What is this?

Old 05-01-2016, 03:57 AM
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Default What is this?

I 've been studying old machines on the internet for a few weeks, in my quest to learn about them. I found this on the local Craig's list this morning. I think it says it's a Sanger sewing machine. I'm not sure about that as you can see from the photos. However, we had a Sanger Brothers department store here back in the olden days. Of course, it's advertised as a Singer. I've never seen the "doohickeys" on the top before. What is that? Do they do anything? The photos are not very good, but hopefully someone can tell me about it. It's a treadle if you can't tell.
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Attached Thumbnails sanger.jpg   sanger-2.png  
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Old 05-01-2016, 06:47 AM
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It is the thread tensioner. I have one like it on my little Sew Handy from Singer.
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Old 05-01-2016, 10:39 AM
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The doohickeys on top are the upper tension. I *think* that machine was built by National and badged with the Sanger name. It probably was sold by that dept. store.

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Old 05-01-2016, 11:53 AM
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Nice machine. I'm leaning towards National as the maker to, but I'm no expert on their machines so don't quote me That it's a badged machine for the Sanger department store is very, very likely even if it's not a National. Does it have the shuttle? That would make identifying the manufacturer easier.
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Old 05-01-2016, 12:09 PM
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Here is a quiz - see if you can figure it out.

1. New Home style top tension (before Free aquired the name) Some do not have the lever part


2. Standard, again, many may be missing the lever. Note the rounded end.



3. National (and Eldredge) Foley & Williams is very similar.



4. New Royal (made by Free, but a quite different machine)





So far, I've not encountered anything that suggests Singer ever made a top tension machine, and until later models, Singer did not put names other than "Singer" on their machines.

Last edited by Macybaby; 05-01-2016 at 12:11 PM.
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Old 05-01-2016, 12:16 PM
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As to what it does - it is the tension control for the upper thread, so it is required to be able to sew.

Most of them have a means to disengage the tension, that is what the "lever" does. So you'd push it down to pull your sewing away from the needle.
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Old 05-02-2016, 04:11 AM
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I read a blog by Bonnie Hunter this morning, she had visited an antique mall on one of her trips. Included with pictures of quilts was one of these machines....wish I could remember where she was at the time. Until viewing her photo I had never seen one of these machines before.
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Old 05-02-2016, 06:15 AM
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Does anyone have a diagram showing how to thread one of these top tension do hickeys?
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Old 05-02-2016, 11:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Macybaby View Post
As to what it does - it is the tension control for the upper thread, so it is required to be able to sew.

Most of them have a means to disengage the tension, that is what the "lever" does. So you'd push it down to pull your sewing away from the needle.
Thanks for all of the pictures of the different tensions. I found that very interesting as well as the explanation of the lever. I know it takes time to get good photos and load them up here and I sure do appreciate it!
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