around a hundred years ago were made by people that are no longer alive. These old machines have outlived their makers, original owners and some of them have out lived several successive generations of owners as well.
    The thing is, with a bit of care and TLC they will sew just as good today as they did in 1960 or 1910 or 1880.

    It would be so wonderful if SINGER still made their machines like this, but they don't. I doubt if anyone in three or four generations will be using the computerized plastic junque that is being produced today.

    I find that sad, but things change. Sometimes for the better, sometimes not. Perhaps in four generations people will order from an electronic catalog and their clothes, quilts, and other things will be created by a replicator. Somehow that just doesn't appeal to me. I kind of like the idea that a human made my clothes.


    Time marches on, I'm stuck in the past.

    Joe

  2. #2
    Super Member barri1's Avatar
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    I love my Singer 66, and 99

  3. #3
    Super Member KatFish's Avatar
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    It's all about cost. Singer used to make it's own cabents, machines, and even printed their own stuff. No one does that any more. I will be passing my old Singers down the line to my daughters.

  4. #4
    Super Member jlhmnj's Avatar
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    Right on. Labor and materials were cheap back in "the day".

    Jon

  5. #5
    Senior Member harrishs's Avatar
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    I love all my vintage machines. My favorite is the one I am using at the time.......I think they were made better and that those people that were lucky enough to own a machine, took very good care of them.....Kept them clean and oiled and didn't abuse------now, it seems we are in a a "throw away" stage-----use, abuse, get rid of it----There is a special beauty and stateliness to the old machine.....

  6. #6
    Super Member Quilt Mom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by J Miller View Post
    Time marches on, I'm stuck in the past.

    Joe
    Even if we are not stuck in the past, these vintage machines are wonders! My newest machine is vintage, but was top of the line when we purchased it new. Three cheers for good workmanship!
    Quilt Mom

    Going through life one stitch at a time

  7. #7
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    Quilt Mom,

    My wife's newest machine is a Bernina 930. It's from 1986 according to Bernina. My wife has used it to make clothes, quilts, crafts, and she just found out last night it does some dandy decorative stitches. She received that machine from my cousin via her estate. I doubt she'll ever buy a new or newer machine.

    Most of our machines date from the 60s back to early 1900s with a couple in the 1970s and 80s. The 70s-80s, with the exception of the Bernina, will probably get sold as soon as we make sure they work properly. Too much plastic.

    Joe

  8. #8
    Super Member Lori S's Avatar
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    I have a vintage 306 W the hours of use have gone beyond any measurement. It has made more pinch pleat curtains, winter coats , and was the source of outfitting every garment for a complete family of 6 for 40 years before coming to my home... its amazing how this machine just keeps going with simple up keep I can do myself.

  9. #9
    Super Member Charlee's Avatar
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    What it amounts to is economics. Not only is labor cheaper in China...but if the items don't wear out, then there's no need to buy new.

    I'll be using my old girls for the rest of my life, and hopefully, someday, I'll have someone that will want to inherit them...if not, then I will make sure that they go to someone else who will love and honor them.
    One day, you'll only be a memory for some people. Do your best to be a good one.

    http://charleeturner.blogspot.com

  10. #10
    Super Member J Miller's Avatar
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    Truthful about the economics but I think the idea that if things don't wear out there's no reason to buy new isn't really valid. Well, perhaps in today's market it is. I tend to look at things they way they were, more so than the way they are.

    Up until the 50's and 60s things were made to last and people still bought them.
    But things happened to our country in the late 50s to 60s. Attitudes changed most assuredly, but the US also passed laws after WW II allowing much more foreign competition. The do-gooders in our government wanted to help build up the economy's in war ravaged Japan, Italy and Germany, but they didn't give a hoot in hell about our economy that was also trying to revert back to civilian production from the full tilt war production. This in my opinion was the start of the destruction of the old line products that were made to last. Granted the early Japanese 15 clones were and are great machines, but they were also the iceberg that sunk our Titanic industry. With such fierce foreign competition US makers could not compete like they did in years passed. So, they cheapened their products, outsourced, and eventually just caved in to the throw-away concept.

    So, now they or their descendents stay in business by making junque while those of us who are anachronisms continue using products they made in bygone eras.

    That's the way it is, but I don't have to like it.

    Joe

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