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Thread: Vintage Sewing Machines (Helpful Information)

  1. #1
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    I have noticed that there is a lot of interest in Vintage sewing machines and people wanting information on them. I am far from an expert and what I have learned is from hands on experience and from lots of friends that have the same interest. The NeedleBar is hands down the best place to find out the correct history behind the machines and the men who made them. Also there is the Smithsonian, it has quite a bit of information, manuals, and just about anything to do with the sewing machine.

    There were more than just a handful of manufacturers back when the "Machine Wars" were happening and when you see this list you will understand why it was a war. Everyone in the world was trying to up the next guy and say that their idea was the "original one" when it came to new innovations of the sewing machine.

    Like the Automobile the sewing machine has not been around all that long. Somewhere in the neighborhood of 1840's was when the idea flopped here in the states and Elias Howe went to England to try and to sell the idea of a mechanical sewing device.
    When it caught on boy did it ever catch on. If you had a Garage and some mechanical ingenuity you were in the sewing machine business. Hundreds of companies popped up manufacturing the sewing machine thats just in the USA. There were more over seas that would take several decades before hitting our shores.

    I am going to post a link to the Smithsonian site for Sewing Machine Makers list. This is mind boggling withing itself but when you find a company name you want to look at you can click on it and it will take you to the catalog of information they have on the particular maker. There will be user manuals, sales literature, pricing, correspondence from within the company, Trade Cards, you name it they have it.

    Not everything has been scanned but if you get the location number and the piece your looking for you can call or email them and they will send it to you. This may take a while but it is worth every minute you have to wait.

    I live on this site doing research on the Japanese machines and the makers of badged machines. I also use this to find out information on the treadles that I have collected and in the process of refurbishing.

    But the purpose of this post is to give you and outlet to do your own research and just to see what is out there in the Vintage and Antique sewing machine world.

    Here is the link enjoy........ :thumbup:

    http://www.sil.si.edu/DigitalCollect...-drilldown.cfm


    Billy

  2. #2
    Super Member lfw045's Avatar
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    Thanks, Billy!

  3. #3
    Google Goddess craftybear's Avatar
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    Thanks for the information!

  4. #4
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    I have a Singer treadle machine someone gave. It seems to be in good shape but does need some work(belt is broke). where do I find information on getting it fixed or information on how to fix it myself? can you recommend any books or web sites I can use for more info? I have a mechanically inclined son who probably could do the work if he had manual.
    Denise

  5. #5
    Super Member beachlady's Avatar
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    Thanks for the link Billy.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by denidesigns
    I have a Singer treadle machine someone gave. It seems to be in good shape but does need some work(belt is broke). where do I find information on getting it fixed or information on how to fix it myself? can you recommend any books or web sites I can use for more info? I have a mechanically inclined son who probably could do the work if he had manual.
    Denise
    What is the serial number of the machine? You can find it on the bed stamped in a boss in front of the pillar.

    Billy

  7. #7
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    thank you so much for the site. Penny

  8. #8
    Power Poster earthwalker's Avatar
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    Very interesting site...thanks Billy.

  9. #9
    Super Member amazon's Avatar
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    Billy, I have tried to register on needlebar and keep getting no new accounts right now error.Do you have any suggestions?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by amazon
    Billy, I have tried to register on needlebar and keep getting no new accounts right now error.Do you have any suggestions?
    Yes I found out that they were not taking any new members right now, and it seems to have been in place since February. So I have no idea as to when it will change or if it will anytime soon.

    Billy

  11. #11
    Junior Member pinkypig's Avatar
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    here's the pic of my machine

    Front View
    Name:  Attachment-74334.jpe
Views: 35
Size:  33.1 KB

    Cabinet
    Name:  Attachment-74335.jpe
Views: 34
Size:  28.9 KB

    Drawers
    Name:  Attachment-74336.jpe
Views: 30
Size:  25.6 KB
    Attached Images Attached Images



  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by pinkypig
    here's the pic of my machine
    If you can get the numbers off of it if it has them I can tell you what year it was made. The machine was sold by Sears and if you go to their archives you can find out some information about it.

    http://searsarchives.com/history/questions/sewing.htm

    Billy

  13. #13
    Super Member Roberta's Avatar
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    Several folks suggested I email you regarding the problem I'm having with my new Featherweight that won't sew. I bought it on EBay, the listing said it works perfectly having just been serviced, but even out of the box it didn't sew. We searched for his phone number, called him and he gave some instructions for tightening the clutch, etc. The needle did go up and down then.

