An Investment or Just Nuts?

Old 01-17-2015, 12:47 PM
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Default An Investment or Just Nuts?

Going to purchase as many antique heads as I can. They are dated 1873-1930 and include: Singer 201-K, Frister & Rossmann, BSM, and several 128s with handcranks. At $25 each, I am looking at this as investment. Down the road, they will have important irreplaceable parts. Some have their shuttles and attachments. All were portable at one point but the tops were destroyed in shipping from England.

I have the cash from selling other machines. Sure hope the BSM is still there!!! Digging in the shed will be cold and dirty but the payoff? One happy collector. Yep, I am dedicated to these old bits of engineering. And, probably crazy!
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Old 01-17-2015, 12:54 PM
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An investment is probably too strong a term but at $25 each you will be able to either make or save a few bucks on parts. I'm hoping you get a few good machines out of the deal instead of just a collection of parts.
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Old 01-17-2015, 01:05 PM
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Cranks and parts are pretty valuable--can't go wrong from a money standpoint. They do take up valuable storage space and will be around for quite some time if parted out. I always feel guilty when parting out machines which I try to avoid but this is just me.

Jon
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Old 01-17-2015, 05:26 PM
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I have storage space. When we built our shop, room for our hobbies/passions were a serious part of the planning.

The back story on the machine will be shared shortly. Sad! Seattle, a memorable bit of history was about to be tossed into the garbage. Capt. Dick from TreadleOn would be appalled.
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Old 01-17-2015, 05:31 PM
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Jon, I totally identify with your regret upon parting out machines. Vintage VW Beetles are also a passion of mine.
The same basic pain upon parting out, filled my heart whenever I had to reduce inventory. Such is the stuff of life.
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Old 01-17-2015, 05:53 PM
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Yes, the stuff of life...I have no qualms buying used parts but creating them is difficult for me. Sort of like eating meat but I wouldn't want to butcher the steer. Again a personal thing.

4 of my good buddies in High School all drove "Bugs".

Jon

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Old 01-17-2015, 06:51 PM
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Here's the story. There was a big department store in downtown Seattle that had a huge display of vintage and antique machines, all on one wall. Based upon the sticker on the BSM, sometime after 2011, their insurance company told them to remove all the machines because they would be a huge risk to their customers in the event of an earthquake. Seattle is part of the Ring of Fire and earthquakes are a part of life.

So, the store THREW them into a huge box sitting on a forklift in order to take them to the dump. The broken bits of most machines tell the tale. Thanks to a quick thinking worker, all 300 machines in the box were rescued. Now, I have the connection. So thankful to have met this challenge and the family that saved them.

So far, the Serata HC remains my favorite. Carnegie Library lions grace the head and wonderful stitches, including reverse, make sewing with it a joy.

That's the tale, told. Now, back to teaching...
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Old 01-17-2015, 07:23 PM
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A good rescue. We can use the parts more than the Chinese can use the steel.

Jon
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Old 01-18-2015, 05:51 AM
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The thing with these old machines - they aren't an "Investment" meaning you can earn a decent return just by holding them and reselling.

They also aren't a good "job" as you won't be able to make much per hour for the time you spend.

However - they are a nice hobby, and one that can you can sell extras and parts and that helps offset (or cover) your costs. It's nice to have a hobby that can help pay for itself. Most don't.

I am very glad to hear you were able to help keep these out of the trash.

I hear too many stories of people just tossing it all - one antique seller told me that years ago he helped someone clean out from a sewing collection. They sold the machines, but all the "extras" like attachments and parts, they just put in several boxes and tossed. To them, since they weren't ON the machine, they were just extra junk they did not want to deal with.

Important lesson for me - to make sure I have things labeled so attachments STAY with the machine they belong to.

BTW - this happens with firearms at estate sales also - magazines and clips and other parts (like for muzzle loaders) get put together in a box because the sellers don't want to take the time to figure out what goes with which firearm. And for the uniformed, they may buy a gun thinking it won't be a big deal to get a magazine for it - (just like machines missing shuttles or bobbin cases) and then they find out that part is going to cost more than the gun (or sewing machine)!

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Old 01-18-2015, 06:50 AM
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Oh my, was that the All Saints upscale clothing store that you are talking about? Never thought about the earthquake possibility. Cannot believe they had to take those machines out of the window and especially cannot believe that they would just dump them!!! My son lives in Seattle. Wonder why he did not know about this and tell me? Well, he isn't interested in sewing so maybe that is why. Still ......
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