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Thread: My "new" Improved Family

  1. #1
    Senior Member Skyangel's Avatar
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    My "new" Improved Family

    This is the Improved Family I bought 2 weeks ago from a craigslist seller. Serial number 7439607 dates it to 1886. I've been doing some research on ISMACS and Needlebar and know more now, other that I just fell in love with it. The Drawing Room cabinet has been refinished, I see evidence that it was quite a bit darker originally but looks nice in this honey color. The burl veneer panels in the drawer and door fronts really pop against the original singer nickel hardware. I was amazed to find a spring loaded lift platform in this age of cabinet. apparently it was a very strong spring; there is a "keeper" piece that will swivel over to hold the machine down in case of inadvertent pressing of the button that releases the spring. It is the earliest drawing room cabinet: DR01. The decals are Apple Blossom and look much better after being rubbed with sewing machine oil.

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    I'd bought a Singer puzzle box at a yard sale recently and am certain it acted as bait for this machine. I'm only missing a couple of pieces from it: a hemmer, the binder, and the small screwdriver. I hope to locate these missing pieces and also replace the tattered velvet lining. I'm also going to try to reproduce the wire holder for the round bobbins. Someone on Needlebar has one and measured the wire for me. I'm rather puzzled by some of the attachments I found in the drawers. The attachments that came with the machine have many of the early versions of the standard attachments, but some real strange ones.
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    There are a couple of extra needle plates and although the parts list I found list a number of various needle plates to use with specific feet, I can't see any difference in either of these from the standard one. There are some I'm sure are from other machines, and one long bobbin. The third picture, I do not know what they are. The three in the middle might be some kind of pleaters or tuckers? The far right has the low shank attachment and says "The Singer Man'fg Co pat Dec 28, 1859, May 10, 1864". The second from the left says" The Singer Man'fg Co. Patented Dec. 1, 1868 Dec. 12, 1870". The third right says "Johnston Ruffler Co. Ottumwa, IA, Pat. Nov. 21, 1876" The ruffler in the first picture also says "Johnston Ruffler Co.", but also "Singer" on the opposite side.

    I'd appreciate any information on these unknown attachments. I'd also be willing to trade some of them, especially the parts to other machines.

    Kim
    Kim
    So many hobbies ... So little time
    private pilot, quilter, vintage sewing machine addict, silversmith, lapidary

  2. #2
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    wow that cabinet is gorgeous! The machine is pretty too. What a treasure!!!

  3. #3
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    Yea for you! The cabinet is truly fantastic! I'm happy for you.

  4. #4
    Senior Member JabezRose's Avatar
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    Too wow for words, you have a beautiful piece there. Would like to see picture of it opened up.
    My stash keeps me in stitches!

  5. #5
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    I triple the WOW, what a beautiful piece.

  6. #6
    Super Member Charlee's Avatar
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    Beautiful!!
    They actually didn't make the DR cabinets without the spring until later in production, when injury became an issue with the spring loaded cabinets. (Don't recall where I read that)
    One day, you'll only be a memory for some people. Do your best to be a good one.

    http://charleeturner.blogspot.com

  7. #7
    Senior Member harrishs's Avatar
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    I am absolutely drooling over that cabinet and machine-----it is so beautiful. I am really happy for you.

  8. #8
    Senior Member coloradosky's Avatar
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    What a beautiful setup. You are lucky to have found this beauty.

  9. #9
    Super Member nygal's Avatar
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    Wow is right. I am trying not to turn green! Lucky find. The cabinet is gorgeous!
    When it seems like the world is falling to pieces remember that the pieces are falling into place. We are nearing closer to the End Times.

  10. #10
    Super Member nanna-up-north's Avatar
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    All I can say is, Beautiful!

  11. #11
    Senior Member jeank's Avatar
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    That is beautiful. I didn't know they made that type of cabinet back then. I would have guessed it was more recently made. The other thing I noticed was round bobbins, my treddle uses the long bobbins.