    Yesterday was the first time I tried sewing with it and it won't stitch. It appears it is stitching but just long threads are there, no stitches. I've threaded and unthreaded it 100 time with the manual right in front of me. I've loaded and unloaded the bobbin and even tried taking the needle out and putting it back, still no stitches.

    Any ideas on what it could be Billy? I hate getting in a long and drawn out battle with the seller, EBay and PayPal and I've hesitated to file a complaint until he gets back to me but he hasn't yet.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roberta
    Several folks suggested I email you regarding the problem I'm having with my new Featherweight that won't sew. I bought it on EBay, the listing said it works perfectly having just been serviced, but even out of the box it didn't sew. We searched for his phone number, called him and he gave some instructions for tightening the clutch, etc. The needle did go up and down then.

    Yesterday was the first time I tried sewing with it and it won't stitch. It appears it is stitching but just long threads are there, no stitches. I've threaded and unthreaded it 100 time with the manual right in front of me. I've loaded and unloaded the bobbin and even tried taking the needle out and putting it back, still no stitches.

    Any ideas on what it could be Billy? I hate getting in a long and drawn out battle with the seller, EBay and PayPal and I've hesitated to file a complaint until he gets back to me but he hasn't yet.
    This looks like a job for Cabinquilter!! She is the resident FW expert by far. PM her and ask her whats going on. she can have you up and running in a few minutes. I havent messed with the FW's to the point of knowing them from top to bottom but she eats,sleeps and lives the FW!!

    Billy

  15. #15
    Senior Member redbugsullivan's Avatar
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    Since I can't figure out how to search in a thread I'll ask my question here. The New Home VSIIB I'm restoring has a bobbin winder "rubber" wheel. It touches the handwheel to spin.

    The material is like an old shiny eraser now. No friction. I can't unscrew it to put a new one on. What do I do? Without a new ring the machine is unable to wind bobbins.

    I love this thread. It has taught me a lot. So, good people, what are your suggestions?

  16. #16
    Power Poster CarrieAnne's Avatar
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    thanks!

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by redbugsullivan
    Since I can't figure out how to search in a thread I'll ask my question here. The New Home VSIIB I'm restoring has a bobbin winder "rubber" wheel. It touches the handwheel to spin.

    The material is like an old shiny eraser now. No friction. I can't unscrew it to put a new one on. What do I do? Without a new ring the machine is unable to wind bobbins.

    I love this thread. It has taught me a lot. So, good people, what are your suggestions?
    Replace the bobbin tire with a new one. I have tons of them so if you need one just PM me.

    Billy

  18. #18
    Super Member BrendaY's Avatar
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    Billy, you are a blessing! My hubby is busy cleaning up my old Faultless machine and I can hardly wait to sew with it... It may be a while before it's ready, and it may need parts replaced, etc. But I'm so excited!!!

  19. #19

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    Does anyone know where I can find more info on a National Rotary Model R40?

    I'm hoping to bring it home from my mom's someday soon. I did try the national website and didn't really find anything.

  20. #20
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    Check the Smithsonian and ISMACS, here are the links......

    http://www.sil.si.edu/DigitalCollect...wing-Machines/

    http://www.ismacs.net/home.html

    Billy

  21. #21
    Senior Member redbugsullivan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlumenCreations
    Does anyone know where I can find more info on a National Rotary Model R40?

    I'm hoping to bring it home from my mom's someday soon. I did try the national website and didn't really find anything.
    I sent you a PM. I have one, scanned and ready!

  22. #22
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    Thank you for this link but I do not find my machine listed. Have you ever found anything on a machine marked
    ALADDIN ROTARY A88095 Patent applied for. Made in the U.S.A. This is all the information I can find on the machine itself.

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