This is the Improved Family I bought 2 weeks ago from a craigslist seller. Serial number 7439607 dates it to 1886. I've been doing some research on ISMACS and Needlebar and know more now, other that I just fell in love with it. The Drawing Room cabinet has been refinished, I see evidence that it was quite a bit darker originally but looks nice in this honey color. The burl veneer panels in the drawer and door fronts really pop against the original singer nickel hardware. I was amazed to find a spring loaded lift platform in this age of cabinet. apparently it was a very strong spring; there is a "keeper" piece that will swivel over to hold the machine down in case of inadvertent pressing of the button that releases the spring. It is the earliest drawing room cabinet: DR01. The decals are Apple Blossom and look much better after being rubbed with sewing machine oil.
I'd bought a Singer puzzle box at a yard sale recently and am certain it acted as bait for this machine. I'm only missing a couple of pieces from it: a hemmer, the binder, and the small screwdriver. I hope to locate these missing pieces and also replace the tattered velvet lining. I'm also going to try to reproduce the wire holder for the round bobbins. Someone on Needlebar has one and measured the wire for me. I'm rather puzzled by some of the attachments I found in the drawers. The attachments that came with the machine have many of the early versions of the standard attachments, but some real strange ones.
There are a couple of extra needle plates and although the parts list I found list a number of various needle plates to use with specific feet, I can't see any difference in either of these from the standard one. There are some I'm sure are from other machines, and one long bobbin. The third picture, I do not know what they are. The three in the middle might be some kind of pleaters or tuckers? The far right has the low shank attachment and says "The Singer Man'fg Co pat Dec 28, 1859, May 10, 1864". The second from the left says" The Singer Man'fg Co. Patented Dec. 1, 1868 Dec. 12, 1870". The third right says "Johnston Ruffler Co. Ottumwa, IA, Pat. Nov. 21, 1876" The ruffler in the first picture also says "Johnston Ruffler Co.", but also "Singer" on the opposite side.
I'd appreciate any information on these unknown attachments. I'd also be willing to trade some of them, especially the parts to other machines.