    You have aquired a wonderful machine. Congratulations.
    Jean in MI

  12. #12
    Super Member janiesews's Avatar
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    What a beautiful cabinet and machine. Congratulations on a beauty!
    This too shall pass.
    Janie

  13. #13
    Super Member Caroline S's Avatar
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    That is one gorgeous cabinet and sewing machine. Thanks for also posting pictures of your puzzle box. Now I know that the thing in the corner is to hold the screwdrivers which are missing. My puzzle box lining is also in very bad shape.
    Sweet Caroline

  14. #14
    Power Poster Mariposa's Avatar
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    Wow! Beautiful cabinet and machine!
    Be a blessing to others, as you may entertain angels unaware!

  15. #15
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    Beautiful...truely stunning...I am green.
    Any day spent quilting is a good day!
    Judy

  16. #16
    Super Member callen's Avatar
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    Wow, wow & double wow. That is one very gorgeous cabinet & very pretty machine too.
    Dance like no one is watching

  17. #17
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    What a treasure you have. I am happy for you.

  18. #18
    Super Member nstitches4u's Avatar
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    Gorgeous cabinet and nice machine! I can't help with the attachments. It will be interesting to see if anyone on QB can tell you what they are.

  19. #19
    Super Member
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    She's beautiful! This is the same model machine that I want.

  20. #20
    Power Poster Jingle's Avatar
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    Beautiful cabinet and machine, I really love those decals.
    Another Phyllis
    This life is the only one you get - enjoy it before you lose it.

  21. #21
    Senior Member Skyangel's Avatar
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    I've been told that the attachment on the right in the last picture is caller a "corder box attachment", and the next three are tuckers. I still have no idea how they would work. Considering that the patent date is civil war era, it is unlikely something still in use today. Still I am really curious to find out more.

    Kim

  22. #22
    Super Member chris_quilts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skyangel View Post
    I've been told that the attachment on the right in the last picture is caller a "corder box attachment", and the next three are tuckers. I still have no idea how they would work. Considering that the patent date is civil war era, it is unlikely something still in use today. Still I am really curious to find out more.

    Kim
    Kim; Tuckers are essentially pleaters/rufflers. They are still in use today and make wonderful pleats/tucks.
    Chris
    I meant to behave......but there were too many other options

  23. #23
    Super Member ArchaicArcane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skyangel View Post
    I'd appreciate any information on these unknown attachments. I'd also be willing to trade some of them, especially the parts to other machines.
    Pic #1
    Top: Quilting guide attachment (will attach to a foot that has a screw on the back of it, similar to the one in your puzzle box, but not a round hole, a flat section at the back instead). I have one here, and can post pics later, I have to go out shortly, so can’t do it at the moment.
    2nd row: Ruffler, Under braider foot (Singer’s term), hemmer foot
    3rd row, these are all Hemmer feet. They look like they’ll all attach to the same foot as the quilt guide.

    Pic #2
    Beside the bobbin – I recognize it, but can’t place it, it looks like part of an accessory. I’ll think on it further.
    The hemmer foot next to it doesn’t belong to this machine, it attaches from the bottom of the foot, not the side.
    The 3rd piece looks like part of the bobbin winder mechanism…
    4th, I’d have thought that was a clasp for clothing if I saw it on its own, I’m not sure.
    All of the bottom ones are needle plates.

    Pic #3
    Not sure on the 2 outside ones, again, they’re a little familiar, but I’m drawing a blank.
    The inside 3 are tuckers, I believe.


    You also might find your attachments by poking around here:
    The smithsonian institute's digital collection:
    http://www.sil.si.edu/DigitalCollect...ring%20Company

  24. #24
    Super Member Mrs. SewNSew's Avatar
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    Skyangel, I am interested in hearing more about your parlor cabinet as I think this is the same cabinet I just brought home. Although, your cabinet is lovely and mine is a bit of a wreck. I am most interested in lifting the machine to see it fully and remove it from the cabinet. What is this "keeper piece"? I have tried to left the machine-it won't budge. Tonight I read the button on the left front should be pressed but if there is something else I need to move I've love to get an idea of what and where to find it.
    Christy
    Starting the year out fresh

  25. #25
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    WOW!!!!!!!!!!!! What an absolutely GORGEOUS cabinet AND machine!!!!!!!!!!!!

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