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Thread: sewing sailors

  1. #21
    Super Member Quilt Mom's Avatar
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    31-15? Someone posted a 31-15 that was marked as a WPA sewing machine.

    I found one of them on CL yesterday. The set-up was just like these. That one is coming to live at my house soon!

    Neat collision of worlds! My brother was in the Navy, but I never heard stories about sewing on board.
    Last edited by Quilt Mom; 03-08-2012 at 10:18 AM.
    Quilt Mom

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  2. #22
    Senior Member Whigrose's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrsBoats View Post
    My husband sent me this-he's retired Navy and I sew, so the email header was 'when our hobbies collide'.

    Anybody want to take a WAG at which model these are?
    Just went and checked my 31-15. Yep, they're 31-15s all right.

    Sweet. Can't wait to see what she does.

    best,
    d
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  3. #23
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    Is the machine on the left set up with a "Knee Lift" ? look at the linkage on the back plate.

  4. #24
    Senior Member ThayerRags's Avatar
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    I was invited to help trouble-shoot a sewing machine problem for the local WWII Airborne Demonstration Team that is headquartered here at the local airfield, which was an Army Air Field back in the 1940s . Today, the team members parachute out of a restored C-47 named ďBoogie BabyĒ that was built back in 1942, and was actually involved in WW2 combat missions. They do jumps and demonstrations all over the USA and Europe. Their website is: http://www.wwiiadt.org/

    The Rigger (guys that repair parachutes and other equipment) was having problems with his industrial sewing machine, and another local sewing machine mechanic and I were able to get it going for him. The machine that we worked on is fairly modern, but while I was there, I noticed a Singer 31-15 setting in a wooden transport box. They believe that the box (missing its cover) is an authentic military-issued ďcrateĒ used to transport a Singer 31-15 or similar machine for movement. The machine setting in now is a 1938 Singer 31-15 that could possibly be the original machine housed in the transport box.

    The 31-15 is currently not being used, but most agreed that it would be neat to get it back into service looking like machines would have been used back in the 1940s. So now Iím on the hunt for photographs of Riggers and their sewing machines in action from that period in history, so we can come up with the correct stand and/or table-top base for it. I have some older Singer equipment, but Iím not sure what would be the most authentic for the time period. Iíve found some photos of Sailors and Army Airmen on-board ships, but I donít find many photos of Riggers in other scenarios. Anyone know of any?

    CD in Oklahoma
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  5. #25
    Senior Member MrsBoats's Avatar
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    CD, I've got The Husband looking through his stuff (he's got a ton of old military photos) to see what he's got. If he turns up anything, I'll PM you.
    -Karen
    There's no such thing as too many sewing machines!

  6. #26
    Senior Member ThayerRags's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrsBoats View Post
    ... Husband looking through ... old military photos.


    Thanks Mr & MrsBoats,

    I suspect that most of the Riggers Lofts, Huts, Rooms, etc. had benches for their Singer 31-15 machines. Iím hoping to find out if they were commercial benches or built-in benches. Ships may have been built-in, but hangers? Iím not sure. If commercial, I hope they used common industrial benches from the period. I have a couple of them. Straight-leg metal stand with a slab wood surface. No Formica top and no folding extensions.

    CD in Oklahoma
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  7. #27
    Super Member jljack's Avatar
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    My DH's dad was career Navy, made Chief, from WWII thru 1970. His DB is also career Navy Reserve, and just made Chief a few months ago. I will ask them if they know anything about this. The dad sewed at home after he retired from the Navy, so its possible DH and his DB know something.

  8. #28
    Senior Member SUZAG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by qwkslver View Post
    My husband's uncle was in the navy. He made extra money fixing clothes, doing alterations, etc.
    My father-in-law said the guy with all the money was the one that had sewing skills...lol He was in WWII

    I don't know what that machine is but look at all that room for FMQ!

  9. #29
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThayerRags View Post

    Thanks Mr & MrsBoats,

    I suspect that most of the Riggers Lofts, Huts, Rooms, etc. had benches for their Singer 31-15 machines. I’m hoping to find out if they were commercial benches or built-in benches. Ships may have been built-in, but hangers? I’m not sure. If commercial, I hope they used common industrial benches from the period. I have a couple of them. Straight-leg metal stand with a slab wood surface. No Formica top and no folding extensions.

    CD in Oklahoma
    If all else fails maybe you can go to a military museum and talk to the curator. I once need to sew a WWII officer's wall tent. I went to the museum at Ft Knox, KY and asked the curator if he had any information. He had microfilm and he let me fool around with it as long as I wanted. I found what I wanted. Then I asked him how I could get the blue prints and he sent me to the library with the film and they printed it out for less than $1. They had blue prints for everything under the sun in there. Tons and tons of things.
    NEVER let a sewing machine know you are in a hurry.
    Success is not final. Failure is not fatal.
    It is the courage to continue that counts. Winston Churchill

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