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1941 Singer 15 special variation (15sv10) - looking for more info >

1941 Singer 15 special variation (15sv10) - looking for more info

1941 Singer 15 special variation (15sv10) - looking for more info

Old 04-07-2013, 07:49 AM
  #21  
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Let me clarify what I meant when I said it was "definitely not an Indian star" - I was looking at the whole machine example on the ISMACS site - http://www.ismacs.net/singer_sewing_...c_indian2.html
My machine isn't exactly like that machine, so I thought someone was saying my machine was exactly like that machine, not just the star.

I saw those videos on youtube when I started my search, but didn't buy my machine from him.

I would love to know more about this machine, that's why I posted here. It's a bit like genealogy - I would love to know it's real story, but is there a way to learn more about this specific machine?

I have more photos if anyone is interested.

If the original owner ordered the machine specifically with the star decal, (and I'm not saying they didn't) I have to wonder how they even knew it was an option. Information was sparse in those days, as opposed to today's internet world, and how would the buyer even know about options - but then maybe they saw a full Singer catalog or whatever.

I thought maybe the lack of reverse was unusual because my Featherweight has reverse and it's a 1936 model.

I'm enjoying all the thoughts and insights. That's why I posted here, to learn more.

Thanks!
Jodie
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Old 04-07-2013, 09:48 AM
  #22  
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Forgot to add - it has the oscillating bobbin.
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Old 04-07-2013, 10:20 AM
  #23  
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Rain,

Are you saying that some central bobbin machines had a rotary mechanism? I've inspected both of my 15Ks and the hook definitely oscillates.

Theory number 2 about why American machines had the Indian Star... because Singer in Scotland were unable to export to India, they shipped the decal sets to the USA where they were put on machines for the American market and sold as a special order. In other words, the decal was intended for the Indian market, but the machine it ended up on never was.
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Old 04-07-2013, 01:25 PM
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Muv, there are early central-bobbin model 15s (and 115s) that had a rotary hook. You'll only find this on the 15s that lack reverse, and typically with the spoked handwheels. There was actually a post in this forum somewhere about that very topic, but I cannot remember the subject line. I want to say it was started by a fellow named Joe.

In response to Jodie writing "If the original owner ordered the machine specifically with the star decal, (and I'm not saying they didn't) I have to wonder how they even knew it was an option. Information was sparse in those days, as opposed to today's internet world, and how would the buyer even know about options - but then maybe they saw a full Singer catalog or whatever."

The fact that the "SV" options even existed means there must have been some mechanism for buyers to choose "Special Variants" in the first place; I assume there was some type of catalog available at Singer stores of the era. In the early and middle parts of the 20th Century, Singer had stores worldwide that were akin to the Apple Stores of today--customers could go in, try and/or buy machines, and take sewing classes.

Also, whether a machine had reverse or not depended on both the model as well as the year. As you've pointed out, the Featherweights all had reverse from the time they debuted in the 1930s; so did the 201-2s, which came out around the same time. However, the 66s and 99s of that era lacked reverse until some time in the 1940s.

There is one other possibility for how your particular machine came about, though I admit it's a longshot. I recently started reading an excellent book called "Freedom's Forge," which is about the American industrialists tasked with revitalizing American industry for the war effort. Under their programs, a lot of American industry was diverted away from the commercial sector and instead turned towards wartime production. While it's not explicitly mentioned in this book, I'd learned elsewhere that during this era Singer produced bomb sights for bomber planes and even firearms. While we Americans didn't offically get into the war until December of 1941, I was surprised to learn in "Freedom's Forge" that industrial preparations for both "Lend-Lease" (us manufacturing materiel for the Brits) and our own military began as early as 1939. Thus, to make a long story short, it's possible that Singer's domestic sewing machine production was curtailed around the time your machine was ordered--meaning it's possible that your machine is actually a refurbished version of an earlier model 15, sent out with the unusual decals somehow diverted from Kilbowie (which presumably had bigger fish to fry in 1941).

I must say: It drives me nuts that we'll probably never learn the full story behind your machine.
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Old 04-07-2013, 02:05 PM
  #25  
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Rain,

Am I right in thinking that the rotary hook central bobbins still had the needle set the usual way, threading from left to right, as opposed to the 201s that thread right to left?

These sewing machine history puzzles drive me nuts too. Where is the ultimate sewing machine historian, and why hasn't he written the definitive history on sewing machines and arms yet? He would sell at least two copies.
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Old 04-07-2013, 02:32 PM
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Hahaha, two copies for sure! I've read the few sewing machine history books I could get my hands on, but find them frustratingly incomplete.

I've never actually seen the older 15s with the rotary hook, I've only read about them and have seen a photo or two. As the needle is always threaded in the direction of the hook, assuming the needle falls to the right of the hook as it does with the other 15s, I'd suppose it threads right to left.

I'm really curious as to why the model 15s ditched the rotary hook in favor of the oscillating; I'd have assumed the former would be smoother than the latter. Then again, I suppose Singer knew what they were doing....
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Old 04-07-2013, 03:06 PM
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Thought I would add some more regarding the Sphinx decal with the compass rose on the bed. This is my Singer 15, allotted 15 July 1941, made in the USA. Note the wood cabinet and legs with the iron treadle base. Pictures are before cleaning. The last picture is a closeup of the Compass Rose. The lettering sure looks as if it is Indian script. More to add to the mystery.
Attached Thumbnails 2012-03-08-mystery-train-singer-treadle-1941-005.jpg   2012-03-08-mystery-train-singer-treadle-1941-006.jpg   2012-03-08-mystery-train-singer-treadle-1941-008.jpg   2012-03-11-graybar-singer-sphinx-006.jpg  
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Old 04-07-2013, 03:58 PM
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Cool photos! I don't think I've ever seen a cabinet like that with the wooden legs.

Does anyone know what the lettering on each point of the star means?

img_2987w6.jpg

And here is a photo of the underside of the machine before I cleaned it.

img_2982w6.jpg
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Old 04-08-2013, 05:19 AM
  #29  
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The lettering is the word Singer in eight different Indian scripts. If you go to post no. 160 on this thread you will see the photo of my 128K and a list of the languages http://www.quiltingboard.com/vintage...t130994-4.html

There is another model 15 with the star on that thread at post 109.

Last edited by Muv; 04-08-2013 at 05:24 AM.
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Old 04-08-2013, 06:34 AM
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Ah, Muv the Mystery Solver! Somehow I knew that you would jump in with some information on the Indian Star decal. Indian script, I thought so. Now I know.Thank you. BTW, your 128 HC is drop dead gorgeous.

Jodie, your sewing machine's finish is much better than mine, but I think my girl worked very hard in her former life. I purchased her from the Goodwill auction for $32.40. I REALLY wanted this one because of the unusual wooden treadle stand. I watched it and jumped in on the bidding at the very last minute hoping that the other bidder would not have time to receive the outbid message and place another bid. My strategy worked but my heart was racing at the very end.
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