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Any info on this "Compac" Elna Grasshopper clone?

Any info on this "Compac" Elna Grasshopper clone?

Old 03-17-2015, 07:46 PM
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Default Any info on this "Compac" Elna Grasshopper clone?

I saw this ShopGoodwill posting and my immediate reaction was "wow, there is a Japanese copy of the Elna Grasshopper..." But the machine is clearly labeled "Made In USA"

I had heard that there were copies made of the Grasshopper/Elna No. 1 but have never seen one. Does anyone have any experience with these machines? It looks a bit crude, but pretty neat.

http://www.shopgoodwill.com/viewItem...temID=20479723

Brian
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Old 03-17-2015, 08:39 PM
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It was made by the Portman Sewing Machine Company:

http://needlebar.org/cm/displayimage.php?pid=6271

https://www.flickr.com/photos/sew_mach_tech/8168652446/

I don't have any experience with one. There was one that was for sale a year or two ago around Sacramento and I was tempted, but passed it by. I think someone here at QB has one...CD in OK maybe?
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Old 03-17-2015, 08:55 PM
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Thanks, NapaJohn - I've never previously heard of the Portman SM Company. It's such an obvious copy that I presume they made them with permission from Elna. Does anyone know if Elna licensed their designs to other manufacturers?

The Needlebar writeup states the machines were $179.50 in 1949 - that would be around $1,800 in todays dollars.
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Old 03-18-2015, 05:19 AM
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I've seen them under the Montgomery Wards brand. I know one or two members here have them. IIRC they take an obsolete needle.
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Old 03-18-2015, 05:55 AM
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I admit to having one..ok two but I haven't done a thing with them yet. They are in the hoard. One I got in a bulk deal and the case is shot. The other I picked up at an estate sale for 5.00. They are small and look very much like the Elna 'Hopper. One of mine says "Compaq" and the other is labelled a "Portman".
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Old 03-18-2015, 12:48 PM
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I admit to having one with the MW brand. I also haven't done anything with it. It's next on my list to rehab. I bought it thinking it was an inexpensive "Hopper."

Last edited by Vridar; 03-18-2015 at 12:50 PM.
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Old 03-18-2015, 02:14 PM
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can one of you owners measure the circumference of the arm?
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Old 03-18-2015, 03:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Macybaby View Post
can one of you owners measure the circumference of the arm?
Yes. It is right at 9 inches.

Last edited by Vridar; 03-18-2015 at 03:29 PM.
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Old 03-18-2015, 05:44 PM
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I have a friend who has both the Portman and a Compaq and he says neither one are well made machines, don't sew very well.

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Old 03-19-2015, 05:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Vridar View Post
Yes. It is right at 9 inches.
Thank you! (she was asking for me.)
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